|DATE||Saturday 16th May 2015|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
The last home game of the season and with Hull City threatened by
relegation, you can bet they will come roaring out at Spurs, who
have little to play for other than a Europa League place, which they
seem to have been doing their best to avoid over the last few weeks.
Tottenham have been poor lately and have a history of being generous
to teams who they could send down, so the result is not a foregone
conclusion. I am reluctant to say the Hull haven't beaten us
for six and a half years, so I am crossing everything that they
don't start now.
The need for points is becoming ever more desperate for The Tigers, with ex-Spur Michael Dawson at the heart of their defence and another former Tottenham player in Tom Huddlestone likely to start in midfield. He will not be partnered by his ex-Spurs team-mate Jake Livermore, who has been found positive for the use of cocaine.
The defeat by already relegated Burnley last week was a body blow, as the Tigers had picked up a few pints of late, but too many dropped points have left them in this dire position.
Defensively, they have conceded too many cheap goals and they have not had a 20 goal a season player at the other end of the pitch. Now that injuries are hitting the side, the depth of the squad has been exposed and while they have experience, they come with heavy legs. McShane in the middle and Elmohamady at left back are not the youthful players they once were, so coupled with some players who are tested at Premier League level in midfield, that leaves Steve Harper or Allan McGregor in goal exposed.
Added to the fact that some of their big money buys - Gaston Ramirez, Nikica Jelavic and Abel Hernandez - have not done the business this season, it has left the Yorkshire side bumbling around the power reaches for much of the season. Steve Bruce has had to cope with off-field matters interfering, like the desire of the owner to change the club's name and then threatening to leave, but the input from Allam might prove to be must disruptive because he has not added suitable players to the squad.
With Spurs stumbling towards
the end of the season, there is little to feel too positive about
now, whereas a few weeks back, it all looked reasonably rosy.
Maybe Tottenham's new kit will help them have a change of fortune.
They need to finish the season with a bit of a flourish and should
have enough to beat Hull, if they put the effort in and keep it
tight at the back, as Hull have had trouble scoring goals and
have injury problems in most positions except goalkeeper.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Hull City 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs welcome back Danny Rose from a hamstring pull, while Emmanuel Adebayor (illness), Kyle Walker (foot) and Ben Davies (shoulder) will all miss out.
HULL CITY TEAM NEWS :
The Tigers will be missing Jake Livermore (suspended due to positive test for cocaine), Gaston Ramirez (hamstring), Robert Snodgrass (knee), Curtis Davies (hip) and Mo Diame (knee)
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Hull City 0 (0)
Saturday 16th May 2015 Kick off 15:00
White Hart Lane
Chadli 53m 14s
Rose 60m 34s
Mason (foul on N'Doye) 42
Bentaleb (foul on Brady) 57
Rose (foul on Elmohamady) 59
Meyler (retaliation - raising hands to Rose) 90+2
|Crowd : 35,857||Weather : Very warm, sunny|
|Referee : Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. G. Beswick; Mr. D. Bryan|
|Fourth Official : Graham Scott||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 6 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Hull City :||kit|
Hugo LLORIS (c)
18 Harry KANE ( 9 Roberto SOLDADO 90)
5 James CHESTER
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Steve Bruce|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : 12Bet|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Umbro|
With relegation haunting Hull City, you might have thought that there would be a bit more fire burning brightly in their Tiger bellies, but this insipid display might just be there penultimate taste of Premier League football for a while, as Spurs, who were not any great shakes today, produced two moments of quality to take the three points 2-0 at White Hart Lane.
The previous day's news of Jake Livermore testing positive for cocaine was shocking news and perhaps, if true, shows the pressures on players, who are either being relied upon in struggling sides or someone who is a long way from home, with little to do outside of the routine of training and playing. It left just Michael Dawson to captain the visitors on his return to the Lane and Tom Huddlestone, who was back again with the Tigers. There were absences in the Hull side through injury, but the players all had Premier League experience, although that status was on the line with just this and one more game to go.
Steve Bruce's sides are usually created in his image, with a rugged edge to them, so, with McShane, Dawson, Meyler, Quinn and Brady included, Spurs should have been expecting a tough match ahead. In our side, Danny Rose returned in place of the suspended Chiriches, sporting an odd hair-do, with the sun shining on his red hair. Many people took umbrage to that, but his performance was to win over such fickle fans.
The sun beat down as Spurs kicked off and the game got underway. The first half saw Tottenham stroll through the 45 minutes, with some sloppy passing allowing Hull chances, but they also had openings, but none were really clear-cut. With Hull's need being the greater, they pressed early on, with N'Doye having a shooting chance, but his effort was blocked by Fazio. Then chances came for Tottenham, although there was little evidence of the sharp passing and pressing game that had typified the earlier season style. Kane put a low ball in from the right wing and Dawson hacked it away, with Fazio nodding over Mason's cross from the corner which was worked short.
Referee Taylor continued where he left off in the League Cup Final, with a bizarre display of officiating. Spurs ended up with three bookings - all correct - but Hull were guilty of performing similar challenges without the punishment being the same and then, in the second half, Taylor managed to get in the way of a pass that would have found Rose in space on the left. When the Hull players scuffed out the foam spray to mark the 10 yards, he just warned them and re-marked the line. Another performance lacking consistency and authority.
When Chadli was hacked down, Taylor did play on, to allow Lamela to have a shot that was deflected wide, but failed to go back and book the perpetrator. When Erik played the corner in to the near post, Eric got on the end of it, but was too far ahead of the near post to hit the target. Hull made their presence felt with a couple of attacks in retaliation, with Jelavic heading over on the stretch, followed by the same player meeting Elmohamady's cross from the right at the far post to smash a shot against the top of the post. However, it wouldn't have counted, as the linesman had raised his flag.
Spurs went forward and Dier played in a fine low cross, which neither Harry Kane nor Christian Eriksen could reach and Kane was just out of range when the defender swung another ball across goal. When the ball was played forward by Hull, Quinn beat Fazio in the air, despite the mis-match in height, then Lloris slipped as he came out to claim the ball and it looked like Jelavic would have a simple task to score, but the reliable Eric Dier was there to sweep up the ball and avert any danger.
With the game changing
quickly from end to end, the goal chances started to come as the
half progressed. Eriksen moved past Chester and played the ball wide
to Kane on the left, who put in an early low ball across the face of
goal, which Chadli should have thrown himself at, but it ran wide.
When Hull got forward, they came close when Elmohamady put a cross
to the far post and Jelavic met it with a scissors kick and it flew
over the top. It was better from the Hull wing-back, who had
previously hit two crosses straight off the pitch. Conversely, Spurs
were finding crosses directly into the box, but most did not find a
The Spurs fans who stayed beyond the final whistle gave Michael Dawson a great ovation and he looked moved to tears with that and his current predicament. For Spurs there was joy in securing a last home victory and then Harry Kane ran away with the voting for both Members' Player of the Year trophies ahead of the lap of thanks by the players, which saw them leave Hugo going out on his own while the rest of the squad stayed in the tunnel !!
The first team squad lapped the pitch to the applause of the remaining loyal fans and it was interesting to see the body language of some of the players and the alliances others have made (Walker and Yedlin look like great mates). It was also revealing in who was not there. Ben Davies was missing presumably because of his injury, but Adebayor must have been too ill to walk a couple of hundred yards, while notable absentees were Kaboul, Chiriches and Capoue, who either were not invited or couldn't be bothered to trot out to say goodbye.
So, a long season has just one match to go. Win it and we have the potential of finishing fifth, lose it and we could be seventh and still get a Europa League place. We have had a decent enough season, while not threatening the top four that seriously, with a Cup Final thrown in ... all in the manager's and a lot of the players' first full season. Perhaps the future looks reasonable despite the doom and gloom of some of the supporters.
Hull City were once the
club from the biggest City in England never to play in the top
division. Now they are the club with the most tenuous grip on
their name in the top division thanks to their owner.
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|West Ham United||1||Everton||2||Saturday|
|Swansea City||2||Manchester City||4||Sunday|
|West Bromwich Albion||3||Chelsea||0||Monday|
|11||West Ham United||37||12||11||14||44||45||47||-1|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||37||11||11||15||37||47||44||-10|
Position before match :
Position after match : 6th
Position after the weekend : 6th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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