Fan Report: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Leeds United

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Harry Redknapp - Header

“Oh well, these things happen” said the bloke behind me as Jermaine Beckford ran towards the partying Leeds fans after 96 minutes of rousing cup action at White Hart Lane. I’m not sure that philosophical view was taken by all Spurs fans who’d spent the previous couple of hours watching Tottenham promise but fail to deliver. 

Harry’s tactical gamble of leaving Palacios on the bench and giving starts to Hutton and Rose looked to be succeeding early on as we piled on the pressure. Unfortunately Casper Ankergren had taken on the role of the Unfriendly Ghost as the spirit of Boaz Myhill occupied the Leeds keeper. Early shots from Defoe, Kranjcar and Bale were all turned aside or over and when Rose was flattened in the box he flung himself to his left to turn aside Defoe’s penalty. Beckford’s late spot kick was in total contrast to Defoe’s timid side footed effort.

In the end our early domination dissipated with no reward and it was during Leeds best spell of the game thus far that we actually took the lead. Gareth Bale got past Howson easily and though Ankergren saved Kranjcar’s shot from his cutback, he could do nothing about Crouch’s follow up. Jenas had a great chance to make it two just before half time but scooped his left foot shot over from 10 yards.

Leeds scored straight after the break when we defended a corner in particularly indecisive fashion. It was a shitey goal to give away and obviously gave immediate encouragement to the away team and supporters. 

Leeds had been getting the better of us in midfield as Jenas and Modric failed to cope with their extra man in the middle. Rose had been ineffectual all game and was replaced by Palacios after 56 minutes. We looked better straight away without quite recapturing our early authority. Redknapp went for shit or bust after 71 minutes by bringing on Pav and Robbie for Crouch and Kranjcar. He looked like a tactical genius just a few minutes later as Super Pavlyuchenko combined well with Defoe after a typically forceful Palacios run and finished in the bottom corner. Oddly, he threw his gloves into the crowd during his goal celebration. It looked like normal service had been resumed as the Leeds players heads dropped and their fans quietened. Bale got to the byeline a few times and Defoe wriggled into space regularly but we couldn’t force the goal that would have killed the game off.

Beckford’s pace and confidence had been a source of danger all afternoon and both Bassong & Dawson had struggled to keep track of him. It was the latter who felled him in the box when he was going nowhere and that’s the reason we’re all going to Yorkshire next week to try again.

Overall we had the better of this game, that’s what the stats show certainly, but I don’t think we can moan overmuch about the result. We were outthought tactically for long periods & outnumbered us in midfield. We went route one way too often which is possibly why Harry took Crouch off even though it wasn’t his fault. Bale supplied the only real width as Rose struggled. Leeds were very physical (six yellow cards) and will be the same at Elland Road where we’ll be lucky to get as many decisions as we did in this game. Hopefully Harry has learnt a lesson and we’ll start with our strongest team in the replay. Also hopefully, that team will include Aaron Lennon.

By MF

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Harry Redknapp is a chancer and is way out of his depth at spurs, another manager could pick the right team to play week in week out and give them the self belief and correct mental attitude we so badly lack. Also, i’m no genius, but, if Bale is not great at defending, but, great going forward, would it take a genius to play him as our left winger. Believe me arry will leave us as yet another manager to achieve nothing. I wish i was wrong, but i’ve seen this film before, many times.

  2. Are Leeds really a first Division side because if they are then we are in for a bad second half to the season why are goalkeepers coming to Spurs home and away and performing like a world class Keeper.Then in the next game they are rubbish and concede four like stokes reserve Keeper he has not played since letting four in and Myhill he to has let four in at UTD.Could it be our reputation because of the Wigan game every team is playing with five in midfield we are outplaying this system but drawing or losing when Huddlestone and Lennon don’t play we cant score or struggle to create but last night was cruel and the normal heart break for us Spurs fans .What other stadium would a fat overweight Referee give a Penalty in the last thirty seconds of 6 mins overtime when there should have bean four or five at the very least it could only be Mr Webb Whiley Dean and to add insult he robbed us of at least two other penalty’s one on Defoe was a stonewall.Why did Dawson let Beckford in the box he should have run at him he always had to much pace for Dawson and Harry should have told us to double up on him in the dying seconds Leeds would have had one man outside there area the staggering statts where 25 fowls 6 yellow 11 shots on target 49.5 percent Spurs and Leeds 50.5 percent.This is impressive from a team two Divisions below but in this super fit season the way Leeds kept going and fighting for every ball is becoming normal part of certain teams .Those managers Tactics are to Pack the midfield and work hard till you hear the whistle at times when we attacked Leeds had 7 or 8 players in the box and then attacked with the same Number till they got the ball to Beckford .Harry needs to ditch Bondy Jordan and get young conditioners to help our players compete with these fast and Energetic teams .The other way is to start believing Davspurs Therumourman NWest cockerel something is being Swallowed before and at Half time to make teams look far better than they are.

  3. The ONE good thing about this game was that hopefully fans and management will see owgood pav can be. He is a real class cool finisher. I would play him ahead of both Keane and Crouch. And in fairness Bale is beginning to show his worth.

  4. I am fed up with excuses–jenas is rubbish and yet we still play him, the four in midfield were shocking , they had no weight between them against a enthusiastic Leeds team, i cannot understand the team selection that played yesterday.Arsenal got what they deserved today, [it made my weekend a little easier] but can be excused for playing a second eleven as they have a good chance of winning the league and doing well in Europe.
    We can only win the fa cup, will on recent form finnish behund both Man C. and A.Villa

  5. I meant to add,— paying these guys between £30,000 and £50,000 a week and resting them as we have 3 games in a week.
    These are fit athletes coming towards the end of a season where prizes are to played for!!
    Play them until they drop and let them earn there money!!
    I want to see our best fit eleven players playing on match day!!!!!!

  6. Spot on David but when he plays a full game we leave him isolated and last night with Bale and Defoe he was linking up and doing flicks and if you looked back when he played with Defoe they linked up well .But Harry cant stand is lack of English and having is interpreter running alongside him in training angered Harry i don’t no if he has learnt any more English but he looked the part.The thing that is maddening me is when we brag about any aspect of our game the next game we make our boast look stupid like when we had six clean sheets then we get beat 2-0 we should keep quite let our Football do the talking like Birmingham breaking records with a average side with top four form has one of our former greats once said its a funny old game thats gone even funnier to work out.

  7. Sorry but the first Leeds goal was pansy defending and a gift on a plate, how many players surrounded Beckford and he still scored. The penalty……….well any defender should know in the dieing seconds of a game, a player deep inside the box is going to seek a penalty – he drew dawson in like a mug. fair play to Leeds, they just kept going and fully deserved at least a replay. I fear the return will not be a game we don't fancy. I am fed up of seeing Jenas put in poor performances, I wont be said to see him go – and well done Pav, all he can do is come off the bench and score and eh did that. Perhaps we should start him at Fulham and freshen things up.

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