Thursday, 16 May 2013

Reasons to be paranoid about Sunday

The FA have confirmed there will be a play-off for third place between Chelsea and Arsenal if Arsenal win 2-1 on Sunday and Chelsea draw 0-0 (or 3-2 and 1-1, etc). 

What can possibly be wrong with that?

Apart from the fact it is blatantly ridiculous (since Chelsea beat Arsenal both home and away) let's look at who would benefit from this outcomes:
  • Arsenal gain since it means that whatever happens they fulfill their primary objective of CL qualification
  • Chelsea gain since it means they do not have worry about going flat our to beat Everton after their Euopa league exertions and they know they will beat Arsenal in a play-off anyway. 
  • Arsenal gain since it means they will get a massive unexpected windfall in TV money and gate receipts from a play-off 
  • Chelsea gain since it means they will get a massive unexpected windfall in TV money and gate receipts from a play-off
  • SkyTV gain since they get a massive unexpected extra match to boost their profits
  • SkyTV and ITV gain since they are convinced that Arsenal are a 'more valuable' asset to them being in the CL next season than Spurs. 
  • Everton gain from securing a very respectable point in Moyes' last match. 
  • Newcastle gain from securing only a narrow defeat ('see - we gave it our all') and hence do not have to suffer any formal consequences from Pardew's 'happy to lose 4-0' comment.
 So, curiously, absolutely everyone will be a winner under this scenario.... except for one team. Obviously, there is some paranoia creeping in here but based on 2005 and 2012 it is understandable...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

We made Man Utd look very ordinary

Man Utd's approach to the game today was no different from that of Stoke. They looked like a very average, totally defence minded team. With some better finishing and better luck we would have won 5-1.

Breaking the 'no late goal' hoodoo was very important, especially as it was against the league leaders. It would have been a travesty if we had not equalised.

Top class performance from Lennon today, and BAE made a difference when he came on (in fact from that point on not only did Man U fail to mount a meaningful attack but our attacks grew increasingly dangerous.
Slightly worried that Parker did not look fully fit.

Typically incompetent performance from Chris Foy. Does anybody know why this jerk is still a premiership ref?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Now that Sandro is ruled out for the rest of the season ...

..I will stick my neck out and say that I actually think we might end up
benefiting from this.  I think it was always a
straight fight between Sandro and Parker for the holding midfielder spot
(assuming that we play with two forwards). There is no doubt Sandro has
done fantastically well this season and that he can be a great player for
us for many years to come. But at this point in this season I believe
Parker will give us just a bit more than Sandro both in terms of leadership
and attacking options. Maybe people are forgetting just how good Parker was
last season?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Thoughts on today's QPR game + late goals

Other than a superb first 10 minutes, today was extremely disappointing. Bale had his worst game of the season (he seemed disinterested), Adebayor played probably his worst match ever for us, Dembele was too easily muscled out, and the movement was generally too slow and predictable especially after Parker came on.  Of the forward players only Defoe looked sharp and was  unlucky not to score twice. I was suprised BAE did not play. I would rest Walker next week, switch Naughton to right back and start with BAE.

Everybody known that Spurs have lost many points in the last 10 minutes of matches this season and that we would be 7 points clear at the top of the league if matches ended on 80 minutes.

Most people assume this is due purely to a tendancy to concede late goals.  But lots of teams concede late goals. What marks Spurs as unique this season is that, unlike every other premiership team, we have failed to score even one decisive late goal.In fact, incredibly in not one of our 33 competitive fixtures this season have we scored a goal later than 65 minutes that has changed the match result in our favour. Given that most matches have 5 minutes injury time this means that for the last 30 minutes of every single match this season Spurs have failed to score a goal of any meaning whatsoever.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Fitness, tactics or psychology?

A very obvious symptom of our less than stellar performances this season is the observation that in almost every game we have conceded the last goal. Incredibly this has happened in all five away games against premiership teams (including league cup at Norwich) even though 3 of those were victories. At home it has happened in 4 or the 6 matches (the only exceptions being QPR and Villa). That is 9 out of 11.

Basically, even when we are winning we are 'losing' the last third of almost every match. We are conceding lots of late goals while never actually scoring any. In fact here is a truly remarkable statistic: In only one game (the first at Newcastle) have we scored in the last 25 minutes and in that game we conceded a later goal anyway to lose all 3 points. That's the symptom. But what is the cause: Fitness, tactics or psychology?