|DATE||Sunday 24th August 2014|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
So, QPR are back in the big time and their manager brings his
play-off winning team to White Hart Lane, with Spurs legend Glenn
Hoddle as first team coach.
While the West London club returned to the Premier League at the first time of asking, there is a lot for them to do. Some has been done during the summer, signing up Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker stiffening up the defence, while Norwich City midfielder Leroy Fer will put some metal into engine room of the side and Chilean defender Mauricio Isla and winger Eduardo Vargas is on loan from Napoli and will line up alongside former Cardiff City's Jordan Mutch. With a lot of loan players returning to their parent clubs at the end of last season and a lot of Rangers players being released and a couple sold, it is the usual revolving door transfer window for their boss.
With a first day home defeat by
Hull City, it proves that Rangers have a lot to improve on and they
will want to do that quickly, to ensure they donít get cut off at
the bottom of the table. And that will start by stopping Tottenham
from playing the way that they want.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 3 QPR 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs will be
without Kyle Walker (pelvis), Vlad Chiriches (back) and Kyle
Naughton (suspended). The rest of the squad are up for
QPR TEAM NEWS :
Leroy Fer may start on the bench, having played only as a sub ion
one game since the World Cup and only having trained with the team
for a few days following his move from Norwich City. Winger
Eduardo Vargas has not had his work permit through yet, so will sit
the game out, but compatriot Mauricio Isla could feature.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
QPR 0 (0)
Sunday 24th August 2014 Kick off 13:30
White Hart Lane
Chadli 11m 15s
Dier 29m 31s
Chadli 36m 24s
Adebayor 64m 17s
Fer (foul on Capoue) 64
|Crowd : 36,109||Weather : Warm, sunny with some cloud|
|Referee : Anthony Taylor (Greater Manchester)||Assistant Referees : Mr. G. Beswick; Mr. D. Cann|
|Fourth Official : Roger East||-|
|THFC kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 3 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||QPR :||kit|
10 Emmanuel ADEBAYOR ( 9 Roberto SOLDADO 80)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Harry Redknapp|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Air Malaysia|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Nike|
The much feted return of a former manager and a former legend threatened to over-shadow the London derby with three points at stake, but Mauricio Pochettino ensured that Spurs focused on the prize and not the sideshow, as Queens Park Rangers were seen off with nothing but a hold up for the Notting Hill Carnival on their way home. The 4-0 score-line did not flatter Spurs and for QPR, as often happened at Tottenham under their former boss, the score-line covered the cracks that appeared in their defence every time Spurs moved forward in a refreshing and simple display of attacking football.
With some Tottenham players missing from the squad - Townsend, Dawson, Paulinho - and others stuck on the bench - Lennon and Holtby - it was a side selected specifically for the opposition and one intended to be comfortable on the ball and quick in changing defence into attack. From the off, the white shirts swarmed around the red and black stripes to dispossess them on numerous occasions, making the Rangers players wonder what had hit them. And this wasn't just the Capoues, Vertonghens and Kabouls of the Spurs side, but Lamela, Bentaleb, Adebayor and Eriksen were at it too.
As the sun shone down as the Bank Holiday weekend reached it's mid-point, the effect on the Tottenham players was obvious. They were happy to knock the ball around, making the visitors chase the game. Within the first minute, we saw Lamela drive at goal and have a shot deflected wide and then the speed on the break showed, with Eriksen freeing Dier on the right, with his low cross gathered by Green. The pace of change from back to front was in stark contrast to last season. When Erik won the ball in midfield, played a one-two with Ade and then passed wide left to Chadli, Spurs were starting to move smoothly. Nacer knocked it back to Bentaleb, who put in a first time cross that found Adebayor's head, but the ball passed a foot over Green's crossbar.
However, in the 12th minute, Christian Eriksen broke up a QPR move in midfield and played the ball to Nabil Bentaleb, who played Adebayor in on the left wing. Too wide to shoot, Emmanuel turned inside into the box and knocked a cross to the far post, where it evaded Richard Dunne's attempt to clear (as he was badly positioned and did not know who was behind him), leaving Chadli to chest the ball down past him, then delicately knock the ball over Green with the outside of his right boot from close in as the keeper went low at his feet. It was a well made and well taken goal, giving Tottenham an early lead and forcing QPR to re-think their strategy.
Luckily for Spurs, the West Londoners thought they could carry on playing the same way and it handed Tottenham more scoring chances. When Lamela stood on the ball, Vertonghen was there to run it forward and tried to find Adebayor, but Traore was there, although he fluffed his tackle and Ade had a prodded shot at goal, but it was easy for Green to save. Rangers finally found some attacking intent and Phillips hit a weak shot dragged well left of the goal before getting on the end of a move and drifting beyond Kaboul to sneak in to hit a shot that should have brought the equaliser, but only brought the Paxton Road crowd into action.
Rio Ferdinand may have wished he had stayed in the capital of the same name, as he experienced an uncomfortable afternoon, which you imagine may become a regular event throughout this season. His rash lunge into the back of Lamela, just 20 yards from goal in the 24th minute, brought Christian Eriksen to do what he does best and dipped a free kick over the wall, curling away from Green, who was only saved by the underside of the bar, with the ball bouncing out pitch-side and away.
Five minutes later, Spurs had doubled the lead, with a corner on our right being sent in to the near post area by Lamela, with Eric Dier finding space by getting away from Fer to meet it with a powerful header that beat Green from the corner of the six yard box. The young defender is becoming a bit of a star down at the Lane, with his modest style and impressive work on and off the ball. Fitting in at right back today, in the absence of the two Kyles, he was assured, good on the ball and always looking to attack. His goal saw him swamped by team-mates to celebrate and he looks a very good acquisition at £4 million.
If anything, Rangers disappeared into their shell when they needed to get on the front foot, but Spurs were happy to keep the ball and in the 37th minute went further ahead with a bit of magic from Erik Lamela. Having hassled QPR into giving the ball away, Eriksen played it into Erik, halfway into their half. He turned to run at goal, but drifted across four defenders on a run to the left side of the penalty area and then cut back a lofted cross into the middle of the box, where Chadli met it with a header that went past Green from the edge of the six yard box in a central position, without a red and black shirt near him. The way the Argentinian midfielder moved across the pitch and produced an accurate ball to create the goal was indicative of the way he feels this season, being fully fit and having a free role to take the game to the other side in areas they don't expect him to pop up in.
Only a couple of late interventions by lumbering centre-half Richard Dunne prevented Tottenham getting in for more efforts on goal before the half-time whistle blew. It was one of the most pleasing 45 minutes of football I have seen Tottenham produce in a long time.
The same eleven came out for the second half, while Rangers brought on Onuoha for Dunne, but I only found out on the internet after the game !! QPR did make one other change, reverting more to type with a 4-4-2 set-up that stopped Spurs scoring as freely, but that was more down to our finishing than their good defending, because the chances kept coming. And Tottenham also made a change, with more play coming up our right than on the left, as the first half featured. Leading the way a lot of the time was Eric Dier. Not only did he often win the ball, with sometimes crunching tackles, but he looked to advance into Rangers' half at every opportunity. ONe run took him from deep in our half to the QPR dead-ball line ... and he can put a decent ball in too !!
One pull back by the England Under-21 defender set up Lamela, but his shot was driven over the top. This preceded the visitor's first chance of the second half, when Caulker jumped high to head Barton's corner wide. The Rangers support cheered Barton wildly when he went over to take the corner. He has said on one of the few outlets which will give him oxygen - Twitter - that he would "destroy both the midfielders Spurs have wasted money on and I'm a Championship player. Albeit, an exceptional one..." Apart from one neat bit of skill to get out of the corner at his own end when penned in, he was mostly chasing shadows. As one response to him on Twitter put it later, he will soon enough be back being an exceptional player in the Championship !!
Leroy Fer was making his debut and apart from losing Dier for the second goal and giving the ball away for the third, he got booked for a crude tackle on Capoue. This was just before Tottenham went 4-0 ahead with an incisive break. Rose played the ball up the left touchline to Chadli. With two defenders around him, the Belgian looked like he had nothing on, but threaded a pass between them both to send Rose away on the over-lap and the left back delivered a perfect first time ball across the box for Adebayor to finish first time past Green's left hand. 4-0 with 25 minutes left and this could have turned into a cricket score.
While there had been some "ole's" in the first half, as Spurs kept possession, they now started to show some back-heels and nut-megs as QPR's re-introduction to the Premier League firmly put them in their place (which ended up bottom of the table after the game). When Kaboul did a Cruyff turn in their box to create space for a shot, I thought I had seen everything !!
Right on the 78th minute, Steven Caulker had QPR's first shot on target which was deflected and took a lot of the sting out of the effort, leaving Lloris time to change direct and flop to save. An effort earlier had gone a hundred feet up in the air and as it came down, Lloris took the ball easily, with no Rangers player challenging. This angered the few Hoops fans who had made it across London. One gent got very irate and began abusing the Spurs fans in the Lower West Stand, which led to him being asked to leave the ground. At that stage, he was probably pleased to go
Eight minutes from the end, Rangers did get the ball in the net, with the shot going in off Rose, who had been pushed as the corner came in anyway, so it was chalked off by referee Taylor, much to Remy's disgust. With a couple of minutes left, they should have got on the scoreboard, with Remy driving into the box, but was blocked and the ball ran to Bobby Zamora, who blazed high over the goal from a tight angle on the right. Remy did the same a minute later, as he tried to salvage at least some of his reputation and earn a release form playing with this shower.
Substitute Harry Kane set up Lamela for a shot, but he couldn't keep it down. If Spurs players could have got their knee over the ball, Green would have had much more work to do. The chance came in added time and there was enough left for Faurlin to send over a corner, which Caulker rose to win again, but his header glanced wide of the far post and that was about it, as Spurs took the big win, with the fans impressed by Poch's style and more so that the side are top of the league !!
A few times Spurs got into promising positions in and around the area, but either ran out of space before deciding what to do or, in Mousa Demeble's case was in two minds as to what to do as he got to the edge of the box and chose neither of them. For Nacer Chadli though, it was a fine exhibition of getting into positions he should to use his assets to their best. His first finish was deft and it was good to see a Spurs player score with his head with his second goal. Eriksen and Lamela were both unlucky not to finish with a goal, but their midfield play was a delight and I can imagine Glenn Hoddle in his QPR tracksuit inwardly purring over the way Spurs took his current side apart. It was difficult to decide if we had played exceedingly well or QPR were just pants, but the truth was somewhere in between. I am hopeful that if we play like this for the majority of matches, we will reap the rewards.
A good start with two derby wins and six points with no goals conceded, putting Spurs top of the league. Getting there is easy and staying there is the hard part. How we get on next week will show how the side can face up to one of the supposed top four.
The number of stripes on QPR's shirts reflect the number of years their club has ever spent in the top flight of English football.
Joey Barton has been voted head Twitter of the Year. No, sorry, that should have been Twit of the Year.
Harry Redknapp takes charge of the third London side in his career, ensuring he is equally as disliked in the capital as he is on the South Coast.
superstitious is the QPR manager, he always ensures that the shirt
numbers on the players in the starting eleven add up to his age.
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
didn't hear the usual "Welcome back to our old ..." prior to the
game for Harry Redknapp. So, I don't know if they didn't
because of the grudge that he doesn't hold against Daniel Levy or
whether it was they feared that the old man wouldn't get the
reception that he thought he was due form the Spurs fans.
As it was, he was more likely
to get a chorus of "Sacked in the morning" at the end of the game !!
|Benny The Ball||
Most unusually for an opening game at the Lane, I failed to hear
anyone moaning about the display. The closest that came to it
was amazement that someone never thought they would see Nacer Chadli
score twice in a match.
Whether it is the signing of Ben Davies or Poch's ability to make
the most of full back's talents, but Danny Rose has stepped up his
game this season so far. Maybe like Lamela, he is playing
without carrying an injury, but his attacking play was a major
factor of opening QPR up on their right side and he barely lost a
ball in the air. In fact, he made Loic Remy look a bit
ordinary and might have shaved a bit off his asking price, if we are
still interested after that display that is.
Any other team who put together 48 passes to create a goal (as in
Chadli's second), which, as they pointed out inn Match of the Day 2,
involved all 11 Spurs players, then pundits would be creaming
themselves over the football that was being played. But then
Spurs are not Barcelona or Arsenal, so I am happy that we are flying
under the radar and we can just get on with what Poch is doing at
don't wish too much ill on QPR, but after they have played eight
games, I hope they have two points and then we will either see a new
face in their manager's seat or it will be the opportunity to assess
how good the existing incumbent really is.
The 48 passes that lead to Nacer Chadli's second goal have been
broken down by a newspaper and here is how they shape up ...
Etienne Capoue 14
|Other scores during this week :|
|Aston Villa||0||Newcastle United||0||Saturday|
|Crystal Palace||1||West Ham United||3||Saturday|
|Southampton||0||West Bromwich Albion||0||Saturday|
|Stoke City||1||Hull City||1||Sunday|
|8||West Ham United||2||1||0||1||3||2||3||+1|
|12||West Bromwich Albion||2||0||2||0||2||2||2||0|
Position before match :
Position after match : 1st
Position after the weekend : 1st
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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