Category Archives: Tottenham

Exclusive Interview with Times journalist Henry Winter on Alli, Kane and Gareth Bale

Aston Villa v Wycombe Wanderers - The Emirates FA Cup Third RoundThe Times’ Chief football writer Henry Winter believes Harry Kane and Dele Alli would favour remaining at Tottenham Hotspur over a move to Manchester United. 

Speaking to me at an event with The Times in London, Winter said that he believes Alli and Kane understand that Spurs are on the verge of something special.

“I think it’s the wrong time to leave Tottenham Hotspur,” Winter admitted.

He continued: “they have a fantastic manager who they really respect and fear.

“Speaking to Spurs and Southampton players, training is unbelievable, so intense and sometimes they say that matches are almost a relief!”

“They (Kane and Alli) can probably double their money if went United, something Levy has to look at. Spurs have got more television money coming in next season and the stadium to build.” 

But Winter believes that Spurs are the place to be for these young players, and understands that they don’t want to leave the club.

“I think now is not the time to leave Tottenham,” the Chief football writer stated.

Winter followed: “they have a good hungry young team, and have a huge blow with the centre-back (Vertonghen) injured. They have a great goalkeeper and overall very good players. 

“You see with all the banter between Alli and Dier that there is a spark and camaraderie at the club. 

“They’re young players and can play for United in 5-6 years time, should they choose to.” 

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Winter, who joined The Times after 21 years with The Daily Telegraph back in November, was crowned Football Writer of the Year for 2015. 

The established journalist also spoke to me at length about Gareth Bale, and revealed he believes the former Spurs star could return to White Hart Lane one day.

“I think they’ll have a go, yeah,” Winter replied to my question if Spurs will try and re-sign the winger.

“Gareth Bale has the sort of personality where he will fit back in immediately. Even though he is a superstar, he’s won the European Cup, and is on all this money.

“You talk to people around Bale and you don’t get the impression that he’s in a hurry to leave what is still the biggest club in the world.”

Winter continued: “clauses are clauses, there are a lot of lawyers around. Although Levy is strong, if Manchester United came calling, I still don’t think he’ll leave.

“If it was a straight choice between United and Spurs, United would offer more money, he might go there. But if United are not going to be in the Champions League, he’s a player who wants to play at the highest level, and Spurs will be in the Champions League next season.”

I wish to thank Henry for his time and congratulate him on his move to The Times. 

 

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Match Review – ACF Fiorentina 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Agg. 3-1)

Tottenham Hotspur came crashing out of the Europa League after a horrible night in Italy. Despite beginning the game strongly, personal errors were to play centre-stage in a big week for Spurs.

Early signs were good for Mauricio Pochettino’s side in Florence. Erik Lamela had a good early chance, with his volley finding the goalkeeper after some good build-up work from Eriksen. Fiorentina were approaching the game well, as sitting back and letting Tottenham ‘play’ was a large feature of the game.

The first real chance of the game came when Nacer Chadli burst into life down the left-hand side. His cross was cleared, and Fiorentina broke. Mario Gomez found himself alone at the other end, however Vertonghen did well to make his way back and control the situation.

The major talking point of the half came with disastrous consequences for Spurs. After a stunning through ball from Lamela, Roberto Soldado found himself clean through, only for his weak sideways pass to Chadli to be collected by Neto.

The second half was to be the North Londoner’s downfall. A defensive nightmare at the back allowed Fiorentina to take the lead. Spurs were once again their own worse enemies, something we as fans are all too used to.

With Wembley looming, Pochettino made the tactical switch to bring off Chadli and Bentaleb, with Kane and Townsend coming on to replace them. Despite the in-form striker entering the game, his influence was to be of little impact.

A crucial save by Hugo Lloris was to be later overruled, as Fiorentina doubled their lead. Chelsea winger Mo Salah made it 2-0, as Jan Vertonghen failed to handle the ball inside his own area.

Needing two goals to progress, Spurs thought they had got one back, as Kane had the ball in the net after 77 minutes. However, the flag was up on the far side, disappointing Tottenham fans everywhere.

The full-time whistle came as a disappointing conclusion to the night, with Spurs failing to progress to the last-16. Now it’s time to re-group and tackle Chelsea. Come on you Spurs!

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Match Review – Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Asteras Tripolis FC

Tottenham winger Erik Lamela stole the show in a thumping 5-1 defeat of Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League on Thursday night. The Argentine scored arguably the goal of the season, whilst adding another goal later on during a fabulous night at White Hart Lane. The superb hat-trick from England forward Harry Kane only boosted the positive show from Spurs. Kane’s unlucky late appearance in goal to replace Hugo Lloris capped off an eventful night for Mauricio Pochettino’s team.

The game began on a rather dull note. A reduced capacity White Hart Lane was unaware of the spectacle ahead, with Tottenham fan group “the 1882 movement”, particularly loud in the opening stages. Scrappy fouls became the prominent feature of the first few minutes, with the match official Ivan Kruzliak awarding Ben Davies a free-kick deep inside the Asteras half.

The visitors came closest to going ahead on the seventh minute. Facundo Parra broke through the Spurs back-line and struck a weighted ball across the box and just wide of the post. But it was the lively England under-21 striker Harry Kane that looked the brightest of the bunch. Picking the ball up on the edge of the area, the youngster hit a dipping ball towards goal, with the swerve of the ball taking it just past the post.

Tottenham took the lead on the 13th minute. Harry Kane received the ball just outside the area, and after composing himself thrashed a dipping attempt into the goal, past Kosickŷ. The ease of Spurs’ dominance came as a surprise to many, given that the Greek side were top of the group going into the game.

The goal acted as a catalyst for Tottenham to further extend their superiority. Hugo Lloris comfortably saved a chance at the other end with his head, whilst Eric Dier’s dangerous cross into the Tripolis area caused problems for the Slovakian keeper. However the visiting side began to show some ability after a string of chances. The most threatening came after 25 minutes when Zisopoulos headed over for Tripolis from a troublesome free-kick. Moments later, Hugo Lloris was called into action with a save inside the box, only for Ben Davies to make a goal-line clearance to keep his team in the lead.

The moment on everyone’s minds was next in store for the White Hart Lane faithful. Record signing Erik Lamela scored one of the greatest goals witnessed in Europe after 29 minutes. The Argentine cleverly clipped a “rabona” from outside the area into the far corner and emphatically celebrated his world-class effort. The press-box was left stunned at the goal, with various taboo language the only explanation for such a fine effort.

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The rest of the half simply could not compare to the moment those inside the stadium had witnessed. The offside flag was rather active from there on. The goal-scorer Lamela picked the ball up at the half-way point keen to build on his performance, but after releasing it to Kane far too late, he was flagged off.

Andros Townsend continued his bubbly start but was caught by Panteliadis after 37 minutes and was awarded a free-kick. The England international almost made it 3-0 to Spurs, however his dipping effort towards the far corner curled over. Tottenham led 2-0 at the break.

The second half continued as equally strong for the home side. Lamela almost doubled his goals for the night when his deflected effort curled behind for a corner. Tripolis’ very own Juan Munafo almost extended Spurs’ lead as his deflected tackle went behind for a corner, narrowly avoiding the own goal.

The battle for plaudits between Harry Kane and Erik Lamela raged on for the majority of the half. The pair both were as equally important defensively as they were going forward, with Lamela’s clearance from a Tripolis corner resulting in an eventual Kane mop-up to rid his defence of any scares.

Linesman Tomaš Mokoš was perhaps the busiest of all during the second spell of play. The Slovakian official caught Pablo Mazza offside three times in a matter of minutes before the hour mark, with Emmanuel Adebayor forcing linesman Tomaš Somolani to do a similar job at the other end.

The goal-fest at the Lane was far from over on the 66th minute. After some tremendous work to force a shooting chance inside the Asteras area, the deflected ball fell once again to Erik Lamela, who fired home a volleyed effort past Kosickŷ. After a barren spell for the club, Lamela struck gold in the Europa League with his second of the night. After much debate over what he brought to the side, it was perhaps necessary that the Argentine proved his worth for the Premier League squad facing Newcastle this weekend. Spurs led 3-0.

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Before Mauricio Pochettino even had the chance to bring on Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen, Spurs scored a fourth. Harry Kane collected his second of the evening with yet another fine finish. The Lilywhites had destroyed their opponents and all signs were pointing up for qualification to the next stage.

The events of the final ten minutes of play proved to be the most dramatic spell of the entire fixture. Sealing his hat-trick on the 81st minute, Harry Kane performed a fine header at the far post from a Fazio cross, to extend Spurs’ lead to 5-0.

However the young Englishman hadn’t completed his work for the night. Hugo Lloris found himself on the end of a red card after a reckless challenge on his opponent outside the area. Having used Aaron Lennon as the final substitution, Kane was therefore forced to don the gloves and number one jersey of the Frenchman, to see out the final few minutes. His luck for the evening ran out, as Barrales clipped a weak free-kick in the direction of the striker which eventually found its way into the net. Kane did his best to stop the free-kick but lack of experience prevailed in Tripolis’ first. This didn’t stop the Spurs faithful who continued to launch encouraging chants at their temporary goalkeeper.

The game finished 5-1 to Tottenham who levelled Besiktas on points in Group C.

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Match Preview – Tromsø IL (Home)

It’s back. The Europa League returns for another glorious week in which Tottenham take on FC Tromsø IL of Norway at White Hart Lane.

This season should be quite different to that of our Quarter Final campaign last season. This year we have a squad – a proper competitive, top four ready squad which should have the ability to carry us through this years competition.

We enter the game off the back of a brilliant Premier League win – showing the dominance of our new found team. The cameo’s from players considered second-string such as Lewis Holtby on Saturday in the first team signifies the strength of our back-up squad and that there is a constant fight for places.

Our last venture out in the Europa League was of course our 3-0 home dominance of Dinamo Tbilisi. The loaned Tommy Carroll will be a huge loss in my opinion to our Cup squad after his marvelous display in both legs vs. Tbilisi. However I expect record signing Erik Lamela to gain some minutes this Thursday as AVB continuously states he must adapt and 60 minutes vs. Tromsø ought to do the trick!

Our opponents maybe unfamiliar to most of you. Tromsø are Norwegian based and don’t have too much of a European past. Tromso IL were admitted to this season’s Europa League via the Fair Play rule, whereby they are being rewarded for showing good discipline on the pitch domestically last season. Tromso have only ever met English opposition one before in a UEFA competition. They faced Chelsea in the Second Round of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, winning the home leg 3-2 before slumping to a 7-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

One player who Spurs and Tromso have in common is goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld. The Canadian keeper was on Tottenham’s books between the years 2002 and 2004, and he never made a first team appearance. He frequently played for Tromso in 2005, with his UEFA Cup appearances his most famous.

The game kicks off at 8:05pm at White Hart Lane with the game on ITV4 for those not travelling to the Home of football.

Predicted Team: Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, Dawson, Naughton, Sandro, Dembélé, Townsend, Lamela, Holtby, Defoe

Predicted Score: Tottenham 4-0 Tromsø IL.
(Defoe x3 and Townsend)

Hope you’ve enjoyed our little facts in Tromsø as well as our spin on team selection and the score! Make sure to join us @TalkingTHFC on Matchday for coverage before, during and after the game. THE place to be on Game days! YidArmy!!!!

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Match Review – Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham

The opening game of the season couldn’t have got any better for the new look Andre Villas-Boas Tottenham side as they defeated Crystal Palace 1-0. With three of four new summer signings starting, Spurs fans at Selhurst Park looked in for a treat however the Premier League new-boys had other ideas as to the severity of their defeat.

The game began quite franticly for the Lilywhites. Captain Michael Dawson endured a brief shaky spell resulting in a poor clearance however things began to look up for Spurs on the far side of the pitch as Lennon and Walker began to link play together well.

New boy Roberto Soldado looked up for a fight as he began to drop back on occasion to help push play forward, Crystal Palace did provide moments of panic in spells but the magnificent Hugo Lloris (whom was consistently good throughout the game) kept the ball well away from his goal after catching the ball well from a Palace free-kick.

Referee Mark Clattenburg was to do Spurs no favours. Despite numerous occasions where I felt myself crying in agony at the bizarre decisions, Clattenburg continued to give obscure fouls to the Eagles and showed fans that if Tottenham were to win today – they’d have to do it the hard way. Aaron Lennon found himself in exciting places during the first half including after linking well with Walker and Paulinho on the far side however his end product failed to find Soldado convincingly and ended up with the keeper.

Nacer Chadli frustrated fans at times with his first Premier League appearance. He found himself in brilliant positions however lacked the courage and panache to take on opposition and never once do I remember seeing him neither take on a man nor go past a player. This was to change in the second half as he was still learning the fundamentals of English football’s fast pace. Danny Rose impressed throughout the half after his awful game against Espanyol and got into good positions on the left. Mousa Dembele struck over and just nicked the bar on 35 minutes with a Gylfi Sigurdsson belter on the turn pushed aside by Speroni moments later.

The half began to teeter out until a last gasp header by Nacer Chadli fizzed over the bar and Spurs entered the break a little frustrated however still in the balance with Palace providing little goal threat.

The second half looked much brighter for the lads. Nacer came out a changed man with him and Rose breaking down the left side frequently. Spurs looked more focused despite spells of sheer panic when Lloris had to come to the rescue. The lucky break finally came on the 50th minute of time. An Aaron Lennon cross struck the hand of a Dean Moxey and Mark Clattenburg awarded Spurs their first penalty of the season (something they did not manage throughout the whole of last year’s campaign.) Roberto Soldado stepped up to the plate and curled the penalty into the net with the whole team celebrating emphatically after a dry spell.

Substitute Etienne Capoue impressed hugely when he came on to make his debut on the 57th minute. He managed 6 interceptions, more than West Brom, West Ham and Sunderland in all of their games yesterday and really caught my eye as a key player for this season. Younes Kaboul also came on to strengthen at the back as Palace looked to push.

Chances then came thick and fast for the North Londoners. Sigurdsson found himself in space after Soldado managed to pick him out in the area however the Icelander fired wide. Hugo Lloris kept Spurs in it from this point forward. Save after save he kept it up and with the clock ticking down he did not hesitate and kept the goal clear despite Kevin Phillip’s best intentions. Jermain Defoe had the chance of the match as on the 85th minute mark he found himself with the goal at his fingertips but could only manage a shot wide.

The game finished though (much to the delight of Spurs fans) and Tottenham secured a very rare opening day win – something our make-shift side last year at Newcastle couldn’t achieve. Nacer Chadli spoke after acknowledging the change of pace to Dutch football with AVB and Jan Vertonghen praising a well-deserved win.

Player Ratings:

Lloris – Perfect 10, couldn’t fault him today.
Walker – 7, got forward well but got caught out at times
Dawson – 7, endured shaky spells but still solid throughout
Vertonghen -8, skilful as always and keen to push forward
Rose – 7, got forward well and came back with pace (better than Espanyol)
Dembele – 8, sprayed the ball around well and pushed play on with ease
Paulinho – 8, a good Premier League debut as recognised by Sky Sports winning their MOTM
Chadli – 7, did have moments of frustration but improved throughout and showed good pace
Sigurdsson- 6, wasn’t my favourite performance from him and missed a good chance
Lennon – 6, at times his pace was phenomenal but his end product lets him down
Soldado – 9, a great debut performance with a top penalty also.

Subs –

Kaboul played a few minutes but his first touch was a clearance. Jermain missed a sitter but did advance well at times holding the ball up in key moments.
Capoue – 7, only played 33 minutes but showed intelligence, tenacity and a keen defensive instinct.

Our MOTM: By a clear mile, Hugo Lloris. What a phenomenal performance. He performed some truly audacious tackles miles out from his goal and saved chance after chance towards the end. My little French friend, mon chapeau a vous.

We hope you enjoyed our Live match coverage as well as in depth statistical analysis on twitter and pictures on Tumblr and Instagram (same handle of talkignthfc.) The season is underway for sure! Our next involvement on here is our midweek article!!

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Match Preview – Crystal Palace (Away)

Welcome to our brand new season! With more ways to follow us than ever before here’s how we start off! Enjoy!

With every fan in the world eagerly awaiting the return of the Premier League, the Spurs faithful weren’t going to be much different. Twitter has been flooded with excitement over its return and with news of the Arsenal result today; Sunday’s away game at Palace carries that little bit of additional spice as Tottenham hope to start the season off strongly.

Tottenham travel the short distance to Selhurst Park this Sunday (home to Premier League new boys Crystal Palace) in the first London derby of the new season. Premier League official Mark Clattenburg is to take charge of the affair. Palace have enjoyed a mixed pre-season with strong displays against weak opposition such as Gillingham and Waterford however when faced against stronger sides such as Lazio (whom Tottenham faced in last season’s Europa League) they came up short suffering to a Miroslav Klose goal in a 1-0 defeat.

Tottenham go into the opener with some injury concerns including the German youngster Lewis Holtby – whom Andre Villas-Boas confirmed will miss the fixture. AVB told media that Jan Vertonghen will face a late fitness check however remains a doubt to face Ian Holloway’s side with Kaboul and Sandro to be involved after making their returns against Espanyol in Pre-Season. The Portuguese boss confirmed to Sky Sports this week that Gareth Bale will not be involved against the newly promoted Crystal Palace and with this on-going saga, it wasn’t going to be too much of a surprise to hear of his exclusion.

Hugo Lloris is expected to reprise his role in goal with new Tottenham number two Kyle Walker and Danny Rose certain to feature on either full-back side. New Spurs signing Etienne Capoue will be involved in the squad despite playing in midweek for France and could challenge for a role in the side. New boys Paulinho, Chadli and Soldado are all also expected to feature in AVB’s starting XI. Emmanuel Adebayor looks to return also after taking time off to attend his brother’s funeral.

For Palace, French left-back Florian Marange is expected to be involved after signing for the Londoners this Friday. A long list of new faces are to change the face of the former Championship side including Neil Alexander, Marouane Chamakh, Elliott Grandin, Kevin Phillips (whom signed a new contract this summer), Jose Campana, Dwight Gayle and former Swansea player Stephen Dobbie. The only real concern for the Eagles is Jerome Thomas is out with an ankle injury.

I personally expect Tottenham to risk Kaboul. He has told media that he is ‘stronger than ever’ this week and from what I saw against Espanyol – he is capable to return to the Premier League after over a year out. As confirmed by Tottenham this week – Paulinho will wear the number 8 shirt, Chadli is to don the number 21, Etienne Capoue – 15, Soldado will continue to wear number 9 and additional changes include Parker to 6 (if he is still around the squad), Walker from 28 to 2, Tom Carroll is to wear number 28 with Andros Townsend in the number 17 shirt.

Predicted Line-up –

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Predicted Score – Crystal Palace 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Soldado x2, Sigurdsson)

Okay guys! I really hope you’ve enjoyed our new preview, they were very popular last year so please make sure to share it. We have lots of exciting ways to get involved coming up for you so please stay tuned. What do you think the score will be? Like our predicted line-up? Leave a comment below!

How many players have we really gained this summer?

This summer has seen us break our transfer record not once but twice. With Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado, we have acquired three terrific players and I imagine that you’ll agree with me when I say this – we have fundamentally summarised what it is to ‘strengthen’ a football squad.

But are these players the only lads we have collected to improve our squad. Have we signed two new players without even noticing? Well look no further. Saturday saw the return of the beastly duo that is Younes Kaboul and Sandro – both whom have long-awaited a return to the Tottenham side. Not only did their performances versus Espanyol highlight their true brute strength, calmness and solidity but reassured Spurs fans that with the season just days away, the White Hart Lane side have reinforcements (and strong ones a that) prepared to step up to the plate.

The first appearance of the two was to be the French centre back Younes Kaboul against Espanyol. Younes was applauded by almost the entire stadium and you could just see the delight on everyone’s faces (including his own.) In a post-match press interview, Younes said: “I’ve never had that before (the atmosphere) and I want to say thanks. Now I want to give them something back.” Some exaggerative Yids amongst us would say it was like losing a child when Younes disappeared. After having such a prominent season under Harry Redknapp and being part of our own little ‘invincibles’ team in a way (the Modric, Bale and Adebayor powerhouse attack) it was very sudden and without the recruitment of Jan Vertonghen, it would have left us very defenceless (see what I did there) at the back.

But then, like a fairy-tale, a big six-foot one angel left the bench and made his way to the touchline. My phone lit up with messages of “It’s Sandro!” and “He’s back.” It was true, Sandro Raniere had returned.

After a truly awful injury back in January to Queens Park Rangers, the man Tottenham had relied on to bring solidity and balance to a midfield had gone and left us with a semi-ready Scott Parker (whom I must admit strengthened as the season continued) in his place. The Lilywhites fans were distraught and floods of messages came in on the social networks for the tall Brazilian. Sandro had blossomed into the young man our scouts saw over in Brazil and left Andre Villas-Boas very distracted in his post-match interviews on the day. But when the young man returned versus Espanyol, the level of excitement inside White Hart Lane had escalated to a new decibel.

And if as if by magic, the Spurs crowd sighed with a general consensus of: “and we’re back.” The pair instantly displayed their key abilities with Kaboul challenging very well with his former partner Michael Dawson (whom shared a respectful fist bump upon his arrival) and Sandro providing his mix of nutty and frantic movements yet bringing a hard to describe stability to the midfield. The appearance of the pair failed to inspire the team to victory however many would have left the stadium feeling victorious having seen five players make a fresh appearance. Yes that’s right, five.

To cap off the performances of our new boys. I found Nacer Chadli to be a tad lazy. This is my fair critic. I saw glimpses of Niko Kranjcar within his performance, someone who has real ability and skill however was lazy when defending (causing Rose to struggle alone on the left) and didn’t have enough tenacity in him to shoot. However, he was very skilful and in the first half especially; he showed key winger ability in making runs and linking play well. Roberto Soldado, well what can I say. The man is obviously a goal threat. Even if we have a poor year (which I cannot see happening) he will be guaranteed to bag goals. His penalty showed power and accuracy as well as his low centre of gravity which helped him to lose defenders. Paulinho also showed real signs of talent and he did link very well with Mousa at times and showed Dembele was happy to have such a partner. His passing was good as well as his vision and his disallowed goal showed his aerial prowess – an ability of his we have written about before.

To conclude, it was a very exciting day at the Lane and gave the fans a chance to see what our new boys can really do. But the main thing to come from the game was how truly fantastic it was to have some proven talent back in our side.


If you have enjoyed our latest article then please do comment. Your comments mean a lot and if they are good and with keen insights they might get published on our Twitter page. Quick thank you to all whom have followed us as we hit the big 10,000 this week. Appreciate your growing support. Reminder that you need to follow our site. Its very simple, when logging on, a grey box should appear in the bottom right hand corner, all you must do is type in an email address and every blog we write is instantly sent to you the second its published before it is on twitter or anywhere else.

Thanks a lot guys! Our next article will be our Match Preview for Palace on Sunday!

#COYS

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Match Review – Tottenham 1-0 Sunderland.

The last game of the season ended in Spurs beating Sunderland but failing to secure a placement in the illustrious Champions League. Although Newcastle kept Arsenal at bay for a long period, an offside Koscielny goal secured Woolwich the vital points.

The game began with Spurs on top. We kept the ball very well indeed and enjoyed good spells where the man at the top dropped to help out in midfield. Spurs didn’t really poach a threat until a few key goes on goal from Bale and a very unlucky chip from Emmanuel couldn’t reach the Welshman.

The game sparked into life on the 21st minute when Gareth Bale found himself rugby tackled down by Sebastian Larsson and to his astonishment was booked for diving. Bale then rolled into hysterical fashion at the referee’s accusation as did the Tottenham Hotspur bench. Hugo Lloris then decreased the sense of injustice with a magnificent save to deny Connor Wickham at the post.

Simon Mignolet in the opposing goal had possibly his best effort of the season. He stopped some albeit comfortable shots but challenging also to prevent Spurs from really finishing well. As the first half closed, Mignolet kept Sunderland in it again after saving Huddlestone and Bale efforts.

Both North London teams entered the second half level. A sense of optimism filled the Lane as it did in the away corner on Tyneside. But Spurs began protesting yet again moments after the second half began when Carlos Cuellar saved the ball with his hands to deny Emmanuel Adebayor a goal scoring opportunity. The Lane roared with emotion towards the referee who denied Spurs another penalty. This sense of disbelief climbed to new levels minutes after with quadruple goal scoring opportunities denied. Jack Colback cleared off the line from a Scott Parker shot that he worked round the defender to take. Aaron Lennon then followed up as did other members of the squad, all denied by Sunderland.

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This frustration was taken to a new level yet again when multiple headers from Captain Michael Dawson were saved as Spurs set up camp in the Black Cats area. The keeper saved another good volley from Gareth Bale that looked to be the goal necessary to get a win. The game took another controversial turn as Sunderland had David Vaughan sent off for a poor challenge on Aaron Lennon which was correctly ended with a second yellow for the former Blackpool man.

But the game was decided moments from time when Gareth Bale took his trademark step past a defender from the right wing to pile drive a bending effort into the top corner that no keeper on the planet could stop. The White Hart Lane then took to their mobile phones to find the score from St. James’ Park. The four added minutes were not enough for Newcastle to equalise as it looked they’d never score. Not only was the Arsenal goal offside but Newcastle did do well defensively throughout.

Player Ratings:

Lloris – 7
Walker – 5
Vertonghen – 7
Dawson – 7
BAE – 6
Parker – 5
Huddlestone – 5
Lennon – 6
Dempsey – 5
Bale – 8
Adebayor – 8

MOTM: Our man of the match award is joint this week. Emmanuel Adebayor and Gareth Bale take home the illustrious Talking THFC trophy. Adebayor enjoyed a very good game in which he looked the only player really bothered as well as running himself ragged. Bale well, he wins it because of his amazing game winning goal.

We may have missed out on Champions League yet again but Europe awaits us for another season. I’ve had a blast this season on Twitter. I really have loved being part of the club even more. This is of course our final match review of the season. I will not be offering reviews or previews on pre-season games but will blog about current events. Our season review comes out next week!!!!

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#COYS

Match Preview – Sunderland Home

What can we say about this fixture? The Premier League comes to a close for another season today as we take on Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland at White Hart Lane although many Spurs fans will be concentrating on a fixture up in Tyneside.

Usually a home fixture to Sunderland would carry barely any baggage. A bottom side team with noting much in the way of true talent. However this fixture contains a scenario Spurs fans are very use to. We must win to be contenders for fourth spot hoping that Arsenal don’t win against Newcastle at St. James’ Park.

The last time we played Sunderland at White Hart Lane we beat the, 1-0 thanks to a goal from Roman Pavlyuchenko – a fixture I was lucky enough to attend. The game began with. A mixture of possession however Spurs dominated throughout. The goal was just not happening in late 2011 however substitute Pavlyuchenko entered the fixture and on the 61st minute latched onto a magnificent Rafael Van Der Vaart pass. Spurs missed chances from Modric, Sandro and Van Der Vaart in the game however the win put Tottenham into 3rd.

The game will be significantly different all round to the last game as both managers have changed as well as significant changes to both sides and a young Danny Rose enjoying a unusual stint in the Spurs ranks that day.

The game today is simply a must win. Tottenham hold a particularly unlucky record when it comes to hoping for results from other fixtures as it showed in midweek when Arsenal thrashed the supposed FA Cup champions. This fixture carries the same atmosphere as did the last game of last year when Tottenham took on Fulham and Arsenal took on West Brom in very similar scenarios and well, you know what happened there.

I expect us to comfortably beat the Black Cats. There are nothing very special and to be honest we enjoyed a very good win away in December and only wobbled briefly because of a very noisy Stadium of light crowd. Most pundits, although believe we will fail in our quest for Champions League, believe that we will comfortably win this game, Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp predicting a 3-0 win.

Team News:

I expect Mousa Dembélé to return to the side after coming on as a substitute against Stoke. Although a super sun role proved to suit the Belgian, I expect AVB to opt for him over Huddlestone whom’s form continues to rise and dip. Clint Dempsey should enjoy another start after picking up our MOTM award last week as he scored and assisted in the win. His inclusion in the starting XI could force Bale to go wide or Clint himself enjoy that left wing role. The squad should remain the same elsewhere. Benoit suffered an injury in the week but as confirmed by Andre, he looks set to play.

Sunderland however have multiple problems leading into the game. Di Canio will be forced to name a different side to the one which drew 1-1 against Southampton last time out as on-loan defender Danny Rose is ineligible to play against his parent club. Titus Bramble could come into the side with John O’Shea moving to left back. A huge positive for Tottenham is that Sunderland’s only real stars Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner are suspended for the match after their respective red cards in previous weeks.

Predicted team:

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Predicted score:

Tottenham 2 – 0 Sunderland
(Bale x2)

So! There’s our latest match preview! Hope you have enjoyed it! A huge game today, make sure you follow it minute by minute @TalkingTHFC. Match buildup and live match commentary.

#COYS

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Forget Bale. Are there other members of our squad we can’t let go?

As every transfer window must have, there is always an on-going saga between European clubs for the sale of a top player. It’s fair to say that if Champions League evades Tottenham yet again then we may face a battle to keep our Welsh wizard. Of course, he holds Spurs in his heart for the fantastic support he’s received during his time at the club and I feel he may opt to stay, BUT! I pose this question to you: will he be the only battle Spurs face this summer?

This year has highlighted some of the excellent talent we have within our ranks. Two key figures stand out for me that personally; I feel must be kept at all costs. Jan Vertonghen was signed for Spurs in 2012 from Ajax. He has enjoyed a phenomenal first season which included: reaching the Quarter Final of the Europa League, being selected for the PFA Team of the Year, picking up the player of the month award in March and enjoying several good goals including a double at Anfield. Prior to Spurs, he did attract interest from several big clubs including Bayern Munich and Arsenal and forces me to question whether we will face bids for him this summer. Although I expect him to not only honour his contract and hold some moral obligation to Spurs, a bid from a side of those mentioned previously could trigger interest. Jan is crucial to us moving forward and could potentially lead himself to a great career at the Lane. His input is not only invaluable but has proved that we are not just a one-man team and that Bale is not the only player to bring value to our side.

Hugo Lloris. What can I say about the man from Nice? He’s athletic, strong and intelligent and has been a singing Spurs needed to refresh and progress the squad. Hugo is the type of player we need to attract if we are ever going to launch a title bid. Someone with plenty of experience and also heightens our publicity because of the name on the back of the shirt and the quality he brings with it. Hugo again joined in 2012 and as has Jan, enjoyed a memorable first season. Not only is he so very quick and brings a new defensive high line to Spurs, he has made some saves this season that are as valuable as goals, those against West Ham come to mind. But will we face bids for our French footballer this year? Will Hugo become frustrated with missing out on Champions League or will he strive to have a go next year and commit to Spurs? A player of his class again brings stability to the squad and has proved, as has Jan, that we are not a one-man team.

So you’re probably thinking: what are you trying to get at? Well I’m simply stating that although you may expect to see on your televisions and newspapers, Bale this and Bale that; there are other members of our progressing Tottenham squad that we must convince to stay to better the team and strive for the long awaited titles this club needs. So do not be surprised if you hear rumours of Jan reports and Hugo reports because ladies and gentleman, we’ve signed some class talent this season and quite frankly they are as important to Tottenham as is the man we all talk about.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed our latest blog here at talkingthfc.wordpress.com. Our next involvement on here is our Match Preview ahead of Sunday’s Premier League finale.

#COYS