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Entries in Rubin Kazan (4)


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.



You'll win nothing with kids (and Pav)


5pm kick-off. ITV4. It's what dreams are made of.

I'll be driving back home and will probably miss the opening exchanges (thanks to the virtues of modern technology that won't matter too much when I sit down to watch it). This competition in group stage format still leaves me a little detached from getting all giddy with excitement. Going through the motions is hardly box office but there is still interest in how we might cope with each test our mix match of benchers and kids face up too. Especially in this game, what with it being the 'toughest' we've faced thus far.

Few would disagree that if we play the way we played in our first encounter with Rubin Kazan, they will probably punish us for our naivety and inexperience. Gomes, Gallas, Bassong, Pienaar along with Defoe and the ever-committed Pav should give the hosts plenty of work to do if we can be bothered to compete. A win and we qualify. Really does come down to the players selected. Obvious statement, but playing a weaker team lacking first team regulars will always leave us susceptible to a slip and fall. If we lack a spine and authority, I can see us suffering with aforementioned punishment and not the good kind you pay top dollar for from Miss Dominique Matrix. I'm talking about the 'why do I still sort of feel gutted that were losing in a competition I'm not supposed to care about' type of punishment.

I'd suggest (and hope for) Sandro in the middle of the park. Add to that less experienced 'kids'  Livermore, Townsend, Carroll and also Falque. Bet I lost you after Sandro. Centre-backs will have to be sharp. Baptism for Willy and his return to first team action.

edit: Sandro not in the squad, ho-hum. Hope turned to dust. Seems I did lose you after Sandro.

Draw? I'd take that. Win, I'll have that. Loss? Wouldn't shock me as this competition remains an annoyance to the manager. Hopefully the game can serve one purpose regardless of the result. That being a shop window for that Russian forward that rates himself a bit.

PS Get well Harry.

The Tottenham Whisper

If you've read The Tottenham Miscellany by Martin Cloake and Adam Powley you might remember a mention in it about the mystery surrounding The Tottenham Whisper. Nobody appears to be able to provide conclusive truth, meaning there is little chance after so many years for a truly definitive answer to be discovered. So instead, its a case of perhaps trying to work out the most logical answer. I've read a pretty ace explanation for it which I'm happy to accept as the answer.

Sent in via email to The Fighting Cock team:

This memory is hazy as its from something my late granddad once told me. Apparently back in the day there was some kind of dig made at us spurs fans for the manner of our support during the games. We apparently out shouted, sung and cheered the oppositions fans so extensively that...

Read the rest here.

Movember Day Three

Movember update and it's day three and not a lot is happening in the mo-area of my face.

If you want to get involved and highten awareness you can join our team The_Fighting_Cock and visit our 'My mo space page'.

We'll be updating the page and the thread over at The Fighting Cock forum with weekly photos and updates on the growth and styling of our majestic moustaches.

To donate or join the team, click on the link and ‘donate to my team’ or ‘join team’. Rejoice the 30 day journey of moustachery.


the fighting cock podcasters


Movember, Day Three.

If you look close enough, there is mo-stubble there. Honestly, I promise. Okay, so it's still in a pathetic state of nothingness, but it's day 3 and I practically guarantee something resembling a moustache by Sunday/Monday. Tuesday by the latest. Wednesday for sure.


Check out the thread over at The Fighting Cock forum for other participant photos and updates.

For previous days, click on 'Movember' directly below this article, next to 'tagged'.


Pav scores, empty seat salutes

Tottenham 1 Rubin Kazan 0. What did we learn?

Kurban Berdyev should consider looking for the receipt for his prayer beads.

Spurs fans who managed to attend might have been better entertained had they remained home and played around with a different ilk of bead.

24058. You should be applauded for turning up.

Kaboul and Sandro swaggered with cool, calm, controlled class as they punctured the game with powerful pomp. Not that you can complain too much about the standard of football. This was a second eleven (be it one with plenty of internationals) with returning first teamers and youth players that can't truly be expected to 'turn it on', as much as we'd like to see it turn on. It was more Sorry Sorry, than Glory Glory. Don't think this was the Europe Bill Nicholson referred too.

Pav proved beyond doubt that he is most effective when he is standing completely still and has ample time to consider options and weigh up the best course of action. He does that every time he plays, but alas, doesn't always pay off. What we do know after his free-kick goal is that he can't do it on a cold week-day night up at Stoke but can at the Lane when nobody much cares other than nerds who create animated gifs of goals. We'll always have the gif Pav.

I'll give Gomes a 7. Gio a 5. As for Carroll? 8. That's not out of ten, that's his age. On reflection (having watched the game a second time) he wasn't quite this elegant floaty flicky footballer I thought I witnessed (against the Russians) rather I had fantasised he was far better than he performed. Okay so he moved about, looked for the ball...but the nature of the game and its tempo meant that it was all much ado about nothing. But that hardly warrants him being tagged with 'out of his depth' comments. He's played a handful of games and he has to continue to make first team appearances to gain experience/confidence and understanding. He looks comfortable, very comfortable with the ball. Give it time, plenty of protein and we'll beef him up I'm sure. Keep on using him Harry please.

Can I mention Sandro again? Hands up if you retained your interest in the game just to see him charge towards a player to tackle the ball back into our possession or for his Gandalfesque-like in 'you shall not pass' defending. If I was Sandro, I'd never take that gum shield out of my mouth either. You never know, he might happen to brush past Godzilla in the pub and spill his pint and we all know 'zilla struggles with his temperament.

Bassong. Captain. That is all.

Lennon is back. Sort of. I'm sure I can remember him making some tasty runs second half. Don't make me watch the game a 3rd time - I wasn't making notes, I was busy multi-tasking and reading Channel 5's online coverage of the Big Brother house so I could appreciate more the various link-work Jim Rosenthal and the commentating team were doing.

Defoe blow out some of that cold, just reminding us that he's still capable of doing so. It's not all hot. Has it ever been any different?

Walker and Rose had a decent enough run-out. Gio was Gio. It's like getting dressed up for a night out, polishing your shoes then being turned away from the club door by the bouncer for being over-dressed. Gio looks the part but he can never get in on the action where it matters most.

As for the visitors. They looked more like a unit, a team. Which was hardly a shocker considering the line-up we fielded. Risky football, but we got away with it. They were not as good as I expected them to be (our first eleven would wipe the floor with them). Europa League group stages, hardly a priority then. So no, we have learnt nothing new.

Could have quite easily been a home defeat had we not rode our luck some what (thank those malfunctioning prayer beads). We got away with it. Stronger side required when we visit them.

We won. Isn't that all that really matters?


Fancy a Ruby?

Rubin Kazan. Not related to Keyser Söze. Pretty certain unlike the latter, they most definitely exist. Yet I have no idea what to expect. They're hardly a team you would dismiss out of hand thanks to their adventures against the mighty (under-strength/not bothered at the time?) Barcelona. I would expect them to play a strong side, but then I'm guessing and I haven't googled or checked the sports sites to find out. Research, not something I can do much of during my lunch break. Speaking to other Lilywhites, they don't seem to know a lot either. Shame on us.

Honestly? I'm hardly gripped by the Europa League group stage but rather far more interested and perhaps just slightly (every so slightly) excited by the prospect of seeing a 'second eleven' take the field to what will probably be a White Hart Lane with the odd empty seat. I'm holding back on the sarcasm as much as I possibly can here. Perhaps I'll have my gob shut later on this evening, but if this game isn't a capacity filled occasion (which it wont be) then it begs the question about how such a game would play out in a 60+ stadium. I guess people who usually struggle to get tickets can't be arsed when its reserve football. To bring it full cycle, when season ticket holders can't be bothered to go either than I guess we need to appease all by not playing in this competition next season.

So, yeah, interested and a bit excited mainly because of the team news Spurs released in the build up that will see Aaron Lennon and Sandro return to the side along with Danny Rose. Equally of interest (nervous not excited) to see how we cope by the lack of centre-backs and the fact that those injured are apparently not going to be available for Sunday.

Pav and Gio will start which is always something you force yourself to watch just so you can angry the blood and inject some emotion into the game (as it's hardly nail-biting territory).

Looking forward to seeing man child Carroll in action.

The fact is, can't quite grasp what to expect. Will Rubin be up for it? Will they be cautious? Will our players be up for it? Will the back four be cohesive and will the formation have fluidity? Are we perhaps over-rating the visitors and under-rating our second string? Vice versa? Will Pav strop or show-off?

Lennon/Sandro fitness and their performance is key for the Prem games ahead of us. Gio is pretty much like a Kinder Surprise. Much expectation but in the end the anticipation is far more satisfying than what you end up with.

It's Tottenham. It's a proper game of football regardless of how much it's value has been diminished by other priorities and the lack of grade A first teamers. I never want to see us lose and I always want to see us win. Let's hope we win then.

Don't forget to wrap up nice and snug and get comfortable on the sofa.

Love the shirt.