Tottenham season review 10/11 – October

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Aaron Lennon

October

Sat 2nd – Spurs 2 Aston Villa 1

If anyone was still reserving doubts as to Van der Vaart’s worth to the side this was the game that should’ve dispelled them and made sure he had a place in everyone’s hearts. Villa had started the season well and were busy and wholehearted in the challenge especially at the start of this game. Heskey rolled back the years to dominate Bassong whom he mugged to create the opening goal. Tom Huddlestone was thrown in at centre half to partner the hapless Cameroonian and both were made to work hard in a first half where we were second best. Just before the half time whistle though Crouch knocked the ball across the six yard box and VdV nodded in. Harry made changes at the break with Lennon coming on and VdV playing behind Crouch. We were far livelier and when our favourite Dutchman once again got on the end of a knockdown from the big man to fire home it was a goal that had been coming and one we deserved. Redknapp was still struggling to find the best place for Van der Vaart but there was no doubt that a place had to be found.

Sat 16th – Fulham 1 Spurs 2

We’ve rarely found Craven Cottage an easy place to go and it was situation normal here. We started hesitantly and Kamara took advantage after Dempsey was given too much time in our box. Things looked a little bleak but the equaliser came within a minute when Van der Vaart turned on a Bale cross to chip delicately over Schwarzer and on to the bar. Pav steered home the rebound. Once again we were better after a half time change around, Sandro’s full debut lasting only 45 minutes before he was sacrificed for Lennon. Modric had been stuck out on the right, not the last example of Harry trying to fit a Van der Vaart shaped quart into a pint pot. The winner was ‘controversial’ in that an offside Gallas may or may not have been interfering with play as Huddlestone’s thunderbolt found the bottom corner, Mike Dean in the end deciding that he wasn’t. Ledley started this game but came off before half time with the groin injury that would keep him out of action until the penultimate game of the season at Anfield.

Weds 20th – Inter Milan 4 Spurs 3

There was drama, goals and controversy as we once more brought the party to the normally moribund Champions League Group stage. It was Bern revisited as the cup holders tore us apart in the first half. Gomes was unluckily sent off as he gave away the penalty for home goal number two after only ten minutes and Cudicini picked the third one out only 4 minutes later. We were in such disarray that you wondered how bad it could get, and ‘very very bad’ seemed the most likely answer. But it was the second half that this game will always be remembered for and why it almost seems like a victory rather than defeat. Gareth Bale’s hat trick came from three near identical finishes each of which arrowed into the bottom right hand corner of the net as though predestined. Inter took their foot off the gas after the break but we were a lot more composed and Bale’s goals meant that it was the home team who were in the end relieved to hear the full time whistle.

Sat 23rd – Spurs 1 Everton 1

Bale was the talk of Europe after his efforts in the San Siro and his reward was to be booted up in the air for ninety minutes by Phil Neville and his pals. A rotten scrappy game. Baines gave Everton the lead from a free kick, we equalised shortly afterwards when Van der Vaart yet again got on the end of a Crouch assist. Crouchy was also the victim of some rough treatment from the Toffee centre backs who sandwiched him in the air as often as they could. A game to forget as Everton revisited their Dogs of War past.

Sat 30th – Man Utd 2 Spurs 0

More controversy but as we’re well aware, where there’s Clattenburg, there’s chaos. We’d given Vidic a soft goal from a header in the first half and rarely threatened to get back into it but any hopes we had of somehow claiming anything from the game were dashed by a combination of naivety from Gomes, a lack of judgement from the ref and general sneakiness from Nani. The little cheat responded to the fact that Twattenburg hadn’t blown for his blatant handball by sidefooting in from under Gomes’s substantial nose as the keeper prepared to take a free-kick that hadn’t been awarded. The lino saw everything but a conflab between him and the ref still concluded that it was right to award the goal. No doubt the presence of Ferdinand at the scene of the discussion after the Spurs players had been waved away didn’t influence the decision.

Premier League table at 31st October

1. Chelsea        10   8   1   1   25

2. Arsenal        10   6   2   2   20

3. Man Utd      10   5   5   0   20

4. Man City      10   5   2   3   17

5. West Brom   9     4   3   2   15

6. Spurs           10   4   3   3   15

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