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OPPONENTS Hull City
                               
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Sunday 23rd November 2014
VENUE KC Stadium
PREVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

Spurs will find some familiar face sin the Tigers side that faces them on Sunday at the KC Stadium, but they will not necessarily be friendly, with each of Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore having something to prove.

With Hud and Jake leaving during the previous season, they have settled in well, with Daws joining them after finally being let go following a season when he defied the initial decision to let him leave to have a good season in defence.  They will not necessarily recognise much of the Spurs side from their time at the Lane, but they will know what Spurs don't like and that will have been passed on through the manager.  Having lost to Burnley last time out, Hull will be looking to get back on track with an energetic display that will be designed to close Spurs down when they are on the ball and get behind the full backs when the home side have it.

Tottenham will need to dig in, as Hull are well organised and a proposition to take on at their place.  With striker Nikica Jelavic back in the side, they will offer more up front, as he takes a goal very well ... especially against us !!  Other options in attack are Abel Hernandez, the summer signing who hit a fine goal against West Ham but .  Sone Aluko is a former Glasgow Rangers forward, who is decent enough on the ball and does know how to finish, but his lack of height and strength on the ball sometimes makes him less effective than his manager would like.  He might be the one to make way for Jelavic.

The Hull midfield features the twin ex-Spurs pairing of Huddlestone and Livermore.  Hud has a great range of passing that can unpick defences and also can finish with deft or powerful efforts.   Spurs will be aware of his assets and the precision he can provide from dead ball situations, while Jake is a hard working midfielder, who likes to get forward and link up with the attack.  He is a strong tackler and covers a lot of ground, so our midfielders will need to match his energy to try and win the battle in that area of the pitch. 

Steve Bruce has former Southampton man Gaston Ramirez, who will be well known to Maurico Pochettino, although he had a tough time at the New Dell for a talented player, but he was hit by injuries soon after he arrived there.  At Bologna, he was a good passer and good at free-kicks too.  Winger Ahmed Elmohamady is prone to hit the deck easily, but can chip in with the odd goal, while Bruce is hoping that Newcastle loanee Hatem Ben Arfa will do the same.  Coming off the back of two goals for the Republic of Ireland, Robbie Brady will be full of confidence, but may have to settle for a place on the bench.  Another Irishman, David Meyler is available and he is a terrier in midfield, who flirts with the fringes of the laws of the game, but Stephen Quinn is an irregular starter, being behind former West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame, who possesses the power and presence that the former Sheffield United man is lacking.

Former Glasgow Rangers keeper Allan McGregor may return in goal, with Steve Harper, the former Newcastle United goalie possibly making way for him.  McGregor is marginally the better keeper, but what Spurs have failed to do in recent games against Hull is to put their keeper under pressure.  Some good defending prevents that, but shots on target will bring their reward and hopefully, Tottenham can do that in this match.

The defence in front of McGregor will have a lot of experience.  Curtis Davies has been around the divisions and is a good, tall central defender, who will probably partner Dawson, with former Manchester United youth player James Chester another option there.  Davies likes to bring the ball out of the back four and is also keen to go up for set pieces, so he might get caught on the break. 

At full back, they have the veteran Paul McShane, who should be tested by our wide players.  In the past we have allowed him to have the run of his flank, but by attacking him, getting him on the turn and finding the space beyond him might be useful to any success we might gain. 

While Spurs need the points and have a good record at Hull, they will want to make amends for losing to Burnley, so I think it will be a bit of a battle, with Spurs struggling to break down a determined Tigers team.  A point apiece is how I think it will finish.
 

PREDICTION Hull City    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
 
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs have Kyle Naughton suspended (first of two games), with Danny Rose (ribs) and Andros Townsend (ankle) due to be assessed before the game, but at this stage they look doubtful, leaving Ben Davies set for his first league start of the season at left back.
HULL CITY TEAM NEWS :
Michael Dawson, Nikica Jelavic and goalkeeper Allan McGregor return to the side, with Alex Bruce (hamstring) and Curtis Davies (back) facing late fitness tests.  Robert Snodgrass is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
COVERAGE :

TV
Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.25 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

 
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Hull City  1 (1)                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)
Premier League
Sunday 23rd November 2014                                                                                   Kick off 16:00
KC Stadium
Goal-scorers  
Livermore 8m 01s
 
Kane  61m 01s
Eriksen  90m 31s
Cards  
    
Livermore (dissent)  63
Huddlestone (foul on Mason)  64
Robertson (dissent)  90+3

    
Ramirez (kick at Vertonghen off the ball) 51

    
Dier (foul on Brady)  34   

    

 

Crowd :   23,561 Weather :  Chilly
Referee :  Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. P. Kirkup; Mr. A. Garratt
Fourth Official :  Chris Foy -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the South Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90+5 minutes
Hull City : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Allan McGREGOR

27  Ahmed ELMOHAMADY
  6  Curtis DAVIES (c)
21  Michael DAWSON
26  Andy ROBERTSON     

11  Robbie BRADY (29  Stephen QUINN 86)
14  Jake LIVERMORE       
 
8  Tom HUDDLESTONE       (  2  Liam ROSENIOR 63)
25  Gaston RAMIREZ      

34  Hatem BEN ARFA (  7  David MEYLER 57)

  7  Nikica JELAVIC

Unused subs: 
22  Steve HARPER
  5  James CHESTER
 
9  Abel HERNANDEZ
20  Yannick SAGBO
 

    1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

15  Eric DIER       (  6  Vlad CHIRICHES 46)
  5  Jan VERTONGHEN
21  Federico FAZIO
33  Ben DAVIES

38  Ryan MASON
19 
Mousa DEMBELE (  7  Aaron LENNON 59)

11  Erik LAMELA
23  Christian ERIKSEN 
  9  Roberto SOLDADO (  8  PAULINHO 78)

18  Harry KANE 

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
46 
Dominic BALL
25  Benjamin STAMBOULI
39  Cristian CEBALLOS

 
Manager :  Steve Bruce Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   12Bet Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Umbro Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Tottenham ended up winning this game and if you listened to Steve Bruce, you would have thought his player shad been robbed at knife-point, but the sending off of Gaston Ramirez did sway the game in Tottenham's favour, although we are often not very good against 10, but we seem to be getting better after the come-back win over Aston Villa on our last away trip.

A number of changes, some of which were enforced and some which were not, saw both sides going out to right recent wrongs.  Spurs had a bench with an unfamiliar look ... no Adebayor or Kaboul, missing for back injury and personal reasons, while youngsters Dominic Ball and Cristian Ceballos took their place among the subs.

With Spurs kicking off, we hoped for a bit of pace about their start, but it was as slow as ever.  Dembele played an early careless pass that put Dier in a position where he had to make a tackle in our own last third and that is what Spurs needed to cut out. At the other end, Kane got in behind Dawson to pull the ball back, but nobody was on hand to get the ball. Spurs got an early sighter on goal, when Soldado hit a 22 yarder low to McGregorís left but the keeper got down behind the ball.

Then, with Hullís first shot on goal, they scored. Seven minutes in Jake Livermore picked up a headed clearance, the former Spurs midfielder hit a low right foot shot that flew past Lloris from 20 yards out. Davies didnít close him down quick enough and Spurs were up against it straight away. Only Spurs can do the things no other sides can. Five hours plus since Hull scored and Tottenham let them have one !!

Hull allowed Spurs plenty of possession, but dropped lots of men behind the ball to only allow risky balls forward as the option to get behind them. It was tough to find a way through and Kaneís half chance shot from the corner of the box was the best chance for a while and even then it barely tested McGregor. High balls forward only found the heads of Curtis Davies and Dawson, so something more inventive was needed and with Hull working hard to press the space Tottenham wanted to play in, this looked difficult.

Hugo Lloris came for a long Hud free-kick and messed it up, leading to a scramble around the penalty spot, which Spurs managed to block out for a corner. In the 20th minute, in Hullís next attack, Lloris amended for his error and made a fine save when Brady hit a low shot when he met a pull back and no Spurs midfielder went with him. As the ball came back in, Lloris was forced back into action making a low save from Gaston Ramirez, but he only managed to push the ball back out into the middle of the goal and Hatem Ben Arfa ran in to hit a shot that should have found the net, but he missed the target.

Spurs were looking raged at the back, which was no real surprise, as they have for a while now, but the passing was loose and they needed not to give the ball away when Hull were closing down so efficiently. There was an instance where Livermore fouled Kane, 30 yards from goal and Spurs had three players standing over the ball. Whatís that all about ?

From the next one, at least it was left to Eriksen, out wide on the left, but his kick failed to find itís way into the box, eventually ending with Masonís shot from 25 yards out being blocked. Eriksen then had a shot from the edge of the box blocked for a corner, from which he found Soldado at the edge of the box, but the Spaniard was too far ahead of the near post, he couldnít get it near the goal. We were getting dead ball situations, with Huddlestone bringing down Lamela, but as has been the case over recent times, we failed to make much of them. This one saw Kane take the ball and he was always going to hit a shot at goal, but he only hit the wall. When the ball went back to Lloris, Spurs tried to play the ball out from the back, but three times, Spurs players got caught with short passes.

Dier got a booking for diving into a tackle on Brady, but just before Hud had got away with his fourth foul, whereas this was Ericís first. Another referee who does not understand consistency.

Eriksen almost played a ball to his left as he was running right, but Elmohamady just got a touch to take it away from Kane. It seemed like there was little urgency when they had the ball, but Eriksen laid the ball into Lamelaís path and his shot from the left of the box forced the keeper into a save in the 38th minute. Little was going Tottenhamís way, with the ball bouncing off white shirted players for goal-kicks, but then you have to work hard when luckís not with you. Davies was trying to get forward and when Soldadoís back-heel put him down the left, his cross got blocked, but at least it was showing some movement to pull Hull around.

Fazio was having a bit of a mare, jumping for aerial balls and getting underneath them, then giving the ball away 25 yards away from our own goal. At the other end, Spurs were finding space wide, but were failing to find a ball into the box that was going to hurt the home side. Just before half-time a Spurs move ended with Eriksen fizzing a low driven ball across the face of goal in the six yard box, but nobody gambled on it and it went off on the other side of the pitch.
Half time came with Spurs having had few opportunities and Hull missing at least two other good chances to have extended their lead. Would a second half performance by Spurs make them regret their profligacy ?

Well, bringing on Chirches for Dier seemed a strange decision, as he will want to play the ball out and in the first minute, that almost cost Tottenham. Hoeevr, the next time he took the ball, he beat his man and Spurs brought the ball forward with a bit on intent and got a corner. As usual, it came to nothing and when Eriksen ran it back at their back four, he was blocked as he shaped to shoot. While Spurs were playing a more attacking style, the ref was allowing a lot to go unpunished. He even didnít see what went on when Ramirez kicked out at Vertonghen, with the linesman seeing it and advising it should be worth a red card five minutes into the half.

Lamelaís long cross from the right picked out Davies and his header back in front of goal was kicked away by Dawson. From the corner, the ball was worked wide to Fazio, who shot into the side-netting. Hull were losing their discipline and Soldado was hacked down giving Tottenham a free-kick, but it failed to create anything, so it was from open play that they had to try and create shots on goal.

Suddenly, Spurs looked a bit more determined, with Masonís curled ball in from the left just too far ahead of Soldado, who couldnít stretch to get the ball on the laces of his boot. Aaron Lennon came on for Dembele, in an attempt to speed things up a bit. Davies went through the back of Soldado, but no yellow card for him, despite a foul from behind being a caution under the current interpretation. Eriksen took responsibility this time, with the ball placed centrally 20 yards out. His effort beat the keeper, but crashed back off the post, rebounding straight out for Harry Kane to put it straight back past McGregor to equalise in the 61st minute.

Huddlestone was lucky to get away with another offence when he threw the ball away when a free-kick went against him, but he was booked for his next foul, kicking Mason on the hip. He joined Livermore in the book for dissent after Tottenhamís goal. It gave another free-kick, which they worked well to allow Eriksen to dink a ball right to the far post, but Vertonghen tried an overhead kick when Lennon was coming in behind him.  When Ben Arfa went off for David Meyler to enter the game, I was relieved, as the man on loan from Newcastle often is a thorn in our side.  With Meyler just returning from injury, it was a bonus, as Bruce helped Spurs, as the Irish midfielder was awful.  He didn't hold the ball, wasn't aware of players around him and seemed unable to understand where he should be.

Huddlestone left the action, with the risk that he might get sent off too, with Rosenior replacing him to protect the right side of the Hull defence. Spurs were now working harder and making the most of their extra man. Chiriches was released on the right and his low ball in was guided just wide of the far post by Roberto from 10 yards out. With 67 minutes gone, Harry Kane should have gone ahead when Lennonís right wing cross picked him out, but he put his header inches die, when he should have hit the target and it would have been a goal.

Chiriches low ball into the box fell behind Spurs men coming in, but Mason fired in a drive that McGregor beat out. Finding this way of playing making life difficult for Hull, you wonder why the team doesnít play with this tempo all the time ? The ever knowledgeable Hull crowd were appealing for everything. Not knowing a hand from a chest, but they felt aggrieved by the sending off, although they perhaps should have aimed their ire at Ramirez, who didnít have to kick out in the first place.

Daviesí run left created space for Lamela coming inside, firing a shot just over the angle of crossbar and post with 71 minutes on the clock, but sloppy passing was giving the Tigers the ball further up the field and Spurs had to be careful. Hull threw people forward for a free-kick with 15 minutes left, with Lloris getting caught under Curtis Davies and dropping the ball again, before falling on top of it. Lamela made a weak attempt to hold up Brady, but his ball to Elmohamady set him into space and the ball in to Jelavic was luckily behind him from Spursí point of view.

A bit of cramp meant Soldado was replaced by Paulinho with just over ten minutes remaining, but when moves broke down, Hull were still supporting Jelavic up front. Livermore got away with a late challenge on Mason, which would have meant another Hull man sent off, but the referee was having such a bad day, he wouldnít recognise a bad tackle if he saw one.

Mason couldnít continue at full throttle, so effectively, it was 10 v 10 for the last ten minutes. Hull were also targeting him, with Meyler going in late on the Spurs midfielder. Good use was being made of the space available and Chirches was attacking down the right, but his crosses were low into the box, but didnít always find their man.

Spurs were playing the ball around, with Hull sitting back to soak up the pressure, but Kaneís run across the box saw him leave the ball for Lennon. Aaron touched it on for Christian Eriksen and he hit a right foot shot low across McGregor and it found the bottom corner of the net to put Tottenham ahead for the first time in the match. It was similar to Hullís opening goal, with nobody closing the Dane down, but it was a well placed shot to beat the goalie and give Spurs a 2-1 lead with minutes remaining.

I donít like to see Spurs keep the ball in the corner, but that is what they did for a good two minutes, which ran down the clock enough to see an away win against a side with a man sent off for the second away match running. The missed chances in the first half by Hull did cost them, but more than that the man who got sent off should be answering to his manager and team-mates.

It changed the nature of the game, but credit must go to Pochettino for what changes he did make to take the game to Hull more. Perhaps he will see that a more attacking approach is the way forward, with the benefit of Tottenhamís set-up being better realised from a lead rather than chasing the game. Had Ramirez not been sent off, I donít think we would have had three points to take back to London.  However, we have been hard done by in the past and had to get on with it, so now it is someone else's turn.

The victory puts us two points off fourth place and level on points with Everton and Arsenal, while we sit three above Liverpool.  Crisis ?  What crisis ?

That will come when we return to White Hart Lane and people think we will roll over Everton next Sunday.  I hope it happens, but let's be patient if it doesn't.


Michael Griffiths

 

PUB FACT*

Hull City were not even in existence when Tigers roamed their part of Yorkshire, according to a Asseem Allam.

With the sponsorship of the stadium, there can be no excuses of any lack of understanding between the goalkeeper and his defence, as Kingston Communications have banned the use of the saying "lack of communication" for such situations, as it may reflect badly on their products.
 

 

 
 
 
Match sponsors -
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What you thought
Jack Harris Why do Sky bring in such anti-Spurs co-commentators. Saying that the sending off wasnít deserved and that every Spurs decision wasnít a foul/throw-in/corner, Andy Hinchcliffe added nothing to the coverage.

His tactical insight matched his play when on the pitch; just a thumping tackle and a hoof upfield.

Unsubtle, unencumbered by consideration and unwanted.
Steven Prosser Why is it that managers try to cover their own back when things go wrong.  If it is not the ref, then it is other players and Bruce's slagging off of Vertonghen takes the biscuit.

We can all tell by the look on his face that Bruce was a self-styled "hard man" and that he would never have gone down easy.  When Ramirez kicked out at Jan, who had nothing to do with the original incident, has Bruce considered that he may have put him off balance and surprised the Belgian by kicking him and taking his legs from under him ?

If you don't want to see players sent off for things like this, what do you want them to do Steve ?

Dissent and then taking a player late and dangerously ... see Jake Livermore for example.  Funny that he did not comment on that one ?  Perhaps the ref didn't have a very good day, but you get what you receive officials the opportunity to give.

It did turn the game in Tottenham's favour, but then Fazio's sending off against Manchester City was harsh, but justified ... and look what happened there.

Best look at your own mis-firing side than the referee.  He hasn't been at the rest of your games this season, but all those yellow and black striped shirts have.
 

- -.
 

 

 

Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2 Saturday
Chelsea 2 West Bromwich Albion 0 Saturday
Everton 2 West Ham United 1 Saturday
Leicester City 0 Sunderland 0 Saturday
Manchester City 2 Swansea City 1 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 QPR 0 Saturday
Stoke City 1 Burnley 2 Saturday
Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 1 Sunday
Aston Villa 1 Southampton 1 Monday

   

 

League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 12 10 2 0 30 11 32 +19
2 Southampton 12 8 2 2 24 6 26 +18
3 Manchester City 12 7 3 2 24 13 24 +11
4 Manchester United 12 5 4 3 19 15 19 +4
5 Newcastle United 12 5 4 3 14 15 19 -1
6 West Ham United 12 5 3 4 20 16 18 +4
7 Swansea City 12 5 3 4 16 14 18 +2
8 Arsenal 12 4 5 3 20 15 17 +5
9 Everton 12 4 5 3 22 19 17 +3
10 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 12 5 2 5 16 17 17 -1
11 Stoke City 12 4 3 5 13 15 15 -2
12 Liverpool 12 4 2 6 15 18 14 -3
13 West Bromwich Albion 12 3 4 5 13 17 13 -4
14 Sunderland 12 2 7 3 12 19 13 -7
15 Crystal Palace 12 3 3 6 17 21 12 -4
16 Aston Villa 12 3 3 6 6 17 12 -11
17 Hull City 12 2 5 5 14 18 11 -4
18 Leicester City 12 2 4 6 11 18 10 -5
19 Burnley 12 2 4 6 8 20 10 -12
20 QPR 12 2 2 8 11 23 8 -12


Position before match :  12th
Position after match :  10th
Position after the weekend :  10th

 

* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.

 

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