Form Guide December 2008
P W D L F-A GD Pts
7 2 3 2 5-7 -2 5
2 Cup Matches
· November 2008 figures
· Last year's figures
Watford 1 Spurs 2 - 03.12.08
Spurs overcame the early onslaught from the home side to march through to another Carling Cup semi-final in which they will Burnley. The early tempo brought pressure upon a strong Spurs side, and an early goal for the Hornets. Darren Bent was also held in reserve, in favour of Pavlyuchenko and Campbell, but he was to score the winner with 14 minutes of the game remaining. This was the last occasion when a Spurs striker scored a goal in 2008, and there have been 6 games since!
West Ham 0 Spurs 2 - 08.12.08
It wasn’t quite as much fun as the 4-3 in March 2007, but we still had a good laugh at the expense of the Hammers’ fans for whom this is their “Cup Final”. The result at the time appeared more pivotal than that 4-3 too, as Spurs climbed above Zola’s side, who got a draw at Stamford Bridge the following week-end, whilst Spurs were holding Man Utd at White Hart Lane. This was to be Spurs last win of 2008.
Spurs 0 Man Utd 0 - 13.12.08
The fact that Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was the undoubted man of the match does indicate that United had the better of the game overall. The award was more than justified because of his reflex saves throughout, improved handling, and two quite spectacular saves late in the second half to preserve Spurs’ fourth clean sheet in 6 games. Spurs have now played each of the traditional “top four” (Arsenal had been overtaken by Villa), and not lost. Spurs also remain the only team to have beaten league leaders Liverpool this season, so there was plenty for us to crow about.
Spurs 2 Spartak Moscow 2 - 18.12.08
It was nearly a nightmare before Christmas, as Spurs UEFA chances could have "gone for a Burton", as they fell two goals behind to Spartak Moscow at half-time. However, Harry Redknapp unwrapped the present of Aaron Lennon in place of the dud Gilberto, and coupled with good application on the part of the whole team, a draw was achieved which was enough to ensure qualification to the round of 32 as second place members of Group D. That nightmare scenario would have been fulfilled had we remained two goals down, because N.E.C. conquered group winners Udinese by the requisite two goals, which could have left Spurs high and dry. Bearing in mind Harry Redknapp’s recent quote about “you’d have to be useless not to qualify from this phase”, the Cockerel very nearly came home to roost!
Newcastle 2 Spurs 1 - 21.12.08
Joe Kinnear could claim his 88th minute replacement of left back Enrique with Damien Duff as a master stroke, as Duff stepped up to steal all three points in the dying moments of this game, which rarely excited and looked as if it was to be played out for a deserved point apiece. For Spurs it will go down as another one of those late, late goals, of which all too many have been conceded in the last two years. Newcastle beat us for the sixth consecutive league meeting, and took the spoils of a climb to the lofty height of 12th place in the Premier League, whilst Spurs remained embroiled in the relegation battle.
Spurs 0 Fulham 0 - 26.12.08
A bumper crowd turned up at The Lane, including a decent turn-out from a vocal Fulham support, hoping for some Christmas entertainment, but sadly were let down by a tame and boring game in which Spurs failed to break down the successful formulaic Fulham strategy that had brought them four successive goal-less away draws, and only 1 defeat in their previous 12 league games. Indeed, it was Fulham that came closest to snatching victory late in the game when a tiring Ledley King was caught out by the pace of Johnson, as Spurs were rescued by the alert Gomes. Spurs had two decent first half chances, through Lennon and Modric, and their best chance could have been the deflected Pavlyuchenko shot in the second half, but it was hard to argue against the justice of a draw. (Fulham drew their next match at home to Chelsea)
West Brom 2 Spurs 0 - 28.12.08
A real relegation battle looms for Spurs now, after a dour return from the three matches of Christmas of one solitary point, when surely a minimum of four points was the target. It was a case of déjà vu, as three years to the day West Brom beat us 2-0. Spurs might have the so-called quality and the star names in their side, but it is fighting quality that wins relegation struggles, and on current showing, Spurs do not have the level of fight and application that was demonstrated by the home side in this game. To add to their woes, Ekotto got sent off for the second time this season, and will miss four games. Jermaine Jenas got his fifth booking and will miss the home leg against Burnley in the Carling Cup semi-final.
The "Spursometer" is of course a subjective guide to the form of the team and players, but so far this season, it does indicate the following, amongst other points:-
1. Our first two strikers are graded below an acceptable grade of 6 (out of 10).
2. Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon (Lennon has taken part in every one of our games so far) are by far and away our best midfielders. David Bentley's form is deteriorating, whilst that of Jenas, Zokora and Huddlestone falls below an overall acceptable standard.
3. The form of Heurelho Gomes and Modric has noticeably improved this month.
4. Ledley King has played just three games in December, but he remains one of our best players.
5. Spurs have scored just 36 goals in 29 games to date, compared to 61 at this stage last season. They have conceded 35, compared with 43 at the same stage last year.
Don't forget to check out the cumulative appearances and grades for the squad below.
...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!