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« Spurs involved in Greek tragedy | Main | Spurs in turmoil »

Away to The Shamrock

Panathinaikos sound a touch miserable. Poor league form (DDLDW), captain ‘sacked’, two points deducted thanks to their fans behaviour last season and a 3-0 stuffing against Maribor in the Europa League. Now here’s a club with a fair few domestic trophies in genuine turmoil. This won’t be a clash of the Titans. But hopeful they will feel our wrath.

(and with any luck our performance will be more fluid than the last couple of sentences)

At least that’s the plan according to Andre Villas Boas who is determined to have a crack at this undervalued competition. We should line up with a fair amount of strength and confidence. Lloris between the sticks possibly the only change if we want to turn up and leave them in ruins. But more than likely we’ll see a similar side to the one that faced Lazio.

We’re making do quite well. VB is keeping it tight with selections and we can still look forward to the likes of Parker, Benny and Kaboul returning to the fold in the near future. All arguably first team ‘regulars’ – although whether they’re first choice by the time they’re back we’ll have to wait and see. Parker might have trouble dislodging Sandro but he’ll bring some extra bite for games that require it.

Add to them the likes of Smith, Townsend, Mason, Carroll and Falque (all available now) and we have a far more cohesive unit than we did last time out. A more solid blend of youth and seasoned quality. Last season consisted of a mis-match of benched players and others stuck somewhere between limbo and loan. Feels like so much more preparation has gone into it this time around.

Let’s not be forgetting the likes of Dawson and Huddlestone. The latter almost lost to Stoke. We might not have pound-for-pound replacements for certain first team positions but there’s more than enough about us to hassle and bully our way out of the group stages.

Livermore and Naughton still not available, Adebayor has only trained once – so the metamorphosis of Jermain Defoe will continue, from moth to butterfly. Although in Europe and importantly against Panathinaikos we could be treated to Dempsey up top again (although away from home, we might need a bit more in forward positions, so Dempsey behind Defoe will suit us well).

I’m actually fascinated by all this as it serves to delve deeper into the thinking of our coach. Does he select based on managing the fitness of key players with the league games in mind but without surrendering the chance of victory or does he involve players that will slowly be able to cover those same key players in the league – thus giving us a robust machine ready for any occasion. Rather than one that slows down with rust if it happens to rain?

Sigurdsson is one player I’d personally like to see involved at some point. If anything to get his career in Lilywhite kick-started as he’s so far struggled to find a groove.

Should be decent game for us. Should be a decent win.




Lennon - called up for England. Deserving, but once again, first thing that came to mind was: Don't get yourself injured. Same goes for our other selected men in Lilywhite. Be safe.

Reader Comments (23)


Oct 4, 2012 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterspasm

COYS, want to see us smesh 'em with Siggy playing a big role, like you said. Can't help but feel that Dempsey will be up front on his own with Defoe getting the last 30 minutes in case we need to finish them off. Hudd, Falque and Townsend are the sorts of players I want to see establishing themselves in this game.

Oct 4, 2012 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry


Oct 4, 2012 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDazspur


Oct 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDazspur

I def want to see Lloris, Hudd, Dawson, Mason and Townsend involved. And agree with you on Sigurdsson too, a good performance here would really help his confidence. Anyone know how long before Adebayor will be properly fit and challenging Defoe directly?

Oct 4, 2012 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen

We should field a strong team.
I am very happy knowing that AVB prioritise this competion.

Oct 4, 2012 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan

I definitely want Sig to play a role as I believe he has a pretty good future ahead of him. I know it was pre-season and not a whole lot can be read into it, but in my opinion he was one of the better performers (not sure off the top of my head but he grabbed a couple of goals and a few assists) but since the league has started he hasn't continued that form. Like I said, pre-season isn't really something to judge a player by, I would just like to see him get more game time and at the moment the cups appear to be his chance.

Oct 4, 2012 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterN14 Spur

I have teams in most European countries that I support. Panathiakos is one of them.. but on this occasion I want my true love Spurs to tonk them . we need a strong squad tonight as they are no easy team, especially with the hostile atmosphere by their nutty fans.
And a special message to my friends and cousin Telly, from Macclesfield Spurs members club who are at the game tonight... good luck out there and be in good voice.

Oct 4, 2012 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterkoko61

GO for glory, Spurs. Gotta get Pana whilst they are down. Hoping for a relatively strong side. Afterwards they can eat baklava, drink ouzo, and have Bacchanalian orgies to their heart's content. 2-1 good guys!!

Oct 4, 2012 at 3:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterTimmy L.

Lloris, Walker, Dawson (c), Caulker, Vertonghen, Huddlestone, Dembele, Dempsey, Lennon, Bale and Defoe

subs - Cudicini, Gallas, Sandro, Townsend, Falque, Mason and Sigurdsson

Oct 4, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

That's a STRONG line up.

Oct 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

Good article Spooky and you've raised some interesting points regarding AVB's selection process. Indeed, does he field a side based around safeguarding the fitness levels of key players? Or does he opt for players that are able to cover these positions in the league? Personally I'd like to see some of the younger squad players given a run out namely Falque, Townsend and Carroll, if it doesn't appear to be working then he can always rectify it by bringing in more experienced players.

Looking forward to seeing Lloris between the sticks, Friedel has been playing decent enough recently but I'm not too keen on his style of continous hoofs up the pitch when building from the back is by far the better option. That was the only downside to our gutsy performance at the weekend imo, apart from that our confidence levels should be brimming therefore I envisage an assured display and three points secured. Onwards and upwards eh! COYS!!!

Oct 4, 2012 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered Commenteraspurusual

That is a good line up spooky. Bravo AVB for taking the game seriously. Also would like to see Andros the British Greco/carIbbean get a good run.., been itching to see him play more in a game.

Oct 4, 2012 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterkoko61

AVB knows his team selection for Sundays game (which is 5 times more important than this evenings) he will also be aware of the importance of staying above Arsenal, he has the tactical ability to rotate this squad despite injuries to Kaboul, Parker, BAE and Adebayor (now in training but not match fit). I would expect a mixed team selection with a very strong bench as back-up and the Lilywhites to triumph 3-0.

Oct 4, 2012 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRazspur

Hey Harry, look at that Europa League XI!!! ;-) That's what I am talking about

Oct 4, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTimmy L.

Where are all the fans !

Oct 4, 2012 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered Commenter1965YID


Oct 4, 2012 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterNochman

1965yid ..Their old stadium before the Athens olympic legacy, held only 25,000, and this one is nearly 70,000 caapacity.
Can see what the future looks like for the spammers if they move into the olympic stadium :-) .

Oct 4, 2012 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterkoko61

Or it could end up 1-1 if we don't put the effort in ! Was like watching a training ground match.

Oct 4, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterRazspur


Oct 4, 2012 at 8:01 PM | Registered Commenterspooky

Not good enough... bloody lazy gits. show some "Passion" ffs.

Oct 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterkoko61

We should have come out in the second half with all guns blazing for 20 mins, got the second goal to kill the match off and then stroked it about letting them chase shadows, inept performance and I'm being generous. Not being able to kill games off is costing us far too often.

Oct 4, 2012 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterRazspur

Picks up remote and points at TV: click. Looks over at kids who are sat wearing sun glasses and fully expecting to now spill out into the street to ride imaginary fcukin ponies. Bollocks.

Oct 4, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucozade Tom

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