Form Guide October 2011
P W D L F-A GD Pts
5 4 1 0 10-5 5 10
(1 Europa League Match)
· September 2011 figures
· Last year's figures
Sorry - it's another Scott Parker headline!
I'm sorry. You might even be getting a little fed up with this week's Scott Parker headlines. Man of the match for the win over QPR, along with performance and signing of the season. Well, here's one more because the little dynamo has won your vote for the best Spurs player in October. Thanks to his consistency in his 7 appearances so far in a Spurs shirt (all in the Premier League) Scotty now heads the vote for player of the season so far. However, there is a long way to go in that particular race this season.
Scott was man of the match for both our home league games this month, against Arsenal and QPR. Both matches received full television coverage, which always attracts more votes because of the wider audience worldwide. Scott celebrated his 31st birthday during the month, and Spurs will now be hoping they can get at least two good years out of him. Apart from any team honours he may win, Parker of course was very keen to get back into the Premier League to maintain his push for a regular England place, and to take part in next summer's Euro tournament. We'll be very happy if that aim continues to benefit Spurs!
Spurs were unbeaten in league and Europa League football for the second month, and in the last two months have only been beaten in that penalty shoot-out at the Britannia Stadium in September. The month of October started in the best fashion possible with the win over Arsenal, who we have now beaten in three of our last four league matches. It's a long time since that happened! (As far back as 1973 and 74 actually). Such is the progress that Spurs have made under Harry Redknapp (who was the September manager of the month) that we went into that North London Derby as favourites. That has also been too much of a rarity.
Rafa van der Vaart opened the scoring for Spurs with his second league goal in two league games, and of course he has gone on to equal the records of Robbie Keane and Teddy Sheringham, scoring in five consecutive Premier League games. Now Rafa has a sixth such goal in his sights. Garth Crooks was the last person to score in 6 consecutive league games in the 80s.
The Arsenal game was also memorable for Kyle Walker's cracking winner, scored from a distance approaching 30 yards. The adulation and celebration was marvellous!
Walker has made more starts than any other player this season (12), and is the only first team player who has played a full part in our Europa League programme. I think that even he may need a rest, and perhaps miss the trip to Russia for tomorrow's game, but it's hard to see who will play at right back unless Corluka is fit. Only Kaboul and Ekotto have played more minutes than Walker so far this season.
Our performances at Newcastle and Blackburn have been less convincing than the home wins over Arsenal and QPR, and it was frustrating to surrender a 2-1 lead late in the game at St. James' Park. Newcastle though are still unbeaten, so the draw was perhaps not such a bad result. We also lost Ledley King after half an hour, and had to deal with some imbalance in the starting line-up, with Bale playing on the right and Modric on the left.
Roman Pavlyuchenko scored a sensational free kick goal against his compatriots from Rubin Kazan, but overall has not been pleasing to the eye of most Spurs fans. Not so "super Pav" will no doubt be part of tomorrow's team, and so may Jermain Defoe who has been edged out of the first team starting line-up by the currently un-droppable Van der Vaart. Jermain remains our second highest scorer though with 5 goals in all competitions, one of which was scored as substitute at Newcastle.
Rafa's two goals at Ewood Park were the shining stars in the Spurs performance, which was nothing like some of the exhibition quality football demonstrated in our last game of the month at home to QPR, where even the opposition manager and the referee were seemingly tempted to applaud Gareth Bale's second goal which sealed the match for Spurs.
It should come as no surprise then that Rafa ran Scott Parker a close second for the player of the month award, thanks to his goal-scoring prowess. Gareth Bale and Luka Modric are getting back to their best form, and Younes Kaboul, Kyle Walker and Ledley King also delivered starring performances this month. Honourable mentions too are deserved by the ever stylish and lovable Benoit Assou-Ekotto; Heurelho Gomes, who was graded at 7.5 out of 10 for his one match against Rubin Kazan; and finally for Tom Carroll, who also consistently wins plaudits for his Europa League appearances.
Things are looking really good for Spurs, who on current form can challenge for third place, never mind settling for top four. We've got five more games in November. Only three of these are league matches and only one is at home. If we can maintain our form throughout November we can go into December (7 games to play then), with 12 league matches played, only 5 of which will have been at home.
Keep smiling, Spurs fans!
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, given by Spurs Odyssey readers.
...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!