COMPETITION Premier League
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.
Spurs welcome back Danny Rose from a hamstring pull, while Emmanuel Adebayor (illness), Kyle Walker (foot) and Ben Davies (shoulder) will all miss out.
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)

Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.20
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:30 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 10.30 (repeated at 21.00)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.

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Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
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If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 15.00 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
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South Africa 
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)                                                                    Hull City  0 (0)
Premier League
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
  1  Hugo LLORIS (c)

15  Eric DIER
21  Federico FAZIO
  3  Danny ROSE      

42  Nabil BENTALEB     
38  Ryan MASON       (25  Benjamin STAMBOULI  79)

11  Erik LAMELA
23  Christian ERIKSEN  (19  Mousa DEMBELE  58)
22  Nacer CHADLI 

18  Harry KANE  (  9  Roberto SOLDADO  90)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM
17  Andros TOWNSEND

  22  Steve HARPER

  5  James CHESTER
21  Michael DAWSON (c)
15  Paul McSHANE

  Robbie BRADY
  7  David MEYLER     
29  Stephen QUINN

  Nikica JELAVIC  (  9  Abel HERNANDEZ  62)
  Dame N'DOYE

Unused subs: 
  1  Allan McGREGOR
  2  Liam ROSENIOR
  4  Alex BRUCE
20  Yannick SAGBO
24  Sone ALUKO

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Steve Bruce
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  12Bet
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Umbro
Match report

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 Spurs head.

With neither side forcing the keeper to a save, it was a first half with chances but not one with much pace or passion, which was surprising with both teams having things to play for. The closest either team came to a goal as when Mason tricked his way past Quinn on the dead ball line and pulled the ball back for Lamela, who squeezed his shot just wide under pressure from a defender.

Half time saw Paul Coyte bring out Brad Friedel for a farewell interview ahead of his retirement. Brad has been a fine professional for Spurs and throughout his career and his record of 310 consecutive Premier League appearance sis unlikely ever to be beaten. The way that he conducts himself means he will have a good career in punditry in the States and in his role as an ambassador for Spurs in America.

At the start of the second half, Tottenham almost conceded their customary early goal, as a corner found Paul McShane to have a free header at goal, but he flashed it too high. A couple more corners followed, with the best chance coming from them being when Dawson won the ball and a scramble ensued with a goal kick the eventual outcome.

When you are down the bottom, things go against you and the first shot on target in the match saw Hull go 0-1 down. It was a neat move from Spurs and it was really out of keeping with what had gone before. Kane won the ball on halfway, nut-megging Tom Huddlestone before the ball went to Lamela. He made a bee-line forward and as he moved left, he played a reverse ball into the box for Chadli to come across from the left to take the ball right around Dawson and past Harper to slide the ball past McShane as he desperately tried to block it.

Straight from the restart Tottenham won possession and won a couple of corners, then Dier played a good through ball for Kane to break into the box, but he hurried his shot across the keeper and although he had to dive to save, the effort lacked power.

At the back, Fazio had a shaky first half, but in the second, his aerial domination showed that he can be an asset in a side that generally lacks height. His work at the back helped Spurs get the second goal, with a defensive header, which went up in the air and Lloris claimed above his head. From it, Spurs worked the ball forward and substitute Mousa Dembele looked to play the ball left, but Taylor got in the way and luckily, Mousa got the ball back.   It found it's way to Ryan Mason, who took it across the box from right to left and from there, he dug out a wedge of a pass into the penalty area, where Danny Rose had made his run to meet it with the outside of his right foot on the volley. I am not sure he made the contact he wanted, but the ball skewed off his foot and into the top left hand corner of Harper's net leaving him helpless to try and save it.

Much as Lamela's pass made the goal for Chadli, Mason's assist was the same for Rose, so it took two good passes and it was 2-0.

With the score as it was, Hull had to press forward and McShane glanced another header wide from Brady's cross and when a move created a good shooting chance for substitute Abel Hernandez , which Eric Dier produced an excellent block on the edge of the six yard box and then got in the way of the follow-up. Lloris got behind the defender and the ball went up in the air, with Hernandez trying an overhead kick, which Fazio headed off the goal-line. The ball came out to N'Doye, who swivelled to shoot, but put it wide of the far post.  Shortly after, Hull made a substitution with the Spurs contingent chanting "Oh, Tommy Tommy".  It is a shame to see him so out of touch when you knew what he was capable of when in a white shirt.

The change with Robertson coming on at full back and Brady pushing further forward allowed Hull to have a go, but they were foiled by their own bad finishing and Hugo Lloris.  Dawson headed a corner back into the danger area at the far post and N'Doye put his header too high, then Quinn's low shot was capably handled by Hugo before N'Doye was in a good position, but his powerful shot had no direction and rose into the Park Lane end.  While the Tigers kept plugging away, their crosses into the box were being collected by the Spurs captain and after the second goal, the Hull heads dropped and the only side that looked like scoring was Spurs. 

Kane hasn't been hitting the net of late, but almost got in on goal, but he again had to take his shot early, as he was being closed down, making Harper's save simple.  In the process, Dawson caught him and he required treatment before he could continue.  Spurs kept possession as the game went on and Hull looked as though they had lost the heart to chase the game, so the final whistle went and only a comeback from QPR at home to Newcastle gave the visitors at the Lane any hope.  But to do that, they must beat Man United on the last day of the season. 

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.

Paddy Kingston




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.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Leicester City 0 Sunderland 0 Saturday
Liverpool 1 Crystal Palace 3 Saturday
QPR 2 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
Southampton 6 Aston Villa 1 Saturday
Burnley 0 Stoke City 0 Saturday
West Ham United 1 Everton 2 Saturday
Swansea City 2 Manchester City 4 Sunday
Manchester United 1 Arsenal 1 Sunday
West Bromwich Albion 3 Chelsea 0 Monday
Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0 Wednesday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 37 25 9 3 70 31 84 +39
2 Manchester City 37 23 7 7 81 38 76 +43
3 Arsenal 37 21 9 7 67 35 72 +32
4 Manchester United 37 20 9 8 62 37 69 +25
5 Liverpool 37 18 8 11 51 42 62 +9
6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 37 18 7 12 57 53 61 +4
7 Southampton 37 18 6 13 54 31 60 +23
8 Swansea City 37 16 8 13 46 48 56 -2
9 Stoke City 37 14 9 14 42 44 51 -2
10 Everton 37 12 11 14 48 49 47 -1
11 West Ham United 37 12 11 14 44 45 47 -1
12 Crystal Palace 37 12 9 16 46 51 45 -5
13 West Bromwich Albion 37 11 11 15 37 47 44 -10
14 Leicester City 37 10 8 19 41 54 38 -13
15 Aston Villa 37 10 8 19 31 56 38 -25
16 Sunderland 37 7 17 13 30 50 38 -20
17 Newcastle United 37 9 9 19 38 63 36 -25
18 Hull City 37 8 10 19 33 51 34 -18
19 Burnley 37 6 12 19 27 53 30 -26
20 QPR 37 8 6 23 41 68 30 -27


Position before match :  6th
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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