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Spurs – Everton Preview: Pav or Crouch, Bale or BAE – Who Would You Pick?

As I’m away for the weekend, thought I’d post the Spurs-Everton preview nice and early… 

Confusion hath made its masterpiece here at AANP Towers. Are we back on track, or is this just a fleeting break from the woes of 2010? Sunday’s game should help clarify a situation that has become rather confusing for legions of bandwagon-jumpers. It barely seems five minutes ago that we were struggling for goals, and grumbles were being raised about ‘Arry’s future. Since then however, convincing wins against Wigan and Bolton have, temporarily at least, silenced such mischievous chatter, and ought to put some swagger in our step; but Everton will be a rather different kettle of fish. Seasoned visitors to AANP Towers will be aware that I rarely like to dwell on our opponents, but with successive wins over Chelski and Man Utd recently added to their CV, this lot are, strictly speaking, one of the most in-form teams in Europe.As such the microscope falls on several in lilywhite. It will be a day for the Hudd to shed that pesky anonymity cloak of which he is far too fond; Lennon’s continued absence means Bentley will be pitted against a potential England left-back in Leighton Baines; while in the absence of Ledley I don’t think any of us have quite the same confidence in our centre-back pairing, but it’s nevertheless another chance for Daws and Bassong to prove their worth.

Pav or Crouch?

Rather excitingly, we also have a couple of genuine selection posers. Assuming that Crouch recovers from his knock, ‘Arry will presumably have to choose between him and Pav. The Russian certainly takes his goals with aplomb, but chins across N17 and beyond are being thoughtfully stroked as we ponder whether he does enough off-the-ball, or shows any signs of developing a partnership with Defoe. However, his classier touch, white-hot form and frankly the fact that he does not automatically induce the long-ball from his team-mates make him the preferred option around these parts.

Bale or BAE?

The return of Assou-Ekotto on Wednesday also provides some choice at left-back. Gareth Bale has been in blistering form, and in the absence of Lennon has often been our primary attacking outlet. With our left midfielders cutting infield, his overlapping from full-back has seen many an opposition’s right side cut merrily to shreds. Doubts remain over his defensive capabilities however – doubts which surfaced away to this same Everton side a couple of months back, when he was given the run-around at Goodison. In the long-term this does not strike me as a problem – Bale is still a whipper-snapper, and has plenty of time to improve his game – but in the short-term we cannot really afford a glaring defensive error at this stage of the season. BAE is a more solid defender, but offers nothing like the same attacking potency. The AANP verdict is Bale, particularly at home; ‘Arry’s opinion is as yet unknown.

Plenty for our glorious leader to ponder then. There are those – including yours truly – who suspect that our lot simply don’t quite have the desire to stand up and be counted at crucial junctures in the season; this represents a cracking chance to silence such criticism.

 

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19 Responses

  1. NYSpursFan Says:

    If Defoe is healthy, ‘Arry has to go with the in-form Pav and Defoe combo. If Crouch is healthy, I’d still go with Pav/Defoe. If Defoe is not healthy, Crouch/Pav makes little sense to me. Pav/Gudj might be better. I agree that Crouch makes the long ball a temptation which rarely produces much. Bale or BAE? Play both! Stick Bale on the Left and BAE on the right. Corluka is too slow, and BAE might be good enough to play on that side. He did the other day. If not, you need to stick with the in-form Bale on the Left for now.

  2. SPURSSINCE82 Says:

    Not a ‘bad problem’ to be discussing really, im sure you’d agree..was glad to see
    Benny boy back too. He for me (all round) Is second only to Led. Best passer of
    the ball (of the Deffensive options) by far, very quick and great touch and dribble.(Sorry Ill calm down) Bale has been our (Lennon) of late…great to see players who do skillful , delibrate things (Unlike JJ’s shin touch or panic pass)Bale has breathed fresh imputus into the side, Pav to. Can’t help but wonder what Bale in midfield ahead of Bae as Lb would be like …..By the way I do not think that Crouch is the way forward for us Liverpool (Who have been 4th best over recent years)Didnt need him …so unless things are hard up next season. Why the f*** do we (Hes got doe and a nice misses) He shoud be sweet with that no>??!
    COYS

  3. therumourman Says:

    A np this is a report by the rumourmn from Lisbon Everton have bean found out they have suddenly gone ten yards slower and got beat 3-0 and the commentator said they looked tired because they beat Chelsea City And Utd.The team you watched tonight is the real Everton and theo in our League is the Energized one if this doesent convince my fans then they will be a lot faster on Sunday lets hope we are . another 3or 4 will do to silence mefor good.coys

  4. Greavsy18 Says:

    ……………………..Gomes……………………….
    Ekotto……King…………Daws…………Bale
    …………………………………………………….
    Bentlay…..Palacios……Modric…….Kranjcar
    ………………………………………………………
    ……………..Defoe………Pav…………………

    Subs: Alnwick, Corluca, Huddelstone, Bassong, Rose, Gud and Obika

    No crouch AT ALL

  5. Spang Says:

    Not playing Bale now could risk putting a massive dent in his confidence, so go with him.

    Hopefully Everton will be knackered and down from their loss today.

    How about a Crouch and Pav front-line? We’ll be great defending corners too that way.

    My guess is that whatever we start with, Harry will blame any slightly controversial changes on the virus…

  6. oli martin Says:

    for me crouch/ pav up front with bale and bentleys ability to cross seems a no brainer. when bentley plays on right i wish we d kept hutton to do the overlapping and such, corluka and bentley doesnt work in my eyes but corluka/lennon is definately first choice but when bentley does play i like to see kyle play right back an ideal neville to bentleys beckham. also, whilst on my soap box, i d like to see modric in the middle more seems to me modric and kranjcar have a natural ability to walk towards each other which is leaving us a bit thin across the middle. cheers rant over

  7. who framed ruel fox? Says:

    Gomes

    Bassong Dawson King

    Bentley Palacios Huddlestone Modric Kranjcar Defoe

    Pavlyuchenko

    Yeah, that’s right. 3-6-1

    I went there.

  8. who framed ruel fox? Says:

    Just kidding.

    A customary 4-4-2 should do it, with Pav and Defoe leading the line. Bale over BAE at the moment, too. Crouch and BAE waiting in the wings should my suggestions turn sour.

    Enjoy the weekend.

  9. Mauriccio Tarrico Says:

    Pav and Defoe, mates. No doubt abt it. Pav has guile and ruthlessness combined, cant wait to see him score a hat trick against Everton. Go Pav! COYS!

  10. gurson Says:

    I will select bae at leftback and bale at leftwing. Pav must start with defoe and Gudjohnson can replace any of them from the bench. Start wit modric next to Palacios, to move forward. Give Gudj. place in midfield if needed.

  11. QSpurs Says:

    i got another dialema…. bentley or rose?
    anyone who watched the whole game on wednesday would agree Rose played alot better then bently..
    what does everyone thik?

    the pav crouch dec…start pav defoe….if losing throw crouch one 70th minute.
    Dont no what to think on bale…bae both 1st teamers i dont think we should start without either of them…im inclined to either have bale LM or BAE RB

  12. Ted Says:

    Bale is a no-brainer for me.. hes been in sensational form and will tear P.Neville apart with his pace and direct running. Those who watched the FA cup game will surely agree that Bassong was back to his usual self and more confident.. I really like him and Dawson as a pair and Harry needs to keep them playing together cos they are our future CB pairing! I also thought BAE didnt work at RB at all and a more attacking team (Bolton were absolutely awful!) would really cause him trouble with his complete lack of a right foot (although it was first game back for a while and he was played out of position). It has to be Charlie and Bale as the fullbacks IMO. I also think Huddle is a must as we tend to lose our structure in midfield without him. Modders is best drifting in from the left with freedom allowing Bale to go nuts down the wing.

    QSpurs – I was also impressed with Rose but felt he had no presence about him and tended to shoot rather than look for a better option – his pass to Pav for the final goal was definitely meant for Gud-J.

    Providing Defoe is fit I think harry will keep the same starting 11 as the Bolton game but with Charlie coming back in at RB.

    Really looking forward to this one.. I think it will be a really tough game but if we keep our composure and Harry doesnt bugger around with our formation in the latter stages of the game we should come away with all 3 points. COYS!

  13. Ted Says:

    Pav could start but like I said in your previous days post if he don’t score he don’t contribute a lot to the side. Against a weakened Bolton side it does not matter. Against Everton we will need eleven players involved because they are a threat. Similar to Darren Bent in a way – a passenger unless he scores.

    BAE is excellent – one of my favourite and one of our best players. But without Lennon we need some wild card attacking play which Bale looks like providing more than anyone else. Playing Bale at LM in front of BAE could work but I don’t want to leave Luka out.

    Bentley has remained “okay” but not improved during this mini run of appearances so I would be looking to start someone else in his place. Maybe one of the Croats or even Rose or Jenas at a real push.

    Gudjohnson looked classy on Wednesday but is still regaining fitness – if he was fit though I would definitely think of starting him. He will probably come on after an hour though. Lovely intelligent footballer – the type that can unlock a tight game with a run or a flick.

  14. JimmyG2 Says:

    Benny is a very good right back but you must play the man in residence if he’s ‘on form.
    Benny played like a man auditioning for Long John Silver against Bolton.
    Pavluchenko has to start of Harry will be getting the ice-pick treatment from his agent not just verbals.

  15. dean Says:

    The fact that several people on this blog are writing to drop Corluka
    for BAE really shows how stupid some of the Totenham fans really are. Corluka has been the picture of consistency in defence. His ball distribution
    from the back is almost perfect. He is calm on the ball. His positioning is also always almost perfect. The fact that he doesn’t tear down the flank aimlessly like the typical British fullback does not take away from the rest of his game. Anyway, Spurs have Bale to do that, and he’s actually pretty good at doing it.
    You just don’t fiddle with a great defence!

  16. therumourman Says:

    We cant play the same team against Everton because Bolton had far two many chances for my liking, and the fan who said leave crouch and huddlestone out of the team must have bean in a coma. We have tried the midfield he wants and the score was 0-0 you cant trust Moderic or Palacios to pass and Bale nearly gave a goal away all our long passes should be done by Hudds and the rest should pass to each other with care and not from distant. Crouch must remain plan B don’t forget Crouch played with Pavlyuchenko at Wigan .And Everton wont be tired and Everton will be in Premrship speed and that will be the sad facts and will only prove my point these teams have another gear in there locker Liverpool Everton Fulham Birmingham and every one of these teams have massive weight loss.We will need all our squad to play well and take our chances its great to have a striker who doesent hammer the ball and places it past startled energized goalkeepers. Coys win 4-0

  17. peterballb Says:

    On Pav, he has to start. As to him being useless if he doesn’t score, that’s just ridiculous. First, he defends corners and set pieces better than Crouch. Yes Crouch has size, but he gets pushed around all the time and is ever a day late and a dollar short. Pav also links up well with Modric and Eidur which was demonstrated against Wigan and Bolton. Only Defoe is useless if he’s not scoring. He doesn’t defend, doesn’t link up with anyone (not Berbatov, not Keane, not Mido, not Bent, the list goes on) and needs five chances to bury one. That said, he does score goals and since Eidur does not appear to be 100%, and since Harry will not play a 4-5-1, he should share the time with Eidur again. I honestly don’t see how Crouch would impact the Everton back four. Lack of creativity and movement is not what we need. Bale can’t lose his spot to BAE, that said if Corluka can’t go, BAE is a better option than any other we have. If Corluka can go, why in heaven’s name would Harry play someone out of position? BAE on the bench then, to spell Bale if we’re up. Harry has to get the tactics and the subs right and the guys on the pitch need to get the job done. If healthy: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Bale, Palacios, Huddlestone, Modric, Bentley, Eidur, Pav – on subs bench – Kranjcar, Defoe, BAE, Walker, Rose, Alnwick. COYS

  18. who framed ruel fox? Says:

    ‘Benny played like a man auditioning for Long John Silver against Bolton.’

    This gave me a serious bout of the chuckles.

    Must be the gin.

  19. Spang Says:

    Another vote for Corluka from me. Sure, he’s not going to score goals, but he’s really solid in defence and what he lacks in pace he makes up for in (football) brain. And if Lennon is playing, we need that stability behind him.

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