Gone Fishing – NUFC v Tottenham (18/8/12)

Thanks to the members from Glory-Glory participating (thread here)

New Season, new manager, what are your thoughts on the new boss?

  • Awesome Dawson – Chelsea are no former employers to base judgement. His sacking meant he had no time to implement his management on that squad. Tactically/training techniques he can’t be worse than Harry.
  • Mason – Nervous & excited at the same time, really need a decent start in the first 6-7 games but believe if given time I think he will be a success.
  • DubaiSpur – A manager who thinks tactics are more than just foreign mouth fresheners, and who refers to us as ‘we’ instead of ‘them’? I’m quite pleased ,actually.
  • VolSpur – Think he’s the man for the job. Am a little skeptical in regards to his plans for our Defence, but am really looking forward to his tactical awareness that seemed to be lacking with Harry. Some fringe players might actually get a look too which will be a welcome change.
  • Hully – A massive gamble, I think he has a lot to do to rebuild his reputation. Lots of people talking of new systems, giving him time, etc. you’d think we’d never played any decent football last year.
  • WookieD – Mainly ambivalence. A hero in Porto and Pariah in Chelsea it is impossible to know what we are walking into. Apparently AVB has identified and recognised his man maangement failings with the Chelsea dressing room and is keen not to repeat them… And that is without even covering his tactics, which leads us onto point two.
  • JimmyB – It’s a marmite decision to appoint AVB. Could turn out to be inspired. Could turn out to be an unmitigated disaster. But our motto isn’t To Dare Is To Do for nothing. Far rather take a risk on AVB than go for a safe but limited option like Moyes.
  • Nutter-Naylor – Neutral

How worried are you about Villas-Boas’ apparent preference for playing a defensive high line (something I believe he has deployed throughout pre-season, and something that helped cost him his job at Chelsea)?

  • Awesome Dawson – We have a pacey defence in Kaboul, BAE and Walker – happy to give it a go. Brad isn’t great at coming off his line though.
  • JimmyB – It worked for him at Porto. It didn’t work for him at Chelsea. All depends on whether he has the right personnel. I have no idea whether or not he does.
  • WookieD – No disrespect to Chelsea, but they didn’t really have the playing staff to cope with such a high line and were in any case resistant to his tactics (certainly by the end). I think this gives Spurs a better chance with the speed of Walker, Kaboul, Verts and less so Benny. However, in that back four I would say that every single one of them is prone to concentration/positional errors… If I am being truthful, without Ledley to lead the line, I think we are going to ship a lot of goals in the early part of the season, maybe fullstop.
  • Hully – I’m worried about his inability to change his system depending on who we play. A plan B so obviously absent at Chelsea would be very welcome. No evidence of one in pre-season. Newcastle have the players to exploit a high defensive line.
  • VolSpur – Somewhat worried…
  • DubaiSpur – Not too worried about it in the long term. We’ve got the speedy defenders to make it work, and unlike Chelsea, they’re actually willing to give it a go. However ,short term, I foresee them struggling to adapt to it. Your forwards will definitely get chances this weekend. I hope Brad can keep them out.
  • Mason – Time will tell but at the moment not concerned, I think its a topic that is talked about far too much. I think a lot of it was just down to poor defending rather than this “high line” setup.
  • Nutter-Naylor – I suppose it all depends on what players he brings in. If our CHs are Daws & Bassong we will get murdered.

What did you make of the Gareth Bale Olympics fiasco?

  • Awesome Dawson – Couldn’t care less – he needs rest not second rate tournament football.
  • JimmyB – That it was a storm in a teacup, brewed by ignorance. Bale was injured at the time that the squad was selected. It was Team GB’s choice not to select him rather than Spurs’ choice not to make him available.
  • WookieD – The fiasco was media born. Bale had an injury, Team GB doctors agreed that he should be sent back to Spurs as they had no assurance he would be fit for games. No cloak and daggers, just bored rag writers.
  • Hully – What fiasco? Bale may have scored in the LA match, but he was far from fully fit, no way he was ready to play in a tournament.
  • VolSpur – Not really a fiasco was it? Seems a bit dramatic with the wording tbf…
  • DubaiSpur – His injury was verified by both the club physios and the Team GB medics who saw the scans. This was verified, both at the time and after the media uproar when he recovered quicker than expected. The lad talked about his pride at representing Team GB for months beforehand, so why would he pull out at he last minute unless he had a due cause?
  • Mason – Complete non-story, he got injured, so pulled out, then recovered much quicker than expected…. end of…Leading up to the Olympics he was openly talking about how much he wanted to play in it, why would that suddenly turn in to making an excuse to get out of it??
  • Nutter-Naylor – Glad he didn’t play

Redknapp: should never have got rid or had he taken you as far as he could?

  • Awesome Dawson – Yes he had taken as far as he could have done. He did extremely well in his time.
  • JimmyB – Harry was his own worst enemy. Couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Forever undermining Levy in chummy discussions with his media acolytes. No chairman would have stood for it. In terms of character, modus operandi and how they saw the club progressing, Levy and Harry were incompatible. Divorce was inevitable.
  • WookieD – As a Redknapp fan I would say he made his position untenable. When he was courting the England job, he publically and verbosely stated that footballers are not bothered who their manager is, this wouldn’t affect them now or in the future (we then saw our form collapse). Roll forward to June and he is telling anyone that will listen that Levy should immediately extend his contract as “the poor lambs that play for me are fickle and flighty creatures and need to know who their manager is”. The list of annoyances to Levy goes on. Possibly one of the worst is that Redknapp flat refuses to work under a DoF but then fails to create a proper transfer policy/football legacy. I would have him here still, but don’t blame Levy one bit for sacking him.
  • Hully – He was sacked for non-footballing reasons. I think a lot of fans will regret Levy’s decision.
  • VolSpur – Got us as far as we could go, but wasn’t the man to take our team forward. Thought it was handled appropriately.
  • DubaiSpur – I think he could have taken us further than he did. Without the England debacle, and the resultant tactical and motivational collapse, we would have finished third. Unfortunately, he let both of these things affect us to the point where it was impossible to recover from them, and by doing so destroyed our entire season. For that, he had to go. Unfortunate, but what can you do.
  • Mason – Initially I was very disappointed we got rid, still not completely convinced it was the right decision but having said that there were a number of things that were quite frustrating with Harry and his setup. Wont miss his constant babbling in the media, the complete lack of set piece training & the lack of rotation.
  • Nutter-Naylor – Neutral

As it stands Modric is still a Spurs player, how important is he to the way you play and can you keep him long term?


  • Awesome Dawson – Very important to how we play but he wants to go and therefore it is time. He isn’t irreplaceable. His goal scoring and assists record is easily replaceable.
  • JimmyB – He was critical to the way that Spurs played under Harry. And he would be critical to the way that AVB wants to play too. But he is off. No doubt. He will be poison if he doesn’t get his move by the end of this window.
  • WookieD – I don’t think he is nearly as critical as some make out. He has very good ball retention and can pick a pass. But then so can a lot of other players and I don’t think he plays forward nearly as much as some people think. Add to that he gets few direct assists or goals. I think we will certainly have to adjust but I don’t think losing him is the be all and end all… Except, we will certainly need to replace him. Not like for like, but we need someone to control our possession.
  • Hully – He’s a great player, but so are several of his teammates. This will be Huddlestone’s year. Life moves on, if Modric thinks the world revolves around him he is going to be rudely awakened. He has a choice to make, first team or U21s.
  • VolSpur – He is very important to the way we play in keeping possession and getting the ball forward to wider playmakers, but imo we could add a player who’s more of a goal threat in his position.
  • DubaiSpur – He is vital to the way we lay. Without him, we look utterly lost more often than not. As for keeping him, he knows that he has to keep quiet and get on with it if he doesn’t get his move; Daniel Levy’s proved that he’s not afraid to hold him to his contract, and I imagine he’ll be happy to hold him to the rest of it (till 2016) if need be. So if Madrid don’t stump up the cash we want, I see him staying at Spurs for all of next season. Don’t think we can hold him much longer than that, though.
  • Mason – Statistics indicate not as important as is suggested but really I feel he is the difference between being able to dominate against the top 4 teams and not. Can we keep him? Its out of our hands I feel…. its up to Real.
  • Nutter-Naylor – Great player & important to the team but i will be glad to see the back of him now.

Which Spurs player do you predict will have a big season?

  • Awesome Dawson – Sandro – Huddlestone
  • JimmyB – Kaboul.
  • WookieD – Depends what you mean by big? Big for the player then definitely Caulker and Carroll. It could be the break through season for both. Maybe Townsend too. So with Livermore that would be four home growns all coming through which is good. But they’ll be bit part players, so it won’t be big news from a fans point of view. For me, Siggy has the chance to prove Swansea wasn’t a flash in the pan and could come out of this season as the real deal. Big season for him. Verts also gets the chance to prove his nay sayers wrong as many seem to have written him off as being too poor defensively (non-Spurs fans seem to be banging this drum).
  • Hully – Huddlestone.
  • VolSpur – Bale
  • DubaiSpur – I’m going with Aaron Lennon. He’s been a bit under the weather for these past couple of seasons. Still devilishly good, just not up to the truly blistering standards he set back in the halcyon days of late 2009-early 2010. He’s due a return to form.
  • Mason – Bale…. again
  • Nutter-Naylor – Caulker

Which Spurs player do you predict will have a disappointing season?

  • Awesome Dawson – Defoe
  • JimmyB – None, I hope…..unless you mean players who fail to make the first team on a regular basis. In which case, Jermain Defoe (if he isn’t sold).
  • WookieD – Rafa may be pulled from pillar to post positionally this season if Siggy performs and may get frustrated. As above, Verts may not be the player we hope he is. Hudd won’t get the minutes he wants.
  • Hully – Vertonghen, hope I’m wrong but I think it will take time for him to adjust to the speed of EPL. No worries, caulker is more than capable.
  • VolSpur – Parker
  • DubaiSpur – Hmm. I’d have to say Dawson. I love the guy, and I’d be happy if he saw out the rest of his career here, but I suspect he might be a tad too slow for AVB’s new system. Plus Vertonghen and Caulker are both going to provide some real competition.
  • Mason – Dawson. Unless we get a number of injuries, I cant seem him getting many games.
  • Nutter-Naylor – Bentley

What’s a realistic aim for Spurs this season? Where have you strengthened to achieve this?

  • Awesome Dawson – Top 6 – we haven’t strengthened if we lose Modric (as well as King) and don’t replace them with top class signings and a striker would be nice.
  • JimmyB – Top four is still a realistic aim. But, unless we sign a couple of strikers and a Modric replacement soon, it is an aim that could soon be well beyond us.
  • WookieD – Ask me again on Aug 31st
  • Hully – CL qualification is minimum requirement. Decent run in Europe. Two strikers needed pronto.
  • VolSpur – 4th-5th and some silverware from a cup. We still need to strengthen at striker and find a quality replacement for Modric.
  • DubaiSpur – Realistic aim would be to finish in the top six playing good football and showing some progress on and off the field. Getting the new stadium underway would be the priority, though, and I hope it’s finally sorted this year. As for where we’ve strengthened, I feel central defense is now a strong point for us. With Caulker, Vertonghen, Kaboul, Gallas and Daws, we’ve got a great pool of centre-backs, even if the high line will tax them at the start. We’ve also signed Siggy, who I’m confident will notch at least ten goals this season, maybe more.
  • Mason – The aim has to be to challenge for a top 4 spot, admitedly getting it will be v.difficult. But as long as we are there or thereabouts I think we’ll be satisfied.
  • Nutter-Naylor – 5th/ Nowhere yet

Who will win the Premier League this year and why?

  • Awesome Dawson – Man Utd if they sign the R2385t – they ran City close without ever being much good last season.
  • JimmyB – Manchester. Don’t know which one.
  • WookieD – Citeh – Money – Football is dead
  • Hully – Man C will win title by 9 points. Now they know how to do it, they will be unstoppable.
  • VolSpur – City. Money.
  • DubaiSpur – City – too many fantastic players for them NOT to win it.
  • Mason – Man City…. they have the best starting XI and squad, plus now they know how to win it, cant see anyone stopping them.
  • Nutter-Naylor – City/Deepest Pockets

How do you see the top 6 panning out?

  • Awesome Dawson – Man Utd, City, Chelsea, A***nal, Spurs, Liverpool
  • JimmyB – Not much different to last season. Maybe Liverpool will knock Spurs or Newcastle down to 7th.
  • WookieD – Everton could be interesting this year, Liverpool will be Stella or p**s poor. Other than that, similar to last season, just juggle the places about
  • Hully – Man C, Chelsea, Man U, A****nal, Spurs, Liverpool,
  • VolSpur – 1. City 2.United 3.Chelsea 4. Spurs 5.A***nal 6. Newcastle
  • DubaiSpur – The Manchester sides will take the top two spots. Chelsea, if they get their act together after that community shield debacle, will probably have enough to secure third. Fourth, fifth and sixth will be too close to call. A****nal, Liverpool and ourselves will probably be scrapping it out pretty fiercely for those spots. I’m not counting you guys out either, get your transfers sorted (Debuchy, Anita, etcetera; genuinely good players you’re targeting.) and avoid embarassments like the Cardiff City friendly and I see you guys right in the mix as well.
  • Mason – Man City, Man Utd, A****nal, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool
  • Nutter-Naylor – Usual. City, Utd, A***nal, CFC, THFC & LFC/NUFC

Which teams will be relegated and why?

  • Awesome Dawson – Norwich (second season syndrome), Swansea (lost some important players and manager) WBA (minus Hodgson might be harder for them to be as defensively tight)
  • JimmyB – A***nal, Chelsea and West Ham. Because I don’t like them.
  • WookieD – Swansea – They have suffered a hammer blow losing their manager and I’m not sure Laudrup will keep things ticking. Controversial choice I reckon but it’ll be interesting to see how they rally. West Brom – Not even the mighty Lukaku will add the quality that they need to stay up. A lot of “chaff” got filtered last season and I expect QPR and Villa to perform much better this season. West Ham – Just because… yoyo club, lol.
  • Hully – Don’t care as long as West Ham are one of them.
  • VolSpur – West Brom, Wigan, Reading. They’re bad.
  • DubaiSpur – Swansea – I get the feeling that the combination of an unproven manager (In the PL, at least) and a group of players undoubtedly still feeling the effects of Rodgers’ departure (and his subsequent poaching of their best player) will lead to them going down. I hope not, though.
  • Reading – Newly-rich they may be, but I still see big holes in their squad which I think they’ll struggle to fill.
  • West Ham – for entirely obvious reasons.
  • Mason – Swansea – Robbed of manager & their best players, can see them struggling badly.
  • Norwich – Thought Lambert did a brilliant job with an extremely average squad, now he’s gone I can see them being found out.
  • Reading – They will battle it out with the other promoted teams & the usual lot but I have a feeling they’ll go.
  • Nutter-Naylor – Wigan, Swansea & Reading. Not enough strength in depth.

Which new Premier League players are you looking forward to seeing?

  • Awesome Dawson – Hasn’t been an exciting transfer window. Hope all the A***nal signings are flops but the Spaniard – Cazorla (is handy apparently) Eden Hazard looks a qunt.
  • JimmyB – Other than Spurs players? None – especially if they’re really good and score against us.
  • WookieD – Begrudgingly Hazard. Also, Cazorla, Kagawa, Lallana and a couple of ex-Spurs in Gunter and Barnard making the step up.
  • Hully – Hope to see new A***nal strikers flop.
  • VolSpur – Vertonghen
  • DubaiSpur – Jimmy Kebe at Reading is one I think will come good. Steven Naismith as well, he’s looked great in Everton’s pre-season. Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana of Southampton are exciting players as well, as is Shinji Kagawa, who I think will be a hit at Old Trafford. I’m also quite interested in seeing if Sylvain Marveaux is any good, I don’t know where he went last season.
  • Mason – Hazard…. if he’s half as good as he thinks he is then he is going to one to watch.
  • Nutter-Naylor – Vertongen & Moutinho (after we have signed him LOL) & our new striker whoever he may be.

Who will be your danger man/men against Newcastle?

  • Awesome Dawson – Bale, VdV
  • JimmyB – Bale.
  • WookieD – Siggy & Bale. If they’re off, we won’t score!
  • Hully – Sigardsson, Bale, VDV, Lennon, Defoe.
  • VolSpur – Bale, Lennon, VDV, Sigg, hopefully Adebayor
  • DubaiSpur – Bale, as always, and….well, if the rumors of injuries to your defence are true, I’ll say Defoe, he thrives in these sorts of situations.
  • Mason – Bale & Siggy
  • Nutter-Naylor – Bale, Siguardsson

Which Newcastle players are you worried about?

  • Awesome Dawson – Cisse, Ben Arfa
  • JimmyB – Not worried. But I rate Cabaye, Tiote, Cisse and Ba.
  • WookieD – Tiote is just fantastic and Cisse is the real thing. A full strength Newcastle has a few good threats though.
  • Hully – Cisse.
  • VolSpur – Ba, Cisse, Ben Arfa, Cabaye
  • DubaiSpur – Cisse, if he plays. He’s one I’m dreading. Cabaye as well, if we don’t close him down quickly I fear for our high back line. Ben Arfa warrants a mention too.
  • Mason – Cabaye mostly, if we give him time on the ball I think we will be in trouble.
  • Nutter-Naylor – All the midfielders & all the attackers!!

Finally, what do you reckon the score will be?

  • Awesome Dawson – 1-1 draw
  • JimmyB – Spurs nil. We have no strikers.
  • WookieD – Not good
  • Hully – 2-2
  • VolSpur – Hopefully: 3-1 Spurs. Rationally: 2-1 Newcastle
  • DubaiSpur – Srsew it, 7-6 Spurs, Defoe with seven for Spurs, Graham Carr and Shola Ameobi (who seems to like doing well against us and then b**dy disappearing) with three each.
  • Mason – 1-0 Newcastle 🙁
  • Nutter-Naylor – Toon will win by 2 clear goals.


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