Tag Archives: Tottenham Hotspurs

Dempsey, Friedel Among Best Americans To Play in Barclays English Premier League

Dempsey, Friedel among best Americans to play in Barclays Premier League – Premier League News | FOX Sports on MSN.

Where else is there to start but with Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel? Both men made history this weekend as Tottenham broke a long-time duck and won at Old Trafford for the first time in 23 years. It’s a huge achievement for the club, a vindication of Andre Villas-Boas and most of all, great to have two of the best American players of all time involved.

Make no mistake: this is a massive moment for America. Brad had a superb game and the fact is, when we look back on the best of the Premier League, his name has to be involved. For me, he’s right up there with the greats – van der Saar, Seaman, Schmeichel – and this is another feather in his cap.

Clint is the best outfield player America has produced and sent to this league. When you consider that the list contains men like Claudio Reyna, Joe-Max Moore, Landon Donovan and my colleague Brian McBride, that really is saying something. His 51st goal did what Gary Lineker did for Spurs in 1989 and it will be remembered for just as long.

You could tell what that goal meant to the club: Villas-Boas’ celebration was genuine, and coming away from this Spurs will be full of belief. Also, United come away with a big, big dent. They have huge problems and how they address them could define their season. There’s a lack of speed at the back, they don’t communicate well and they are far too loose. Spurs could have had four on them in the first half and United’s second half fight-back shouldn’t make people forget that.

 

AMERICAN PRIDE

From Dempsey to Reyna, find out the best US footballers of all-time.

When you lose games like this one, your psyche takes a hit. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. When Newcastle beat United 5-0, I was so proud, and we just felt on top of the world. When we lost to United in 1995-96, I have to be honest: we started to doubt. Losses like these sow seeds of doubt no matter how much you deny it. The great teams come away from both kinds of experiences and dig out the results.

That’s why I think the North London game will have some repercussions. There was a real opportunity for Arsenal to stake a claim here, and a rare coaching mistake by Arsene Wenger cost them dearly. This game may have some of these players – who already have had to deal with Alex Song and Robin van Persie leaving the club –doubting themselves a little bit.

Wenger doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but why he left out Per Mertesacker I cannot understand. People say the German is not the quickest, and he is not, but I see him as the heir to Tony Adams. Mertesacker is a field general, and he knows that what is important is that you know where your partner is on the field. You don’t have to be the fastest as long as you have awareness. Adams and Steve Bould partnered very well for Arsenal in the golden era and I think Mertesacker and Vermaelen have that same understanding now. But without Mertesacker, time and again, on set-pieces, that awareness was found lacking. Arsenal paid the price.

 

BENCHMARK BATTLES

Review the best images from week six of the Barclays Premier League.

Most damaging of all to Arsenal is the fact that I don’t think Chelsea are even firing on all cylinders, and yet they are top of the league. That’s real credit to Roberto Di Matteo, for sure – but I see this also as a time when Arsenal could have shown they really are a better team, but didn’t.

Look, we talk about the Stokes and the Swanseas as the bread and butter games in this league, but the fact is the Big Four clashes are when your players find out what they are made of. All this October, these teams will be playing each other on FOX Soccer and I think the mental part of this game will be critical. United and Arsenal have to dust themselves off and get on with it.

I want to speak quickly about Liverpool and it’s good to see them get their first win. As I think you’ve been seeing on our show BEING: Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers wants his players to be brave, be proud to play, and to respect the club. At Swansea, he had some space to grow the club; he doesn’t have that at Liverpool, so getting this win is a huge relief. But even in Liverpool’s losses I think you saw glimpses of a style that was attractive and signals that when the team gels, they will be very good. I think he has been wise to stick with Luis Suarez and whatever he said to Raheem Sterling has made that young man just tremendous.

 

NEVER WALK ALONE

Get unprecedented insider access to Premier League side Liverpool FC.

Last but not least, I’ve heard a lot about my old team and Demba Ba’s goal. It was a handball I think, but you get the rub of the green sometimes, and that’s just how it is. But Ba’s first goal — to me, that’s a candidate for goal of the season right there. It’s right up with Robin van Persie’s goal against Fulham. If anyone’s got any other candidates, please let me know!

And you can do that by following me on Twitter @warrenbarton2 and ask a question to any of us at any time @FOXSoccer. We love to hear from you and we always pick the best questions each week for Stoppage Time on GOALS ON SUNDAY.

We have a massive week coming up: Champions League, Europa League and of course, some very big games in the Premier League. I do hope you will join us and as always, thanks for reading!

Source: Fox Sports/Fox Soccer

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Champions League – Real Madrid busts Spurs dreams: 4-0!

It will take a few days until this defeat is settling in. Not only with the result, but the way how this nightmare developed for Spurs.

Within a few minutes all hell broke lose for Spurs and shook them out of their Champions League dreams. First, minutes before the game, Aaron Lennon got sick. Spurs had to take him off the roster and couldn’t add him again, not even for the bench. The game is on, after 4 minutes it is already 1-0. Adebayor scoring with a header after an Oezil corner. Gomes and Modric were trying to scratch the ball off the line, but were more in each others way than clearing the situation. Not enough with that, after 7 minutes Peter crouch got a yellow card for sliding into Sergio Ramos, close to the Real corner flag! An unnecessary yellow card, and, as it turned out, one with consequences. 7 minutes later, Crouch saw another yellow, and a s a result, a red as well. Not even 15 minutes played and already behind and a player sent off.

Well, it can happen that Real scores against you early, but two yellow cards within 15 minutes, one more ridiculous than the other? Who knows what Peter Crouch had in mind with his tackles.

From there on, the duty was to defend and calm the game and keep the result in an area that doesn’t kill the chance for the second leg. While Spurs did well in the first half, and had a couple of chances, van der Vaart and Bale, in the second half things went down the hill. Real put the lid on the pot and scored 3 more goals. At the end a 4-0 stood for the Spaniards.

Realistically, there is not much chance for Spurs to turn this around. They need a 4-0 win, at least. However, the ball is round. You never know in what direction that thing is rolling.

UEFA Champions League Preview: Real Madrid – Tottenham Hotspurs

 

Spurs are gearing up for their most important game since 50 years. While confronted with a lot of injury problems, it looks like that Gareth Bale will be ready to play. Harry Redknapp has serious staffing issues in defense, however, the players available are not second choice. With Bale back in the team, Spurs are in full strength.

Real had their injury worries as well, Cristiano Ronaldo was questionable, but according to Mourinho will be clear to play in Tuesday’s clash at Bernabeu. Real has to digest the home defeat against Gijon. While they can’t afford losses at any time, this might have been the wrong time to make such an experience. Tottenham is showing up with an opportunity to show off and seeing that Real can lose at home is fuel for them. It just adds a psychological effect to the game.

There has been some speculation going on that Real was looking at the possibility Gareth Bale. Jose Mourinho explained there is no current interest on the Welch. As an explanation he delivered the excuse that Real already has Marcelo and Ronaldo on the left side and under those circumstances Bale is too expensive. He is right, Real has other “construction areas” in their team and an investment in these areas would make more sense. However, I have a hard time to believe that the “special one” is not taking a look.

Looking at the performances of both teams in this season, Spurs don’t have to hide. While Real is a big name in the world of soccer, it turned out “they boil their eggs with water as well”. No miracles there. Especially in defense are some weak spots. Teams that were able to put some pressure on that defense, made good experiences. Especially the full back positions with Sergio Ramos and Marcelo have their problems. The holding midfielders Khedira and Xabi Alonso are also not always on top of their defensive game. Spurs would be well advised to ask a few questions and seek a goal.

Spurs didn’t convince the soccer world in their last league game as well, but that can be seen as a normal slip before a great game. On the Real side this is different. Every misstep will cause the crowd to get nervous and fall into a state of disbelieve and overexcited criticism. On the flip side, when Real find is finding their game, they can chase every team around the field. Ronaldo and Oezil are able to create lots of turmoil in the opponents defense.

This match up gives lots of opportunity to speculate and forecasts of all kind, depending of the hat one is wearing. I will try a prediction as well: While I like Real, I do believe that Spurs will get a very good result. It might not be enough for a win, but a tie or a one goal loss is possible. That will turn Whitehard Lane into a mad house for the second leg.

Barclay’s English Premier League: Status of top 5 after Round 30

It’s time to take a look at the status of the Premier League after 30 rounds and before the Euro 2012 qualifier break. As far as the top 5 concerns, not too much has changed. There are still the same 5 teams fighting for the title and European glory. The difference is, the competition became more fierce and and the field came closer together. Liverpool, due to the much increased performance since Kenny Dalglish took over, Fernando Torres left and Suarez and Carroll joined the team, has a shot at 5th place, maybe 4th. That is an incredible accomplishment, considering the status of the club in January.Take a look at my post from January 10th.

Manchester United is still the team to beat. While the times of “unbeatable” are over, the team avoided to get sacked when the times became a little harder after the first losses. Sir Alex Ferguson and the experience of the entire team kept them on top of the league. So far, they were even able to compensate for injuries of key players, another sign of the healthy structure of the roster and Sir Alex’s outstanding work. As it stands right now, Manchester United is the top favorite for the Championship. Next game: @ West Ham

Arsenal remains the main hunter at this point. Five points behind and a game on hand means they can reduce the point difference to two points and make it a one game competition. While they had and have there own small crisis, they were able to take advantage of the competition’s dynamics (United finally got beaten) and sneak up on United. Arsenal is “free” of other worries, since the Premier League is the only remaining opportunity for a titel this season. While the gunners don’t like this fact, it might be an advantage for the remaining 9 games, considering they have a few injury issues with important players. On the sideline, the gunners created a stunner with reactivating Jens Lehmann, due to a major injury misery on the goalie position. Looking at Manuel Almunia’s form, it might even be possible that Lehmann appears in the first team before the end of the season. Everything is possible. Next game: Home against Blackburn Rovers

Chelsea just pushed Manchester City from 3rd place this past weekend. They are now a point ahead of the citizens and present themselves in outstanding condition. The past performances didn’t leave a lot of opportunity for the critics. The win over Manchester City was deserved and accomplished in a classy way. In this condition, it is fair to say they might have a chance to win the championship. Fernando Torres still hasn’t scored, but with other players able to hit the net, they can score at any time. At this point, the only thing that can derail them, is themselves. Some of the players are not too happy with the situation, namely Torres, Drogba and Anelka. Neither one of them is happy with the current situation of limited playing time. Also, the club owner was seen with a sweet and sour face after Torres’ substitution against City this past weekend. Good for Carlo Ancelotti that the game was won, after the substitution. Next game: @ Stoke

Manchester City is, in my opinion, kind of a bummer. Considering the names and the quality of the roster, it is next to ridiculous what the actual performance is. Last week they had to excuse themselves from the Europa League and right after

that from 3rd place in the Premier League as well. I actually thought, in January and February, they will take a very close look at the championship, but since then the tendency is much more downwards. It seems the spending spree will not pay-off and even champions league qualification is questionable. Their immediate competition for the champions league qualification somehow is displaying a much better oiled engine. City seems to have to many “construction areas”. While there is a lot of work to do in integrating all these purchases, it also appears they acquired some unrest with Ballotelli. That one is known for his escapades and Mancini needs to keep an eye on this bird. At this moment, it looks like a struggle for the citizens and even 4th place is questionable. What might help them to secure 4th place is the difficult schedule of Spurs in the last games. Home against Sunderland

Spurs have again delivered an outstanding season. They represented themselves in the champions league as an outstanding and grown soccer team. Harry Redknapp has done an outstanding job in creating an international competitor. I am excited to see them against Real Madrid and I am convinced Spurs will give Real a run for their money. In the Premier League the remaining schedule is a though one. Mid May will determine Spurs’ faith. On 4/16 they play ManC in Manchester and then on 4/20 have Arsenal for a make up game. One thing is for sure, if it doesn’t work for them, the championship will be decided by Spurs. Except Manchester United, they have to play everyone of the top 6 in their remaining games. Those that lose against Spurs, will lose their championship and Europe, one way or the other, ambitions. While I have doubt’s that Spurs can master that schedule, I will cross my fingers for them. From what I see, they created a lot of friends and the team’s and coaches’ work deserves champions league next season. @ Wigan

State of the top 5 (6) in the Barclay’s English Premier League

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The top 5 in the Barclay’s English premier league have actually turned into a top 6. Due to the fact that Liverpool is finding its old strength, we now have another competitor for one of the top 5 spots. Let’s take a look for the next three weeks and see what’s in the cards for these clubs:

Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool have turned the curve and have delivered some good results over the past 5 games. Fernando Torres has left the club and with Suarez from Ajax Amsterdam it seems they found more than an adequate scorer. If they can keep up the momentum, there is a good chance for at least 5th place. Of course that would require a break down in performance of at least one of the other clubs in the top 6.
Current trend: up

Chelsea is the team with the most problems, so it seems for the moment. With the loss in the 4th round FA-cup game at home against Everton, the issues have certainly become more dramatic. The upcoming Champions League game against FC Copenhagen will be of major importance to Chelsea. In my opinion, and I repeat that, the transfer of Fernando Torres to Chelsea did not do any good for the Blues. Didier Drogba’s and Nicolas Anelka’s mood and form has not improved since Torres arrived. Both are of major importance in the upcoming Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen. Manager Carlo Ancelotti had the idea of rotating his players, especially the strikers, in all competitions. In the league cup they were already kicked out, yesterday they excused themselves from the FA Cup and if they are not careful, the same will happen in the Champions League. Chelsea in the current form is certainly not a sure bet for the next round. Then, there is nothing left for rotation and the faces of some players will get longer and longer as the opportunities to play shrink away. Not necessarily of help in the remaining games in the league. There will be a lot of pressure on the team and coaches, since Champions League participation is mandatory for the club. Can you imagine Chelsea is not going to make it?
Current trend: down

Spurs! For me, Harry Redknapp is the coach of the year. He has formed a team of depth at Whitehard Lane. Up until two weeks ago it seemed that Spurs only have “one first eleven” and that any injuries (such as Bales’s) could bring the team down. Well, Harry is now able to rotate players and still has a winning team on the field. The win in Milan this week was the last proof for that. With the win against Milan and the resulting confidence boost, Spurs are flying high, for at least 3 more weeks. There is a good chance that they win the game in Blackpool on Tuesday and take 3rd place from  Man City and further distance Chelsea.
Current trend: up

It is difficult to talk about Manchester City. Looking at the roster, they should look much better in the table than they actually do. They spent so much money to get this roster quality, but it seems there is a struggle to form a team that can go the distance and play constantly on a high level. It appears that the efforts to get results and win something (silverware) become more and more desperate. Looking at the team, I can’t help thinking about a group of mercenaries going to work, including the coach. There is no identification with the club. Yes, they are in the race to win the premier league, FA cup and Europe league, but let’s be honest: The Barclay’s Premier League and Champions League qualification is what they really want and it doesn’t look like they can deliver that.
Current trend: sideways or down

Arsenal has just made their task to catch Manchester United a little harder. With a disappointing 1:1 at Leyton-Orient they got themselves another unpopular distraction on the way to win silverware. There are really games enough for them in the next weeks, they didn’t need that one. However, they are currently the only one that have the means to catch United on the last stretch in the Premier league. For them, the mix of Champions League, FA-cup, Carling cup and League is a good one. With the win over Barca this week, they got a pretty nice boost for the next three weeks and the upcoming games. This sounds crazy, but if they don’t make it into the next round in the Champions League, it is not a neck breaking event. If you look at Chelsea on the other hand, outsch.
Current trend: up

Manchester United is the team to beat. In the Premier League there is only one team that can catch them, in the FA Cup they have another home game,  and as they represent themselves currently, they are a top team in the Champions League and they are the favorite in the games against Olympique Marseille. Besides of a super Manager with Alex Ferguson, they have a roster of experienced guys and they have a run, still. It is very difficult to find a “hair in the Manchester United soup”, for now. It is, however, the only team without a crisis during this season. Even though it is Manchester United, going all the way without a hang-up is the most difficult thing to do
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Current trend: up

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Gattuso and Flamini – AC Milan representatives.

>> Yesterday I watched the much anticipated game between AC Milan and Tottenham. To my surprise, I had to realize that Spurs were actually controlling the game. Over the course of the EPL, I was always under the impression that Spurs are the team that is running out of gas and will lose touch to the TOP 4 in England. Well, who knows, they might be able to keep this up. Success carries, so they say.

With that out of the way, lets talk about the bad news. As the game went on, I became angrier by the minute. Not because Spurs played so well, but because of the way how some of the Milan players tried to save their behinds. Gennaro Gattuso must be mentioned as well as the french Flamini. Both are very well known for their ability to take the game to some unwanted levels, with fouls and with absolute ridiculous actions as in Gattuso’s case. In the process, the latter made a complete fool of himself, running physical attacks against players and Spurs’ Assistant Coach, Joe Jordan. For me, Gattuso’s way to handle things are a disgrace. Complete disrespect towards others and demonstration of complete loss of reality. If you haven’t realized it, I am holding back my real thoughts about this fool (Gattuso). He should be taken out of this competition for life and should be signed up for a serious mental health program including anger management.

His team mate Flamini on the other hand delivered an absolute brutal foul and only saw yellow for it. I wonder what that referee and his colleges were thinking. These days they have 6 officials in the champions league, connected with each other.  It is not getting any clearer what the intention was, at least not for someone who has somewhat of an idea about soccer. My attention is focused on the UEFA and the actions taken to protect players from some underdeveloped ….. I would be quite astonished, if there wouldn’t be any action taken.

Spurs, keep it up and watch out in the second leg. Milan might actually try to play soccer. And if they do, there might be a lot of work coming up.