COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Sunday 27th October 2013
VENUE White Hart Lane






With two 2-0 results on the trot, why should this home match against Hull City be any different ??

Well, for a start, the Tigers are crafted in the image of their manager, Steve Bruce.  Hard and not pretty.  So, expect a lot of men back behind the ball with Tom Huddlestone's passing out of the last third being their weapon of choice to release Sone Aluko or Robbie Brady if the are fit enough to start after a shin and a hip injury respectively.  Injuries have hit the Yorkshire side early and their squad will be tested, as they are also missing midfield creator and club captain, Robert Koren, along with the on loan Sunderland striker Danny Graham.  Steve Harper will be coming in to cover for the thigh injured Alan McGregor and another on the sidelines is James Chester with a hamstring pull.

Hull have been hard to beat this season and this game will prove no different, as they are well drilled and get a lot of men back behind the ball, so Spurs will have to work hard in midfield to pull the Tigers players out of shape.  In doing so, they will need to make sure that there is enough attention to the defensive side of our game, with Paulinho likely to be partnered by Sandro once more, allowing the new signing to give rein to his forward runs from deep.

Harper is an experienced keeper, but was content to be number two for long periods at Newcastle United before leaving this summer after being granted a testimonial.  He can be a useful stopper, but his attention to angles is not all it should be and for a skilled striker like Roberto Soldado, he might be able to find a way past the goalie, now he has found his scoring form in open play.  It was always going to happen, but the Press were starting to get on his back, with his goal at Villa coming at the right time. 

The Hull defence have been working well as a unit, with Curtis Davies signed from Birmingham City to lead the team from centre-half.  His aerial presence can be effective at both ends of the pitch, but with his partnership with James Chester, the former Man U youth teamer, being broken, he will perhaps have former United man Paul McShane or manager's son Alex alongside him or maybe Abdoulaye Faye with him in the middle, although he now is losing a bit of pace.  The full back positions will see two of three and with Spurs quick on the wings, they might be chosen on those grounds.  Liam Rosenior and Maynor Figueroa are the most likely candidates to fill in the wide positions in the back four.

Midfield is where the Tigers are ish.  Teams have to work hard to get through them and missing Koren and Livermore, they will be without two regulars, who have impressed in the Premier League season so far.  Jake cannot play against Spurs, so the middle five will look like this ... Huddlestone, Elmohamady, George Boyd and Irishman David Mayler.  Boyd has shown great skill in his progress through Peterborough and Hull after leaving Stevenage, but might find things harder in the top flight. Elmohamady is a tricky runner with the ball (and a weird dancer from his antics in front of the camera when Hull were promoted last season), but he can cross well from wide positions,

If Brady and Aluko don't make it, then there may be an opportunity for Gedo, an Egyptian striker who was on loan last season.  Brady is the top scorer and Aluko is capable of scoring outrageously fine goals, but often can be pushed out of the game too easily.  Other striking options include Yannick Sagbo, Aaron McLean, German Nick Proschwitz and Calaum Jahraldo-Martin, who hails from Antigua and Barbuda.

With injuries playing their part, it looks on paper as if Spurs should stroll to victory in this match, but in the last two visits to the Lane, Hull have held Spurs goal-less and will be aiming to do the same again, but this Spurs side has patience, which might be tested on Sunday.  It will be vital to try to stretch the Hull back four and midfield, with sharper moves getting the ball out wide, where Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker should renew their partnership n the right wing after both being rested in the Europa League match mid-week.

I think Tottenham will win, but it won't be the fluid football we like to see, but more of a war of attrition.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Hull City    0
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Spurs are expected to be without Younes Kaboul (thigh), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Danny Rose (toe).
Alan McGregor misses out in goal, with Steve Harper coming in as cover for the thigh strain victim, while, at the other end of the pitch, both Sone Aluko and Robbie Brady face late tests on their shin and hip injuries.  Also missing are central defender James Chester with a hamstring strain, Robert Koren (ankle), Danny Graham (knee) and Jake Livermore cannot play as he is on loan from Spurs.

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Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)                                                                          Hull City  0 (0)
Premier League
Sunday 27th October 2013                                                                                                                      Kick off 16:00
White Hart Lane
Soldado (p) 80 None
Sandro (foul on Sagbo) 16 
Chircihes (foul on Sagbo) 58
Paulinho (kicking ball away) 90


Rosenior (kicking ball away) 38
Boyd (foul on Walker) 71
Meyler (kicking ball away) 76


Crowd :   36,080 Weather :  Rainy before the game, but mild, then chilly into the second half
Referee :  Michael Oliver (Northumberland) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Burt; Mr. M. Scholes
Fourth Official :  G. Scott -
- kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Hull City : kit
25  Hugo LLORIS

  2  Kyle WALKER
20  Michael DAWSON (c)
  6  Vlad CHIRICHES     

  8  PAULINHO     
30  SANDRO      (19 Mousa DEMBELE 46)

17  Andros TOWNSEND 
14  Lewis HOLTBY  (23 Christian ERIKSEN 60)
  7  Aaron LENNON (18 Jermain DEFOE 70)

  9  Roberto SOLDADO 

Unused subs: 
24  Brad FRIEDEL
11  Erik LAMELA

  22  Steve HARPER

  2  Liam ROSENIOR       (21  Aaron McLEAN 84)
  6  Curtis DAVIES (c)
  Alex BRUCE
15  Paul McSHANE
  Maynor FIGUEROA 

  7  David MEYLER     
  George BOYD      (11  Robbie BRADY 84)

20  Yannick SAGBO  (33  Nick PROSCHWITZ 87)

Unused subs: 
11  Robert KOREN
18  GEDO
Stephen QUINN

Manager :  Andre Villas-Boas Manager :  Steve Bruce
Sponsor :   Hewlett Packard Shirt sponsor :  Cash Converters
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   adidas
Match report

Some dogs are just like their owners. The match preview was right, Hull are Steve Bruce. Cynical, defensively minded and ugly in their approach. But what they got was what they deserved. No points in a 1-0 win for Spurs.

Let's see …

Curtis Davies almost finishes his career with a late lunge on Andros Townsend, who had left him for dead and gets his studs stuck in the turf.

Paul McShane grappling with Roberto Soldado every time he went near the ball.

David Meyler showing flagrant disregard for the laws of the game and only got booked when he threw the ball away to waste time.

Ahmed Elmohamady might be 'crazy' when they win, but his acting out of the fact that, in his honest opinion, the linesman needed glasses by putting his hands up to his eyes with his thumbs and forefingers making the spectacles, should have received suitable punishment. And if that is being sent away from the pitch, as happened to Bertie Bee – the Burnley mascot – when he handed his mascot glasses to the linesman the day before, then the same should have been applied to Elmohamady's gesture. And I don't think that the linesman would have admitted to not seeing it !!

Hull played much as some of us might have expected. Having got where they are so far this season has been using tactics not too dissimilar to Stoke and Bolton's in years gone by. Time wasting, petty fouling, harassing referees and stifling anything that got near their goal using whatever necessary. It was all a shame that referee Michael Oliver was gullible and fell for everything they tried.

This left Spurs with the massed defence of the Tigers, plus the official to get past and it was a real surprise when he pointed to the spot in the 79th minute.  The Hull fans who derided Soldado with chants of “What a waste of money” were left eating their words when the aforementioned eagle-eyed Elmohamady got the ball on his arm as Vertonghen's cross was heading for the goal-mouth. The Spaniard strolled up to send the ball past Steve Harper with ice cold precision. It was like watching Berbatov take penalties.

It had looked like Hull's strangulation of the game might pay off for them until that point.

The visitors had their own chances n a first half that saw Tottenham's pacy start slacken off and the Tigers came back with spells of pressure and chances on goal.  Boyd brought a rush out to the edge of his box by Lloris to stop him and the Spurs keeper also had to field a long shot from the same player before turning a Sagbo shot away as the Hull forward came in from his left.  Chiriches was also well placed to coolly chest the ball back to Lloris off the line when a shot had spun up off the keeper in the first place in injury time at the end of the first half.  The Romanian and Michael Dawson both blocked efforts from a Hull corner and Spurs looked up against it, but they soon regained control of the game with possession, but little cutting edge.

Before Hull's spell at the Spurs end, their only chance had been a McShane header from a Huddlestone free-kick, but a Tottenham free-kick swung in by Holtby from the right wing was scooped over the top from inside the six-yard box by Paulinho.  The Brazilian was linking well with Soldado. almost slipping him in between two defenders in the box, but it was very tight.  Just before that Paulinho's right wing cross, when Spurs had moved the ball quicker to a wide position, was just too far ahead of Roberto right in front of goal.

Huddlestone came within a foot of a haircut,. when he crashed a cleared corner back on the volley and it went just over Hugo's crossbar, but then when Spurs broke, with Chiriches seeing that bringing the ball out from the back might be a way to draw Hull players out, he was twice almost hacked down before a free kick was given and Rosenior slammed the ball away to waste time and got a booking for his troubles.  Much to his disgust.  Unsurprisingly !!  A free kick a little later saw Kyle Walker slam the ball at goal and Harper used a strong palm to beat the ball away as it looked like it might go into the top of the net and Harper was nearly embarrassed when Soldado charged down his clearance for the second time in the first half.  The ball went to Lewis Holtby, who controlled well on his chest, but McShane got back to put him off enough to make him conceded a free-kick.

Tottenham looked lively at the start of the second half, with Hull looking content to sit back and block their way.  Ten minutes in, Andros passed in to Soldado, just inside the box to the left and his deliberate low shot was heading inside the post until Harper dived to turn it round for a corner.  Later in the half, Spurs were reduced to shooting from long range, with Townsend, Paulinho and Dembele all going wide to lesser or greater extents.  That was before Meyler got booked for time-wasting by throwing the ball away when Spurs got a goal kick at one end and then Elmohamady was on hand to concede a spot-kick at the other.  Well, he wanted the officials to be better at spotting things !!  You sometimes have to be careful what you wish for.

Eight minutes for time, Andros Townsend raced away from Meyler and McShane on the right wing, but, as he crossed, his momentum took him over the advertising boards and down into the camera pit below.  He was down there a long time and with lots of the Spurs medial team and stretcher bearers in attendance, the back board was brought out and it looked very serious.   A photographer was lead away by the medics and then Townsend rose from the pits to be escorted around the running track back to the bench, having had his hand bandaged.  With Spurs having used all their subs, it looked like it would be a backs to the wall last few minutes, with all ten men back.   The young England man had other ideas and ran away from Shabaaz Mughal and managed to get back onto the pitch to help the side hang onto the lead.

The closest Hull came was with two free-kicks from 20 yards out.  The first saw substitute Robbie Brady curl an innocuous shot which Lloris took easily.  The second, in the dying seconds of added on time, was from Tom Huddlestone and it looked like it would be a typical return by an ex-Spur, especially when he stepped up and cracked a fierce drive at goal that seemed like it was heading into the top left corner of Hugo's goal.  The Spurs fans drew a collective sigh of relief as the ball ended up in the Paxton Road end crowd and the whistle blew when Lloris took the goal kick.

Hull fans celebrated like they had won the cup, but the Spurs fans were obviously too negative to go mad at the result, after AVB's comments about the team finding it hard to play at home.  Well, maybe, it is because the result hides the fact that we were not easily able to break down Hull's defence and having seen it be successful for West Ham, the fans can foresee more of the same coming for the rest of the season.

For all the talk about the penalty being fortunate, there have been some glaring errors against Tottenham, with our goals over the lien which haven't been given and other teams which have been given when they were not over the line.  Penalties go both ways, but having gone al last season without one, even with Bale being upended on a regular basis, we were due a bit of luck and that was what was needed in this match.  However, we need to work harder off the ball to break down teams who stick ten men behind the ball and work on it fast, as opposition sides are learning that they have a chance of they rock up at the Lane set up like that.

Burton Bradstock


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Aston Villa 0 Everton 2 Saturday
Crystal Palace 0 Arsenal 2 Saturday
Liverpool 4 West Bromwich Albion 1 Saturday
Manchester United 3 Stoke City 2 Saturday
Norwich City 0 Cardiff City 0 Saturday
Southampton 2 Fulham 0 Saturday
Chelsea 2 Manchester City 1 Sunday
Sunderland 2 Newcastle United 1 Sunday
Swansea City 0 West Ham United 0 Sunday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 9 7 1 1 20 9 22 +11
2 Chelsea 9 6 2 1 16 6 20 +10
3 Liverpool 9 6 2 1 17 8 20 +9
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 9 6 1 2 9 5 19 +4
5 Southampton 9 5 3 1 10 2 18 +8
6 Everton 9 5 3 1 14 10 18 +4
7 Manchester City 9 5 1 3 21 11 16 +10
8 Manchester United 9 4 2 3 14 12 14 +2
9 Swansea City 9 3 2 4 12 11 11 +1
10 Hull City 9 3 2 4 7 10 11 -2
11 Newcastle United 9 3 2 4 12 16 11 -4
12 West Bromwich Albion 9 2 4 3 8 10 10 -2
13 Aston Villa 9 3 1 5 9 12 10 -3
14 Fulham 9 3 1 5 9 12 10 -3
16 West Ham United 9 2 3 4 8 8 9 0
17 Cardiff City 9 2 3 4 8 13 9 -2
15 Stoke City 9 2 2 5 5 8 8 -3
18 Norwich City 9 2 2 5 6 13 8 -7
19 Sunderland 9 1 1 7 7 21 4 -14
20 Crystal Palace 9 1 0 8 6 19 3 -13


Position before match :  7th
Position after match :  4th
Position after the weekend :  4th


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