COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Sunday 9th November 2014
VENUE White Hart Lane






Spurs are on the run of unconvincing performances which have brought a couple of wins, but have not yet developed a style that is effective in the way that Pochettino wants it to be. The pressing game isnít yet as energetic as it was under AVB and the passing is not as sharp or incisive, as the movement isnít making that possible.

But when the team attacks, there is a potency, which would improve with more shots on target.

If Spurs achieve that, they will find one of the better keepers in the League in their way and Asmir Begovic is a good shot stopper, but he canít stop them all, so Spurs need to test him. The defence in front of him will be missing Robert Huth, but Ryan Shawcross and Marc Wilson will form the central defensive pairing. Shawcross is currently in the middle of a storm about his shirt-pulling, but often it is more serious stuff than that which should concern the campaigners. Strong in the air and sometimes a little rash in the tackle, but if he is up against Adebayor, it might make it an easier afternoon for him. Marc Muniesa is a Spanish defender who is not averse to a tackle, while Geoff Cameron, Erik Pieters and Phil Bardsley are all solid defenders, who like to get forward if they have the opportunity. However, they are vulnerable to pace and this could be the way that Spurs might open them up.

The Potters midfield will be missing Glenn Whelan will miss the match with a broken leg, but the recent selections have seen Charlie Adam, Steven Nzonzi, Victor Moses and Jonathan Walters. Walters is a more attacking midfielder, who likes to get among the goals, while Moses, on loan from Chelsea, is a winger, who seems to be revelling in the new surroundings. Moses is becoming the danger man in the Stoke City, providing the service for whoever is playing up front for City. Adam, we know about and Nzonzi is a destroyer, who is leggy and can quickly turn defence into attack, but sometimes is nto involved in a game as much as he should be. Steve Sidwell is another option, with the former Fulham midfielder now coming to the veteran stage of his career, having moved through a number of clubs. Former Villa man Stephen Ireland is a creative player who can finish, but he is not as mobile as in his younger days. Still among the Stoke ranks is former Spurs midfielder Wilson Palacios, who has not featured this season.

The Stoke strike force will be made up of a combination of Mame Biram Diouf, Peter Crouch, Marco Arnautovic. Diouf had a bad time at Manchester United, but has found scoring easier at Stoke, with a cracking start to the season. Strong on the ball and a good penalty area finisher, he will be a player that Tottenham have to keep a tight rain on and they cannot afford to give him space. While Stoke are looking to move away from their ďroute one Ė Rory Delap long-throwĒ reputation, while they have two lanky strikers like Arnautovic and Crouch in the team, there will always be an element of playing to the big man. While both have good skill on the ground, their main attributes lie in having an advantage in the air, winning headers or knocking the ball on for others. It will be interesting to see who features in the middle of defence for Spurs, but they will need to maintain an awareness of where the main striker is, but also where people are running off him.

Peter Odemwingie is out injured and former Barcelona, AS Roma, AC Milan and Ajax man Bojan Krkic is still only 24, having been a protťgť at the Spanish club, with a hope that he can find a home that suits his talents at the Britannia. A skilful player as you would expect from his background and a skilful finisher, so if playing he will play behind the main striker and he can do damage from that position.

Stoke are gradually trying to change their image gained under Tony Pulis. By using the wingers more, they may have finally found their salvation in Moses, so Spurs will need to be tight in defence and busy in midfield, both in matching Stoke and trying to find a way through.

Stoke are not the best travellers, so Spurs might just nick it, but more than anything they need to do so with some conviction.
PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2        Stoke City    1
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Spurs will only be missing Kyle Walker (hip) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) as they prepare to face Stoke City.
Stoke have Glen Whelan (broken leg), Peter Odemwingie (knee ligament), Robert Huth (calf) and Teixiera (ankle) side-lined, but Marco Arnautovic is expected to play after picking up a wrist injury. 

Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.

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Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)                                                     Stoke City  2 (2)
Premier League
Sunday 9th November 2014                                                                                       Kick off 13:30
White Hart Lane
Chadli 77m 04s Krkic 6m 50s
Walters  33m 28s
Capoue (pull on Nzonzi)  45+3
Mason (foul on Sidwell)  70
Kaboul (foul on Walters)   73

Naughton (professional foul on Moses)  86

Cameron (foul on )  23
Begovic (time-wasting)  25



Crowd :   35,699 Weather :  Sunny, dry, mild
Referee :  Mike Jones (Cheshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. R. West; Mr. M. Scholes
Fourth Official :  Martin Atkinson -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 10 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Stoke City : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS

16  Kyle NAUGHTON     
  6  Younes KABOUL (c)      
21  Federico FAZIO
  3  Danny ROSE

38  Ryan MASON      
29  Etienne CAPOUE        (10  Emmanuel ADEBAYOR 65)

17  Andros TOWNSEND  (11  Erik LAMELA 46)
23  Christian ERIKSEN  (19  Mousa DEMBELE 46)
22  Nacer CHADLI 

18  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
15  Eric DIER

  9  Roberto SOLDADO

    1  Asmir BEGOVIC     

  2  Phil BARDSLEY  (20  Geoff CAMERON   )
17  Ryan SHAWCROSS (c)
12  Marc WILSON ( 5  Marc MUNIESA 26)
  3  Eric PIETERS

19  Jonathan WALTERS 
15  Steven NZONZI
21  Steve SIDWELL
27  Bojan KRKIC    (  7  Steven IRELAND 84)
  Victor MOSES

18  Mame Biram DIOUF

Unused subs: 
29  Thomas SORENSEN

16  Charles ADAM
25  Peter CROUCH


Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Mark Hughes
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Bet 365
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Warrior
Match report

It was a fourth home defeat for Spurs at the hands and feet of Stoke City, but while results go against us, it was the nature of the performance which was more of a worry.  A 2-1 defeat does not fully tell the tale of the match and Spurs' sloppy approach met with only one final outcome.

Mauricio Pochettino gave Harry Kane his first league start of the season, with Andros Townsend also put out in the starting XI, but the manager left out Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela, with Adebayor and Soldado joining them on the bench.  Stoke left out their beanpole strikers and went for power with Mame Biram Diouf and five players strung across the midfield.  This proved too much for a Tottenham team who passed poorly, maybe because their movement was lacking in providing good targets to be found by the man on the ball. 

The minute's silence in tribute to the fallen who fought in defence of this country was immaculately observed.   100 years have passed since the end of the First World War, but still Remembrance Sunday honours those who gave their lives.

Unfortunately, what followed was not as honourable.  Tottenham started well and Chadli's burst down the right picked out Harry Kane's head at the far post with a cross, but the striker had to stretch for it and could  not get power behind it, only managing to guide it back across goals and into Begovic's hands.  The ball spent a lot of time there and waiting to be kicked by his boots, but, for once, referee Mike Jones was aware of what he was doing and booked him after 23 minutes.

By this time Stoke had two subs on and were soon to have two goals to their credit.  Not that they had to do much for them, with Tottenham backing off Bojan Krkic in the seventh minute to allow him to run from the half-way lien and then send a low shot past Lloris right hand.  Then in the 34th minute, Spurs failed to clear the ball from a Stoke attack, but when they did, Shawcross planted a header back towards the Spurs left wing and the ball went over Rose for Moses to play a square ball into the box, where Walters was unmarked to knock the ball past from Lloris from ten yards out.

Tottenham failed to get another shot on target in the half. The players struggled to find a way to get around the Stoke players, with the ball being removed from them with ease. Kane failed to get much decent service and was isolated up front against Shawcross. The midfield failed to show any cunning to get the ball into areas which would hurt the visitors, with Eriksen lacking the involvement to keep their midfield occupied with thoughts about Tottenham rather than being able to break whenever they broke up our forward moves.

Spurs had been given early warning when Begovicís long ball ran all the way into the Spurs box and Lloris had to come out over Diouf to collect before the striker could get a touch on it. It left the Stoke forward needing treatment and the clubís physios must be the hardest working men in football, the amount of work they have to do on their players on the pitch each week. Wilson had missed a good chance from six yards out when a corner dropped to him among a group of players and his quickly taken effort went over the bar.

At the start of the second half, it was almost like Newcastle all over again. Not quite as quickly, but within a couple of minutes, Moses ran away from Mason and Naughton to curl a shot that luckily didnít have much power. While Spurs had brought Lamela and Dembele on for Townsend and Eriksen, they failed to make an impact. Lamela found it hard to get past Stoke players and Dembele too often failed to make a decisive pass at the vital moment. While Tottenham had a lot more possession, it was a lack of inventiveness that once more let them down. Just before the hour, Lamela put in a free-kick from our left wing and Harry Kane got his head to the ball at the far post, but he glanced the effort just wide. Twice Diouf got through on goal, once in each half and fortunately, Fazio got back to make a crucial tackle, otherwise, it could have resulted in another red card for the Argentinian. However, Federico wasnít always as useful in defence, as he failed to make an effective clearance from a corner and Nzonzi volleyed the ball wide.

Spurs came close to getting an equaliser with 15 minutes remaining, when Kane was brought down on the edge of the area and from the resulting free-kick, Lamela clipped it over the wall and it looked to be heading inside the left hand post of Begovicís goal until the keeper stretched to make a fingertip save and push the ball around the post. However, a couple of minutes later, Rose got away on the left and to the dead ball lien, where he lifted a cross to the far post. For once, Tottenham had someone there and Chadli crashed home a volley from a narrow angle, beating Begovic at his near post. It was a very well taken goal, but coming in the 78th minute, was it going to be in vain for Spurs.

A free-kick was played in by Lamela and Shawcross once more headed away, but only to the edge of the box.  Mason brought the ball down on his chest, just left of centre and struck a volley, but too high.  Then, from a throw-in on the left inside the Stoke half, Spurs threw it backwards, it moved over to the right hand side, where the move was intercepted and a ball down the left wing set Moses away.  There was 40 yards between him and goal, but not a lot else, so Kyle Naughton chased him and brought him down cynically about 35 yards out.  It was always going to be a red card, even though other players were in the middle, as Moses had been closer to goal earlier and fired a blazing shot that flew across the goal and didn't miss by too much at Lloris' far post.  If he had run away, it could well have ended in a third goal for Stoke.

Spurs do seem to have trouble keeping eleven men on the pitch these days and this is symptomatic of the way the team are playing, leaving themselves open, which may partly have been due to Poch's decision to take Capoue off and bring on Adebayor.  This exposed the back four in chasing an equaliser and while it gives us more attacking threat, Adebayor's determination only brought him one chance, which came late on from Chadli's cross and he headed wide under pressure. 

Before that Fazio had headed a cross out to the edge of the box, where substitute Ireland fired it back at goal and Lloris had to be at his best to push the ball out for a corner.  From that, the ball was caught in a scramble in front of the Spurs goal about six yards out, before someone lashed it clear.   But when Kane was felled on the edge of the D of the Stoke area, it looked as thought here might be some late salvation for Spurs, with Kane himself getting up to line up the free-kick.  But unlike last week, when he tried to dip it over the wall, he kept it low, thinking the wall would jump to stop his attempt, but it hit the legs of  a Stoke man and came to nothing.

After that there was Ade's header and then the final whistle, which wasn't greeted with a barrage of boos, as many had left long before that and the PA blasted out a heavy rock song to drown out any dissent, not having thought of that at half-time.

It was a poor display against a poor side.  Stoke's passing at times was more woeful than Tottenham's.  It was the fact that when they went forward they looked like scoring, while the opposite was true for us.   These were supposed to be the games that we were going to pout a run of results together to keep us pressing at the top of the table, but we now linger in mid-table, which is all we deserve at the moment.

Louis van Gaal has said it will take him three years to re-build United and they were in a better situation than Spurs, but that is easy to say when you are picking up points and have a reputation of winning things in the game.  For Poch, only results will do his talking.

In footballing terms, this was a Remembrance Day I would wish to forget.

Steve Kirkwood




Stoke City were named after a group of players who got together from their jobs in the Potteries and it was their job to stoke the fires in the kilns in the city.

It is a little known fact that Stoke City have always had a ground on a bus route through the City taken by the number 1 bus.


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What you thought
Stan Chun I'm not happy with the way Spurs are playing at the moment, but where do those who boo at half-time and call for Pochettino to be sacked get off ?

Just because we once got into the Champions League doesn't give us that right every season and we have for many years lacked the consistency to maintain a serious challenge for the title.  So, what does that leave ?  Trying to qualify for the Europa League and pick up one of the cups.

It might not be palatable to realise that, but until the team come together under a manager who can galvanise them into a winning unit, that is where we are.

Great sack the manager ... and then what ?  Bring in one of the sacked managers who are floating around waiting for a job, as that will be the only option.  Pep Guardiola and Ancelotti are not going to turn in their P45s to come to White Hart Lane.

Sometimes, you just have to accept we are not very good.  Not something we want, but something we might have to go through.

- -.



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




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 11 9 2 0 28 11 29 +17
2 Southampton 11 8 1 2 23 5 25 +18
3 Manchester City 11 6 3 2 22 12 21 +10
4 West Ham United 11 5 3 3 19 14 18 +5
5 Swansea City 11 5 3 3 15 12 18 +4
6 Arsenal 11 4 5 2 19 13 17 +6
7 Manchester United 11 4 4 3 17 14 16 +3
8 Newcastle United 11 4 4 3 13 15 16 -2
9 Stoke City 11 4 3 4 12 13 15 -1
10 Everton 11 3 5 3 20 18 14 +2
11 Liverpool 11 4 2 5 14 15 14 -1
12 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 11 4 2 5 14 16 14 -2
13 West Bromwich Albion 11 3 4 4 13 15 13 -2
14 Sunderland 11 2 6 3 12 19 12 -7
15 Hull City 11 2 5 4 13 16 11 -3
16 Aston Villa 11 3 2 6 5 16 11 -11
17 Leicester City 11 2 3 6 11 18 9 -5
18 Crystal Palace 11 2 3 6 14 20 9 -6
19 QPR 11 2 2 7 11 22 8 -11
20 Burnley 11 1 4 6 6 19 7 -13


Position before match :  9th
Position after match : 
Position after the weekend :


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


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