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Spurs 0-0 Aston Villa: How The Devil Do We Score At Home?

Frustrating stuff. A couple of months ago I was fairly sanguine about points dropped at home, reasoning with sage, Yoda-like calm that as long as we kept playing well the goals and wins would eventually follow. Never folk to take decisive action if we could get away with thrusting our heads into the sand and waiting, we at AANP Towers reasoned that there was no need to panic – the problem would take care of itself.Not so, it appears. Week after week we seem to turn in a strong performance but draw a blank, and as well as making for an unhappy trek down the High Road this is now beginning to derail the top-four push. The notion of turning White Hart Lane into a fortress seems to have been wildly misunderstood by our heroes, currently labouring under the misapprehension that it requires clean sheets for both sides. Future visitors to the Lane include Everton, Blackburn, Bolton and Pompey (as well as l’Arse and Chelski), and more ten-man lock-outs are on the agenda.

The team of monkeys here at AANP Towers has been hard at work brainstorming ideas as to what the devil we are doing wrong at the moment. And so, in no particular order…

Not Playing Good Football? 

Luck? 

A Different Forward-Line?

Controversial perhaps, as the problem seems to be that the opposition penalty area is just too darned crowded these days before we even get the ball to the front-two. Defoe’s raison d’être is simply to put the ball in the net when given a chance, and few are better at the art. Crouch has his limitations, but he had a decent enough game on Saturday, winning his fair share of headers and holding it up, giving us the option of the aerial route. As a combination, the pair work fairly well. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing Gudjohnsen given a chance to stretch his legs, and provide something a little different in attack, especially in those games in which the opposition back-line looks to have the measure of us.

A Dribbler? 

Lennon?

Bentley is doing a good job, but when it comes to Aaron Lennon, as that closely-cropped lady from the 80’s used to warble, nothing compares. For all the neat passing and technical ability, our team lacks pace. At the moment, opponents seem able to line themselves up in formation and repel. A burst of pace would help us actually get behind them and have a dig at their soft underbelly. Bale on the left gives glimpses of the panic this can cause in opposition ranks, always looking threatening when he hares down to the by-line.

Such hastily garnered suggestions are unlikely to go down in history as the footballing equivalent of neurosurgery, but are a selection of the wonderings swimming around the AANP mind. More pertinently, what solutions can ‘Arry provide? He may have assembled a coaching team to cover every eventuality, but, worryingly, after each shut-out he seems to repeat the same line, at least publicly, that he could not have asked any more of the players, and that they tried everything they could. Almost, one might suggest, as if he himself is out of ideas as to how to win these games. If only he had had a couple of capable and creative substitutes to whom he could have turned on Saturday…

A Grumble About Substitutes

It seemed a little strange that ‘Arry did not look to the bench for some fresh attacking inspiration. Retaining the on-pitch status quo would have made sense if all were going to plan and we were romping home, but circumstances rather strongly suggested that a case could have been made for a change or two. Each of Hudd, Modders and Bentley were performing fairly well without ever scything open the massed ranks of Villa defenders, yet Kranjcar and Gudjohnsen were left to twiddle their thumbs on the bench.

And while I’m having a grumble, here’s another point that struck me on Saturday – our ratio of goals-scored-from-corners to corners-taken must be appalling. The statistic, whatever it is, is all the worse for the fact that we have a whole army of big, sturdy six-footers marching forward for each corner these days.

Elsewhere On The Pitch

An honourable mention to Gomes, now one of the finest ‘keepers around. A cracking double-save in the first half crowned yet another solid all-round performance, secure on crosses and always keen to prompt attacks hastily. Sergeant Wilson showed again that his bite seems to be returning, but his doings when actually in possession remain erratic. There was also another good showing from the handsome young Welshman on the left on Saturday, doing all that was required defensively as well as offering his usual potency in attack.

So yet again we have to rely this week upon other sides to do us favours. Hull, unbelievably, obliged, turning over Man City, but Liverpool have, for this weekend at least, capitalised upon our failing. I still cannot see Villa lasting the pace in the race for fourth. Utterly bereft of attacking ideas, it seems the principal reason they remain in the hunt at present is their goalkeeper, the ever-magnificent Brad Friedel. However, we ought to be capable of stringing together a run of wins that would render academic the form of our rivals. A draw against Villa, while disappointing, is not calamitous, and the blow would be softened by a few consecutive wins in future weeks.


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12 Responses

  1. DAVSPURS Says:

    A.A.N.P. You now me and my staff Thrumourman and NWCockerel our fight to stop Energy Abuse. Now you are telling our fans how we are failing to score is because of crowded penalty area’s .You are spot on in this assessment i have followed football and spurs for a long time even though MAN UTD Liverpool are 12 miles away in Widnes RUGBY LEAGUE TOWN.I have told my tale of how i discoverd one team taking

  2. chris b Says:

    Do me a favour. No attacking ideas-Young, Downing, Milner Agbonlahor-We played a very good spurs side which we acknowledge but we also have the best defence in the premier league so we can count on that when we need it. Dont start making judgments about things you clearly know very little about. If anything i can see spurs slipping away if you continue to play the long ball 40 yards to crouch every time you attack. Hows that for being bereft of attacking of attacking ideas?!

  3. Foggy Says:

    At times we seem a little methodical in or build up play,always looking for that unnecessary pass when with a little more vision we could have played a through ball to Defoe or Crouch,but alas we chose to slow the play down and in so doing gave the opposing team a chance to recover and reform their defensive line,

    This for me is our main failing because as you well know it is so much harder to create a goal scoring chance in a crowded penalty area.

  4. THERUMOURMAN Says:

    When we played Leeds they had 9 men in the penalty area because i counted them and they attacked in the same way. This is tremendous fitness and a few years ago this team would get hammered after 60 mins playing this way and don’t forget they are two Divisions below Spurs. This is the same method adopted by some teams and is the new one upfront and the rest control the game the only thing what upsets this system is if we score first and get a another goal while they, try to level the score there main objective is any point will do defeat is not a option. If we don’t get that second goal then we could end up like the Birmingham game lost point and a draw. A few years ago this would be the way games would ban out or any sport the better team would pass and control the game moving the other team allover the place with there better players what made it a bit more even was playing away and muddy pitches bad windy days and a lot of injuries. the saying the cream would always come to the top then along comes the equalizer something a whole team can take Energy but the one problem its withdrawn because of deaths with people using them to slim. But no drug company wants to lose money so they use the one ingredient that give you Energy and called it Pure Ephedrine for sports men and women. The one problem its illegal , So that is why some clubs leave the fitness of players to conditioners they are called and the less managers no the better. and that is why teams are playing this high Tempo that Gary Megson mentioned when we drew 2-2 for how good is team play he said we play like Liverpool with a high Tempo you will hear two words if you listen to Managers summing up there games tempo and Energy. So i hope this has helped you when you think Harry should change things its the FA who should do this and getting rid of Barwick the liverpool supporter from being th head of the FA will help. Next it should be Arsenals Dein and utds GILL. ( HOPE THIS HAS HELPED COYS)

  5. dan Says:

    We could try something other than kicking it long to Crouchies head and looking for the flick ons and knock downs.

  6. koko61 Says:

    Harry should of taken crouch of, and replaced with Gudjohnsen or Niko ,playing just behind DEFOE to give us enough fire power to break down their defensive game, thus giving us the option of scoring from midfield as well as from Defoe.This game plan is similar to Le Arse, where they score from all positions ,which I think would suit us when we are up against defensive teams. Just imagine all our best midfielders on at the same time, we would of blitz villa.

  7. leonardo Says:

    possible areas for improvement – 1) a central midfielder who can dribble and carry the ball into real danger areas, with a real goal threat (rather than hudd’s long shots from which he rarely scores). I know that Fabregas, gerrard and Lampard are exceptional players but look at how many goals they score relative to hudd. They are in three of the four teams above us – hardly a surprise! 2) Crouch is a decent player but doesnt get enough headers/shots on target, doesnt really win physical/strength battles and isnt successful enough as a lone big striker to warrant building our game around him. People have been criticising defoe but aside from the Leeds game he has been living off scraps recently. As we cant buy a top midfielder or all round striker before the end of the season, why not look at what we have? We could try any one of Eidur (when fit), Mod or Krank as an extra midfielder, replacing Crouch – then we will have to cut out using the aerial ball so much. We could try Pav as a more clinical replacement for Crouch. We could replace Hudd (even if only for the last 30 minutes) with Krank or Eidur or move Mod into the middle.

  8. Spang Says:

    It looked like they were going to make a change on saturday, but we were battering them for the last 20 minutes, so it’s understandable that they decided not to.

    What happened to playing from the back? Gomes used to feed BAE who would work it up the line with Modders, perhaps switching it to Lennon on the right as space opened up. Now it seems to be hoofed straight up to Crouch, or played about a bit then back to Dawson who hoofs it.

    The best teams can play it out of defence, even if they are being closed down. We should be able to; we have the players, right?

  9. Jason Says:

    The last 20 minutes Spurs put on the pressure but to be honest as a Villa fan as I wasn’t overly worried after watching you for the 1st 15mins as there was very little *real* threat.. other than from some magic or lucky deflection you weren’t going to score..

    I think the shots *on target* where 5 vs 4.. which says it all.

    As some have said above your main (and only!) tactic was to play it around nicely along the back.. down the wings a little.. then back.. and then cross or launch upto Crouch from 45 yeards away.. Bentley played well but how deep was he crossing from? Easy pickings for good defenders.

    In credit Crouch won ALL his headers but we basically put blocks in to stop the 2nd ball…

    No one beat their man, played through us or got to the byline with crosses – so any of his headers on target were from looped in crosses and so had no power and were easy to handle.

    Out tactics on stopping you where spot on, its just a pity your tactics in stopping us where even better..

    1 defender *always* really deep to nullify our pace.. 2 or 3 men quickly closing down any breaking players.. and immediate pressure on the ball in *ALL* areas forcing our defenders to launch it to clear lines.. As Heskey/Carew were useless (Unlike Crouch for you) it just came straight back at us….

    To be honest you closed us down and hassled more than ANY team I’ve seen this year, inc Blues/Stoke/Bolton etc..

    And you just played long ball to Crouch all game! Even though it wasn’t working.

    boring spurs and their non-football eh! 🙂

  10. Costa Cockney Spain Says:

    Powerful C/F Req. Crouch not the answer should have been replaced after 60 mins. & Modric. bring back a Sheringham, Bobby Smith, Klinsman, the answer is here in Spain “Llorente” of Ath. Bilbao in the Spanish team last weekend. Bring back the push & run style & stop passing the ball “back” it gives defences time to re-group. Straight to the gol, think of boxing (on the chin & quick). “Get it” we do not need Graham Taylor (Watford style) do You now “Get it”! Try watching Barca. Alan Sexton a Spur since 1946.

  11. SPUR1950 Says:

    SIMPLES!!! BUILD UP TO LOW BANGING LONG BALLS TO CROUCH WHY NOT CROSS MIDDLE THEN HIT THEM EITHER WITH PACE WIDE OR ONE/TWOS THROUGH THE MIDDLE WITH PACE WE DID IT WITH HODDLE,OZZIE ETC.
    WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID FOR A LONG TIME IS OUR PITCH IS NOT ONE OF THE BIGGEST THEREFORE TEAMS CAN CLOSE US DOWN MORE EASLY AS WELL
    AND IS COMPOUNDED BY HARRY KEEP ON INSISTING ON PLAYING CROUCH DOESNT SEEM TO HAVE ANY IDEA HOW TO GET ROUND TEAMS
    JAS I AGREE MATE UTTER GARBAGE HATE IT I AVE BEEN SAYING IN FOR MONTHS AND ITS NOT SIMPLY NOT BECAUSE I DISLIKE HARRY SO MUCH ITS JUST AS THE FOOTBALL AT HOME IS CRAP I THOUGHT FINE WHEN WE FIRST BROUGHT HIM BRING HIM ON AS A SUB SECOND HALF IMPACT PLAYER BUT JESUS BACK AGAINST THE ARSE CHARLIE KEPT BANGING BALLS UP TOHIM
    BUT NOBODY SAID A BLOODY THING ON THE WEBS BECAUSE 75% DONT UNDERSTAND TATICS AND JUST FOLLOW SOMEONE ELSE
    HOWEVER I THINK THE BORING BIT WAS AIMED MORE AT FRIEDEL DELAYING TATICS PLAYERS MAKING OUT THEY WERE INJURED THROW INS REFEREE CHRIS FOY IN THIS CASE POINTING TO HIS WATCH AND NOT ADDING TIME ON.
    ALSO THINGS LIKE WHEN HUDD CHALLANGED MILNER BALL WENT TOWARDS GOAL SAW IT LATER ON THE BOX HUDD GOT THE BALL AND NEAVER TOUCHED MILNER BUT HE MADE OUT HE WAS HURT SHAME REALLY YOU DEFENDED WELL

  12. elwehbi@ibleedhotspur Says:

    I thought we played extremely well against a solid Villa side. Don’t let them fool you? They can attack, but on this day, our defence was rock solid and supported by an in-form Gomes.

    It was just one of those days… but honestly everyone, could you see us playing such beautiful melodic footy same time last year? Not in this dominant style and swagger. That 4th spot is still up for grabs, but we need to consistently put in performances like this very one if we are to have any decent shot at CL football.

    COYS!! And please, let’s embarrass Wolves!

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