DATE Thursday 3rd November 2011
VENUE Central Stadium, Kazan






Knowing more about Rubin than I did three weeks ago, they will provide a sterner test than Spurs have come up against so far in the Europa League group stages.  Quick on attack, with some good passers and some inventive movement, the Kazan strikers will probably make more of their home advantage than the handful of chances they made at White Hart Lane.

But those chances were good ones and the pace that they moved the ball along the wings, especially with the industrious Karadeniz, they could open Spurs up if the younger players are selected.  With Valdez a striker to be keenly aware of, they have players who can score and it was lucky for Tottenham that their shooting boots must have not been accustomed to the mild temperatures on the night at the Lane.

Without  a doubt, they will be well drilled and with players we know about, such as Martins, they also have some tough tacklers, who take no prisoners, so a physical approach in the early stages might be adopted to knock Spurs out of their stride.

What Tottenham have been good at in this competition so far this season, is holding onto the ball to take the sting out of games.  They might find that more difficult this time out, with Kazan probably shutting them down to deny them time and space, but with a few experienced heads in the side, such as Gallas, Pienaar, Pav and some of the more familiar youngsters (i.e. Carroll, Livermore, Townsend and Falque), it might lead to an interesting match up.

Having won the two home games so far, Harry will have been delighted and that will mean if Spurs can pick up three points in their remaining two away games, they could well top the group.  This has allowed him to mix and match his players through this stage of the Europa League and he will watch from his front room, as Kevin Bond takes the team out to try and bring home a point.

It could be difficult and the test ahead will be one in a torrid atmosphere and one that will be a good reflection of how the players can cope with a hostile environment.  But I think they will acquit themselves very well.  Maybe not well enough to bring home a win, but they can make it hard for Rubin, who have struggled a little for goals anyway and the result will inform us more about the players than the team's ability to progress in the competition.

PREDICTION Rubin Kazan    2      Tottenham Hotspur   1
Spurs will keep many of the first team players at home, sending only Sebastien Bassong, Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko, William Gallas, Heurelho Gomes, Carlo Cudicini and Steven Pienaar out to Russia.  With the rest of the squad made up of fringe players and youngsters, Harry might be staying at home, but he will be thinking more about Sunday's match with Fulham.
Giovani dos Santos has a calf injury and Danny Rose an injured ankle, while others on the injured list are Tom Huddlestone (ankle), Niko Kranjcar (thigh), Vedran Corluka (foot) and Michael Dawson (Achilles tendon).

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Rubin Kazan (Russia) 1 (0)     
Europa League
Thursday 3rd November 2011                              
Venue :  -  Central Stadium, Kazan
Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)

Kick off 17:00 (UK time)
Natcho 55 None
Ryazantsev (foul)  88
Eremenko (foul)  90+1 


Bassong (foul) 54
Defoe (dissent) 54   


Crowd :   20,000 Weather :  Chilly and wet
Referee :  Florian Meyer (Germany) Assistant Referees :  Holger Henschel; Christoph Bornhorst (Germany)
Fourth Official :  Babak Rafaii (Germany) Additional Assistants : Peter Sippel; Markus Wingenbach (Germany)
Rubin Kazan : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Ryzhikov

19  Kaleshin
  4  Cesar Navas
76  Sharonov  (c)
27  Bocchetti

61  Karadeniz
16  Noboa

66  Natcho 
  8  Ryazantsev     (20  Eremenko 90    )

10  Kazaev (  3  Ansadi 84)
  5  Martins (18  Valdez 65)

Unused subs: 
24  Arlauskis
  2  Kuzmin
67  Kverkvelia
92  Orazsakhedov

  23  Cudicini

43  Fredericks
19  Bassong    
13  Gallas  (c)  (58  Parrett 72)
31  Townsend

27  Falque
29  Livermore
46  Carroll
40  Pienaar

  9  Pavyluchenko  (37  Kane 75)

Unused subs: 
59  Stewart
47  Nicholson
54  Pritchard

Manager :  - Manager :   Harry Redknapp
Sponsor :   - Shirt sponsor :  Aurasma
Kit Supplier :  - Kit Supplier :   Puma
Match report

The intervention of two Spurs player sin this match were notable and prevented it from being a dull procession of Rubin Kazan goals, limiting it to a 0-1 score-line for a much-changed and very young Spurs side.

The first Tottenham player to make his mark on this game came after two minutes, when Jake Livermore grabbed a Rubin supporter who invaded the pitch.  he should have been careful after that non-league player who got sent off last season for tackling a streaker.  But he escaped without punishment.  Unlike Sebastien Bassong and Jermain Defoe, who both picked up yellow cards in the preface to the Rubin goal.

When Gallas headed away a cross into the Tottenham area, it was well directed to Bassong inside his own box and in space.  He took the ball to the edge of the area and his touch let him down, leading to him presenting the ball to Ryazantsev in the D, conceding a free-kick and getting cautioned.  As Defoe ran to the ref to indicate it was no different to him being bundled over a few moments earlier and having a free-kick given against him for handball when he fell on the ball, the referee turned the yellow card on him straight away.

With the ball moved conveniently to a couple of yards back from the D, it gave Natcho the distance to curl the ball over a crowded wall and past an unsighted Cudicini to provide the home team with a 55th minute lead..

It wasn't undeserved, as Tottenham were drastically poor and the loss of possession when not under pressure or when the Spurs players had managed to manoeuvre the ball into a position where nothing could be done with it other than to boot it long up-field, made it hard to get anything going.  Thus only two efforts on goal came all game and they hardly tested the Rubin defence.  In comparison, Carlo Cudicini probably had his best game in a Spurs shirt, with a series of very good saves to keep out the Russian team until he was beaten by the free-kick.

With only one home European defeat in 14 ties, Rubin were favourites and with their first team out against our second XI, perhaps the final result should have been expected, but the Tottenham Europa League squad have done well so far this season, but maybe this was a selection that was not as strong and with the long journey, it left them seeking a way to out-wit Kazan.

Spurs had started off pretty well and for 20 minutes held the ball well and made some shooting opportunities, which didn't reach the goal, but has the defence working to shut them down.  With Pavlyuchenko back n his home country, you hoped he would try and make a name for himself with a repeat of his goal in the previous meeting, but he had a Pav type game where he is on the periphery too much and his major contribution was to smack a shot from 25 yards out almost that far wide of the goal.

But at the other end, Cudicini was keeping Spurs in it.  Karadeniz's right wing ball in to Kasaev had been controlled and shot over the bar before the Tottenham goalie was called into action to tip over Natcho's shot after he had already punched out a cross and then got up to palm wide a drive from Noboa.  Then he was in action pushing out a Sharanov half-hit shot from a scramble at a corner and then at his near post as Ryazantsev came in from the right wing to crash a shot in, but Carlo pushed the fierce shot over. 

Five minutes before the break, Spurs had their best attacking moment, with Defoe stumbling through a couple of challenges into the box and pulling the ball along the six yard box, but Pav had not read it and was too far behind the ball to make contact. 

Spurs had started the second half OK, with Ryan Fredericks making a good run deep into the Rubin box, but elected to shoot when at a narrow angle instead of trying to pull the ball back across goal.  The Kazan goal came after five minutes of the second half and from then on in, Tottenham looked like rarely threatening, as Rubin gained confidence and dictated play.  Ryazantsev was out through on the right side of the box and hit a shot across Cudicini that the keeper pushed aside and then Bocchetti struck a shot over the bar, when he really should have hit the target from 12 yards out. 

Carlo had earned the one bit of luck he had when Valdez put in a good cross for Karadeniz to head down and the goalie got his feet in the way to keep the ball out, then, with ten minutes left, the roles were reversed, as Valdez tested Cudicini with an effort that once more the Italian kept out.  In the added time at the end of the game, Natcho tried a shot that went straight at Cudicini and then Valdez once more forced a save to maintain the score at 1-0 and that was how it finished.

So, a reversal of the score of the home match with Rubin and with two games left for each side against PAOK and Shamrock Rovers, it might come down to goals that split them at the end of the league format.   Harry will probably put out a stronger team for the PAOK match, as they currently head the group, but he might entrust a smattering of youngsters with some more experienced professionals in the game in Ireland. 

I'm not sure this is the "get well" present Harry might have wished for, but at least it will allow him a first team fresh and ready to go on Sunday at Fulham and it is a trip that Spurs won't have to make again (unless the draw is very odd in the latter stages).  Not a great result, but one that might have been expected, but the disappointing thing was the lack of enterprise from players who might have been out to prove something ... but maybe with the manager convalescing, they thought they shouldn't excite him too much ??

Marco van Hip



What you thought
Barry Levington It was a disjointed and stuttering performance that allowed Rubin Kazan to jump over Spurs and go second in the table.

While it was a long way away, cold and with a team not used to playing together, the side looked like they could not pass the ball to each other - especially in the second half and the touch that lead to Bassong giving away the free-kick was one that was not unusual in this display. 

I know that in the long run one result might not put Tottenham out, but PAOK are now top and we have to beat them to have a chance of progressing and they might pack their defence and make it hard for Spurs to break them down, with the same tactic used against Rubin so we will have to see who can break them down.  Two draws will do it for PAOK and Rubin might settle for a point against the Greeks, hoping for the same result when PAOK come to the Lane and then it will be a shoot-out to see who can stick most goals past Shamrock, with Tottenham already being a goal behind the Russian team.



Position before match : 
Position after match : 
Position after the weekend :


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