Form Guide December 2009
P W D L F-A GD Pts
7 3 2 2 9-5 4 10
· November 2009 figures
· Last year's figures
Let's party (on the pitch) in 2010 Spurs!
December 2009 for Spurs consisted of apathy at Old Trafford, generosity at Goodison Park, a gift to Wolves, a couple of parties for the players, polished off by the highly commendable habit of cleanliness (of sheets) and winning of league games.
Spurs finished the year in 4th place, having started 2009 in 16th. Harry Redknapp's league record in 2009 reads as follows:- Played 38 - Won 20 - Drawn 8 - Lost 10 - Goals For 67 - Goals against 42 - Points 68. We are on target for a similar total, and hope for better, with a place in the elusive top four at stake!
A pattern is emerging for Spurs, who celebrated the return of Luka Modric this month. However, it was his compatriot Niko Kranjcar who has been winning more plaudits than most, with two goals against Manchester City, who were soon to dispense with manager Markk Hughes, and some fine performances. Aaron Lennon and Heurelho Gomes have also excelled tis mo nth, running Michael Dawson close fo the player of the month award. Lennon has won two individual man of the match votes by the Spurs Odyssey readership, but for consistency and a 100% part in Spurs current run of clean sheets, Dawson takes the honour for December.
Other patterns include an occasional appearance by club captain Ledley King, but also less reliance upon Jermaine Jenas and team captain Robbie Keane, both of whom have had to sit out more action this month.
Jermain Defoe was our top scorer this month, and is joint top scorer in the Premier League.
The players incurred the wrath of Harry Redknapp for a party trip to Dublin, but some were also out on the town after the win against West Ham. Improved results lead to closer media attention for any negativity, so let's leave our partying to the playing field, shall we, Spurs?
Here is a summary of Spurs' games in December:-
Man Utd 2 Spurs 0 (Carling Cup 5th Rd)
Spurs suffered their third Cup defeat of 2009 against Manchester United and it was inflicted by probably the weakest of the three teams they have faced in those games. Double goal-scorer Darron Gibson, who did play at Wembley in last season’s Carling Cup Final had appeared just three times for United at this stage, and yet hardly celebrated either of his goals. Spurs fielded a stronger side than expected but played Lennon on the left to accommodate Bentley. Despite early domination of possession in front of a relatively low crowd of 57,212, Spurs had little sting. The game was flat a lot of the time and had the air of a practice match.
Everton 2 Spurs 2
There was high drama at Goodison Park, as Spurs went two up against a patched-up Everton defence, but then succumbed to a switch in tactics when the home side played two strikers and attacked the Gwladys Street End relentlessly, scoring at the end of two moves where they were allowed acres of space on the Spurs’ left side. Spurs were then awarded an added time penalty after Wilson Palacios was brought down in the box, but Jermain Defoe fired his spot kick for Tim Howard to save with his legs. The passionate Everton crowd celebrated the draw like a win, whilst Spurs fans anxiously awaited the final whistle before sloping off rueing two lost points. The Sky TV viewers must have been enthralled.
Spurs 0 Wolves 1
On a day when several Premier League results did not go according to plan and/or form, Wolves confounded the pundits and the Spurs players by taking an early lead and holding on for the remaining 87 minutes plus a total of 9 minutes added at the end of the two halves. Unlike the Stoke defeat, where Spurs had clearly been the better team, and had plenty of chances to win, on this occasion Wolves’ desire for Premier League survival was far greater than Spurs’ desire for Champions’ League football.
Spurs 3 Man City 0
Spurs put paid to one of their main rivals for any vacancies in the Champions League department of the Premier League with a great team performance which was back to the highest levels seen this season. As expected, City did not come to defend, and it was a fast, open and entertaining game. There were a number of excellent individual performances, and whilst Aaron Lennon got the Sky TV man of the match award, for me it was two-goal Niko Kranjcar who excelled with great work in all areas, not that Lennon was found lacking in tracking back either! Others worthy of honourable mention were skipper Michael Dawson with a dominating effort, and former City man Vedran Corluka, who not only kept City at bay, but also played an important attacking role in union with super Spur Lennon.
Blackburn 0 Spurs 2
Some people (well, alright, Stan Collymore) suggested that Spurs “won ugly” in this game. I wouldn’t put it that way, but there was less of the pizzazz of Wednesday night but more in the way of control, discipline and efficiency. For much of the game, I felt that Spurs were almost playing for a 1-0 win, as they did not get too adventurous until late on, by which time they were two goals to the good and could afford to relax a little. This was a second consecutive clean sheet, and that was the first time Spurs achieved that this season.
Fulham 0 Spurs 0
In the stadium where in 2008 he became figure of fun and abuse, Spurs’ goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes came up with just the kind of performance which had caught the eye when he played for PSV Eindhoven against us in the UEFA Cup. Gomes made three or four top class saves, not least one where he had to make ground and then stretch to save a Zamora header. Spurs fans have been consistently expressing their love for the charismatic Brazilian for well over a year now anyway, but he has been on top form this season, and whilst this was a good team performance, the keeper was the difference between an honourable draw and defeat. Mind you, Mark Schwarzer had to make a heroic double save at the other end for the home side too.
Spurs 2 West Ham 0
Jermain Defoe delivered a blistering response to the vile abuse directed at him and that at Harry Redknapp by their former fans with a superb powerfully driven goal that Rob Green probably did well to stay away from. Although he did actually get a touch, the power of the shot could have been quite painful. The result was painful to The Hammers, who face the risk of slipping back into the bottom three at the end of this round of matches in the Premier League. For Spurs, there was the smug satisfaction of a fourth consecutive clean sheet, a return to fourth place, and a third league double in four seasons over the Hammers, who have failed to beat us at White Hart Lane so far this century.
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!