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Mid season review.

Well time for a look at the season so far (IMO) AVB or Tim? Well 2 different types of managers with their own ideas and values, and tactics (although I use the term loosely because they both have serious flaws) At the beginning of the season we were going well, not exactly setting the world alight but ticking along, meanest defence in the early season and everyone wondering who we would draw in the CL next season, then 2 disastrous results and the world is coming to an end.

So AVB off you go into the sunset and have a nice long holiday courtesy of Spurs season ticket holder's hard earned cash! Tim you take over and see what you can do, not because you are proven manager but because you are cheap by comparison, and have done ok with those kids you have been training. Have we looked any better since TS took over or are we back to where we were at the start of the season? Or have we simply been lucky? Well we have scored a few more goals mainly because the out of (AVB) favour Ade is allowed time on the pitch and to be honest looks as though he wants to prove a point, tackling back! Working hard for the team, not things he has been accused of in the past! But great to see, 100% commitment from him. Soldado well Hairy Henry at the ArSe started slow, and we know how that worked out! But even those fans wondered what he would ever amount to during his first season! So if he is still struggling by JANUARY 2015 then get him on a plane out of London and let him ply his trade elsewhere. Same for Lamala he has a good touch, but at present cannot live with the pace of the Prem and needs to toughen up, however I think someone told Levy he dribbled and was Argentinean and Levy got confused and thought he was buying Messi's younger brother! another 1 for the January 2015 window.

Capoue poor guy has 1 good game covering at CB and he gets the plaudits 1 bad game in midfield and he gets mauled! He is strong and physical and will grow into the Prem given time, Erikson is truly a nice player to watch and has a vision that is second to none within our team, Siggy squad player that should not have a starting place in our current team unless through injury, Paulinho has made the transition pretty well and will grow stronger the longer he stays, has an eye for goal but fades as a game goes on not yet a 90 minute Prem player but that will come, Lennon seems to have stopped running at players as much as he did under Harry, and needs to get his confidence in his running back again. Townsend his injury really did come at the wrong time, and will need a few games to get back to where he was but when in full flow is a delight to behold. Chadli just not proved himself shown a few glimpses of what he has but to few, and I think a lazy player for a midfielder! tackling back! that's something for other players to do but not him it would appear. Holtby I feel for he has tried hard and when he has played well the next game he ends up on the bench, managers have to be consistent just as we expect the players to be, and stop messing players about as they would not except the same behavior from any player.

Dembele I have mixed opinions about Dembele as I think he is great on the ball has a lovely left foot, but tends to take one touch too many and misses his opportunity to play the perfect ball if he had Erikson's vision he would truly be a world beater. Sandro, the heart of our midfield WHEN he plays, need to sort out his injuries instead of keep rushing him back. Bentalab good young player that does not seem to have been phased by being thrown into the Prem frontline not ever going to set the world alight but will do a job, hence TS using him ahead of others, ok now My own personal favorite our defence Dawson 100% committed to the cause but found wanting for pace and gets turned too easily (IMO) but would bleed for the team if needed, Vertonghen easily our best defender and reads the game very well but like Daws not blessed with lighting pace, Kaboul if he was not made of glass he could be a top class defender, however when he has played recently his positional capabilities are called into question, and he has been responsible for giving up soft goals. Vlad a very good player whose main weakness is pace, but can pass the ball as well as anybody on the team, good timing in tackles and does not get booked as often as Dawson due to his timing.

Walker hmm tricky one this I like Walker but has been caught too far up the pitch on too many occasions this season, I used to love the way he would storm back and make game saving tackles but I think this has fallen off lately and he has started to meander too much in the opposition half leaving Dawson's pace exposed, Danny Rose (IMO) just not yet good enough for the Premiership and a position we have been lacking in for too many years and one that needs to be addressed in the summer. Naughton and Fryers ok squad players but no more than that at present. Defoe should not have been allowed to leave needs to play then he WILL score goals, Harry Kane would make a great Championship player, but as yet I cannot see him ever getting a regular place in even a bottom 3 side, I hope he proves me wrong a scores a hatrick against someone like the ArSe but I just cannot see it.

Hugo Lloris a very good keeper who I think has been both mis-quoted and under supported by his defence so far this season we have no idea how the question that led to his end of season review was worded or loaded, he probably could play for most top teams in Europe but I think at present he is best of a average bunch of keepers currently playing, he is not without a occasional rush of blood, but much of this has to do with his faith of what is in front of him, rather than his poor decision making.

So with the squad we have what we can hope for probably 5th or 6th by end of season and I think we are not as good as the best but better than the rest. On our day we have the beating of most Prem teams unfortunately our day does not come around with enough consistency to challenge this year for a top 4 place, and there is the rub, we are too inconsistent in our play and our selections and add to that injuries and it is easy to see why our results are up and down. Well I am now tapped out and will go and watch this afternoons game live on TV here in the UAE wishing I was there in the cold and the rain and cheering on our beloved team.

Written by Tony Spiezick

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The journalist

Writer: Tony Spiezick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 12 2014

Time: 8:54AM

Your Comments

Big Ron
Off home from NZ in the morning so no more first posts for a while. It has been good while it lasted. I still keep hoping for a 4th but realistically 5th or maybe even 6th are likely
Big Ron
I suppose everyone else is on the match thread???
Big Ron
At this rate it will be the end of the season before there are any comments on the mid season review lol
Big Ron
All that typing Tony for so little response. I hope it changes soon. Good night
Big Ron
Is this the Big Ron show?
Thought I'd better jump in and break Big Ron's party up! Good article though Tony.
The only thing I can think is that everyone must agree with what I have said as there are no comments other than big Ron who I thank for his time and effort Tony (totuae)
Well, it's been an up-and-down season for a number of reasons, that's for sure. Considering how the story's gone so far, I think we're doing pretty well. I agree that we probably only deserve to finish 5th or 6th ... but, it's a funny old game and we still, surprisingly, have a good shout for 4th (or even 3rd when Arsenal self-destruct due to their difficult fixture list). COYS!
I see as two different styles of management and play. I think that AVB was unlucky with injuries (3 CB's out at one), failed to trust Fryers or get an adequate replacement for BAE and finally was unprofessional in his treatment of Adebayor, which eventually affected the squad morale. Tim has achieved some positive results, but definitely has a four leaf clover in his pocket. Bentaleb is a good prospect but should have been spared against Citeh - where the overall tactics were wrong! As for players there's not much that I would disagree with - apart from Capoue - who I think would be a rock if he felt a manager believed in him. As for league position - I think that we're nailed on for 5th unless the scum do implode - the scousers do have too many goals in them to fail now!
scoops50 - Kaboul injury was not unlucky, it was well documented in summer. Then subsequently we sold Caulker! AVB wanted just 4 cbs INCLUDING Kaboul, so the blame for that lies with AVB. I do not think that Sherwood is lucky, I merely see him utilitising a top 5 quality squad to play largely to its potential. For AVB to have a rate of less than a goal a game with that squad is virtually criminal, and the fact that he saw nothing wrong with it and did not try to adjust it showed his shortcomings. For me, AVB needs to find a quiet club somewhere, stay for 4 seasons and prove that his tactics work before he goes for a top club again.
Agreed TR!!
TR I couldn't give two $h!ts what AVB does. Sherwood has set the team up to be more attackign without a solid defensive foundation the Kevin Keegan Newcastle approach will not work long term. Especially as we are not Banging them in! I believe Sherwoods hands have been tied somewhat with selections due to injury namely midfield, CB and LW. I don't think Capoue's absence is because Sherwood doesn't believe in him, i thinks its more a case of a player who returned from injury but was not match fit, threw his toys out of the prame a bit before and during the trasnfer window and has now got to knuckle down and earn his spot in the team. The Next four weeks will tell us alot about Sherwoods future at Spurs, if we start to see a recognisable game plan and tactics that are adjusted to suit the opposition, with the calibre of player returnign from injury we may yet have a successful 2014 or a long summer discussing who might be the new manager, who will have a short trasnfer window due to the world cup! Good article TS.
Slurms McKenzie
totuae... I wondered where that name came from, lol. Can't argue much with what you've written. I don't agree regarding Chadli though. When he played, not often I know, but he certainly does more defensive work than Siggy or Townsend. I think he'll come good given enough game time and time to get used to the speed and strength of the premier league.
TR ,, I'm sorry but I think you are wrong regarding Caulker and AVB. There have been numerous quotes and posts on here stating that Caulker wanted to leave because he could not be guarenteed first team football regularly. If you blame AVB then that's your, entitled, opinion but I don't think he was good enough compared to a fit Vlad. Kaboul, Verts and Dawson. Also after watching the Cardiff/Villa game last night I would rather have his CB partner, Ben Turner. He was outstanding and got MOTM. We need to keep a check on him!!
Slurms..... Yes AVB has gone and we have Timmy now. Your right about the next 4 weeks for him, although I'd say till the end of March. Will he, wont he? Only probability is, that if he doesn't get top 4, as he keeps saying, he wont be here as head coach next season. I'M not sure he will be even if he does manage it.
Longtime I don't see the next four weeks as a deadline, but I am hoping to see an incremental improvement across the whole team and performances . Can anyone really say that Sherwood has stamped his own philospohy or personality on this tema yet?
Slurms McKenzie
Longtime. It's his publicly saying things like that which are half his problem. That must be very unsettling for the players to hear, and it mounts massive pressure on them to perform . Unless they want him gone and are not playing well to actually force him out, but I doubt that. He needs to be much more positive in the way he speaks and look after his teams best interests. Quietly I'm not sure hes too bothered either way as he'll have a lottery like payout if he does go , and can go back to doing what he does best.
Dublin Hotspur
Tony, I liked reading your article, has got me thinking today about how I feel everyone is doing, and how can we get the best out of the guys. I do wonder what it will take to get 100% out of everyone and start seeing performances from our new players that they showed with their previous clubs. I think capoue will indeed be a rock, and if it means kissing some Timmy booty to get ahead of the kid in the pecking order, so be it. It's too early to judge erik, as we've hardly seen the young fella. Chadli for me on the left and holtby back in the summer as super sub or starter if he has progresses. In a more DM position, where he likes to play. Nice one mate
Dublin Hotspur
Thanks Dublin, the one thing about living in the UAE is that we get virtually every premiership game live on TV, through Bein sports Hosted by Andy Gray and Richard Keys no less !! last w/e there were 72 live games shown from around the world, so I think I am now a qualified scout !!!
Caulker was exposed last season and I have no problems with his sale, given his demands. Kaboul was known to be injured at the start of the season, but the bad luck I was referring was for the home game against the bin-dippers! Against Citeh away, Lloris had a nightmare - was that luck or a bad selection?
Summer, new LB, new CB if kaboul is going to carry on being injured. Soldado has to go, new striker, lamela and Eriksen some hard work in the gym, need to beef up no question about that. Lennon needs coaching properly how to shoot and see a psychologist as to why he fears shooting and needs to improve on his decision making. Walker needs to be taught to defend, when to make runs and when not to. Townsend needs coaching in shooting as well, and decision making. Not sure we have room for all the players we have that are similar, Siggy, Chadli may need to leave to get games with Holtby coming in and getting some game time. Back up GK and there you go
Slurms McKenzie .. I can't tell that there's that much change in actual performance. Scoring a few more goals but that's about it. More akin to HR than AVB, but not what I was hoping for.
Dublin... I don't think he knows what he's doing regarding his press chatter, reminds me a lot of HR in that regard as well as his run about a bit style of playing. Not for me but I'm still backing him untill the end of the season and see where he's taken us.
WP that's not too much to ask for is it?????? lol
Me too longterm, but I think I would prefer to be backing someone else! I'll always support the club whoever plays for us, coaches us or owns us. This is just a good place to vent some frustration as the wife and kids won't listen , and there's very few spurs supporters where I live !
Dublin Hotspur
I live in Boston Lincolnshire and there a quite a few aroound me. Even my Doctor! So obviously I trust everything he says... lol. Born and bred in Wood Green/Turnpike Lane area. Hence the Spurs although similar distance to Highbury. Mate in my late teens/early 20's was a gooner and we used to go week and week about to home games. Unfortunately he was with me at the lane when Radford scored their winner to do the double in 71. We were only a couple of places behind them even then. BAH!
Longtime. That was the year I was born so don't really remember that one. I know that area well. I was brought up in whetstone and went to school in easy finchley. Worked in the Phoenix bar at ally pally and drank around wood green a lot then. There was an even split of spurs and arsenal amongst my friends but I was steered to spurs by my dad, who followed them in the glory days and since. My greatest moment as a fan was being at wembley on my 20th birthday to witness spurs beating arsenal in the fa cup semi. Great times. I want them back!
Dublin Hotspur
Dublin .... I must be more your dad's age by that. Would be great to see those days back but I fear we are cut adrift now and will find it very difficult. Every club now needs a multi-millionaire to pump money in like Chelski and Man City. Those 2 are far more able to buy whom they want and pay the wages too.
Longtime, have a look at the newcastle Vital site… its not that bad at spurs!!
Dublin Hotspur
I predict 0-4 to Spurs!
I will guess a 0-4 win for spurs, with townsend in for lennon and eriksen on the left, Chadli to score from the bench, brace for Ade and Bentaleb to be first name on the team sheet-but he earns his spot!
Slurms McKenzie
Oh snap Man On here's hoping!
Slurms McKenzie
Fingers crossed.
Oh WOW Slurms I suggest you go in for every lottery that's going and can I have the numbers ? COYMS - as predicted by someone all will come together in the new year…. uhhum … Great to see Kaboom back, Naughton a decent game at LB (didn't think I'd ever say that) welcome back DM in Capoue and FINALLY playing to the strengths of Bentalab - up in attack !!! What GREAT support at Mile High Stand in Geordieland…..Great stuff thank you Spurs - no complaints for 8 days ?! 6 points away from Dreamland!!!!
Highgate, good morning. Bet the atmosphere was amazing. The singing seemed to go on long after the end. Worth the trip so. Did you hit the toon after?
Dublin Hotspur
agree Tony and Slurms and Ossie for agreeing. Ref Caulker, I dont think he is worth what we got for him, good business.
We can only wonder at this stage of the season where we would be but for AVB's vindictive treatment, and successful media campaign against Adebayor. He managed to convince everybody that the player was an uncooperative, disruptive rabble rousing individual, banishing him to train alone, or with the youth team, even managing to convince many of us, and I'll admit me included, that what he said about the player was gospel, and he should be outed, the only information we had was that from the ABV PR machine . Low and behold along comes TS, shows the player some understanding, and respect, restores his confidence, hunger, and desire to play and be successful, and now we have currently one of the most dangerous and hardest to handle strikers in the PL, a proper CF. With his physical advantages he must be a CB's nightmare, unlike than Soldado, who is a CB's day off. If Adebayor had played regularly in the first half of the season we maybe in a solid top 4 position, realistically challenging for top 3. AVB's attitude towards Adebayor, mirrored his problem with senior players allowing his ego, and misplaced belief in his own infallibility, to get in the way, both here and at Chelsea, hence he got sent packing from both clubs.
I think the difference between AVB and TS is that one through his previous involvement, and past knowledge of English top level football, knows and understands the objectives and expectations of THFC, and it's fans, and how they wish to go about achieving them, the style of football etc. And one who came to the club with baggage from his previous job, and a massive chip on his shoulder, determined to prove that his largely miserly, and defensive style, and football philosophy. was correct, would prevail, and he would persevere with it at all cost, not to persuaded otherwise. That cost involved negative, boring football, to which the players and majority of the fans, never really bought into, and in the latter stages of his tenure resulted in some unfortunate results, and his dismissal. All of this of course repeated his experiences at Chelsea.

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