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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Someone really needs to find out what Harry Redknapp is saying at half-time, because if we can patent and market it, we'll make a fortune. After an abject first half at White Hart Lane, Tottenham burst into life in the second, scoring four goals in twenty minutes, helped in no small way by the introduction of supersub Jamie O'Hara.

O'Hara missed out on last season's League Cup Final, reportedly bursting into tears at Wembley when Juande Ramos broke the news to him. If Redknapp has any sense, and assuming that Burnley don't miraculously turn around their 1-4 deficit, he'll be in the starting line-up this year. Once an Arsenal youngster, the energetic left-footer defected down the Seven Sisters Road and the Tottenham fans must be thanking their lucky stars that he did. His first corner was arrowed home by Michael Dawson and he crashed home the second past Brian Jensen five minutes later. Roman Pavlyuchenko took the third goal wonderfully, but it was O'Hara who supplied the cross for the unfortunate Mike Duff to nod past his own goalkeeper for the fourth. As substitutions go, this was a rather effective one.

Burnely had already dispatched Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal in this competition and at half-time it looked like they might be on the brink of a fourth London scalp. Owen Coyle's side were superb, passing the ball well and playing with real ambition. An early goal from Martin Paterson was fully deserved and, with Chris Eagles wreaking havoc down the right flank, it looked like more goals could follow.

Defensively, Tottenham were a unraveling jumper and the more Burnley pulled on the loose threads, the more they fell apart. The beauty of Jonathan Woodgate is that he usually spots an oncoming drama before it develops into a crisis, so it was concerning to see him having to launch into saving tackles as early as the first five minutes. He was shaky and unconvincing throughout, though he wasn't aided by the wandering Gareth Bale at left-back who continued to push the theory that he's actually a winger masquerading as a defender.

Redknapp has described the team he inherited as being, "badly balanced," something that any Tottenham fan could have told him at any point in the last ten years, but he's absolutely right. David Bentley continues to toil away to little effect on the left flank, there is a lack of protection in the centre of midfield and the strikeforce is yet to click. The arrival of Jermain Defoe, who was presented to the crowd before the game confusingly dressed as a Victorian chimney sweep, should help, but Spurs need more than just him.

Redknapp cannot continue to salvage matches with team-talks, he needs to put together a team that do their talking on the pitch from the start. The structure of the Defoe deal, heavily weighted by absolving Portsmouth of prior debts, means that there is still money to spend and a man like Redknapp won't need to be asked to spend it twice. Only a ludicrous turnaround will keep Tottenham from Wembley this year, but if they want to push their way up the Premier League table as well, they need reinforcements quickly. They might want to fit a revolving door at White Hart Lane, because this is going to be an eventful transfer window.




LIONHEARTS - The 31,377 who braved sub-zero temperatures to watch this are probably still trying to warm up now. An excellent, free-flowing game was at least some consolation for having to spend an evening sat in temperatures only marginally warmer than the surface of the moon.

ELECTRIC -

Chris Eagles, a Tottenham supporter as a boy, had no doubt about where his loyalties lay. The former Manchester United midfielder was exceptional, particularly in the first half an hour when Burnely were dominating. This boy belongs in the Premier League.

MISS OF THE MATCH -

Didier Zokora could have put the tie completely out of sight with a fifth goal in the 85th minutes, but he blasted high over the bar when Frazier Campbell presented him with a golden opportunity. Zokora should be made to wear a leash that prevents him crossing the halfway line.

PUNTERS RANT -

You might have been tempted to put a little on Burnley for a game like this and who could blame you? With such an array of scalps already secured, was it so unlikely that they might win here. Burnley are a really good footballing side, but they just weren't good enough in the end.

MAN OF THE MATCH -
He was only on the pitch for 45 minutes, but in that time he scored one and set up two. Jamie O'Hara was the catalyst for a turnaround that never looked likely in a dreadful first half for Tottenham. Let's hope that he gets to play in the final this time, eh?

MATCH STATS

Crowd: 31,377
Yellow Cards: Michael Duff (Burnley)
Red Cards: None
Tottenham:
Gomes 6, Jonathan Woodgate 5, Michael Dawson 7, Gareth Bale 5, Vedran Corluka 6, David Bentley 5 (Jamie O'Hara 8, 45th), Didier Zokora 5, Aaron Lennon 7, Luka Modric 7, Roman Pavlyuchenko 7, Frazier Campbell 7
Burnley:
Brian Jensen 6, Graham Alexander 7, Stephen Jordan 7, Clarke Carlisle 6, Mike Duff 6, Wade Elliot 6, Joey Gudjonsson 6 (Kevin MacDonald 6, 30th), Chris Eagles 7, Chris McCann 7, Robbie Blake 7 (Jay Rodriguez 6, 75th), Martin Paterson 7(Ade Akinbiyi 6, 86th)
 

seany t

President
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
3,566
I wonder if Bentley has been given his last runout for a while last night? Been ineffective all season it seems, and surely Huddlestone and O'Hara have proven themselves more this season
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Punters rant is a tad unfair, n'est-ce pas?

I resent doing the Punters Rant, to be honest with you. I don't get it. What's to rant about when the favourite wins? Just scratching for angles. Burnley were good. Not good enough. Nuff said. No intention to offend though
 

EastStandBlue

Life President
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
15,487
David Bentley has caught the dreaded Roberto Carlos-itis of "Well, it happened once before... It'll happen again". This results in him lashing the ball in the goals general direction every time it falls at his feet... symptoms include several mashed supporters faces and a chorus of boos from unhappy fans.

Deserves a spell on the sidelines in order to cure this ailment.
 

BoyWonder2

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,317
Location
Cold Norton, Essex
Last night has also proved that Aaron Lennon is massively, massively over rated. Yes he has lightening pace, but surely that can only get you so far. He has zero end product, which was on display last night, and continued to run into the full backs as well.

Eagles showed how it should be done with the assist for the Burnley goal, and the delivery for Blake's headed.
 
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