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Spurs 4-0 Peterborough (Belatedly): Win The Whole Thing? Why Not?

(Apologies for the tardiness – deadline week on the book Spurs’ Cult Heroes)
The FA Cup? Why not? The only team that ever seems to beat us in knock-out competitions has itself been knocked out, and for our part we look capable of despatching anyone on our day. This is not a reaction to our win on Saturday, far from it, but rather a reaction to the exit of Man Utd. They were the one team I simply could not envisage us beating. Anyone else, and we could make a game of it, but there seemed to be as much a mental block as a quality gap with that lot. Now, however, the outlook is a little different. Chelski and l’Arse are obviously the ones to eye warily, but we’ve got Cup pedigree against both. Man City, Villa and Liverpool would be tricky, particularly away from home, but all are eminently beatable. I rather fancy our chances this season.Daydream over. Here at AANP Towers the response to the Peterborough game was a contented nod and scan of the fixture-list. A scrappy, nerve-jangling 94th minute winner would have sufficed – although we’d laid into them had that been the case – but our heroes deserve credit for getting the job done fairly routinely.

The habit of making bucketloads of chances is positive; the relatively small proportion of chances converted less so. It proved another exercise in breaking down a side that had come to the Lane essentially to frustrate, and while this time things panned out swimmingly, in future we may need to be a little less profligate.

Defoe – Accurate

My old man, the venerable AANP Senior has been fond of preaching over the years that a player only deserves credit for hitting the woodwork if he was aiming for it – in which case full marks to Jermain Defoe. The only explanation for that early shot which hit the bar, when it was surely easier to score, was that he actively sought to avoid the netting and instead aimed for the frame. And a fine job he did too.

Life Without Lennon

The question of how to cope without Lennon was initially addressed by rather stretching the definition of “winger”, with Modders and Kranjcar roaming anywhere they jolly well pleased. I could sit back all day and watch those two do their thing. If Niko Kranjcar were English the nation’s media would drool over him, yet the lad seems strangely under-rated beyond N17, in a Steed type of way. Not complaining mind, if anything this means he’s less likely to be prised away by Man Utd.

Later on we had that delightful cameo from the boy Rose, definitely more in the Lennon mould than Corluka when it came to going for a gallop. I recall a well-informed gooner mate raving about him, rather enviously, when we first signed him a couple of years ago. I rather hope that he doesn’t venture down that well-trod route of a loan to League One side and eventual transfer, but alas our reputation for developing youngsters is hardly encouraging.

Of the other reserves, Bale and Hutton continue to look the polar opposites of those for whom they deputise. Always had a soft spot for Bale, ever since his gung-ho emergence under Martin Jol (blessed be his name). While he continues to look cracking value going forward, he still fails to instill confidence as a defender. Fingers crossed that this is not a problem in the coming month.

Boxes Ticked 

To think that we would have drawn Man Utd yet again, had they remained in the competition, beggars belief, and is grist to the mill of conspiracy theorists throughout the South Stand. Instead it will be Leeds – not straightforward, but home advantage ought to be enough.

 

AANP’s first book, Spurs’ Cult Heroes, is now available to pre-order from WHSmith, Amazon , Tesco, Waterstones and Play 

And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here

You can become a Facebook fan of Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, follow on Twitter here 

Spurs – Peterborough Preview: A Penny For ‘Arry’s Thoughts

A penny for ‘Arry’s thoughts, ahead of the Third Round of the Cup. Not the predictable dross with which he closes his little team-news spiel on the club’s official website – “Hopefully we’ll turn in another terrific performance” – but rather his sentiments regarding a successful Cup run and, say, a Quarter-Final replay, or Semi-Final date in April, adding a spot of fixture congestion at a time when we, presumably, will be making a final push for the top four.It’s speculative stuff for now however. Peterborough today, and presumably ‘Arry will go through his usual routine for lower-league Cup opponents, by giving the squad players a run. On which note – a penny also for the thoughts of Jenas, Hutton, Keane, Bassong and chums. No doubt the usual diplomatic clichés will be trotted out, but I do wonder how the players view selection for a game like this, given that the priority this season is now Premiership points. Are they chomping at the bit, or, having been benched last week, is selection viewed as something of an ignominy? Maybe my advancing years have heightened my cynicism, but I can’t help feeling that the latter is more probable.

Of course, if they really desperately want to be elevated to the exalted status of Too-Good-To-Be-Selected-For-Cup-Fare-Against-Lower-League Clubs, one pretty obvious approach would be to turn in the mother of all performances today, and help to thrash Peterborough to within an inch of their lives. We’ve done it often enough against Premiership sides this season.

With Lennon injured one would have thought that Bentley would step in on the right, but ‘Arry will take any excuse to sideline the brylcreem boy, so it’s possible that one of the Croatians will fill in on the right instead. The game may be viewed as a chance to give Modders more first-team minutes, while Kranjcar can consider himself mighty unlucky to have been relegated to the bench last week.

What the devil is going on with Pav is anyone’s guess. The poor blighter’s days at the Lane are pretty clearly numbered, but with Defoe almost certain to be rested today’s game might yet give him the opportunity of a valedictory performance.

When our glorious leader rang the changes in the early rounds of the Carling Cup a few months back our quality eventually told and the goals flew in from all angles. There are no excuses for any other outcome today, particularly at home.

 

You can become a Facebook fan of forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes and AANP here, follow on Twitter here – or pre-order the ruddy thing here. Cripes! 

And as ever, all are most welcome to leave memories – and browse those of others – regarding some of the players to be featured in forthcoming book Spurs’ Cult Heroes: Danny Blanchflower here, Dave Mackay here, Cliff Jones here, Martin Chivers here, Alan Gilzean here, Pat Jennings here, Cyril Knowles here, Steve Perryman here, Glenn Hoddle here, Chris Waddle here, Ossie and Ricky here, Gary Mabbutt here, Graham Roberts here, Jimmy Greaves here, Clive Allen here, Jürgen Klinsmann here, David Ginola here, Paul Gascoigne here

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