Fan Report: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Aston Villa

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A cautious Aston Villa came to White Hart Lane determined to avoid defeat and in holding out for a nil-nil draw they achieved their goal. This is a result that Liverpool will be most pleased about of all the clubs chasing fourth place.

Spurs were the better team for the majority of this game but yet again we came up against some Horatio at the bridge of Rome type defending and a goalie taken over by the spirit of Lev Yashin for the afternoon. Why don’t we ever seem to get a keeper who fumbles or chucks things in their own net? Where is Almunia when you need him?

King, Palacios and Modric all came back into the team to replace Bassong, Jenas and Kranjcar. Gudjohnsen, Walker and Kaboul all made the bench and were given warm welcoming applause when their names were read out. All will have to wait for another day to make their debut though as Harry, for the second match running, stuck with his starting line-up for the whole 90 minutes. Maybe some of the flack thrown at him after the substitutions at St Andrew’s last weekend has gotten to him? Unlikely.

Spurs were on the front foot from the word go with chances and half chances falling regularly during the first quarter of the game. The best of them came to Ledley who put a free header from a corner straight at Friedel. Villa had barely been allowed out their own half but had a piece of good fortune after 22 minutes when Heskey limped off to be replaced by Carew. They now had an outlet who was capable of receiving the ball without falling over and Ledley (who was skipper by the way) and Dawson had a proper physical handful to deal with as Carew chucked himself around, most of the time with approval of ref Chris Foy. The game was more even but apart from a double save from Milner and Agbonlahor, Gomes had nothing to do. At the other end however Friedel was tested often most notably by a thunderbolt Huddlestone drive and when Crouch was poked through by Defoe. Crouch and Modric failed to get proper contact on efforts in the penalty area and just before half time Friedel saved from King again and from the rebound Defoe, from a tight angle, scooped over an empty net.

The second half started with Villa still getting their fair share of possession. They seemed intent on not losing shape however rather than attempting to break us down. Young and Downing swapped wings continually to little effect while Carew continued to barge around in the middle. For the last quarter though it was back to the Alamo efforts we witnessed against Stoke, Wolves and Hull as we piled forward, ultimately with no reward. Huddlestone, Crouch, Bentley, Defoe, Modric and Dawson all had efforts on goal blocked, deflected or saved by Friedel. What looked from the stands like an absolute stonewall penalty wasn’t given when Defoe was upended from behind by Petrov. O’Neill withdrew Downing near the end to be replaced by Sidwell so you knew where his priorities lay.

An entertaining game in a good atmosphere, as most of these 5:30 kick-offs are. Villa only took the small allocation in the corner but were well supported even if it was in a pub sing-along type way.  The frustrated taunts of “boring boring Villa” rang round the ground at the end and their defensive attitude was disappointing given the speed and quality they have but there you go. Palacios, Modric, Bentley and Bale all tried to trick their way through and any number of balls to Crouch were knocked on and down but none were taken full advantage of. The encouraging thing is how well we played against one of the better teams around and how dominant were against them. We had 28 shots according to the BBC website. The team were applauded off which says much about how the crowd appreciated their efforts.

We’re fifth now and if Villa and Man City win their games in hand we’re seventh.  One defeat in nine league games since we lost to Wolves in December is decent form, but that includes four draws which is why our league place is suffering. A run of wins is what we need, the return game against Wolves on Wednesday is a good place to start.

By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. To be honest, I am sick of the carping criticism of Peter Crouch by Spurs fans. He is a player held in high esteem by both Liverpool and Portsmouth fans. Has it not dawned on anyone that Jermaine Defoe’s scoring rate is directly related to Crouch’s ability to place the ball in the right place? perhaps if JD were a little less selfish, worked as hard as Crouch and looked up once in a while to see if anyone is better placed to put the ball in the net Spurs would be out of Liverpool’s sights now.( listen to Liverpool fans bemoaning his loss at the moment) If you are in any doubtas to his ability – just look at th compilation on Youtube. I can’t believe a ‘has been’ who couldn’t even score for Monaco would even get near to PC’s contribution.You should try watching Heskey every week – a player who has scored only 2 goals this season yet who seems to be valued for how he aids other players.Quite frankly you don’t deserve hardworking committed professionals if this is how you treat them. You support him, get off his back and he will pay you back a hundredfold

  2. Yes he’s so productive isn’t he Judy. As Harry said, he won everything in the air..’triffic…and we scored exactly how many goals from this aerial dominance…oh that’s right…none! A couple of times Modric played him in on the ground but he was too slow to react and the bottom line is he does’nt score goals and neither do Modric, Huddlestone, Palacios, or Bentley (or Jenas) so, as every team knows, stop DeFoe and Spurs will never score…simples.

    4th place has gone unless Harry can bear to take out the long-ball target, play football on the ground and persuade Gudjohnsen that he is really 5 years younger and can start scoring goals again. Also, Krankjar for Hudd wouldn’t be a bad idea and of course we still have Pav who knows how to play on the ground as well as in the air.

    As Cloughie once famously said “If God had intended football to be played in the air He would have given us wings”.

  3. Clinical finishing is our weak point. We certainly lack striking sharpness. This is why we are not scoring. Give Pav a chance when he is fit.

  4. Dozy you have the right name we tried Kranjcar when Hudds was injured we never won wake up and smell the American goalkeepers they are all playing like Cats .They are doing a favor for American Liverpool Friedel he used to play for them Howard Hannaman myhill was born there maybe they are using the same fitness stuff.We COULDNT SCORE AGAINST Wolves Hanamann we banged 6 past him when he was at reading .Phillips aged 36 scored twice to beat Wolves just work out the results and the more you look the Murkier it looks these are this weeks shocks. Liverpool ten men 45 mins Everton unbeaten 8 games beat 1-0 .Falkirk bottem beat Aberdeen i-o away Kilmarnock beat Celtic 1-0 Palace beat Wolves 3-1 .Notts beat Wigan away 2-0 Hull drew Chelsea 1-1 and then beat City 2-1 if you work it out right to UK sport and tell them.

  5. Indeed, very often our shots are not cleverly taken and then we say that the goalkeeper has been outstanding. If we shoot or head right at the goalkeeper, how can we expect him not to save. It is a fact that our finishing needs improving.

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