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Tottenham vs QPR – October 30th 2011

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The promoted teams have started well this season, and despite being the lowest of the trio, QPR are not struggling to pick up the points. After nine games they are 6 points clear of the drop-zone and are technically closer to Europe than they are to England’s second tier. Their goal this season will naturally be to avoid relegation, and despite some big losses to fellow Championship chasers Bolton and Fulham, have managed to pick up some difficult points against Newcastle, Everton and of course in their previous game against Chelsea.

This result may prove a boost to the players, and could up the volume of the fans early on, yet the performance was far from a frightening one if viewed from a Tottenham perspective. Despite the win, they were playing for most the game with two men extra, yet were dominated in all departments by Chelsea and were lucky to escape with a draw let alone all of the points.

Tottenham on the other hand have really turned a corner since the humiliating 5 – 1 defeat to Man City at home (slightly less humiliating now albeit). The signings of Parker and Adebayor have been perfect for us, and have filled out the little gaps that we had in our game, as of yet undefeated since their signings, only dropping points at St.James Park where we could have even taken all three. While the results have not looked convincing in scoreline, we have dominated pretty much every game since September and should have a much higher goal difference by now.

Key Men:

There has been alot of talk about Adel Taarabt returning against Tottenham – and many would pick him out as a key-man for QPR – but his performances this season have been sub par at best. He is yet to score in the Premier league for QPR or Spurs and has thrown his fair share of toys out of the pram already. Instead I imagine that if anyone is to have an effect on Spurs it will be Joey Barton, and if he can dominate the midfield with some big, tough tackles, otherwise I see QPR being overrun.

For Tottenham I am again going to ignore the obvious in Rafael Van Der Vaart, and while I predict that he will bag an early first half goal, the presence of Parker in midfield will be the reason that we do not lose this game like we may so easily have done last season. Since his signing we have become far more solid, and his performance could present us with a clean-sheet to boot.

Very, Very Specific Prediction…

I predict a Tottenham win, by more than one goal at least, and am going to land on a final score of 3-0. Despite the Man City game, we have not lost in 20 home games and we have had a very good defensive record at home over the last few years. While I expect us to dominate the game, I imagine the goals will come early on, and that we could score more, but the result will be the best one in the end. I also believe that the goals will be scored by Van Der Vaart, Defoe and a midfield player – perhaps Modric.

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Tottenham’s Brightest Young Talents

It is fair to say that over the last few seasons, Tottenham have been building up a fairly impressive portfolio of young stars. The breakthrough of Lennon, Huddlestone and Bale into the first team have shown Spur’s willingness to give the youth players a go and will no doubt start to pay off over the next 5 years. Some of these buys have been a little unwise, like the purchases of Boateng and Kaboul, yet some of the other, lower profiled moves have brought us some of Europes best prospects.

Adel Taarabt
The first on this list is arguably the brightest of Tottenham’s youth team and a regular in the reserves, and at only 18, Adel Taarabt has a very promising future ahead of him. He is supremely confident and almost arrogant on the ball, and is one of the best dribblers in the Premiership already. After arriving from Lens on loan in early 2007, he made his move permanent in the summer and in the following season made a handful of appearances for the first team, including an extremely memorable cameo in the 4-0 victory over Derby. His talent is still quite raw at the moment, and has not yet developed the mental attitude to play in the top flight, but if we can hold onto him he will undoubtbly be a key player in the future.

Next up is Czech under 21 international, Tomas Pekhart. The towering striker has been on our books for just about two years now and has already made an impact in the reserves, scoring 19 goals in 20 games in his first season.  Drawing very close comparisons to fellow Czech Republic international Jan Koller, Pekhart has good height and strength but also a very good eye for goal and can act as a target man or a out-and-out striker, much like our own Dimitar Berbatov. His venture into under-21 football has also been very promising, and despite being much younger than a lot of his team mates at only 18, has scored 5 goals in 5 games for the team. Clearly a very promising prospect and I could see him breaking his way onto the sub bench for next season with the departures of Bent and Berbatov.

Tomas Pekhart
Another star on the verge of first team action is recent signing Chris Gunter, who joined us in January from Cardiff City for a fee of around £3million. He has already worked his way into the Welsh national team, replacing team-mate Gareth Bale while he is out injured, and a series of impressive performances against Ireland and Germany helped to improve his growing reputation. Chris is a very capable defender and, unlike alot of modern day wingbacks, will focus more on the defensive side of his role first, strengthening the backline, and then looking to aid the attack also. Would fit well into the side as cover for either Hutton, where he prefers to play, or also switching to the left side where he is just as confident.

The next star in this long list is young defender Dorian Dervitte who at 19 is the oldest of the group. Dervitte joined from French side Lille in the summer of 2006 and was a regular in the French under-15’s, 16’s and 17’s. He broke his way into the reserve team fairly early on in his Spurs career and after a series of impressive performances, made his first team debut in 2006 against Port Vale in the Carling Cup.  Dervitte stands at a height of 6ft 4in, and looms above any attacker, and this, combined with his strength and aerial ability makes him a vital player in set piece situations but also to restrict the presence of a team’s target man. Injury has restricted his opportunities so far, but has recovered well and with some loan experience could break into the first team in a few years.

Dorian Dervitte

One more Spurs star for the future is that of left midfielder Danny Rose. The first englishman in the list, Rose has made many appearances in the reserves and England at youth level and was an unused sub in the victory over Sunderland in early January 2008. He arrived from Leeds in the summer of 2007 and despite suffering an injury setback has shown himself to be a good addition to the squad. Displaying all the traits of a classic attacking winger, with good pace and an eye for goal, he shows off some of the traits of fellow winger Aaron Lennon, yet his ability to play on the left could be something that Tottenham are looking for in their youth players. It is unlikely that Rose would break into the first team in the coming years but could be a good squad player with a couple of seasons loan practice in him.

The final two of Tottenham’s bright prospects are also Englishmen, and serve the same sort of role. Dean Parrett and John Bostock both play in an attacking midfield type of role and have both proved themselves at youth level in many international and domestic stages. Upon his arrival from QPR in early 2007, Parrett became the most expensive youth player ever at just 15 with a potential transfer of £3million. Despite the large transfer fee though he has showed some promise and displays a good first touch and vision for the game at such a young age. Bostock is the more recent addition of the two though, signing from Crystal Palace in the Summer of 2008. Bostock shows a great deal of flair, unique for an English player and his ability to run with the ball has had some draw comparisons between him and England midfielder Joe Cole.

Tottenham look like they have a very exciting team building up here, and with the right guidance and some first-team football they could grow into some very good Premier league players, hopefuly dazzling the rest of the teams along the way.