MF previews Norwich vs Spurs


So we’re now 13 games in to the AVB Project.

Thus far the season has been characterised by a large dollop of midfield stodge, a frequently constipated looking attack and a weird ‘better in the first half away, better in the second at home’ dichotomy.

Against these quibbles Villas-Boas has overcome the lack of a Luka-likey, important players getting crocked, new signings taking time to find form, the sniping of a malevolent press and a couple of hissy fits by (agents of) players to get us one great and some good results and fourth place as well as leave us still in the running in the cups. He has brought the best out of Lennon, Defoe, Friedel and Sandro and taken advantage of Benny’s injury to introduce an impressive looking Caulker & shift Vertonghen’s dynamism to left back. The only away defeat was an undeserved one, the only home one inflicted by the ruble. Six wins, five draws and two defeats is much better than many (including me) predicted in August.

That’s doesn’t meant that AVB will have time to kick back, pour a glass of his favourite vintage & start catching up with Homeland however as he’s got a team to pick. It’s Norwich away in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night. Get it wrong and the Halloween Horror headlines write themselves, get it right and the semi-finals are just one kind home draw away.

Predicting the side is a bit of a hopeless task. It’s stating the obvious to say that the manager will want to pick an eleven good enough to win but also to rest players as well. Gallas and Friedel are the two obvious ones to sit out, Vertonghen, Defoe, Sandro, Lennon and Walker have all played regularly in the past few weeks, for country as well as club and would all appreciate a rest, whether they’ll get one, given the lack of obvious replacements is another matter. My guess is that we’ll field a side veering towards the stronger side of under strength, with maybe Dempsey and Bale leading the line thus giving Defoe a night off. Elsewhere, it’s anyone’s guess.

The good news is that Norwich probably won’t pick their best side either. They gave us a fright at WHL when they had the better chances and a fortnight ago beat the Gooners so the more players they keep for the weekend’s encounter with Crouchy and his lumberjack mates the better.

Jon Moss – not the one from Culture Club – is the referee. COYS.


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  1. worrying game, we should win, probably will as its a cup game and Norwich wont sit back but I have no faith in our squad depth…..we are like the Chelsea of old, hard to get chances against but we dont seem as entertaining anymore……just a good attacking midfielder to link play away from being the done deal.

    Tonight: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Verts, Naughton, Sandro, Huddlestone, Bale, Lennon, Sig, Dempsey

  2. We have to believe in Harry sorry AVB its just Harry was praising his ex team on the Radio when he was asked if Blackburn was is new club Harry said no chance he wants a team who can get top four. Back to our game last night when Arsenal came back in yet another second half energized show. This is now becoming the new way of playing swallow i mean a rollocking team talk and has if by magic all the players run faster chase the ball like mad dogs and draw or like Arsenal score with extra energy and mins and win. This abuse of work rate is footballs Lance Armstrong and i have known and campaigned to have it stopped for three seasons. When England's game was called off it shocked me when it was leaked the players needed something to help them sleep because of Caffeine tablets they had swallowed for the Tuesday game washed out. Any fan watching Arsenal would gasp at there high work rate and wonder why they looked slower and normal in the first half . This is not just Arsenal its gaining more teams by the season and if you have the personnel who encourage this form of cheating you can get away with it. I no who is using this method of winning games and can spot it every week. If Spurs had the backroom staff who would allow this energy abuse then i would be confident of beating any team but now Arsenal showed four goals are not enough unless you can match this work rate for two half's in defense and attack. We played Southampton and where winning with better players in every position till the second half and i forecast this before Southampton came out in the second half. Will we beat Norwich yes if we play a lot of fringe players and they do what Arsenal did if not we will all bite a lot of nails and suffer jangling nerves. This is the way teams play they chase the ball in packs and there thirst to get the ball means sometimes they get sent off the opposition have no time to pass and are forced into giving the ball away and face attack from players all moving at the same time with no regards to tiring. There is wave after wave of attacks t till they score or lady luck smiles on your team . This is why i cant watch the second half of games and why i knew Chelsea would win and Arsenal would be flying after 60 mins when it kicks in like the booster in formula 1

  3. Get Ade in to prove himself. Too much mouth currently, needs to prove he is as good as he says.

    I would play Gallas as well. If they weren't both ex-Scum I would be more enthusiastic. Though if we get their luck from last night I'll be happy.

    Give Bale a rest, it's a long season and we need to make sure he isn;t injured or we won't get as much from Real Madrid for him.



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