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« Movember Day Four | Main | You'll win nothing with kids (and Pav) »

Rubin 1 Yoof and disinterested souls 0

Guest blog by Boxbat (regular over at The Fighting Cock forum).


Rubin 1 Yoof and disinterested souls 0

Redknapp picks a great night to stay at home.

There may have been a notable lack of first choice personnel on the pitch, on the bench, and in the dugout, but those that did bother to make the trip showed some good early intent – Ryan Fredericks opted for short sleeves on what I can only imagine was a brisk evening in Kazan, whilst Jake Livermore made a fine tackle in the opening stages to stop a pitch invader in his tracks.

The rest of the first quarter of the game resembled the trip to Salonika, with Spurs’ youngsters afforded time to string a few passes together but looking unthreatening at the business end of the pitch. As Rubin struggled to find momentum of their own, a repeat of the stalemate with PAOK did indeed look on the cards. Unfortunately, whilst Tottenham’s Europa League attack proved reliably toothless throughout, Rubin soon upped their game and started to look more like a team that had beaten Barcelona not so long ago. With backup full-backs Corluka and Rose both injured, Townsend and Fredericks were left with the unenviable task of deputising in defence and stopping the Russian side’s wingers. Who turned out to be their best players on the night, naturally.

Still, Gallas looked commanding on his return, Falque was lively on the right, Defoe put in a decent ball across the six yard box, and Cudicini made several excellent saves to keep the score at 0-0, so those Spurs fans who cared enough about this game to experience emotions could feel rather satisfied at half time.

After the break Gallas went off injured, Falque and Defoe faded out of the game and we conceded the single goal that, in honesty, always looked like being enough. Seb Bassong did his prospects of an extended run on the sidelines no harm with a needless foul on the edge of the area, and commentator’s dream Bebras Natcho hit a scrumptious curler into the net. Credit must also go to manager Kurban Berdyev for keeping faith with those prayer beads.

Townsend, Carroll, Fredericks and Kane all showed moments of promise going forward, but they are not game changers just yet. Nor is Steven Pienaar (at least whilst he regains fitness), whose energies seemed to be mainly directed towards conversing angrily with team-mates, opponents and officials after every foul or cock-up. I’ve spent the last couple of days defending Pav, but tonight’s game hinted at what many had suspected: whilst he can occasionally pull it out of the bag back in Blighty, he just can’t handle a cold Thursday night in Russia.

Still, Carlo kept making those saves – a MoM performance that deserved a clean sheet. It wasn’t all in vain, though, as by keeping the score down to one Spurs retained parity on the head-to-head. Qualification from the group should still be a formality, though to get much further in the competition we may need to call in some backup (i.e. not the backups...)

A minor irritant, then, but fear not: the first string are back in action on Sunday, and Harry still has his own unbeaten streak intact. Canny fella.


Reader Comments (15)

This quote from the BBC's match report says all that needs to be said. "Tottenham, who lost William Gallas to injury before the end, struggled to find any sort of response and did not register a single shot on target."

Nov 4, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpursnomad

Very poor performance, but still should have been 0.0 but for a stupid tackle by Bassong.
Felt sorry for Carlo as his display was well worth a clean sheet. Liked the look of Fredericks, Pav get the fuck out of here.It aint the end of the world as i'm sure we will still win the group, lets get back to the serious business on Sunday, we owe them one for last years shambolic display in the cup.... sorry big fella but were gona do ya COYS !!

Nov 4, 2011 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBobby

Was Windy out there? Surely this is his domain, no? ;)

I could see why people were rating Carroll, looked composed and between him and Livermore covered for Townsends raids forwards at times, as well as retaining posession (mostly) when under pressure.

Lacked bite, but not surpirsed. More importantly, Fulham also played 90 mins, but with a full squad, however after registering a win will have some confidence going into the game.

Nov 4, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commentertricky

After Bassong complaining about being dropped for king against QPR - he needed to put in a performance and he did - a shit one. Comedy defending for their goal, woeful first touch and a terrible foul. He had a few other laspes that Carlo was able to rescue us from.

Good to see Gallas back, hopefully he was just a bit tight rather than injured.

Defoe and Pav are painful together - it's almost like they have to not pass to each other or not run after a decent pass if they decide to.

Nov 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMattspurs

Honestly can't see what the fuss about Carroll is about. Yes he looked composed when passing the ball around in our own half but there was little in the way of attack minded play that I could see. Other players at the club seem to rate him though so maybe I'm just missing something.
Pav just isn't there anymore, he knows he's leaving...why bother.
Thought Falque looked the best of the youngsters out there, he always looked for the more 'interesting' pass that would cut defences open - bit of pace as well.
I had high hopes for Kane with all his goalscoring expoits in the reserves but he looked a little lost during his cameo yesterday.
No really that bothered about the result as I'm fairly certain we'll progress. It will be interesting to see when Harry deems the Europa League worthy of some first team attention - probably last 16.

Nov 4, 2011 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered Commenternj

Hope we get a bit further in this competition. Very lightweight team yesterday due to injuries.

Add Corluka, Dawson, Rose, Niko, Huddlestone and Sandro to that team instead of the kids and we have a good outfit.

Really more like a 3rd team than a 2nd string yesterday.

Nov 4, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiaz

NJ, i totally agree, the Carroll bandwagon has to stop, he can play a sideways pass in his own half.... not exactly droolworthy....

Gets pushed off the ball and gives it away when he tries anything other than a simple lateral pass.

He has no chance of getting near our first team, if anyone really belives he will be a Spurs player in the future you need your head checked.

Nov 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPLN

I think you were very kind to the players in your report

Nov 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterCusop

At last - someone who has the same view as me on Tom Carroll! I also can't see what all the fuss is about - he has no right foot, only passes it 5 yards at a time, can't dribble and can't tackle. Whilst I would love one of our youngsters to break into the first team, I can't see any of them with the quality to do so. Harry Kane will be the next Lee Barnard, Jake Livermore the next Dean Marney/Johnnie Jackson, Ryan Fredericks the next Phil Ifil, and Tom Carroll the next Andy Turner!

Nov 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveT

The Carroll backlash begins. Anyone want to help me start the backlash backlash? Modric would have struggled to look good in that team, in those conditions[1]. We were lucky to nick a win last time, we were not unlucky to lose this time (ie. they deserved the win). This is like our 3rd choice team, and we're giving good young players a chance to play competitive matches. Sure, the top top teams would do the same but win these games. We're not a top top side yet.

Just a triffic side, perhaps.

Gallas looked class as ever. I do wonder whether him and King could/will play together. Their totally relaxed command of the game would make me sleepy while watching matches.

[1] Typical Spurs - away from home, jetlagged, a game we really are aiming to draw, and we play two out and out strikers, one of whom probably doesn't give a crap anymore, neither of whom are known for holding up the ball.

Nov 4, 2011 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMr Spang

"the backlash backlash"


Nov 4, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

O for fuck's sake!!

Nov 4, 2011 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterCEJ

Relax people - don't forget the good run we are having.... I can still remember people saying that Hoddle would never make it as a player .... not that Carroll is a Hoddle but give him a chance.... I hate it when we knock players even before they start..... he's only a young lad !

Nov 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterHighgatespur

Not too convinced by some of the players last night, namely Bassong & Pavlyuchenko. I thought that we played well enough in patches but appeared to lack that clinical edge. Cudicini was by far the busiest of the two goalkeepers. I mean, how many shots on target did we actually have? This game was definitely one to forget about. ZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Nov 4, 2011 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered Commenteraspurusual

What summed it all up for me was the way Defoe thought, at 1-0 down and playing like shit, its a laugh Bassong getting the captains arm band. Did you see this or was i dreaming? I did not see the funny side of this, 1-0 and he had not one shot on target, playing crap and he thought it was all a great joke!! Sums the idiot up really!! He complains about being dropped and moving on, when he gets a chance, he does nothing - another one heading to Stoke!

Nov 4, 2011 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterhiotspurs

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