Enduring Another Spurs Away Day

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Top_Boy, Jan 8, 2007.

  • by Top_Boy, Jan 8, 2007 at 12:46 PM
  • Top_Boy

    Top_Boy New Member

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    Yesterday’s performance was everything I’ve come to expect of a Spurs away game. The team were inept and lacking passion with a lumbering midfield and fragile defence.

    How any Spurs supporter can delude themselves in thinking that we are even approaching the level of the Big 4 or even some of the lesser lights of the Premier Division away from home is beyond me.

    I simply cannot fathom Jol’s thinking when we play a midfield of Huddlestone, Malbranque, Tanio and Murphy. Where was the width, where the balance in the team by at least including ONE player who could kick with his left foot? First 10 minutes apart, it was very clear well before half time that this midfield would not work. Tainio (who appears to be Jol’s favoured son) was again poor, Huddlestone slow to the extreme and Malbranque seemed unable to control let alone pass a ball accurately.

    I actually felt sorry for Murphy, who was again played out of position and who has never had an extended run in his favoured central attacking midfield role. Yet again the midfield (without the width and without a left sided player) displayed a laboured build up and appeared incapable of being able to pass the ball quickly and accurately.

    Watching the comments of the respective managers afterwards I truly felt that I’d watched a different game. Let’s get this in perspective. Even allowing for the weather and the pitch, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Cardiff</st1:city></st1:place> were poor. They couldn’t shoot and looked like a team who hadn’t scored or won for some time and yet they matched us for large parts of the game.

    It could be that a left back, a left sided midfield player (preferably one who can actually pass the ball) and another winger (so that we have some backup in this position) will improve our team out of all recognition. But in the meantime let’s continue to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that we are something we’re clearly not.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Top_Boy, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Madoza007
    Well said. It was an inept performance to say the least.
    I am always amazed when I read reports from supporters putting a positive spin on what often are woeful away performances. We sometimes need to call a spade a spade.

    I think we were lucky to come out with a draw.
  2. sugarman
    I think this reponse is a little extreme. Granted the midfield looked a little narrow, but with current injuries who do you suggest we put out on the wings? Once Aaron came on I thought we used wing play far better.

    I think you forget, or choose to omit, facts such as Cardiff's home record this season is fantastic (only one loss, though it was to QPR), the overly hostile crowd which would no doubt have effected some of our younger and/or foriegn players not used to it, the aforementioned injury situation including our inspiring captain, the poor weather and hence pitch conditions which would have made it very heavy and a difficult surface to play our natural game etc etc.

    Granted it wasn't a great performance, but we didn't lose, we were rarely troubled and we have a replay to put things right.

    Now we have a few players returning to fitness I can see us pushing on into the second half of the season.
  3. Arnoldtoo
    Not happy then?

    Okay, there were times when I was shouting at the TV when another pass went astray or control was lacking, but:

    I don't think you can discount the conditions quite so easily - they were shitty and that is always a great leveller.

    Cardiff have been doing well at home, they have a good Cup 'giant-killing' pedigree at Ninian Park, and therefore their confidence was high, which is so important. They played like it in two thirds of the pitch, even if the attack was fortunately lacking.

    I actually thought Huddlestone did okay given the speed with which he was closed down; he still rarely gave it away.

    Lennon from the start might have made a difference, and I think he would have played the 90 had it not been his first game back.

    In those conditions, with injuries like those we've got, and with Cardiff up for it like no other game they will play this year, I don't think any of the 'big 4' would have walked away with a comfortable win, and would probably have been satisfied to get a replay. Let's see what happens at the Lane.
  4. Boony
    U cant expect amazing results every game, conditions were awful, our captain wasnt playing (see Chelsea`s recent form), massive ground with a big atmosphere (see Malbranque miss with the scissor kick and no sound from the ground) and it was their cup game. Bottom line of a cup is staying in it, see how they get on at the lane, probably as bad as everyone else !
  5. Dan
    Congrats - A well written article. I rarely read front page pieces but this caught my eye and made sense.

    I was watching on TV and there was a point in which the commentator queried Huddlestone taking a free-kick from the right when a left-footer could have more effectively applied in-swing. It then occured to me that not a single player in our 11 was a left-footed - slightly worrying.

    Midfield was awful! Huddlestone, for all the hype a couple of weeks back, looks uncapable of playing away and in harsh conditions and you've summed up the rest nicely.
  6. adoss
    I must agree mate. Yes the conditions were bad and yes Cardiff are good at home, but we had few chances and they had more clear cut ones than us. It's been happening in every away game this season (bar europe and the first half at Man City).

    We NEED 2 decent leftsided players, wingers or midfield I don't care but lets stop trying to grab all the "best young english talent" off teams in the Championship or at the bottom of the Prem for a couple of weeks and sort out what we NEED instead of what we WANT first....

    If we can only play in the centre and down one side of the park teams can block us off so easily, we've seen that... now lets learn from it and start spending our hard earnt/saved money on the one thing that's gonna force people to talk of a Big 5 in the english game....
  7. gloryglory
    I was there and I think your criticism of Jol is harsh - especially as the conditions were so appalling. But the performance was certainly poor, and there are a number of things to take away from the game.

    One is that the defence looks disorganised and lacks confidence without King. Davenport may have ability, but he gets nervous and makes silly decisions - his clearances repeatedly lacked conviction and some of his decision-making was horrible to watch. His nervousness spread to Dawson, who looks a shadow of his normal self without King, and even to Robinson and Chimbonda, our most consistent player this season.

    Lee was as dithery as ever. Even Cardiff knew the way to stop Spurs - give Lee lots of space to trick us into passing to him. The attack's going nowhere once he's on the ball. Defensively, his positioning was repeatedly suspect, and I think that too was partly down to Ledley's absence.

    As for the midfield - I thought individually they did OK, but we didn't have the right personnel for the game. That's not entirely Jol's fault - Lennon wasn't fit for 90 minutes, Zokora isn't performing and Jenas would have helped too. But this was a game for battlers, and Davids might have been a better bet than the anonymous Murphy.

    Huddlestone was neat and tidy, but the defence needed more protection. Unusually, Tainio provided the game's best passes (Defoe should have scored from one of his through balls), but his tackling was wild and late. There was no width except from Lee until Lennon's late arrival, while Berbatov isn't cut out to lead the line on days like this. Mido might have been more game.

    Where does Jol come in? Selection and transfers. We have three players who we seem unable to function without - King, Lennon and Berbatov. Two of those were missing yesterday. Our squad should be large enough to cope with any combination of up to 5 injuries. It wasn't. Why?

    There is no cover for Lennon. Ghaly, injured in any case, doesn't do the same job. He and Murphy are wide men who drift to the middle, as are Davids and Malbranque. We need another touchline hugger - what on earth is Routledge doing at Fulham?

    And cover for King - surely that's Gardner? We've seen a Gardner-Dawson partnership in the past, and it's worked. Gardner offers King's combination of pace, height and composure. The mistakes were cut out a while ago. Davenport can do a job alongside King, but he cannot fill his boots. To me, this is a simple selection error, although it would be nice to see some experienced cover come in. Upson or Ben Haim would be welcome.

    We're in danger of wasting the best opportunities we'll ever get. If this season finishes as disappointingly as last season, don't expect all of Lennon, King and Huddlestone to stick around.
  8. keepthefaith
    The only positive out of yesterday was that we didnt get beat, therwise, I have to agree that it was a very poor performance. I cant find one decent performance (possibly Davenport but he always has an error in him), I hope it was down to the weather but most of our players didnt want to be there. In the last 10 minutes they were happy with a draw! I wouldnt be surprised if Berby decks Mido when he sees him next cause this was probably a game he would have wanted to miss!
  9. mog123
    I read in an earlier post 'that we were rarely troubled'! Well Cardiff had many opportunities but their finishing was woeful and that's being polite.

    Any team with a ounce of finishing pedigree would have seen their name in the next round of the cup. Yes the main thing is that we are still in it but the 'recipe' for disaster was evident once again (maybe our luck is changing)

    Well just seen the draw so 2 home games so hopefully the 5th round awaits.

    Home draws all the way please until we learn to play away from the The Lane.
  10. JonnySpurs
    what a load of bs! sorry but thats how i feel about these sort of melodramatic, pathetic articles in response to a game that was far trickier than u give it credit for!
  11. Hugo
    I think murphy showed yesterday why he doesn't get many chances to play in the middle. The only difference between myself and murphy yesterday was he had a better view whilst watching the match!! He needs to drop down to championship level he is too slow for the premiership now.

    With regard to Davenport, I have always felt he has done reasonably well. However it was very noticable yesterday how poor his positioning is and against better oponents he would get punished.

    As a team we lacked the composure to knock the ball around, we should have been frustrating Cardiff and wearing them down. Instead we decided to send long ball after long ball which Purse lapped up all day. The conditions were perfect for getting the ball down and getting their defenders turning, as this is when errors/mistakes happen.

    To use the weather as an excuse is rather poor in my book, the pitch was ok for conditions and these are professional footballers who have at had the best equipment available to them. If my sunday team can get the ball down and knock it around on far worse pitches, then spurs should have been able to yesterday.
  12. Boaman
    To be honest if I had gone to the game, like you, I would have been double pissed off today and would have wanted to vent my frustrations, it's easier to see the upside sitting at home or from a local boozer. However like sugarman has said you have overstated our shitness and the mini injury crisis we are having needs to be taken into account along with the result & conditions.

    A point about team selection is we have one winger who clearly wan't 100% and we only have 2(?) left footed players in the squad (Zeigler & Gardner) and neither of them would have made any impact going forward

    The bigger picture is our away form is not good enough and we have become a Jekyl & Hyde team except without the unpredictability - Every team knows we are vunerable away from home and that is a bad way to start a match.
  13. MJsDeputy
    Only supporters who were at Cardiff can tell exactly what where the conditions of the pitch, inside the stadium etc...which obviously affeted the playing conditions and the players.....the armcharians, can make comment etc, but purely for for the pupose of expressing opinion,....everybody should read the comment by Paul Robinson in the official website.
  14. gloryglory
    I can think of 3 more left footed players: Assou-Ekotto, Davids and Mido.
  15. StokeSpur
    Makes me angry that people can blame conditions, away fans, muddy pitch, cold tea at half time, what a load of bollox! When are we going to stop making stupid excuses for pathetic tactics and performances?
    Any of the 'top four' would have won with a reserve side out, when were at that level then we will have arrived, till then we are responsable for the personel we have and who is on the pitch, if we havnt got cover for lennon then thats our fault, if we have to play Murphy left wing then thats our fault.
    I was workin so didnt watch the game live but on MOTD Cardiff won by 16 highlights to 5.
    At least we didnt lose and theres a home tie v Southend or Barnsley to play for.
  16. Boaman
    I don't remember any of them being in the squad yesterday, they're all injured :shrug:
  17. MJsDeputy

    Well, Man U lost to Southend!!!.... with Rooney & Ronaldo playing.

    Leeds at the top of Premiere League & Semi-finalist of CL lost to cardiff, 4 years ago
  18. gloryglory
    Yes - yesterday we only had 2 in the squad, but that's not what you said. Anyway, we wouln't have played any of them if they had been fit, so it doesn't make any difference to your basic argument, which I agree with - the squad is unbalanced. We need better left sided players, and cover for Lennon.
  19. bigspurs
    Spot on article. People like jonnyspurs make me laugh! What game did you watch mate?!

    A bit of constructive criticism isn't a bad thing. Pretending everything is wonderful is just moronic. What's true is true etc!

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