Form Guide August 2009
P W D L F-A GD Pts
5 5 0 0 16-5 11 12
1 Cup Match
· May 2009 figures
· Last year's figures
Your player of the month is Wilson Palacios!
We waited three months for the close season to come to an end, got five games in two weeks, then have to wait for another two weeks for the next Spurs game!
A number of things have changed about the "Spursometer" this month. First of all, the overall grade of 70.4% is the best mark achieved by Spurs since August 2004 (71%). That was also the start of a season, and a season which also began with a game against Liverpool at home. Jacques Santini was the Spurs manager at a time when Spurs new structure was in its infancy, and of course was last year scrapped when Harry Redknapp was appointed. Funnily enough, that month in 2004 also finished with a game against Birmingham, who we beat 1-0, although the team won two and drew two of the games played.
Secondly, there has been far more "audience participation" in this season's grading process. This has meant a far more representative opinion on the level of performance of both the team and individual players, and whilst trends have been similar to my own assessment I have found some of the grades given by readers more generous than my own. Mind you, it has been a terrific start!
There's no need for me to go into chapter and verse of the first five games, but we started with another victory over Liverpool, and one that was definitely deserved! It brought a winning goal by debutant Sebastien Bassong, and a cracker (also his first goal for the club) by Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has since been charged with misconduct for his remarks about the referee over what he thought should have been penalty decisions in favour of the Reds.
Jermain Defoe's razor-sharp fitness and power was rewarded with his hat-trick at Hull, and so far this season, Spurs have started a trend of winning 5-1 away from home on a Wednesday night. Maybe this will continue at Preston on September 23rd! Wilson Palacios also scored his first competitive goal for the club at this game, and even Robbie Keane (who has not been seen to enjoy the best of form to date) scored a great goal with a box to box run.
Defoe also scored at Upton Park, where Spurs got a habitual win, with Aaron Lennon scoring a great winner. No wonder the two of them, along with Peter Crouch, have been called up by Fabio Capello for the September England International matches.
The Carling Cup trip to Doncaster enabled fringe squad members to get a look-in, and the likes of Bentley and Giovani grasped those chances with both hands. Bentley was one of five different goal-scorers, and was provider too for the goal of Peter Crouch, who took part in all five of Spurs' games in August.
It will come as no surprise to read that players who were prominent in this early success for Spurs included Wilson Palacios, Aaron Lennon, Luka Modric and Jermain Defoe. Palacios wins YOUR player of the month award, and since January has given Spurs the steel in the middle they have so badly missed since the days of Graham Roberts. Wilson hasn't been booked yet, either!
Sadly, Luka Modric sustained a nasty injury in the Birmingham game, but will hopefully return in two months time, despite the fact that he has a fracture to his lower leg. In the mean-time, Harry Redknapp has re-inforced the squad even more and added to the "Croatian wing" of THFC with another signing from Portsmouth - Niko Kranjcar. Kranjcar will be able to cover the absence of his compatriot, but also has plenty of attributes with which he will support the Tottenham attack.
After their 5-1 win at Hull, Spurs went top of the league and stayed there till the end of the month, only conceding the place on goal difference to Chelsea. Our win over Birmingham was again deserved but hard fought, with goals from "super-sub" Crouch, and a last gasp winner from little Aaron.
Once the International break is over we have to fit in 4 more games in two weeks, and with the next two against Man Utd and Chelsea, we'll have more of an idea of the true potential of this Spurs squad. It took us 12 games to reach 12 points last season, so at least we are eight games ahead of ourselves this year!
Don't forget to check out the cumulative appearances and grades for the players as the season progresses - below. The grades are based upon a mark out of ten.
...if you want to remind yourself of the matches played during this month, then See the Fixtures page here. By working your way back through the previous month's figures, you can review the performances over the last 9 years!