Form Guide May 2011
P W D L F-A GD Pts
4 2 1 1 5-3 2 7
· April 2011 figures
· Last year's figures
Down and up the Maypole
Spurs led us a merry dance in May. They started with a depressing home draw against Blackpool, who would ultimately be relegated, despite their hard graft and entertainment value, and followed that with the decisive defeat at Eastlands which thwarted our last hopes of retaining a place in the Champions League. City would go on to beat Arsenal to third place and automatic qualification for the group stages, where they will no doubt excite all non-partican viewers (not)!
Then came the little miracle of a first league win at Anfield since 1993, which gave us a chance of at least qualifying for the less prestigious Europa League, if we could only match Liverpool's result on the last day. As it happened, Liverpool managed defeat at Villa Park, so we could have lost to Birmingham, but Roman Pavlyuchenko scored two cracking goals to secure fith place and condemn Birmingham to The Championship. Here's a reminder of those games:-
Saturday May 7th
Spurs 1 Blackpool 1
Spurs man of the match - Sandro
"We cheered the Everton goals against Manchester City, and we sniffed one more chance to grasp a Champions League place if we could beat Blackpool, and beat City again on Tuesday. That would have left us one point behind with two games to go. We knew though that our Spurs could let us down. They had proved so many times this season that they could lose points against any team in the Premier League, especially those battling for survival. So it proved here, as Ian Holloway’s spirited men more than matched us for effort, taking the lead after a farcical two penalties in two minutes scenario, before Jermain Defoe scored an equaliser that came all too late. Our beloved Spurs have indeed let us all down again."
Tuesday May 10th
Manchester City 1 Spurs 0
Spurs man of the match - Sandro
"It was the ultimate irony. I said that irony would play a part in this game, but little did I think that it would consist of Peter Crouch putting Manchester City into the Champions League with a close range own goal at the same end where this time last year he had heroically scored the Spurs winner that gave us a run in this year’s Blue Riband European tournament. Spurs are now left in sixth place and will struggle to prevent Liverpool winning at Anfield on Sunday, which will give them, not us, Europa League football next season."
Sunday May 15th
Liverpool 0 Spurs 2
Spurs' men of the match - King & Modric
"Against all the odds, and contrary to the predictions of most pundits, and my own pessimistic viewpoint, Harry Redknapp’s somewhat makeshift Spurs side won comfortably at Anfield. This was only Spurs’ second Premier League win at Liverpool’s home, and only their fifth league win in 100 years, with previous league wins in living memory occurring in 1985, 1986 and 1993. I confess that my prediction was not intentional reverse psychology. Today was the first time that I personally had been present at a league win at Anfield, although I was there when Jurgen Klinsmann scored that memorable FA Cup winner in March 1995.
Today’s win came in front of a packed house that as usual was wound up with the recorded Gerry Marsden rendition of “You’ll never Walk Alone”, to which the response from the Kop was flag waving and cheers that quite frankly were not to be seen or heard throughout the rest of proceedings. Spurs kept the crowd and their team quiet with a highly polished and professional performance with many individual outstanding displays. Ledley King made a welcome return to the first team for the first time in 7 months, but the side was still led out and captained by Michael Dawson. The pair dominated in central defence, winning all their headers and making clearances with aplomb. On the right, Younes Kaboul sometimes left a little too much space for my liking, but he did not seem to get the level of support from Aaron Lennon that Danny Rose did on the left from Steven Pienaar. Rose had an excellent game, keeping Dirk Kuyt relatively quiet, making plenty of incisive tackles, but also getting forward to very good effect too. Rose was accorded a new chant to sing his name to the tune of “Daddy Cool”."
Sunday May 22nd
Spurs 2 Birmingham 1
Spurs man of the match - Pavlyuchenko
"Substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko’s second goal, scored in the final throes of added time was not the goal which sent Birmingham crashing down to the Championship, but it did provide a sting in the tail of a game which rarely excited in terms of football played. The game however did play a full part in the drama that was survival Sunday, during which various combinations of the five teams battling it out for survival were facing the drop. At half-time, Birmingham were safe, and ultimately the goal that did relegate them was Wolves’ second goal at home to victorious Blackburn, which meant that even if they drew against Tottenham, McLeish’s Birmingham were doomed because of a worst goals scored record. It was that close."
For the third successive month, Sandro has won the Spurs Odyssey Player of the Month award, and he surely will be one of the first names on the team sheet next season. Luka Modric has maintained his consistently high standards, and has emerged as the clear winner of the Spurs Odyssey 2010-11 Player of the Season award. Luka was deservedly voted in the same position by Spurs members, who made Gareth Bale their young player of the year. Honourable mentions must go this month to Ledley King who returned for the last two games, playing as if he had never been away. Danny Rose has this month emerged as great cover at left back for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who even sat out the last game on the bench, despite his return from a hamstring injury.
N.B. Danny Rose has in fact scored a higher average mark from his 4 appearances in May than Luka Modric achieved over the whole season. I have decided that it takes more than those 4 appearances to qualify Danny for the season award! Similarly, Ledley King actually scored a higher average over 2 games in May than did Sandro over 4, but I have applied the same rule, which I hope meets with approval.
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 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 10 years!