COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 8th April 2017
VENUE White Hart Lane
Watford SQUAD 1.  Heurelho GOMES
3.  Miguel BRITOS
4.  Younes KABOUL
5.  Sebastian PRODL
6.  Adrian MARIAPPA
7.  Nordin AMRABAT
9.  Troy DEENEY
10.  Isaac SUCCESS
11.  Valon BEHRAMI
15.  Craig CATHCART
16.  Abdoulaye DOUCOURE
18.  Juan ZUNIGA
20.  Mauro ZARATE
21.  M'Baye NIANG
22.  Daryl JANMAAT
23.  Ben WATSON
25.  Jose HOLEBAS
27.  Christian KABALSELE
29.  Etienne CAPOUE
32.  Brandon MASON
33.  Stefano OKAKA
34.  GIedrius ARLAUSKIS
35.  Carl STEWART
36.  Roberto PEREYRA
38.  Charlie ROWAN
40.  Rhyle OVENDEN
PREVIEW Hopefully, fresh from the exciting 3-1 away win at Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur return home to White Hart Lane for a visit from Hertfordshire side Watford, who won 2-0 in midweek against WBA.

It has been a weird season for the Hornets, with just one manager in charge for the campaign, only minimal off field controversy and a lack of cohesion on it.  The things that worked last season have failed to click often enough this season, ending with Odion Ighalo being sold off to China, after he failed to replicate the form of last season.

Troy Deeney has been battling away up front to get the goals that have helped Watford stave off any relegation worries, but there have been a series players suffering injuries and  loss of form that the inconsistency has been the only consistent thing about their campaign.  Bringing in loan players has boosted their season somewhat, with Juan Zuniga (Napoli), Tom Cleverley (Everton) and M'Baye Niang (AC Milan) supposedly putting a decent spine into the side. Niang has struggled to get goals, even though he was the rising star of French football a few years back, with him reportedly being with Tottenham on trial, but he went to AC Milan and has now been put out on loan for three spells.  Zuniga has always been regarded as a decent defender and to play in Italy, he must be, while Cleverley had a loan spell with Watford before he joined Everton from Man United, so he was hoping to make it a happy return.

Striker Stefan Okaka familiar to us, as he played for Anderlecht against Spurs in the Europa League and he has scored a couple of goals, but has found the conversion to the Premier League difficult and his fellow forward, Isaac Success has been in and out of the side, without much of what his name implies.  Signed from Fiorentina, former West Ham and QPR forward Mauro Zarate had hoped to rekindle come sort of form at Vicarage Road, but a knee ligament injury has ruled him out for the season. 

In midfield, Ban Watson misses this match with a groin injury, but he has been a driving force in the Watford midfield, whereas players like Behrami, Amrabat and Doucoure have failed to push Watford forward.  New signing Roberto Pereyra from Juventus was a major coup, but again, injury has robbed the Hornets of his services.  Etienne Capoue has found his goal-scoring boots, but might be another who misses out, as he suffered a knock in midweek.  He is a good passer and has learned to get forward to support the front men, but his sometimes lax approach might expose those behind him. 

Defence is the major part of the squad, but they are missing most of these players for the game against Spurs.  Kaboul and Prodl are both sidelined, while Britos is suspended after getting sent off last week, although Holebas has been having a decent season and will feature at the Lane.  Craig Cathcart is still at Watford and might fill one of the central defensive roles, with Daryl Janmaat likely to play and his move from Newcastle has been hit by injury this season too.  Christian Kabasele is said to be "fatigued" after the West Brom match (along with Deeney and Cleverley), so I guess he will be pushed out to play, but he likes to get forward and might be caught out of position - a failing of a few of Watford's players.

Ex-Spurs Heurelho Gomes is suffering a knock and might not play, but they will patch him up to play if they can.  A good shot-stopper on his day, "The Octopus" has mistakes in his game, with coming for crosses he can't get and not working out his angles among them. 

Our 4-1 win at Watford at Christmas will not be replicated here.  Spurs will face a more determined Watford, who will want to make sure that they don't get pulled back down the table, but the big question is whether the visitors will be able to play a fairly familiar first eleven or whether they will have to field some of their youngsters ?  They may well be lacking energy after beating West Brom (but then who doesn't do that lately ... apart from Arsenal), but Tottenham will be full of confidence, even though they had to keep going deep into injury time to get the win at the Liberty Stadium.  The knocks are easier to shrug off when you are getting those results and the main concern is in goal, where stand-in keeper Michel Vorm took a knock and the man he replaced - Hugo Lloris - is still suffering from illness.  That leaves Pau Lopez to come in and make his debut if the first two choices are unavailable.

The fluency with which Tottenham are playing makes it difficult for opposition teams to try and stop them,  Swansea had a game plan that they executed well for 88 minutes, but once breached, the tiredness hit them and Spurs are able to keep going.  Mazzarri might try and shut up shop, with Watford not free-scoring this season, but whether they have the strength in depth is questionable.  Spurs will hopefully take the points, but, as we have seen at home, some teams come to make it hard for us ... but not all succeed to any degree.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Watford    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Watford
Harry Kane might be ready to return form his ankle injury, but Hugo Lloris might still be missing and Michel Vorm has an ankle knock ,which he hopes to get over in time to play.  Danny Rose (knee), Erik Lamela (hip) and Harry Winks (ankle) are all unavailable. 
Sebastian Prodl (rib), Younes Kaboul (hamstring), Mauro Zarate (knee), Ben Watson (groin) and Roberto Pereyra (knee) are all definitely out for the trip to White Hart Lane, while Christian Kabasele (hip), Valon Behrami (hamstring), Abdoulaye Doucoure (fatigue), Troy Deeney (fatigue), Tom Cleverley (fatigue), Etienne Capoue (knock) and Heurelho Gomes (knock) will all be late considerations for Walter Mazzarri to make on who plays.  Miguel Britos is suspended.

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Tottenham Hotspur  4 (3)                                                                       
Premier League
Saturday 8th April 2017
White Hart Lane
Watford  0 (0)

Kick off 15:00
Dele  32m 25s
Dier  38m 31s
Son  43m 35s
Son  54m 08s


Doucoure  (foul on Dembele)  33


Crowd :   31,706 Weather :  Warm, sunny
Referee :  Anthony Taylor (Manchester) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Bennett; Mr. H. Lennard
Fourth Official :  Lee Mason  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 4 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Watford : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
33  Ben DAVIES

15  Eric DIER 
19  Mousa DEMBELE  (17  Moussa SISSOKO  75)

23  Christian ERIKSEN
20  DELE Alli 
  7  Heung-Min SON      (25  Josh ONOMAH  88)

  9  Vincent JANSSEN  (10  Harry KANE  61)

Unused subs: 
30  Pau LOPEZ
27  Kevin WIMMER
14  Georges-Kevin NKOUDOU

    1  Heurelho GOMES  (c)

  6  Adrian MARIAPPA
15  Craig CATHCART
25  Jose HOLEBAS

22  Daryl JANMATT
16  Abdoulaye DOUCOURE      
  (18  Juan ZUNIGA  59)
  7  Nordin AMRABAT  (  9  Troy DEENEY  70)

10  Isaac SUCCESS
21  M'Baye NIANG

33  Stefan OKAKA  (27  Christian KABASELE  84)

Unused subs: 
32  Brandon MASON
29  Etienne CAPOUE

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :   Walter Mazzarri
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Dryworld
Match report

With so many players missing, I suppose Watford had a ready made excuse for losing, but the players they did put out failed to trouble Tottenham, other than how injured they might get by the physical approach adopted by the Hornets, who got stung with four classy goal and they rarely showed anything to suggest they deserved to be on the same field as Spurs.

While Walter Mazzarri claimed some of his players were "fatigued", some appeared just fat and it seemed obvious to me that their approach was to target certain players, with Alli getting clattered from behind regularly, late tackles were going in on Mousa Dembele and a heavy weight fell on Jan Vertonghen's ankle.  The protection offered to the Tottenham players by referee Anthony Taylor failed to fulfil one of his basic duties - the safety of the players.  One booking for an assault on Dembele, which at least the referee allowed advantage on for Dele to score and then to go back and book Doucoure, was the sum total of his afternoon's work.

Spurs welcomed back the returning Hugo Lloris, but Victor Wanyama didn't make the starting eleven or even the bench.  Sissoko made way from Wednesday's starting line-up for Janssen led the line and Walker was rested for Trippier to come in at right back in a back four.  Watford started off quite lively for such a tired bunch of professionals, winning a dubious free-kick which Holebas took and brought a save out of Lloris, who saw it all the way over the wall and moved well to get behind it, before patting it down.  Jan had already had a shot blocked from a corner, before that and after five minutes, the game settled into what was to become a familiar pattern, with Spurs having a large proportion of possession and heading towards the Watford goal. 

Spurs were passing the ball well and Dele found Son on the left, he stepped over the bal and rifled in a low cross that took a deflection and luckily for Heurelho Gomes, the post was there to take the ball out for a corner, otherwise, it would have crept inside his unguarded near post.  The corner came out to Trippier, but when his effort was blocked, it launched a Watford attack, that ended with Lloris coming out to punch a cross under heavy pressure from Okaka.  Spurs moved into attack mode again and Eriksen played a pass to Janssen around about the penalty spot, from outside the area.  The striker turned his man well and struck a well hit low shot, but Gomes stuck out a long leg to stop it going in the goal.  Watford's response was to win a free-kick (and they did win a few from soft ref Taylor), which was played long to the far post.  Vertonghen's head got a touch and the ball bounced off  a few legs before Cathcart swung a boot at it and Lloris covered inside the post, with the ball going outside it.

Getting the ball over the full back to put Trippier in seemed to be the order of the day and Holebas wasn't great at defending it, with Dier's fine long range pass so good that Trips could easily volley it first time across the goal and Janssen was at the far post waiting.  As the ball reached him, a defender challenged and the ball came off his thigh and went up onto the bar and away, when it looked as though he would have a simple opportunity to score from close range.  But the miss didn't stop him trying to get into goal-scoring positions and when the trick was worked again by Vertonghen, with Trips again volleying across goal, but this time the ball was just too far ahead of Vincent.  Watford did work one good position, with Success on the right, but his cross went over everyone and off on the far side of the pitch, as the Watford player didn't live up to his name.

The chances were opening up Watford and Eriksen looked to tee himself up fgor a shot, which went wide, but only because a Watford player had given him a shot as he lined up his effort, but then Christian nearly picked out Janssen's head, but it was nodded just beyond him by a defender.  Eriksen's corner was cleared to the edge of the box and Davies raced in to hit a low drive, but someone in a yellow shirt stuck out a foot to block it.  Janssen was linking up well and set up Alli for a low shot that Gomes saved, but the former Tottenham keeper got nowhere near the next Dele effort.  The move started with Hugo and he played the ball out to Trippier and then Eriksen, with it being passed to Dembele inside his own half.  He moved forward with the ball in his typical style, but Doucoure was determined that he would not make progress.  Okaka had been an early exponent of putting his foot in on Mousa, but Doucoure used a much more primitive method, pulling his shirt and when he couldn't stop him that way, he tried to rip the shirt off the midfielder and then bowled him over onto the ground.  By this time, Mousa was in the Watford half and the ball ran to Dele.  He then took it forward and passed left to Son, taking the return after checking back, thus allowing him the space to look up and curl a 25 yarder into the top corner past Gomes's left hand.  It was a precision shot and one that few goalkeepers in the world might have reached.  The ref had done well to play on and he also went back to book Doucoure after Spurs had scored, something few refs bother with.   

Success had little of his namesake when he tried to cheat a penalty by running into Vertonghen when the ball was miles away from him, much to the Dutchman's disgust, but Eric Dier soon punished Watford with a cracking goal.  An attack through the middle broke down and the ball was played left to Davies, who played it inside to Dele, moving the ball quickly wide again to Son.  Taking on his marker, he drilled the ball across, with Mariappa deflecting it out towards the edge of the box and onto it ran Dier, hitting the ball with great power into the ground to keep it down and it flew past Gomes, who didn't have a chance to react.

A couple of minutes before half-time, Spurs won the ball on the right, moved it inside to Eriksen, who stepped forward with it.  He passed inside to Son, who had Davies in space making a good run to his left, but with the defence backing off, he struck a left foot shot wide of Gomes dive to his right ad the ball arrowed into the bottom corner to make it 3-0 and surely game over.  It was another fine finish in a game that was rapidly becoming its own Goal of The Month competition.

After quick interviews at half-time with Pat Jennings, Paul Miller and Mark Falco, as players who played for both clubs, the action restarted with Watford breaking on Spurs to win a corner, as Alderweireld cleared out Success' low cross into the box.  From it, Spurs cleared and Eriksen flicked the ball over Doucoure's head, with the player pulling his shirt (having already been booked) he still managed to play a through ball for Vertonghen to run onto in the centre circle.  The Belgian was beyond their line of defenders, but a combination of getting his own feet mixed up and running out of legs meant that the ball was nicked away from him as he reached the Watford penalty area.

Tottenham were still playing some fine football and when Lloris chipped a pass out to Trippier, his volleyed pass to Eriksen took out a couple of Watford players, who were not expecting it.  Eriksen moved forward, played it wide into Trippier's path and his first time cross picked out Son at the far post and he was able to run onto it and strike a controlled volley first time past Gomes at his near post to make it 4-0 with 35 minutes still to play.

With the margin possibly too much for Watford to recover, Harry Kane came on for Janssen and he showed good strength to hold off defenders when he was on the ball straight away, also heading a corner away powerfully.  Success was sent away for the visitors, but he shanked his shot across goal and when Niang tried to set Okaka through, Hugo was quickly out to slide the ball away. Trippier, who had a fine game, chipped a pass into the right hand channel in the box, finding Kane running onto the ball and taking it around Gomes.  He was at a tight angle on the right, but slid a shot on target, but it lacked power and two defenders had got back to stop it getting near the goal.  Watford's substitute striker Troy Deeney should have done better when a corner dropped to his feet in the box, but he prodded his shot way too high when in space.

Spurs could have had a hat-ful today and Trippier's cross was whipped in just ahead of Kane's dive at the near post, Kane was put through by Eriksen, but chose to square it to Son, on his right.  On a hat-trick, the Korean had time to think where he was going to put it and eventually put it beyond Gomes' dive to the keeper's left, but also wide of the goal.  Son sank to the turf with his head in his hands.  With seven minutes to go, Son had another chance to complete his treble, as Trippier dinked a ball past the defence into the right side of the box and the first time volley dipped over Gomes, but smacked off the bar.  Sonny was given a rest and a chance for a big ovation when Onomah came on looking for everything like the new Edgar Davids in his protective eyewear.

When Kane was unceremoniously upended by Cathcart 25 yards out, the striker wanted the chance to get back at Lukaku in the Premier League goal-scoring stakes and fired the free-kick over the wall.  With Gomes standing there looking at the ball as it flew past him, he was relieved to heard the crossbar shuddering once more, with the final whistle also sweet music to his ears after a real mauling by his former club.

Spurs were obviously full of confidence that the Swansea win had given them, with all the players up for it.  They played at a good tempo, passing crisply and moving to receive the ball in good positions, giving Watford's zonal marking problems, with players not being picked up.  The rash tackling left Watford unable to cope with the power and precision of the way Tottenham were playing.  Trippier enjoyed the space to put in his crosses from the right and Davies and Son linked well on the left.  Dembele was very good on the bal land worked hard defensively too, which is something he doesn't often get praised for.  It was a fine team performance and one that featured some fantastic finishing. 

Pochettino will be well pleased with the last three results and will be looking to carry the belief in the team's play into the next few matches.  Even though Chelsea won again, all Spurs can do is keep the good results coming and see where it takes us.  While not of the best sides at the Lane this season, at least they were one of the few sides we have beaten who were spared the chant of "You're f***ing S**t" !!

Stan Chun




Watford took their nickname from the situation they found themselves in when deciding on a nickname.  The selection committee for the club were sitting in the local pub - The Horns - when they found themselves unable to come up with a suitable nickname for the side.

One of the committee was a former goalkeeper, who wanted to incorporate a certain element of his art in the name and they were having a dilemma in the pub, so they came up with the Horngloves.

However, this never really took off with the Watford fans and a former striker suggested at the next meeting they removed the gloves and stuck with something that reflected both ends of the pitch ... and from the dilemma they were in came ... the Horngoals.

This was also kicked into touch and aiming to capture the spirit of the club, they put another item of the game into the nickname and finally settled on the Hornets.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Bournemouth 1 Chelsea 3 Saturday
Manchester City 3 Hull City 1 Saturday
Middlesbrough 0 Burnley 0 Saturday
Stoke City 1 Liverpool 2 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 0 Southampton 1 Saturday
West Ham United London 1 Swansea City 0 Saturday
Sunderland 0 Manchester United 3 Sunday
Everton 4 Leicester City 2 Sunday
Crystal Palace 3 Arsenal 0 Monday


League Table  2016-17
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 31 24 3 4 65 25 75 +40
2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 31 20 8 3 64 22 68 +42
3 Liverpool 32 18 9 5 68 39 63 +29
4 Manchester City 31 18 7 6 61 36 61 +25
5 Manchester United 29 15 11 3 45 23 56 +22
6 Arsenal 30 16 6 8 61 39 54 +22
7 Everton 31 15 8 8 56 35 53 +21
8 West Bromwich Albion 31 12 8 11 39 39 44 0
9 Southampton 30 11 7 12 37 36 37 +1
10 Stoke City 32 9 8 15 34 47 36 -13
11 Burnley 32 10 6 16 32 44 36 -12
12 West Ham United London 32 10 6 16 42 57 36 -15
13 Bournemouth 32 9 8 15 45 59 35 -14
14 Crystal Palace 31 10 4 17 42 50 34 -8
15 Watford 30 9 7 14 34 52 34 -18
16 Leicester City 30 9 6 15 37 51 33 -14
17 Hull City 32 8 6 18 33 64 30 -31
18 Swansea City 32 8 4 20 37 67 28 -30
19 Middlesbrough 31 4 12 15 22 37 24 -15
20 Sunderland 30 5 5 20 24 54 20 -30

Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the weekend :  2nd

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


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