|DATE||Saturday 20th August 2016|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
|Crystal Palace SQUAD||1
2 Joel Ward
5 James Tomkins
6 Scott Dann
7 Yohan Cabaye
9 Fraizer Campbell
11 Wilfried Zaha
13 Wayne Hennessey
14 Chung-Yong Lee
16 Joe Ledley
17 Andros Townsend
18 James McArthur
19 Zeki Fryers
20 Jonathan Williams
22 Jordan Mutch
23 Papa Souare
24 Keshi Anderson
25 Sullay KaiKai
26 Bakary Sako
27 Damien Delaney
30 Steve Mandanda
34 Martin Kelly
36 Freddie Ladapo
38 Hiram Boateng
42 Jason Puncheon
- - Kwesi Appiah
With the Palace squad reduced since their opening match, especially
in the attacking department, the Eagles come to Spurs with a poor
record in the calendar year, but they did win last time out at the
Lane in the FA Cup. It will be down to Tottenham to carry on
the form they showed in the second half of the game at Everton to
take it to Palace, who might be set up to frustrate.
With the recent departures of Mile Jedinek and Yannick Bolasie, to add to the moves out of Selhurst Park of loan strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Marouane Chamakh, along with Dwight Gayle's transfer to Newcastle United, it has left Palace short in numbers and in the forward department. That is being addressed by the big money move for Christian Benteke, but he won't be available for this match.
Tottenham will have Michel Vorm in goal again, following Hugo Lloris' hamstring injury, but the defence will need to be a bit more focused than in the first half at Goodison Park, when they allowed Everton to dictate play. The goal looked sloppy and they were indebted to Vorm for keeping the Toffees out just before half time from a poor Rose back-pass. While Palace look like they will struggle for goals to start off with, that cannot allow the Spurs back line to take them lightly, as they will be dangerous from set-pieces at the very least.
Scott Dann, new signing from West Ham James Tomkins, Bakary Sako, Damien Delaney and Connor Wickham all have height to attack balls into the box from corners and free-kicks, so being alert in the air will be key to preventing chances for the visitors. They also have goal threats from midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who will resume his duel with Dele Alli, with Andros Townsend always willing to have a shot and he will be keen to prove a point to Pochettino, who let him go to Newcastle, before he came back to London on the Magpies' relegation.
There are another couple of familiar faces in the Palace squad, with loan striker Fraizer Campbell and former defender Zeki Fryers still with the South London side.
The way Spurs started the season at Everton, it was sluggish and perhaps indicated a hangover from the end of last season and a summer of international football for many of the players. The second half was more like it with the ball being moved quicker and more accurately, giving a rousing finish, in which they were the most likely to take all three points.
I imagine that Palace will
look to keep things tight and close any space down as soon as it
appears. That was the way they went about the FA Cup tie at
the Lane earlier this year, but they have been on a poor, extended
run, since then. They will be keen to put an end to that, with
Tottenham being keen to get a win under their belt, so it will be
nip and tuck. As long as the Spurs team play with the
invention and determination they ended with in the North-West, they
should win and provide a good return from their first two matches.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Crystal Palace 0|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Mousa Dembele is serving his suspension from last season and Hugo Lloris has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, but Heung-Min Son has returned from the South Korean Olympic squad after they were eliminated from the competition.
CRYSTAL PALACE TEAM NEWS :
Yohan Cabaye will return to the side after playing the first game of the season as a substitute. Also available for Alan Pardew to choose from are James Tomkins, James McArthur and Jordan Mutch.
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
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Saturday 20th August 2016
White Hart Lane
Kick off 15:00
|Wanyama 82m 10s||None|
Walker (pull on Zaha) 60
Vertonghen (foul on Lee) 68
Dier (foul on Lee) 77
Zaha (foul on Alderweireld) 26
Dann (foul on Janssen) 66
Townsend (dissent) 88
|Crowd : ,||Weather : Sunny and rainy|
|Referee : Michael Oliver (Northumberland)||Assistant Referees : Mr. G. Beswick; Mr. S. Burt|
|Fourth Official : Darren Bond|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 9 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Crystal Palace :||kit|
Erik LAMELA (28
Tom CARROLL 90+5)
9 Vincent JANSSEN
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Alan Pardew|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Mansion|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Macron|
With Crystal Palace's manager Alan Pardew going into the game saying he would rather play anyone than Spurs at this time, it was perhaps not unexpected that the side he put out went out to intimidate, time-waste and hit Tottenham on the break. As it was, Palace ended the match the way most of their games in 2016 have gone ... with no points and in this case, a deserved 1-0 defeat. While they have issues over their squad and the ability to score, the two shots on target were not going to change much in that direction and while they put a lot in physically, they lacked the class and finesse to trouble Spurs unduly, while Victor Wanyama's first goal for the club gave Tottenham a late winner, but it was one which didn't go down well with Damien Delaney.
Leaving Dele Alli on the bench might have seemed a risky move, Pochettino's pairing of Janssen up front and Kane playing a slightly deeper role just behind him seemed to be something that could develop, But it was Erik Lamela who made the major difference to the Tottenham side, while the defence were considerably tighter than in the first half at Everton last weekend. Palace entered the game shorn of the enigmatic forward Yannick Bolasie and the midfield presence of Mile Jedinak, so there was just the "enthusiastic" approach of Connor Wickham, the lumbering defensive work of Damien Delaney and the work-a-day midfield effort of Joe Ledley to try to get something out of the match for them. There was also Wilfried Zaha, who was once a real talent, but a move to Old Trafford didn't really help his career.
It was his footwork that might have troubled Spurs in their first home match of the Premier League season, playing with the North-East corner of the ground missing. As it was, he couldn't co-ordinate his feet and brain and Rose found it easy to deal with him, so much so that Zaha gave Rose a temperamental shove into the crowd and later got booked for a nasty. late challenge on Toby Alderweireld. He wasn't alone in trying to put the Spurs players off their game, as Delaney twice went through the back of Kane and Janssen before a late challenge on Lamela gave Spurs a free-kick. All before the first booking of the match !!
Spurs had the kick off and lined up with six men on the halfway line, including Danny Rose and Kyle Walker. The tactic did not come to anything, but it was Palace, who had a shot on target within 90 seconds of the start, although it was straight at Vorm and not particularly powerful from Puncheon, just inside the area. At the other end, Vincent Janssen was showing how his presence can upset defenders. His backside could be a major weapon for Tottenham this season !! The Dutchman uses it to good advantage, with his ability to hold the ball and hold off defenders looking like a useful addition to the squad.
Having started the game sharper than at Everton, Tottenham were looking more like the side of last season and while they were finding it to go too far without being denied by the Palace defence, they eventually worked the ball wide to Rose and as he tried to trick his way into the box, the ball went off for a corner. From it, Lamela picked out the head of Alderweireld about five yards out, but his header was straight at keeper Hennessey, who was hit by the ball on the line rather than anything else. He was brought into action again, as Kane's shot from the left side as he moved into the area was saved at the cost of another corner, but this time it came to nothing.
A chance to put the ball in the net should have arrived in the 18th minute, when a Palace short corner routine was broken up by Rose, who moved the ball on to Eriksen. He ran some fifty yards at the Palace area. With players on either side, he delayed the pass, which, when it came, was weak and allowed the visiting defence to clear simply. Andros Townsend's return to the Lane was not going well, as Kyle Walker's plan to stop him worked so well, that the new Palace signing switched wings after about 20 minutes. The inability to hold the ball up front meant Spurs were threatening the Palace goal, but were not testing Hennessey enough. Wanyama dived in to head a corner wide and Dier tried a shot from 20 odd yards out, but a deflection took the ball over the top. When they did get efforts on target, the Welsh goalie did get in the way. Kane's long range shot was beaten out, but straight in front of goal and even though Janssen was quickly onto it, the keeper was right on top of him and twice blocked shots at point blank range.
Scott Dann had Palace's only other chance of the half and that was with a highly hopeful free-kick from inside his own half that went highly and handsomely over the bar by some considerable distance. Good build-up play by Eriksen, who played a ball across the 18 yard line for Janssen to step over and allow Kane to have a clear shooting opportunity in added time, ended with the striker going for power and the ball whistled just wide of the post.
I hope that the standard of half-time interviews improves as the season progresses, as the introduction of the club's new mascot - Lilly - was excruciating and Paul Coyte did well to get through it without inviting a hole in the ground to swallow him up.
Deep in the dressing rooms, Pardew decided that Joe Ledley was to be replaced by Yohan Cabaye and as the former had not done a great deal, it was a sensible swap. Spurs looked intent on forcing the play a little more and Eriksen was denied when Delaney threw a block to stop his shot and then the Dane almost set up Janssen, but his cross was a little too far ahead of the new forward. Janssen showed that he will fit Poch's work ethic, as he was closing down Palace players when he didn't have the ball and made them think twice abut dwelling on the ball when he was around.
Substitute Cabaye was prompting Palace forward and struck a shot just wide of Vorm's goal before Eric Dier's dinked a neat pass over the Palace back line for Kane to dive in and head wide, although it looked as Soares was all over him. Kane was looking more like he was in the goal-scoring mood in the second half, with a 25 yard flying just over the crossbar, which is where Cabaye's shot ended up, when it was pulled back low to him by Townsend, but he should have hit the target. The bookings started to tot up, with Michael Oliver losing the plot a little bit. He had done well, playing advantage earlier in the game, but some of the yellow cards - Walker's in particular for a pull back on Zaha - was trivial compared to some of the stuff he had let go.
When Dele came on, he almost had an immediate impact. After getting involved in a bout of handbags with Wickham (the best asset in his game he displayed today), he moved forward and dinked a pass over the top for Janssen to run onto. He tried to lift it over Hennessey, but he put it wide too and what looked like what could have been his first Spurs goal went begging. The ball might not have come down quick enough for him, but it was a great opening.
Every time the Korean Lee went near the ball, he ended up on the floor and Oliver bought it every time, giving two yellow for fouls on him and a stream of free-kicks that let the Eagles pile forward with their giant defenders to attack them. Luckily, they let Townsend take most of them and nothing came from them. With 15 minutes left, Harry let fly with a powerful shot form distance that took Delaney off his feet and he needed treatment and this was followed by a neat passing move that set up Alli for a shot from the edge of the box that ruffled the top of the net as it flew just over. Delaney needed treatment again, as he denied Janssen the chance to get on the end of Rose's cross at the near post. How injured he was became questionable, as he rolled back onto the pitch and then was remonstrating with the medical staff, as he walked off to be replaced by former West Ham central defender James Tomkins. Lee also left at the same time, with Mutch coming on. He could do nothing as the corner came in and was won by Kane, whose goal-ward header was nodded on past Hennessey into the roof of the net by Victor Wanyama. Delaney was going as berserk as the Spurs fans, but at his own staff, while "Super Alan Pardew" as the Palace fans sung about him had made an astute tactical switch that handed Tottenham the opening goal of the game. Wanyama wasn't bought for his goals, but this one will do for now.
The goal seemed to free Spurs up a little and sometimes a bit too much. Lamela marked Andros Townsend's return Spurs with an embarrassing nutmeg and then Wanyama unceremoniously bundled him over as he tried to get past the Kenyan midfielder. But twice, Vorm almost put Spur sin trouble, as the side seem to be even more intent on playing the ball out of defence. His roll out to Dier put him under pressure 25 yards out and then the ball was set up for Puncheon to hit a shot from outside the box, but Jan Vertonghen got across to block it with his foot. It might not have looked much, but it might have been the difference between three and one point.
As the game entered five minutes of added time, Palace tried to force the pace of the game, but other than throw Dann forward, their was little structured play and Mutch's low curling effort straight at Vorm from the right hand side was the only chance they made. Walker had done well in the air, as Palace bombed high balls towards his position and it maintained the level of performance he put in all game. Lamela was outstanding. Looking to make things happen up front, but also putting a hell of a lot of work in tracking back. Kane's withdrawn role worked well, with him breaking up moves in the first half, then looking to go forward more in the second. Rose and Dier had solid games, with both looking to get forward and Jan and Toby were solid in defence. Michel Vorm did all that he had to, which wasn't too much, as Palace did have the nous to test him more often.
It wasn't the greatest performance Spurs have produced, but to win when you are not playing 100% is a good sign and it may be that better teams would have tested us more, but two games so far have replicated the results of last season. Potential signings might arrive before our next game at home to Liverpool, who lost to Burnley today, but they might need time to fit in, which we can accommodate with the squad as it is. Wanyama has fitted in nicely and Janssen is doing well too.
Things are looking good, but there is a long way to go.
Crystal Palace were an
early prototype for product placement as Sainsbury's built a
supermarket in the end of their ground, but the chain's slogan of
'Try something new today' didn't go down well with the Eagles'
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
Spurs got what they deserved as they made all the running against a
poor Palace side. They are heading the same way as West Ham
and Newcastle under Pardew and for the fans to sing his name is a
bit of an embarrassment.
They had little idea about how to go about beating Tottenham, as they were too interested in trying to rough us up. Zaha should have been sent off for persistent fouling and dissent, while Delaney got away with murder only for Walker to get booked for a little pull on Zaha. It was a joke the way that Lee went down under every challenge and Hennessey took an age to take a goal-kick ... until he had let a goal in, then he decided to hurry things up.
For all the changes to the laws of the game for this season, the one that hasn't been implemented is a booking for a first offence of time-wasting. It took 55 minutes for the referee to talk to the Palace captain about Hennessey, but then he did nothing else.
Luckily, Spurs played the game the way it should be played. Not our greatest performance, but one of persistence and ability, which triumphed over physicality and cynicism. Palace's record in 2016 shows two wins. I am not surprised with the tactical approach Palace were set and it will take a great deal to reverse it, even with Benteke coming in. There are more sides who will pick up wins, leaving them to chase from a difficult position.
Wanyama reacted well to head past the keeper and win the game late for Spurs, but we still made it a little heart-stopping, with the insistence on playing the ball out through the back four. They stuck to their task and Palace were not able to find the target often enough to test Vorm.
Upwards and onwards. With a couple of additions to the squad, things could go well again, if we keep this up.
|Other scores during this week :|
|Stoke City||1||Manchester City||4||Saturday|
|Swansea City||0||Hull City||2||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||1||Everton||2||Saturday|
|West Ham United||1||Bournemouth||0||Sunday|
|League Table 2016-17|
|9||West Bromwich Albion||2||1||0||1||2||2||3||0|
|10||West Ham United||2||1||0||1||2||2||3||0|
Position before match :
Position after match : 6th
Position after the weekend : 7th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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