SPYIN' KOP, Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur, Wed 20/01/09, KO 8pm

Posted by gnaume on January 18, 2010, 11:36:20 PM

Here you go, Had it done before last week but decided to put it up later after the game was postponed. Only thing, some of the info and questions are out of date and I couldn’t be arsed to change them. Hope you enjoy, anyway

Many thanks to the fellers at www.thfctalk.com and their Webmaster, Neil, for their co-operation!


Wednesday, 20 January 2010
KO: 8pm

If, at the start of the season, someone had told you that before Sunday’s game between the Reds and Tottenham, one of the teams would be in 4th place, the other one in 7th with a four points deficit to the former, you probably would have argued that in Januaray surely Spurs would have more than just four points less than the Mighty Reds or that we certainly wouldn’t be 4th, but battling it out at the very top.
As it is, it’s us sitting on 7th spot and looking up the table to Spurs who have had one of the best first halfs of a season in the club’s recent history. The problem for ’arry and his lads is that half a season of decent football and results doesn’t win you anything.
Now’s their time to show what they’re made of, to prove that they really are capable of playing for a top four finish. They’ll be playing three of their next four league games at home (plus their FA Cup tie with Leeds) with Villa, Fulham and Hull coming to White Hart Lane and the Yids themselves having to travel to St. Andrews. So that makes three games against other teams also aiming for the top 4, an awkward away day in Birmingham and.... well, Hull at home. Seems like it’s make or brake time for Spurs.


Football League Winners[color]

1950- 51, 1960- 61
FA Cup Winners[color]
1901, 1921, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1981, 1982, 1991
League Cup Winners[color]
1971, 1973, 1999, 2008
UEFA Cup Winers[color]
1972, 1984]


Spurs 2-0 West Ham, 28/12/09[color]

Corluka, Dawson, King, Assou Ekotto
Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric
Defoe, Crouch

Spurs 0-0 Fulham, 26/12/09[color]

Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou Ekotto
Lennon, Jenas, Palacios, Kranjcar
Crouch, Keane

Blackburn 0-2 Spurs, 19/12/09[color]

Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou Ekotto
Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Kranjcar
Defoe, Crouch

Q & A

First of all, many thanks that you spare the time to take part in this, it's always a pleasure finding lads all over the land willing to share their thoughts with rival fans. Let's not get into the small talk bit and fire away, ye?

1) Would you please be so kind and tell us a bit about yourself: Who are you? How old? Where do you live? Are you a lifelong die- hard Season Ticket holder who goes the match week in, week out, home and away? Going a lot but leaving out games against lesser teams? Living abroad and following your team on the telly? Or are you rather of the type Jester Hat wearing, picture taking knob?

IRISHSPUR: The names Tim Clarke(username irishspur), im 19 years young and i live in the west of ireland. Cant say im a season ticket holder but try to get over every now and again, funds permitting. So mostly following the mighty spurs on the telly. Ive been supporting them since i was twelve years old and am one of only two spurs fans in a town of around 1000!

ANTILOKHOS: I'm a 27 year old American. As such I can't really claim to be a life long fan. I was born in Germany, hence the love of the game. Became a Spurs fan 6-7 years ago. Haven't been able to make it to a game yet, thinking of 2011, would go this year but I've got World Cup tickets instead. Games aren't on TV much over here, if I'm lucky I can find a feed online, but I'm a geologist so often work takes me to rather remote locations so at times the best I can do is read about Spurs.

2) Alright, let's talk football. How has the season been shaping up for you so far? Did you expect to still be very much in the race for a Champions League spot come mid- January?

IRISHSPUR: Overall the seasons been excellent so far, kicking off of course with a certain 2-1 win. :P The main dissapointment has been a few shocking home results against wolves and stoke( both 1-0 defeats) and lying down and dying against chelsea, united and the gooners. However the 9-1 win against wigan was a particular highlight and we certainly have been finding the net with ease with defoe top scorer in the league and the likes of kranjcar and lennon chipping in with loads of goals and assists.

ANTILOKHOS: I expected Spurs to be right around 4th place this year. We started out stronger than expected but I don't think 4th is an unreasonable expectation with a bit of luck. Although I thought we'd be duking it out with Arsenal more so than Liverpool. I guess that could still happen with van Persie out. One more injury and they'll be in a tough place.

GINO GINELLI: No, I was cautiously pessimistic at the start of the season regarding our European qulaification credentials this season. Suffice to say I have been proved pleastantly wrong, although I feel that we've been lent a helping hand by the results of the teams around us, most notably yourselves :P

3) What are your expectations for the remainder of the season? Going to 'knock us off our [Champions League qualifying] perch', as some red nosed gentleman once infamously proposed? End up in mid-table mediocrity? Going ALL the way???

IRISHSPUR: Provided harry brings in a striker and cover for central midfield i think we have the squad to gatecrash the top four, obviously id rather at arsenals expense but if its pool we'll take that! The main worry on here is of liverpool getting a run going and using their greater experience to pip us for fourth as arsenal did to aston villa last year.

ANTILOKHOS: I think Chelsea and Man U will separate themselves from the pack, Arsenal will slide back some, Villa will fade down the stretch and Man City (due to another round of purchases), Spurs, Liverpool, and Arsenal will fight it out for the last two CL places. With Arsenal to hold on to 3rd, Tottenham 4th, Liverpool 5th and Man City 6th. But all 4 teams should be close. I don't really rate Mancini as the man to really take Man City to where the money wants to take them, and I think Liverpool is too reliant on Gerrard and Torres. A bad run of form by either of them kills it.

GINO GINELLI: To be honest, if we'd not ballsed up against the likes of Bolton, Everton, Stoke and Wolves we'd probably be 1st! If we can iron out the stupid mistakes that led to those results, and teams like yourselves, Man City, Villa, Manure and Chelsea continue to wobble I can see us most certainly attaining Champions League football for next season!

4) Which individual player(s) have stood out positively so far this season?

IRISHSPUR: Thats a tough one mate but id have to say defoe on account of his goal scoring this season, hes been absolutely lethal and should push rooney, drogba and torres( if he stays fit) all the way for the golden boot this season. Honourable mentions to lennon, who has been tearing up leftbacks from day one, and niko krancjar, who we signed this time last year for 1.5 million. Hes got 6 goals now and his allround play is unbelievable. Had modric managed to stay fit he would have featured as he is probably the most gifted player we have at the club.

ANTILOKHOS: I assume you are referring to Spurs. Lennon has performed very well this year, but that's not a surprise. I knew Kranjcar was good, but I didn't know he was as good as he's been these last few weeks. Jermain Defoe has also improved a lot this season. He could always score, but he's become a more complete player this year, his overall quality of play is way up.

GINO GINELLI: If you are referring to a Spurs player, then I would be going for Krancjar. The loss of Modric was a sever blow to us, and Harry tried to mess around with tactics to compensate. All we really needed was Niko Krancjar slotting straight into that LM playmaker position. He reminds me of a slight version of David Ginola at times!

5) And who has been doing rather the opposite?

IRISHSPUR: Theres been a few of those im afraid, Keano and David bentley spring to mind. Keane has looked off the pace since he returned from anfield and we are trying to exchange him for carew as we speak. Bentley hasent had a lot of opportunities but when he has played his head hasent been in it and there are serious issues about his work rate and commitment, hopefully we can get half of what we paid for him but i doubt it.

ANTILOKHOS: Keane has been disappointing. I love him, he's had a rough past year so it's understandable. But at some point he needs to produce again. I've not noticed his physical skills deteriorate. I think it's a mental thing, he should come good. I also find Huddlestone disappointing but I seem to be in the minority here.

GINO GINELLI: Robbie Keane has been a big let down this season so far. He started well against yourselves, Hull and Burnley, but since then he's dropped right off.

6) How do you rate your chances changing this in the January Transfer Window?

IRISHSPUR: Well we have been linked with a few players already this window, most of it hot air methinks. It looks like keane and pavlyuchenko could both leave in this window with the likes of pazzini from sampdoria and carew obviously have been mentioned. Crouch has been a bit of a dissapointment for me, sure hes effective but we tend to rely overly on long balls when he plays and he slows the fast tempo which we play right down. More of an impact sub for me. Either of the abovementioned strikers could partner defoe for me. Also we are looking for cover in central midfield as we only have jenas, palacios, and huddlestone there. Veloso and Sandro( a promising brazil u-21 international) have been linked. The only other piece of business on the cards in in goal. Dunno if you heard about carlo cudicinis motercycle accident, which may cause him to retire. Either scott loach or joe lewis will probably come in as backup to gomes. Both excellent young keepers.

ANTILOKHOS: I don't really see us making a big change. I think it will depend on the Portsmouth situation. If we get O'Hara back and keep him, the team can afford to stand pat. I'd rather see him out playing regularly because he has a future in midfield in the Premiership, he needs games to develop though. I expect to see Pavlyuchenko sold. That's been Harry's biggest mistake. Pav is a quality striker but he's not been given a chance. Wherever he goes, he'll score goals. Harry claims to not want another striker, but I think we need 4. With three you are really just one injury away from disaster.
As previously mentioned, a Brazilian U21 midfielder named Sandro is rumored to be on his way to White Hart Lane, but nobody seems to know anything about him and this rumor has been around for about a year now. I wouldn't be surprised to see Harry find a midfielder of some sort this month though. Need somebody to spell Palacios. I'd also like another Croatian, we've not had a bad one yet!

GINO GINELLI: I really don't think we'll be making any great changes, if any, this month. Rumours abound that a young brazilian DM named Sandro may be coming in so that we have 4 decent players in centre mid. Other than that I hope we can just rid ourselves of Bentley and Hutton in the meantime.

7) Can we please have Robbie Keane back?

IRISHSPUR: Offer us anything in the region of ten million and we'll bite your hand off! The forum hasent totally given up on keane but there are better options in my opinion.

ANTILOKHOS: Give us another 20 million and he's yours. I like Keane, but I'd be willing to sell him for the right price. Only untouchables on the squad for me are Modric and Lennon. Benoît Assou-Ekotto is very close to being on that list as well.

GINO GINELLI: As much as he dissapoints me, it was your manager whose messed it up for him if you ask me. So no, you had your chance.

8 ) Moving on to the game on sunday. Which of our players do you fear the most? Surely it's not Stevando Torrard, is it?

IRISHSPUR: Inevitably torres and gerrard will attract most of the attention but benayoun is a quality player and kuyt could give our deputy left back gareth bale problems. If Mascherano and lucas win the midfield battle they could cut of the supply line to the likes of defoe and make things very difficult. Im am confident of us causing the liverpool defence problems with the pace of defoe.

ANTILOKHOS: It's Yossi Benayoun for me. He can add another dimension to your side. Obviously Gerrard and Torres will be the best players on the pitch, and yes, they can win the game by themselves. But if Benayoun is clicking, he adds an extra dimension to the side. You can prepare for "Torrard" and attempt to minimize it. Benayoun is the wild card.

GINO GINELLI: Torres worries me if it's Bassong with Dawson, as between them they will struggle to keep up with his movement. If King plays then Torres will find it hard to get space. Stevie G worries me the most, Palacios is going to have to stick to him like glue.

9) Which songs and chants can we expect to be hearing (apart from the usual "sign on" shite) from the away end on sunday?

IRISHSPUR: Our away support has been phenomenal this season, travelling in vast numbers and outsinging the home fans on many occasions. ''Come on you spurs'' and '' we are totnam, we are totnam, super totnam, from the lane'' are particular favourites. Also you can expect to hear 'when the spurs go marching in' and various delirious chants proclaiming the fact that defoe is a 'yiddo'.

ANTILOKHOS: Can't really help here, sorry.

GINO GINELLI: The usual "Yid Army", "Glory Glory" stuff I suppose. Not been to an away game in yonks so dunno what we sing away I'm afraid.

10) What do you expect from your team and what do you think the score will be?

IRISHSPUR: Im pretty confident that we can take a draw or better on sunday although the loss of lennon is a major blow. Ill go for 2-2.

ANTILOKHOS: I expect Harry will come out defensively and we'll be overrun early. If Gomes keeps us in the game early, and he can, and Harry let's the boys play. I see a win or a draw being possible. I expect a loss. I find it unlikely we sweep Liverpool this season and Harry seems to come out tactically wrong against the big sides.

GINO GINELLI: I "want" us to play fast, one/two touch football on the deck with Huddlestone looking to feed Krancjar and Modric on the flanks, linking up through the middle with Crouchy and JD, like we did against West Ham. I also want Palacios to contain Gerrard and I want King to mark Torres out of the game. I want Bale to keep his head and stand up to Kuyt, and I want us to win.

I "expect" Palacios to get at least a yellow for chopping Gerrard down, King having to race over to the right flank after Bale got brushed aside by Kuyt, leaving Torres in acres, and I expect Hudd to launch 60 yard conversions to our 6'7'' target man to lose in the air.

I also expect Lucas to score an own goal. Cause he's shite :P

11) Many thanks for helping out. Finally, you get the chance to choose your closing words yourselves. Go 'ead, tell us what you’ve always wanted to...

IRISHSPUR: No problem mate. COME ON YOU SPURS...

ANTILOKHOS: I've got no bad blood towards Liverpool. Beat anybody pushing on for 4th place except Tottenham please. When you make your post on your forums, I'd appreciate a link here so we can check it out.

GINO GINELLI: You ruined Paul Stewart.

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