Rarely before can Spurs fans have viewed friendly results with the scepticism we did at the start of last season. There were still fresh memories of the run up to 08/09 when the battering of all-comers pointed to anything but what turned out to be our worst ever Premier League start. This time round defeats against Celtic and South China were counterbalanced by clean sheets and victories over West Ham and Hull in a sweltering far East.
Personnelwise, Didier Zokora & Darren Bent were the biggest names amongst the departures, Peter Crouch and Sebastien Bassong the main additions, the latter mostly due to a late injury crisis at centre back. He made 36 appearances ultimately and proved to be an excellent buy.
Roman Pavlyuchenko, in what was to be his last significant intervention for 5 months, sparked a second half goal flurry in our final friendly against Olympiakos and thus burdened only by centre back injury problems that never totally disappeared & armed with cautious optimism we welcomed Gerrard and Torres to White Hart Lane.
Spurs 2 Liverpool 1
So a fine opening day and a pleasant change from the disappointing away defeats of the last three seasons. Liverpool were cast aside in the sunshine long before everyone else knew exactly how crap they were. Of the new signings only Bassong started and it was his header direct from a corner shortly after Gerrard had equalised Assou-Ekotto’s stunning first half strike that won the game. For both of our scorers it would prove to be their only goals of the season. Victory would’ve been more emphatic if Robbie Keane hadn’t misplaced his shooting boots, a pointer to things to come.
Hull City 1 Spurs 5
The first of Jermain Defoe’s three hat-tricks during the season was coupled with a Robbie Keane near post header and Wilson Palacios’s only notch to date in a Spurs shirt. We played some sublime football on the break in this game, stuff we found hard to match as the season wore on and the scars of a long campaign took their toll. Lennon, Modric and Defoe looked unstoppable and whetted the appetite for the season ahead.
West Ham 1 Spurs 2
Another win and what (slightly amazingly) turned out to be our only come from behind league victory of the season. Carlton Cole put the Hamsters ahead and then five minutes later split his own defence with a cracking ball to Defoe that Jermain whipped past Robert Green before he had time to move. Aaron Lennon’s left foot drive into the bottom corner ensured that the home team’s plans for a knees up were abandoned long before the Sarsons was sprinkled on the whelks. We went top of the embryionic league table with this result, just a couple of hours before England won the Ashes at the Oval. Heady stuff.
Doncaster Rovers 1 Spurs 5 (Carling Cup 2nd Round)
Two 5-1 away wins in a week! The Keepmoat saw the only Spurs outings of the season for Kevin Prince Boateng & David Button and the first goal of the campaign for an unhappy looking Pavlyuchenko. Donny were all over us for the first eight minutes, we were 2-0 up after eleven minutes and strolled it from there.
Spurs 2 Birmingham 1
Our fourth successive league win was a struggle against a Blues team that were starting to give signs that they would be no mugs in their first season back up in the top flight. Lee Bowyer left his mark on Luka Modric in the 50th minute who went off and wouldn’t return until December. Luka was replaced by Crouch who scored his first league goal for us since joining in 1998. Bowyer nicked an equaliser but a slip fromÂ (ha ha!) Steve Carr led to Aaron Lennon popping up with another later winner. Marvellous indeed.
The top sixÂ at 31 August 2009Â –
PÂ Â WÂ Â DÂ Â LÂ Â Pts
1. ChelseaÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4Â Â 4Â Â Â Â 0Â Â 0Â Â Â Â 12
2. SpursÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4Â Â 4Â Â Â Â 0Â Â 0Â Â Â Â 12
3. Man CityÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3Â Â 3Â Â Â Â 0Â Â 0Â Â Â Â Â Â 9
4. Man UtdÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4Â Â 3Â Â Â Â 0Â Â 1Â Â Â Â Â Â 9
5. StokeÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4Â Â 2Â Â Â Â 1Â Â 1Â Â Â Â Â Â 7
6. ArsenalÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3Â Â 2Â Â Â Â 0Â Â 1Â Â Â Â Â Â 6
WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF AUGUST?Â SHARE THEM BELOW
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