Villa v Spurs Preview. And I Love You All

Same again. Steady as she goes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Blimey this blogging lark is too easy.

I’ve spent this week glowing mostly. I like to think that my fellow human beings have been enriched by the experience as I spread warmth and happiness amongst them. If only they had let me have a crack at those nuclear negotiations Iran or that climate change stuff, the world would have been a better place.

I’ve not really had the inclination to write. Happy happy joy joy. Hello clouds, hello sky. Everything in the world is lovely and it would spoil it if I picked up the laptop. It is such a wonderful feeling, I just want to extract every ounce of pleasure and delight, savour every last moment. Sunday was a great day: I left the ground grinning like an idiot and am grinning still.

Maybe we Spurs fans only get worked up about the bad stuff. In my job I tend to come across many problems – the good stuff goes on but the few complaints and wrongs end up on my desk. I encourage colleagues to take a positive approach, to dwell on strengths and success rather than be problem-oriented, but here’s me feeling a little odd. All is well and nothing to say.

In the end, this feeling is unusual because this is a very special week. When you witness a piece of history, it’s hard to put it into context, but nine goals, eight in one half, one player scores five, almost the biggest ever margin of victory – this club has been going for over 125 years, I’ve been part of 40 or so of them, and this is history right here right now.

On Saturday I would not make any changes but Harry may be tempted because of course Villa will present a totally different challenge. Martin O’Neill will have looked at Sunday’s game with the gimlet eye of a true predator. Not for him the beauteous wonder of Kranjcar’s touch: he has eyes only for the gaps left behind as Niko trundles unwillingly back to defend. Milner is the ideal man to both protect the Villa defence and then dash forward into the space. Defence-splitting through-balls will not be admired either, as O’Neill will instruct his back four to hold back and stay close to cut down the space behind and in between them.

O’Neill is one of my favourite managers. If consistently getting the best out of players is the key to being a fine manager, then he qualifies every time. Normally I’m sceptical about the bosses who cavort hysterically on the touchline but his appears to be genuine enthusiasm and involvement. And behind sits John Robertson, a dour faced perfect foil apparently thinking only about when he can pop out for a quick drag. The straight man for the star but without each other, neither would be so famous.

Rumour has it that O’Neill had dinner with Levy when we had a vacancy but it did not come of anything. The Irishman asked for a big salary, maybe £2m, and would not accept a director of football. Levy should have shaken hands on that one. I hope O’Neill does the World Cup again for the BBC. He’s fantastic because he’s happy to talk about football but can’t stand all the hype and dumb questions – and he’s not afraid of showing that on screen. I bet Lineker and Chiles are really scared of him.

Back to Saturday. Harry might be tempted to replace Crouch with Keane to work on Villa’s back four but I’d keep it the same, telling Crouch to come off his markers into the space in front of them, thus shifting the centre halves from their defensive line. His height will be valuable in defending set pieces: Villa have scored a high proportion of their goals in this fashion.

Whatever plan Villa concoct to stifle Lennon, it either won’t work because he is just so hot right now, or it will commit so many players as to leave space elsewhere. We must be ready to slot Defoe and maybe Hud into channels on the right, and/or shift the ball quickly across field. There will be gaps if we do it right.

Bassong is fit, I’m not sure about Ledley. Dawson has done well but may step down if more pace in the box is required.

I’d also keep attacking, not recklessly and with the safety net of Wilson permanently stationed in front of our back four, but to maintain pressure on Villa and score one more than them.

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11 thoughts on “Villa v Spurs Preview. And I Love You All

  1. Really looking forward to this one.

    If the midfield put the same effort in as last week, I see only one winner, us. As you mentioned, set pieces could be a problem for us, but if King, Woodgate and Crouch are back to defend them, we should be able to deal with them. I’m also concerned about being exposed down our flanks. Corluka, although seemingly snail-like, used his positional sense extremely well in the corresponding fixture last year (after Zokora was torn a new one), but both teams have excellent wingers and this is where the game will be won or lost for either side.

    Tomorrow evening can’t come quick enough.

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    • Thanks for commenting, TMWNN. Agree about the wingers. Villa’s wide players may track back better but ours are better where it hurts, around their box. Corluka’s performance as a sub was a masterclass in the art of full back’s defending.

      I forgot to mention Gomes – he’ll be key too as those corners and free kicks come in.

      Regards,

      Al

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  2. Hi Alan I was there also for the game vs Wigan,all the media were saying after the game and one cocky woolwhich wanderer in perticular saying how they made us look good,we made them make the mistakes by closing them down and tracking back where need be,Palacios and Hudds ran the show from the middle of the park,and Lennon was awsome,Kranjcar was world class and Defoe was from another world absolutley breath taking,that was the first time this season since Luka got injured that we had shown a real balance to the team,so as you say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,more of the same tomorrow and who knows where we could end up come may,Coys

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  3. Managers and coaches will always find something wrong even when it is a great win. Managers should never let a team get complacent. This will kill a team. There is always next week. With next week brings a whole new set of problems. I would love to see another Spurs kick butt win.
    Here in America ESPN announcers suck big time. They are idiots who don’t know diddly squat about the game. I wish we had the BBC announcers.

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  4. Great post Alan!

    If Lennon and Kranjcar can keep the creativity rolling, then we could possibly take 3 points out of this match. It will be tough as Villa are solid at home, but we are a goal-scoring team which will take tons of chances.

    COYS!!!!

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