|DATE||Sunday 22nd December 2013|
With Spurs having a new man in charge and Southampton hitting a bit
of a wobble after their fine start to the season, it is not perhaps
the ingredients for the making of a great game. There is a
need for Spurs to get back on track by getting points again after a
couple of losses - one in the league and one in the League Cup,
while the home team will be trying to get back among the upper
reaches of the table with a home win.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino was a virtual unknown when he arrived in the place of the popular Nigel Pearson, but it appears that the Southampton board had done their homework (please take note Mr. Levy) and he has stepped the Saints up to a new level. Utilising the squad that was there last season with the additions of striker Dani Osvaldo and Lyon defender Dejan Lovren, along with the Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, the team have played an open passing game, which may suit Tottenham.
With the likes of Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez being drafted into the England squad, the youth development element of the Southampton team is as strong as ever and Luke Shaw at left back will be the next off the production line. Ricky Lambert was bought in, but his form up front for Southampton has been good enough to take him into the national team, where he has continued his scoring.
In goal, they have eccentric Pole Artur Boruc side-lined with injury, as, because we saw at Highbury, can try too hard to be clever with his feet. Replacement Paulo Gazzaniga was formerly with Gillingham, with little experience in top flight football, but he has been able to show a bit of form in the games he has played since Boruc has been out.
The defence includes the above-mentioned Lovren, who we had little trouble with when we played Lyon in the Europa League last season. Also, there are Jose Fonte, who was previously let go by Crystal Palace and Nathaniel Clyne, who followed the same route, but is one for the future, with youth on his side and a degree of attacking talent in his boots. Danny Fox is still there, but he has a rush of blood too often to shift Clyne from the right back position at the moment.
Steven Davis is the hard worker in midfield, but Lallana tracks back and gets forward as well. Jack Cork is like Lallana light, with experience, but not as much presence in the midfield, while Morgan Schneiderlin is also mobile with an ability to pop up in scoring positions. Saints have been missing out on the Uruguayan Gaston Ramirez, who has been injured for a lot of the time since he was signed, but he is a dead ball expert and someone who can pull the strings from an attacking midfield role. James Ward-Prowse is a pacy wide midfielder, who is another youth product who is being tipped for the top. Whether that is with Southampton remains to be seen.
With Lambert and Osvaldo taking the goal-scoring credits, ex-Spur Lee Barnard has had to go out on loan to get some football and Jay Rodriguez is often deployed as a winger, but with a licence to roam inside and along the line to probe ways through on goal. Osvaldo is a big strong boy, but has skill in both feet and can score from the smallest of gaps. Good in the air, we will need Michael Dawson back to provide some aerial power, but the Argentinian needs to be watched when the ball is on the floor too. Rodriguez is tricky on the bal and can take a goal well, so Spurs will need to close him down sharply when he is given the ball.
Southampton have injury problems, with Boruc, Wanyama, Do Prado and Kelvin Davis out and Nathaniel Clyne facing a late fitness test, but their side is more settled than Tottenham and with home advantage and Spurs still missing some players, I think that Southampton will take the points, leaving Spurs to pick themselves up for the pre-and post-Christmas games at home against Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, which they must get something out of.
|PREDICTION||Southampton 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Tottenham are still missing Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Younes Kaboul (thigh), Harry Kane (back), Sandro (knock), Andros Townsend (hamstring) and Paulinho (suspension). Danny Rose should be available with Christian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor might be selected up front.
SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS :
Goalkeepers Artur Boruc and Kelvin Davis are definitely out for this match, along with Guy Do Prado (knee), Danny Fox (hamstring) and Victor Wanyama (shin). Nathaniel Clyne faces a late test on his hamstring to see if he can play at full back.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Southampton 2 (1) Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday 22nd December 2013 Kick off 13:30
Hooiveld (o.g.) 54
Ward-Prowse (foul on Rose) 67
Sigurdsson (foul on Davis) 39
|Crowd : 31,455||Weather : Dry, some sun, chilly|
|Referee : Chris Foy (St. Helens)||Assistant Referees : P. Kirkup; M. Wilkes|
|Fourth Official : Phil Dowd||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.|
|Match time : - 90 + 6 minutes.|
|Southampton :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Jack CORK (16
James WARD-PROWSE 64 )
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Tim Sherwood|
|Sponsor : gap3||Shirt sponsor : Hewlett Packard|
|Kit Supplier : adidas||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
A sunny St. Mary's welcomed
Spurs and with it a team of Lilywhites packed with attacking intent.
With the AVB era ended, the days of a solid side designed to take
points away from home, but a team going out to go for goals, with
little thought of a defensive midfielder among them. But
fortune favoured Tim Sherwood in his first league match in charge,
as Spurs did the Christmas thing and shared five goal, but took more
than their fair share. But according to Mauricio Pochettino,
it was Southampton's fault as they were the Santa Claus' giving out
Christmas gifts to Spurs in the second half.
Spurs needed to regroup to sort
out the lack of closing down they had to do to stop Southampton
finding space coming forward. And that was how they started
the second half, with some good pressure on the home players and
their goal, but Dembele was still feeling the injury caused by
having the full and considerable weight of Lambert falling on his
knee in the first half and had to be substituted with Nabil Bentaleb
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
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|What you thought|
Jamie Redknapp makes me sick. His comment son Sky about how badly
the team have been playing for 18 months and it not being what the
Spurs fans wanting, why doesn't he just come out and say “My Dad is
great and Spurs can't live without him.”
Things weren't always that great under Harry. His substitutions left a lot to be desired and those periods of the season when we lost points to teams we should have been beating that cost us big time were evident that his tenure wasn't all rose tinted wine and roses. His courting of the England job showed no loyalty, so why was Jamie surprised when the club ended his employment ?
Why do Sky keep on putting inappropriate “Experts” on our games other than to wind Spurs fans up. I don't see it happen to other clubs, so when we win a game, how is it suddenly that Tim Sherwood is a Harry acolyte and nothing is down to him ?
Give the man credit, much as he took the blame for Wednesday's defeat against West Ham.
Will Levy see it that way or Jamie's way ? Hopefully, whatever decision he makes, it will be for more than 18 months and will be the Tottenham Way.
|Other scores during this week :|
|Crystal Palace||0||Newcastle United||3||Saturday|
|Manchester United||3||West Ham United||1||Saturday|
|Stoke City||2||Aston Villa||1||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||1||Hull City||1||Saturday|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||17||3||7||7||18||23||16||-5|
|17||West Ham United||17||3||5||9||14||22||14||-8|
Position before match :
Position after match : 7th
Position after the weekend : 7th
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