Form Guide January 2012
P W D L F-A GD Pts
7 5 1 1 13-6 7 10
(2 Cup Matches)
· December 2011 figures
· Last year's figures
Bale winning the plaudits again, and again!
Gareth Bale has won the January Barclays Premier League player of the month award, and has also won the Spurs Odyssey award for the second consecutive month. It's nice to think that Spurs Odyssey readers and the sponsors of the Premier League think along the same lines! This month Gareth has scored three goals. They were not just goals though, but goals of the highest quality. Although we lost at The Etihad Stadium, Bale's strike was really sublime and one of the best moments of the month for Spurs fans. his brace against Wigan had different qualities, but gave equal pleasure.
Gareth is one of 4 of our players who has averaged over 7 out of 10 over the course of our 34 game season to date. The others are Scott Parker, Ledley King and Carlo Cudicini. Cudicini has played only 7 games, but has been voted man of the match three times for some heroic performances between the sticks. The last such occasion was in our fourth round FA Cup game at Watford this month, where the outfield players did not cover themselves with glory, but Carlo kept us in the competition. Spurs' number one keeper Brad Friedel has been Mr. Consistency and falls only marginally below that magic 7 marker. Younes Kaboul is also in that category. You can see the current status of all the squad in the table below.
Here is our usual quick guide to the games played this month:-
Spurs 1 West Brom 0 (3rd January)
Spurs Odyssey Man of the Match - Younes Kaboul
It was always going to take a moment of magic to win this, and Jermain Defoe (who is our top scorer in all competitions) provided it in the 63rd minute, when he received the ball with his back to goal, controlled, turned and placed his shot just inside Ben Foster’s left-hand post for the decisive goal that brought Roy Hodgson’s side out of their shells and made a game of the last half-hour. Spurs, who had started without King, Parker and Lennon, and suffered involuntary substitutions of Sandro, Gallas and Livermore through injury, looked somewhat ragged towards the end, with tired legs also having an effect at the end of the Christmas period, but they held on, and held third place five points above Chelsea and six above Arsenal.
Spurs 3 Cheltenham 0 (7th January)
Spurs Odyssey Man of the Match - Giovani Dos Santos
The hordes of Cheltenham fans that almost filled the South Stand must have enjoyed their day, and their team was certainly not disgraced against a Spurs side for whom only Jermain Defoe had started against West Brom. It took Spurs nearly 25 minutes to score, adding a second just before the break. It was always a comfortable win for Spurs after that, which is only right and proper. After all, there were 67 league places between the sides, and despite the fact it was a Spurs second string, a shock was never on the cards. (Roman Pavlyuchenko scored his last Spurs goal in this game)
Spurs 2 Everton 0 (11th January)
Spurs Odyssey Man of the Match - Benoit Assou-Ekotto
There was so, so much to admire about our beloved Tottenham in this game. The team was without key players such as Ledley King, Scott Parker and Sandro, and Jake Livermore had to be drafted in to play the anchor midfield role against an experienced Everton side. Jake has now played 1471 minutes for Spurs this season in all competitions, and has gained valuable experience at the top level. He did not let us down, and I have heard plenty of people suggest that he should have been the Spurs man of the match. There was plenty of competition for that spot though, as Rafa van der Vaart offered a masterclass of stylish slick passing and creative football, whilst “Benny” Assou-Ekotto scored a so, so stunning 30 yard strike that will be up there when our goal of the season is decided. In scoring, “Benny” effectively wrapped up the game for Spurs, who took full advantage of their long-standing game in hand to go level on points with Manchester United, and just three behind Manchester City. A Premier League title challenge really looked on the cards!
Spurs 1 Wolves 1 (14th January)
Spurs Odyssey Man of the Match - Luka Modric
Spurs had been talked up big time by the press in the run-up to this game, and after this result, they had the opportunity to pull them down again. The “failed to take joint top spot” headlines were fully deployed. There were potential holes to be picked in the Spurs performance though, such as “failed to defend corner properly”, “Dawson not at his best” (perhaps it was one too much, too soon for Michael), “Parker not firing on all cylinders” (perhaps he came back too early), “Bale’s shooting awful” (no excuse there) etc. I could go on, but there is also an argument that Adebayor’s disallowed goal for offside in the first half, was in fact legal, and it remained a fact that we were secure in third place, with Chelsea still 6 points behind. There was still something for the cockerel to crow about!
Man City 3 Spurs 2 (22nd January)
Spurs Odyssey Man of the Match - Gareth Bale
Having come back from a seemingly certain losing position to level the scores at 2-2, in a drama-filled second half at The Etihad, Jermain Defoe missed a “Gazza-like” golden opportunity at the back post after Gareth Bale’s cross, before Ledley King committed a suicidal foul upon substitute Mario Balotelli in the very last of four minutes of added time to concede a penalty that Balotelli put away with a nonchalant hesitation in his run-up to deceive Brad Friedel. Not many Spurs fans in the stadium were aware, but TV viewers were very much aware that Balotelli should have been sent off for stamping on Scott Parker’s head earlier in the game. Balotelli only came on after 65 minutes, and did get booked for a foul on Assou-Ekotto, so he had a rather eventful day. (Balotelli was subsequently subject to post-match discipline and was banned for 4 matches for a second red card of the season)
Watford 0 Spurs 1 (27th January)
Spurs Odyssey Man of the Match - Carlo Cudicini
Spurs became the first team to go through to this year’s fifth round of the FA Cup, thanks to Rafa van der Vaart’s 42nd minute goal, but Watford and their connections can hold their heads high, thanks to a performance that made them look like the pedigree team from the Premier League and made Tottenham look like the Championship strugglers. On this performance, one wondered why Sean Dyche’s Watford were sitting in 18th place in the lower league. Harry Redknapp made the dash from Southwark Crown Court to pick the team, but perhaps he left his inspiration behind. Spurs fielded a stronger team than I expected, but perhaps Harry and his team knew what a tough contest lay ahead.
Spurs 3 Wigan 1 (31st January)
Spurs Odyssey Man of the Match - Gareth Bale
It was cosy for Spurs, and Gareth Bale made hay with two goals against a Wigan side which came to play football, but once again suffered defeat to remain rooted to the bottom of the table. It was a more than satisfactory night on the football field for Spurs, who gained ground on Manchester City, who lost at Everton, and also widened the gap between us and fourth placed Chelsea, who scored a last minute equaliser to draw at Swansea. Many Spurs fans were dismayed by the transfer deadline day action by Spurs though, as substitute Pienaar went back to Everton on loan, Corluka went to Bayer Leverkusen on loan, and Bassong also departed on loan to Wolves. Pavlyuchenko is going for a fee back to Russia. The replacements of Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen do not excite Spurs fans, although their task will be to under-study and play as much first team football as have those departing.
...if you want to read reports of the matches played during this month, then links are on the Spurs Odyssey Fixtures page here. By working your way back through the previous month's figures, you can review the performances over more than 11 years!
S Skill levels
P Pluck (ie effort)
U Unforced errors*
R Resolve (defensive ability)
S Score ratio (goals to shots)
= Overall mark Total Percentage
Percentages given for each category.
* less errors equals a higher mark
The Spursometer was brought to you by Spurs Odyssey in association with My Eyes Have Seen The Glory.
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