Writer: Baggy Boy
Date:Friday April 22 2011
We meet Harry Redknapp's boys this weekend...Vital Spurs were happy enough to answer a few questions in advance.
With thanks to OxfordSpur.
1) Is the season going as you expected and what has been the highlight and lowlight so far?
At the start of the season, I predicted that we would finish 5th in the Prem behind United, Chelsea, Arsenal and City, so to still be in with a realistic shout at making the top four again, considering the money spent by Chelsea and City, is still a very respectable season. As for the Champions league, regardless of getting very comfortably beaten by Real Madrid, making the last eight of the competition was beyond all but the wildly optimistic, at the start of the season.
2) From an outsiders point of view you haven't been doing too badly at all. Do you think your European adventures have come at the expense of some league form though, as over the past few games your results seem somewhat erratic given you have the run at a Top 4 place. Do you think the draws will cost you 4th place in the end, or are you relatively happy given you have a game in hand?
Probably, but that is the price any side pays for competing at the very top of the game and half the battle, is to cope with those demands, which we have struggled to do at times. Only with experience will we know how to cope better with this and for me as a side we haven`t used the squad to its potential, all too often playing the same side for the CL and the Premiership instead of utilising the squad by rotating things to keep things fresh.
3) Where do you see your current weaknesses this season? Any clues for the game will be greatly appreciated :-)
Our strikers have been terrible in the main, and you need to look no further than that to find our weakness. Elsewhere we are a little too open and forward thinking, which makes us concede far too easily and often, but it is quite exciting in a masochistic way..
4) Who will be your key dangerman?
Ask any Spurs fan, who has been our best player and I would confidently predict that they would say that Luka Modric is our best player and pulls our strings, but if fit you only have to look at Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart to realise that they have the ability to tear any side apart. Also let`s not forget Aaron Lennon and the vision and passing of Tom Huddlestone, whilst Benoit Assou-Ekotto is playing out of his skin and if you haven`t yet seen Sandro, he is a beast. Is that enough for you? Lol.
5) Do you believe Albion should be worried about our position in the table, or do you feel we have enough about us to survive come the end of the season?
I think you should be absolutely fine now and it is huge credit to Roy Hodgson, who has performed a mini miracle in such a short time. Personally I really enjoy watching you play because you always try to play decent football and dare I say, don`t seem to take life too seriously.
6) Obviously we've swapped Di Matteo for Hodgson, do you think we'll now be a completely different prospect compared to the game earlier in the season and have you been surprised by the impact Roy has had on our results of late?
Hodgson for England!!! I have to say I was really disappointed at what I perceived as poor treatment of a very good young manager, but now it looks like a master stroke from your board and the gamble would appear to have paid off in spades. I was a little sceptical with Roy, not because he isn`t a very good manager, but after his Liverpool sacking, I wondered if it was too early, but he has shown great character and I can see him really organising your side for next season, in making you well drilled, but still attractive, just as he did with Fulham.
7) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?
Especially when I look at our failing strikers, it would have to be Peter Odemwingie, who has really impressed me, with his all round attacking play as well as his goals. Considering you only paid peanuts for him, it makes it all the more galling for me, when I look at our big money players fail so miserably. As a squad, I see real potential, with the likes of Brunt and Dorrans, whilst the free pick up of Paul Scharner was a great piece of business. I also really like the look of Youssouf Mulumbu, who could become a very good Prem player.
8) Who do you see as our main threat?
Again Odemwingie. If he can get between our midfield and defence, where I feel he has the ability to cause us problems, especially should we be without William Gallas at the back, but his omission could work in our favour from an offensive perspective, as I would expect Younes Kaboul to partner Michael Dawson and he is very quick and direct in joining our attack, as well as set pieces.
9) Where would you say our current weaknesses are in terms of how you will approach the match?
For a side that has just been promoted, it is all too easy to pick holes and claim you are weak here and need to strengthen there, it is the same for all sides in your position, but I feel you have some good ball players and with the organisation from Hodgson and sensible investment, which for me hasn`t always been forthcoming, you have a realistic chance of retaining your Prem place and establishing yourself as a mid table side, much like Stoke for example.
Perhaps your main worry would be if you lost Odemwingie who is pretty much your only goal threat on a consistent basis and replacing him could be the difference between survival or a relegation fight next season, should he leave.
10) Finally, a prediction please fellow football fan...
I have to go with a Spurs win and therefore will go with 2-1 to Spurs.
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Date:Friday April 22 2011
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