Tag Archives: lennon

The Best News (for Tottenham) – and What this Means for Tottenham’s English Players?

Two great things have happened in the past few hours. Firstly, Capello has been backed as the England manager for the foreseeable future, and secondly, he has stated his desire to blood newer players into the England first team to replace the underperforming ones.

“I can assure the fans I am now fully focused on our European qualifying fixtures, starting with the friendly against Hungary in August,” he stated.

“We will look to introduce new players to give the team new energy and I will use all my experience to take England forward.

“I am extremely proud to be the England manager, it means so much to me and I am determined to succeed.”

-Fabio Capello

This is great news on a few different levels. Firstly, I believe that Capello is a great manager, despite the goings-on of the World Cup, which should be blamed far more on the lack of drive and ambition of the players that took part. Simply look at his club level record and you can see why he was hired. Over the next few years his English will get better, and his connection with the English squad will improve, and according to his statement will look to get rid of the England players that consistently perform poorly (finally). Whether this is to be believed entirely is up for debate, as I am pretty sure he said this when he was hired, but regardless, why is this such good news for Tottenham?

All Hail the King of White Hart Lane

Well, primarily, because it means the man who helped us to 4th place, and into the Champions League for the first time in our history – and most probably the prime candidate for the England job – will stay with us. Harry Redknapp had previously said that Tottenham will be his last club, yet recently stated his desire to lead England. Thankfully, someone took away this dangling carrot from him before he got too vocal and silly. Secondly, it may mean the chance for some of our emerging talents to finally prove their worth for England.

Players such as Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone, who have been called up to the squad on numerous occasions, yet never allowed a game, may be given the chance against a weak qualification group to prove themselves on the international stage. Dawson has been at the heart of a defence that has had the best home defensive record for the last two seasons in the Premiership, and it seems absurd that he has not been called up sooner (especially after watching the abysmal Matthew Upson play against Germany). Huddlestone too is a player who has not been given a chance, despite showing good form. He has been overshadowed by bigger named such as Gerrard, Barry and Lampard and will perhaps not see immediate first team action, he looks like a decent successor to Barry at least, who again, had a dreadful World Cup.

Michael Dawson - English Through and Through. We're pretty sure he's never even been abroad...

So what of the other English players that we possess? The younger players such as Danny Rose and John Bostock will not be in the mind of Capello for a good many years yet, as they have yet to fully develop their game to the levels needed, nor have other youth prospects. The youngest of our potential players, if indeed he is even a Tottenham player as of next season, is Jamie O’Hara. He has been the best player by far for a very poor Portsmouth side this season, and if he is given the chance of another loan spell, or even sold to another club, could stand an outside chance of being picked, yet again, will be overshadowed by the immense amount of choice England have in the centre.

Then we come to the English players that did take part in the World Cup. Messrs Crouch, Lennon and Defoe. Up first, Peter Crouch, who did not get to see much action in South Africa. His 10 minute showing was not enough to declare him a bad player, nor a good one, and so it is unfair to judge him on this. What is fair to judge him on is his phenomenal scoring record for the national side though, with 21 goals in 40 games, better than Wayne Rooney, the man Capello has been trying to build his team around, even more so when you consider how many of these goals came in starts and the figure is almost 1 in 1. What used to be true of Crouch was that he only scored against weaker national sides, such as Jamaica, Andorra, Macedonia and Trinidad and Tobego. Yet since his goal against Croatia in 2007, he has also managed to score against the stronger oppositions of Ukraine, Mexico, and scored two against a strong Egyptian side. So for now, let us assume that Peter Crouch is safe.

Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe did get the chance to shine in the World Cuo though, so their place may perhaps be moreso under threat, especially with the talent that is creeping up behind them. To their credit, they did not enter the World Cup in the greatest of form, with both coming back from injury recently (Lennon came back only weeks ago), and Jermain Defoe not having found his scoring legs in the 8 games he played since returning. Their club form has been very good this season, with Defoe netting 18 goals and 5 assists in 34 games, and Lennon scoring 5 and setting up a further 10 from only 22 games, yet is that enough to get them into the England squad easily? They may have been picked based on previous England experience, as other English players had performed as well if not better than them. Milner made 12 assists last season, and had a good World Cup, which perhaps has already pushed Lennon back to second-tier, and Ashley Young (who was not picked for the squad), made the same number of assists and grabbed the same number of goals as Lennon, though from more games. Adam Johnson too is another winger who played well, and is one for the future, with 9 assists made from only 15 games, better than Lennon’s form (yet he was also not picked, perhaps for being too young).

Jermain Defoe is too being pushed to up his game against competition from the rest of the English players. Darren Bent tucked away 24 goals in the 09/10 season, and if that form continues will no doubt be given more of a chance for England, and the pace of Gabriel Agbonlahor, coupled with his decent return of 13 goals, means that Defoe’s position is far from safe.

We look forward to what these qualifiers will bring, both from England and from the Tottenham players no doubt likely to feature.

Blackburn v Tottenham

Premier League Game: 31

Saturday April 4th 12:45
AWAY v Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park
11 degrees, chance of rain

Reverse Fixture:                             Tottenham 1 – 0 Blackburn

Positions/Potential Positions:  Tottenham 11th (7th – 11th) Blackburn 17th (12th – 18th)

Form Last 6:                                     Tottenham DWWDWW Blackburn DWLWLD

Key Injuries: Tottenham (Defoe, Bent unlikely) Blackburn (Emerton, Reid, Santa Cruz, Dunn, Grella unlikely, McCarthy unlikely)

Both teams have alot to play for in the early Saturday kick-off, with Spurs now gunning for that 7th spot and their only chance of European football next season, while Blackburn will look to pick themselves out of the relegation fight with a much needed win that could put them them right up to 12th.

On paper it looks as if a Tottenham win is likely, with the best form in the league currently, yet Blackburn will no doubt receive some of the hairdryer treatment from Allardyce who will want them to use their home advantage to get something from the visitors.

It looks as though it will be raining all through Saturday morning, with some still present at kick-off, which means that the pitch is unlikely to be perfect for Tottenham’s quick passing style on the ground. I feel that Redknapp will look to rest Darren Bent and play with Pavlyuchenko up top, fresh from scoring for Russia during the international break, with Robbie Keane just behind in support, to provide a balance of speed and height.

The rest of the squad is likely to remain unchanged, with Didier Zokora replacing Jermaine Jenas the only option that may occur.

With Blackburn’s growing injury list they will struggle against Tottenham, and the best they could hope for would probably be a 1 – 1 draw. Tottenham’s defence is looking fairly strong at the moment, and they look good for keeping the goals conceded down at Ewood Park. The game will likely be decided on the attacking speed of Aaron Lennon from the right who should look to exploit a slow Blackburn backline.

TOTTENHAM TATTLER’S PREDICTION: I predict a low scoring game, perhaps a 1-0 or 2-1 to Tottenham if the Spurs’ strikers deliver, but my head says an away game against a relegation battler will be a difficult occasion. I’m going to go with Blackburn leading 1 – 0 at the break, but a 1 – 1 draw in the end.

Tattler’s Transfer Hopes

I have been watching the transfer rumours that have been directed at Spurs over the last few months with intense anticipation. I know it happens every year, with too many false dawns over the next big signing, but I think possibly this year Ramos has the backing of the board, who are in a very strong financial position, to get in some key signings.

So we here have been thinking about what team we would like to see, and think there would be a possibilty of seeing, at Spurs next season. We have also put in which players we would like sold and potential income from them.

Goalkeepers

Alot of rumours abound about keepers this summer as it is widely known that Ramos is on the lookout for a new one. Alot of these are unfounded as many papers will just shut their eyes and pick out a name of a known goalkeeper to link with Spurs. It is near certain that Robinson will leave, yet I feel that unless Ramos obtains the exact two keepers he wants, Robinson will stay and fight for a place with a new keeper next season. We have just signed a new goalkeeper coach, Hans Leitert, from Recreativo and I believe that Robinson has the ability to improve back to his old self with the right guidance, perhaps Leitert could be this guidance? If he does not stay though, I could see him moving to Aston Villa or Wigan, someone like that who have funds but not a great squad for around £2million.

Staying or Leaving?

It is also almost certain that Tottenham will buy a new keeper, with links to Gomes, Neuer, Coupet and Green in recent weeks, yet I believe that a good signing, and fairly possible after Espanyol purchased Alavarez from Rosario, is Cameroonian goalkeeper Carlos Kameni. Kameni was the winner of the African keeper of the year in 2006-07 and at only 24 has a good future, and his best playing years, ahead of him. He has a buy-out clause in his contract worth £4.8m would be far cheaper than what Gomes, Neuer or Green would cost, who are vital to their teams. The rumor of Coupet too has been one that has grown in the press and being 35 years old, would not be too expensive either,  maybe around £2million, and after the player has stated that he is leaving in the summer, a move to Spurs could be on the cards.

Carlos Kameni

IN    – Kameni (£4.8m), Coupet (£2m)
OUT – Robinson (£2m)

Defenders

A few more rumours about the Tottenham defence, mainly due to their very poor record in the Premier League this season. The possible transfer of Ledley King I do not see as having any real truth, as noone would want to buy such an injury prone player and none of the fans would want to see him sold, yet I do believe that the captaincy may be handed over to someone else for the new year. The other big name on the out is Younes Kaboul, who never really established himself in the first team. At only 22 he could still improve greatly as a player, yet he has publicly criticised Ramos, and as we all know, in football that means your gone. I would love to recoup the £7m that we spent on him, but with Ramos’ desire to offload him I assume a bid of around £4m-£5m would be accepted. As well as Kaboul I could quite happily see the departures of alot of the other defenders, with Lee, Assou-Ekotto, Gardner, Rocha and perhaps Chimbonda all leaving if offers would come in.

Kaboul, surely must leave?

This would leave us with a still very competent backline, with Hutton, Woodgate, King and Bale providing a very strong unit when all are playing, yet I think Ramos would like to keep some competition for places in his team so bringing in a replacement for King would be top of his priorities and if Chimbonda leaves, would need some backup at rightback, though I think maybe Chimbonda may stay, get annoyed at being on the bench, and be sold in January. Gunter has shown some good performances for the Wales national team so would be good cover for Bale and Dawson is also a player simply in poor form who could regain some composure.

The likely purchase that I see for centre back would be one of Ramos’ old Sevilla defenders, Julien Escude. He’s 28 and is probably at the peak of his career, and would have the mental prowess to command a backline, this seems the most likely of the defensive rumours and a bid of around £5million is likely to be made.

IN    –Escude (£5m)
OUT –Kaboul (£4m), Gardner (£1m), Lee (£2m), Assou-Ekotto (£2m), Rocha (free)

Midfielders

One of the less prolific of the transfer windmills, Tottenham have not been linked to as many midfielders as in recent times this window, yet there are a few notable pieces of gossip. The transfers of David Bentley and Wright-Phillips have probably been born out of Lennon’s loss of form towards the second half of last season and as always we have been linked to a central midfielder. The issue of left midfield has possibly been solved with the fabulous and unexpected transfer of Luca Modric and Behrami has been linked with us too, and that transfer also looks like a possibility for the right or left midfield role.  I see Ramos putting in a big big for Bentley and if the top four are not interested, could see him signing for us, but ultimately it seems far more likely that Tottenham will stick with their current wingers. In the central midfield I think the addition of Lassana Diarra would be a very big buy for the club, adding to the defensive strength where Zokora has been unable to. He could possibly be bought for around £7million i believe.

Bentley. Large price on his head

On the way out, and this all really depends if offers come in, are probably Tainio, Boateng and Ghaly. I do not think that we will see Ghaly playing for Spurs again, and any offer will be accepted, but for Tainio or Boateng offers of £2million plus are likely, though with the large fee we payed for Boateng last summer Spurs will not want to lose too much on him and would rather keep him or loan him out. The fate of the rest of the midfield is just as uncertain with Ramos not looking to actively offload any, but would seriously consider bids that come in for Zokora, Jenas or Lennon.

IN     – Modric (£15m), Diarra (£7m), Bentley (£16m)
OUT– Tainio (£2m), Boateng (£5M+ or loan), Ghaly (free)

ForwardsThe biggest story would be the almost certain departure of Dimitar Berbatov, who is likely to go for £20million and upwards, but the relatively low interest so far has been somewhat worrying seeing as Tottenham are basing all of their dealings on the sale. If he goes though, and along with Darren Bent who would most probably go for about £10million, we will need to bring in another or another two strikers.

Bye bye Berbatov

Links to Eto’o, Villa and Henry all look highly unlikely and are classic ‘Tottenham rumours’, like the Ronaldo and Rivaldo rumors of the past. Strikers like Nikola Zigic, Moreno, Fred and Diego Milito all look far more likely, but it is up to Ramos to decide who would be the best buy. I think that a strike pairing of any of these quite big strikers with Keane would be good but Moreno would be preferably due to his young age or Diego Militio for his strength. While Fred and Zigic are both good strikers, I do not think that they will fit in well to the style of the Premier League, though I would be happy to be proved wrong. It is likely that Milito would require a large transfer sum, maybe in the region of £18million, and Moreno would too need something like £6million, fairly high for his age, yet they would give a touch of flair to the current side.

IN    – Milito (£18m), Moreno (£6m)
OUT– Berbatov (£20m+), Bent (£10m)

That’s it, its done, the great big transfer report, and it we will come back to this at the end of August to see how many of these have come true, and which we were way off the mark with.