Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tottenham's Pre-Season in South Africa.

Saturday, 16th July: Tottenham 0 Kaiser Chiefs 1
Tuesday, 19th July:  Tottenham 1 Orlando Pirates 1

Gareth Bale a constant threat
fot Tottenham
The early pre-season games are all about players getting some match time and building up their fitness but Spurs first two matches in the Vodacom Challenge in South Africa have also shown that Tottenham's problems from last season have not gone away.

No Goal Strikers:
The strikers remain unable to score or even create a goal-scoring opportunity for themselves.  The performances of Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko have all been very poor - their first touch is heavy, they can neither beat a man with pace or skill, their link-up play is non-existantand and throughout the two games not one of them has looked like scoring a goal.  The nearest any of them has come to putting the ball in the net was Crouch's header that was well saved by the Kaiser Chief's goalkeeper.

Conceding Goals:
Once again Spurs have illustrated their inability to keep a clean sheet.  On Saturday, a late breakaway from a Spurs' corner saw them concede an injury time goal to lose the match.  In the second game Brad Friedel flapped at a shot with his right hand in Gomesesque style at the end of the first half and only succeeded in waving it into the net to present the Pirates with an equaliser. The rampaging fullback had hit a powerful shot but Friedel should have done so much better.  Spurs don't need another flapping goalkeeper.  On Saturday Cudicini didn't look overly confident or impressive in nets and we've Gomes to come on Saturday.

Reliant on VDV and Bale:
Both games, once again, clearly illustrated that without Bale and Van der Vaart this Spurs team would be lacking any attacking threat.  Bale was a threat on the left in both games, looking to score and also create for others.  Van der Vaart was less creative but scored the goal against the Pirates from a free kick on the edge to the penalty area, lifting the ball over the defensive wall and into the goal.  Without this threat Spurs would be toothless.  Modric, in spite of the transfer rumours, played with enthusiasm and show wonderful passing as he created space for others, changing the direction od the play.  He was captain for the game and showed no signs of being disinterested or not wanting to be involved.

Shop Window Players:
The players who are surplus to Spurs requirements and are in the transfer window haven'y done anything in the two games to attract buyers or to persuade Harry Redknapp that they deserve another chance to establish themselves at White Hart Lane.  The list is long - Robbie Keane, David Bentley, Alan Hutton, Niko Kranjcar, Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlychenko, Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios, Bassong and Jermain Jenas.  Not all of those players will be leaving but in order to create room for new signings in the 25-man Premier League squad, some of them will be off to new clubs before the beginning of September but on their preformances from last year and now in pre-season, it could be difficult to move them on.  Their performances have been lack-lustre and wouldn't be encouraging to any prospective buying club, their wages are high and Totenham are looking to recoup considerable fees for them - all of which is delaying the selling process.

Pre-season has not brought anything to encourage Spurs supporters - there has been no new signings to improve the quality in the squad and to rectify the obvious deficiencies in the team, transfer rumours persist about Luka Modric and the early games have not brought any joy.  The best performances have again come from Bale but others need to raise their game while Kyle Walker looked accomplished as he attacked from right back in the second half against the Pirates. 

It will be interesting to see who comes and who goes in the next four weeks leading up to the opening Premier League game against Everton at White Hart Lane on 13th August and most importantly who makes the team for that vital match.

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