Posts Tagged ‘Tottenham’

Spurs’ Bale Out

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Gareth Bale is all but a Real Madrid player. The player has not returned to training after being given an extended break from the club, despite Andre Villas-Boas being pretty open today saying the club is working on the final details of the transfer. AVB and Tottenham seem to be getting on with things and although the transfer has taken longer then what Bale would’ve liked he still should show respect to his current club as they are to him.

Tottenham should be admired for the way they went about their business. As soon as negotiations entered the final stages (early last week) they set about reinvesting the large sum they were about to receive on players like Capoue, Chadli and Lamela with some journalist also reporting Eriksen could be arriving too, these signings come in after the club already purchased Saldado and Paulinho earlier in the summer. Maybe by default or maybe by design, Bale’s transfer will also only be official in the final few days of the window. This meant clubs didn’t look to tempt Real to recoup the money they spent, an Arsenal £30 million bid for Benzema may be easier to accept after just spending £90 million+. The other, more obvious, upside is that without the £90 million in the bank clubs can’t justify inflating transfer fees for Tottenham, they’ve really handled the situation. The handling of the situation stretches further than just their transfer dealings as Spurs let Bale have two weeks off, as the club started their Premier League campaign and as Levy sorted out the transfer itself.

Whatever way you look at the Bale transfer; whether you think Real have over spent, Spurs have been unnecessarily stubborn or the gashtly images of the Welsh-man on holidays, Tottenham have definitely got a stronger squad this season then they had at the end of last season: Bale or no Bale.

Tottenham’s summer dealings:

IN:

Roberto Saldado £26 million
Paulinho £17 million
Etienne Capoue £9 million
Nacer Chadli £7 million
Erik Lamela £30 million

*fees sourced from transfermarkt.co.uk

The Premiership: Last Day Scenarios

Another Premiership season has come and gone but there is still a lot to sort out in the final round of fixtures this Sunday. Here are all the possible scenarios for the key battles.

The Title Race;

The Title race will go down to the last day, with both Manchester clubs still in with a chance to lift the title. Manchester City are firmly in the driving seat and a win against QPR at the Etihad would crown them champions for the first time in 44 years, but any slip up from City will give United the chance to retain their Premier League crown who still have a tough job to do themselves against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Another and more unlikely scenario is if both sides win but Man United match Man City’s score and win by a further 8 goals. A scenario that not even United fan’s could dream up.

Prediction;

Both sides to win.

Winners: Manchester City, Runners Up: Manchester United

 

The Champions League Spots;

The last guaranteed Champions League spot is still up for grabs, with three teams still in the hunt. Arsenal, Tottenham, and Newcastle are still looking for that last guaranteed spot. There is still a chance that fourth place could get one of the teams a place, in the best placed play-off round, but that place would be taken away if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the final of the competition itself. Arsenal’s destiny is in their own hands and a win away at West Brom would assure them an automatic spot in the group stages in next season’s Champions League. If Arsenal fail to win, Tottenham would have to beat Fulham at White Hart Lane in order to leap frog Arsenal. Another way and less likely scenario is if Arsenal lose by two goals or more and Tottenham at least draw against Fulham. Newcastle have to rely on both Arsenal and Tottenham to lose (or Tottenham to draw) for them to take the last guaranteed spot. Newcastle also have arguable the trickiest task as they face Everton at Goodison,a must win for Newcastle.

Prediction;

Arsenal to win, Tottenham to draw, and Newcastle to win.

3rd: Arsenal, 4th: Newcastle, 5th: Tottenham

 

Relegation;

Wolves and Blackburn may already be relegated but who will join them?

Bolton Wanderers currently occupy the final spot and must beat Stoke at the Britannia Stadium. If they do manage to win against Stoke it would mean QPR would have to get at least a point against Manchester City. This scenario would mean that both sides would be level on points but QPR boast a better goal difference and Bolton would have to win their match by at least 7 goals. Aston Villa are mathematically still in the relegation battle but for them to be relegated they must lose and there to be a 17 goal swing in Bolton’s favour. QPR would also need to win against Manchester City for Aston Villa to go down.

Predictions;

Bolton to draw, QPR to lose, and Aston Villa to draw.

18th: Bolton Wanderers, 17th: QPR, 16th: Aston Villa

 

Other unsolved battles;

Only a point separates Everton and Liverpool, in the favour of Everton, and bragging are on the line as Liverpool will be keen not to finish behind their Blue neighbours. Swansea and Norwich will be battling it out to be crowned the best of the promoted sides. Both have preformed above expectations this season and are locked on 44 points with Swansea having the better goal difference.

 

Fixture List:

Chelsea v Blackburn

Everton v Newcastle

Man City v QPR

Norwich v Aston Villa

Stoke v Bolton

Sunderland v Man United

Swansea v Liverpool

Tottenham v Fulham

West Brom v Arsenal

Wigan v Wolves

Top European Striker Want’s a Move to England

A top European striker wants a move to England.

Fernando Llorente has fast become one the hottest properties in European football and after an impressive campaign with Athletic Club, a campaign in which he helped his team reach the Europa League and Copa Del Rey finals, he is on all the top teams radar.

Athletic Club have been widely praised for their all out attacking style and passionate play and fans. Llorente has been at the forefront of all praise and at the age of 27 this is maybe his last chance to force a move to a top European team.

Many people feel that Llorente is a player designed for the Premiership and this is something he agrees with, he says “I’m the sort of player who would be successful in the Premier League… (But) it’s all hypothetical.” He went onto say that he feels it’s one of the best leagues in the world, saying “I’d love to get to know it and enjoy it” but he did finished off by saying that he was still very happy in Bilbao. But Llorente didn’t stop flirting with the Premiership just yet. When asked what did he like to do in his spare time, he again brought up England. “…I love travelling… We (himself and his girlfriend) went to London on holiday last year, I loved it, I saw Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and went to see the Wimbledon tennis, but I don’t speak English. I need to learn the language.”

Llorente “I’m the sort of player who would be successful in the Premier League”

And it is that last sentence that fuels most of the flames to this transfer rumour. Llorente clearly has strong intentions to return to England and shows a strong intent to stay for a long time. Well long enough to need to learn the language.

But who would be in for Llorente and who could afford him? Manchester City will be the favourites for the marksman but they may not need to sign him if Carlos Tevez decides to stay and if Balotelli isn’t sold. Chelsea will also be in for the Spanish foreword, as Didier Drogba is out of contract in the summer. Manchester United will also have tabs on Llorente as Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen look set to be on the way out of Old Trafford. Others that will have interest are both Tottenham and Liverpool, who will need to reinforce their squads to stand a chance of challenging for a Champions League spot next season.

But out of the five who would be able to afford him? Well, Manchester City and Chelsea will happily spend what is required to get their man. Manchester United would be able to afford him but may struggle to match his wage demands, especially if facing direct competition from rivals Man City. Tottenham and Liverpool’s best chance of signing the Spanish giant would be if City, Chelsea or United don’t go in for Llorente as neither Tottenham or Liverpool could guarantee Champions League football every season.

This rumour could run all the way through the transfer window as the striker will not make up his mind until after the European Championships, where he may have to play a huge part for Spain as David Villa is struggling in his race for full fitness.

Llorente has scored 28 goals already this season and has provided 6 assists for his teammates.

See also; Europa League Final 2012  

The FA Cup Final 2012

Chelsea will take on Liverpool in the FA cup final on Saturday which has been much anticipated and will almost defiantly be a truly memorable final. Both teams will do anything to ensure victory with Liverpool trying to complete a domestic cup double and Chelsea are looking to complete the first part of a domestic and European double.

Both teams are having quite forgettable league campaigns, with Liverpool in 8th place and in trouble of finishing below city rivals Everton. Chelsea are also having a forgettable season and are four points behind both Tottenham and Newcastle in the race for fourth, but that will matter little if they over come Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on May the 19th.

Drogba celebrates his stunning strike against Tottenham in the semi-final

Chelsea started their route to the final, with a 4-0 win over Portsmouth and overcame London rivals QPR in a 1-0 win at Loftus road. The Pensioners then faced Birmingham City at Stamford Bridge and the Championship side held Chelsea to a one all draw, but Chelsea took care of business at St Andrews in a convincing 2-0 win. Roberto Di Matteo’s men then faced Leicester City in the Quarter Finals and early goals from Kalou and Gary Cahill ensured victory early on before Chelsea went on to win the tie 5-2. Gary Cahill dedicated his goal to former team-mate Fabrice Muamba that had suffered from a Cardiac Arrest days before hand.

The only team to stand in the way of Chelsea and the FA cup final was London rivals Tottenham Hotspurs. After a tight first 43 minutes it took a magnificent Didier Drogba strike to separate the sides before the break, Chelsea’s second goal was far from spectacular so unspectacular it didn’t cross the line, Tottenham pulled one back before Chelsea assured victory with three more goals in a 5-1 win.

Carroll and Suarez celebrate Liverpool’s victory over rival’s Everton

Liverpool started their route to the Final with a 5-1 victory over Oldham Athletic. Liverpool were then paired with arch rivals Manchester United and came through it with a late goal from Dirk Kuyt assured the win and Liverpool progressed with a 2-1 win. Liverpool then faced a more straight forward task against Brighton which they won 6-1. The Quarter Finals was a trickier affair for Liverpool but it was one that they came through beating Stoke 2-1 at Anfield.

The semi-final renewed the rivalry between themselves and Everton. Everton went one nil up through Nikica Jelovic but a weak backpass by Sylvian Distin provided Luis Suarez the chance to equalise one in which he took well and provided levelled the sides. The winner came through Andy Carroll headed in the winner three minutes from time and guaranteed Liverpool’s spot in the final.

Match Winners; John Terry will do everything he can to help Chelsea to victory as he will miss the Champions League final after getting sent off for a very foolish foul on Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez. Fernando Torres will also be itching to score a winning goal against his former side and the sticker has found his goal scoring form just in time.

Liverpool will be hoping that their £35million striker, Andy Carroll, will score another Wembley winning goal and make himself a legend within the club, for a couple of months at least. Liverpool’s best chance will probably come from the linking play between Gerrard and Suarez, a treat that fears all the clubs they come up against.

Tottenham: Where did it All Go Wrong?

Tottenham Manager: Harry Redknapp

Tottenham currently find themselves 5th in the table with only one win in their last nine matches. Tottenham who were 3rd in the league just before Christmas and seemed to be the only team capable of keeping in the touch with the two Manchester sides, who went on to run away from the rest of the challenging bunch. Tottenham, were, for many people playing the most attractive football in the league including Sir Alex Ferguson, and after 20 games they only failed to score in only one match.

So what happened to Tottenham after Christmas? What was the cause of the sudden drop of form? Many see manager Harry Redknapp being linked with the vacant England post, a job he has always seen as the pinnacle of football management, the main reason for him to lose focus and the teams drop in form. But Harry is a very professional manager and I don’t think it is to blame for Tottenham’s sudden drop in form. Redknapp also had to face court during the season which may have caused Harry a lot of stress and maybe he never regained full focus on the job at hand and that’s what is to blame for the collapse in form, but again I’m not sure it was, yes the case was long and arduous but Redknapp is a tough man and many would feel he would have coped. So what is to blame? Well, Redknapp is the type of manager who likes a strong squad and felt that was the reason of some of Tottenham’s short comings in leagues previous, not being able to qualify for successive Champions League campaigns and not taking the opportunity to fill up the trophy cabinet when the chances were there for Tottenham to grab. So this would mean that Harry would have a strict stance on outgoings of players and would never let his squad to run short, right? Well this didn’t seem to happen in the last transfer window. Tottenham sold four key squad players in January but only signed two, and the two brought in weren’t of better quality then the four that left.

Tottenham’s transfer dealings; January 2012

In:

Louis Saha (Free)

Ryan Nelsen (Free)

Out:

Verdan Corluka (Loan)

Steven Pienaar (Loan)

Sebastien Bassong (Loan)

Roman Pavlyuchenko (£8million)

So did Tottenham get value in these signings, they sold two defenders even though they often face injury problems with the first choice central defenders in Ledley King and Michael Dawson, with Verdan Corluka often deputising for the pair alongside other back up choice William Gallas. Sebastien Bassong was always the fifth choice and wanted a move away from Spurs to get some first team action but, like, Corluka he was a versatile defender and could fill in at left back as well.

They also let Pienaar go on loan to his old club Everton after he never really got going at Spurs, but could have offered a lot to Spurs in the closing stages of the season with some of the Tottenham midfielders getting ‘leggy’ in the latter stages of the season. The other player sold was Roman Pavlyuchenko, a player who like Pienaar, never really got going at Spurs and only should his brilliance in little bursts and many fans weren’t too concerned about his departure.

So who replaced these players? Louis Saha came in as backup to Adebayor and Jermain Defoe, but has always struggled with injury during his career and it would be a big ask to fill in long term for an injured Adebayor or Defoe. So what about Ryan Nelsen, he is also prone to injury and at the age of 34 he too couldn’t be asked to fill in long term for Dawson or King.

So it seems these signings weren’t effective enough to cover key roles in the run in for a coveted Champions League spot and in my opinion the main reason Tottenham’s form ran short in the key stage of the season. Tottenham have four games left and are three points behind 4th placed Newcastle United.

The PFA Awards

Robin Van Persie won the PFA Player of the Year, which was richly deserved after almost carrying his Arsenal side across the line on many occasions, Arsenal are currently third place in the league and thanks to Van Persie they should claim an automatic Champions League spot as well. Van Persie has scored 27 goals in the league this season and also provided 10 assists.

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The surprise of the night came when the PFA Young Player of the Year was announced, Kyle Walker claimed the prize despite many seeing him as the weakest nomination on the shortlist. The other five shortlisted players were Gareth Bale, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and many peoples favorite Sergio Aguero. Kyle Walker has scored one goal and has been credited with one assist also.

The PFA Team of the Year was: Hart; Walker, Coloccini, Kompany, Baines; Silva, Parker, Yaya Toure, Bale; Rooney, Van Persie.