Pompey versus Spurs, 22nd March 2008 – White Hart Lane.
This follows on from ChrisW and his opener against Villa last week, it comments on the opposition’s players, in particular identifying players that the author views as worthwhile additions to the Pompey squad.
We are hoping that for each match a vital member will volunteer to write the article, bearing in mind you need to attend the match in person.
Please add your own observations but do remember that this is not about Pompey per se or how we played during the match in question.
Also, bear in mind that as the title suggests this article relates predominantly to how the Spurs players played during the match and not their general form this season.
Prior to the game my thoughts would have always been that Ledley King, Tom Huddlestone, Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane are players I would not mind have playing for Pompey, I rate Jonathan Woodgate as probably the best defender in the country, but his record with injuries is horrendous and for me prevents him from having that tag?
Spurs have some fantastic footballers, but my own thinking is there are still plenty here that I would prefer ahead of what they have to offer, but who did stand out for my in this game and have my opinions of any improved, or gone down as a result of it? I cannot stress enough that my opinions are predominantly based on this game, so try not to wade in without testing the water fellas – yep I am talking to some of the overzealous Spurs fans!
Alan Hutton, well I have known about the fella for a while and he was fantastic when I saw him for Scotland against Italy, which saw him gain reported interest from United. Eventually after trying several times Spurs got him in January and I thought that he got forward very well from his right back position and defended solidly.
I am not overly keen on the fella as a person, but then again my views are based merely upon what I read in the papers, and how much of this is really true? But Pascal Chimbonda quite impressed me yesterday as he was a constant threat coming forward, defensively you could not really gage much as we offered little coming forward to test him, but had he really put in the graft I think that John Utaka could have had the better of him, which he did a bit in the 2nd half when he upped his effort.
Tom Huddlestone is big and strong so would fit into the current midfield policy that Harry Redknapp seems to be operating to. He broke up the play well for me when he had to and played some fine balls through, I think he may have played the ball through which eventually led to the second Spurs goal?
Subs Jamie O’Hara and Darren Bent came on with 20 minutes to play and made a huge difference. The pace that Bent had caused problems and he left Hermann Hreidarsson chasing shadows sometimes. Had Glen Johnson not amazingly gone back on the goal line then Bent and another Spurs forward would have been offside, but clearly they knew they were not so took advantage.
While O’Hara offered a threat coming through from midfield and his late surge into the box saw him in the right place at the right time to calmly finish and wrap up victory for Spurs with their second goal in a little over a minute.
Some of the players that I was going to be looking out for had little say on the game, which although a decent game and one I enjoyed, in all fairness few players really stood out from the rest as most on both sides had decent games, but few were spectacular. Ledley King did not even play, Jonathan Woodgate did what he had to, but was not really tested that much defensively. Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane were kept fairly quiet, but you could sense that they would be a threat, I thought that out of the pair Keane had the better game to be honest though.
Aaron Lennon disappointed me to be honest, so if there is any truth in the rumour that Sulley Muntari could be swapped for him in the summer I am not so sure I would want this. Lennon has pace to burn, can beat his man with ease but the amount of times that his delivery let him down yesterday was criminal. I know the fella is still young and is still learning but the art of delivering a cross, although not exactly easy to perfect, is not as hard as he seems to make it look at times. You would expect a player of his quality and type to be able to do this successfully more than he does.
Any team would have Berbatov in a heart beat, but we are not going to sign him are we, Keane would be a fantastic signing, but again although I would not say we could not sign him Spurs will not let him go. I do think that Chimbonda would be a better left back option to what we have but having said that Martin Cranie could be the man to offer us something in the future in that department, although central defence is where I feel he will fit in ultimately.
Hutton impressed but I would still have Johnson over him to tell the truth, so out of the potential ‘realistic’ players that we could get from Spurs I would not have many reservations about signing Huddlestone or O’Hara as the former would fit in the big, strong and powerful midfield type Redknapp likes, so for me he would offer most the qualities that Papa Bouba Diop does with that extra quality too, with the latter offering genuine attacking threat from the midfield, making the late runs to be in the right place at the right time – but also having the ability to finish, something our midfield is lacking. Sean Davis has been doing this well, but has not featured much recently and when he does is lacking that finishing quality that O’Hara seems to have, but I would still think he would only be a ‘squad player’ here.
Once again the point that these views are based predominately on the game yesterday, and the players that I would not mind us signing are based on what I see as being a ‘realistic’ chance of it happening, so these facts cannot be stressed enough, so Huddlestone and O’Hara, ok maybe Chimbonda for me are the players that I most liked the look of and would be happy to see plying their trade at Fratton Park.
As I will not be at the Wigan game next weekend if anyone is willing to volunteer to do this feature for that game it will be much appreciated. Just drop me an email or leave a comment below.
PLAY UP POMPEY!