Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Michael Carrick to make his 5th England appearance

Having performed well in the summer internationals in America, Michael Carrick has had to wait for another opportunity to show Sven what he can do and stake a claim for inclusion in the squad for the World Cup in Germany this summer.

He will start the game in central midfield, alongside Steven Gerrard. The game at Anfield against Uruguay is the last game before the Word Cup squad has to be named on 15th May.

Paul Robinson will start the game, winning his 18th cap.

Jermaine Defoe has again missed out on a starting place with Darren Bent makinghis first appearance. Defoe must be worried that he will miss out on the squad, as he has not been given a chance in the England team this year. It has been very frustrating for him and he must be considering whether his position at Spurs is affecting his England chances.

Tom Huddleston and Wayne Routledge were in the England Under 21 team that defeated Norway 3-1 at Reading on Tuesday evening.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Tottenham Firsts

Bill Nicholson, Tottenham's greatest manager.
  • Tottenham Hotspur were the first team in North London - established in 1882.
  • First non - League to win the F.A.Cup in 1901 - defeated Sheffield United 3-1 in Replay at Bolton, following 2 - 2 draw at Crystal Palace.
  • First team to wear numbers on their shirts - Spurs led the campaign for this and in 1939 for their F.A.Cup against Watford they wore numbered jerseys and won 7 - 1.
  • First team in 20th century to win the 'impossible' Double - in 1960 - 61, managed by Bill Nicholson, they won the 1st Division with 31 wins and defeated Leicester City 2-0 in the F.A.Cup Final at Wembley.
  • Signed Jimmy Greaves from AC Milan in 1961 for £99,999 so that he wouldn't be the first £100,000 player.
  • First British team to win a European trophy - European Cup Winners' Cup - defeating Atletico Madrid 5 - 1 in the Final in Rotterdam.
  • The club that set transfer records throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s.
  • First British team to win two European trophies - E.U.F.A. Cup - in 1971 - 72, defeating Wolves in the Final.
  • The club which signed two Argentinean World Cup stars in 1978 - Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa.
  • The first club to become a plc.
Tottenham Hotspur lead the way, set the standards, others follow.

Robbie Keane to Captain Ireland

Keane expected to get captain's armband:

Spurs striker Robbie Keane is widely tipped to be named the new Republic of Ireland captain when new manager Steve Staunton announces his decision tomorrow afternoon.

Source: Irish Times - 27th February, 2006

Robbie Keane is Ireland's record goalscorer with 24 goals from 65 appearances and now he has been honoured by the new manager, Steve Staunton, by being made captain for the friendly International against Sweden at Landsdowne Road.

Robbie Keane gave an inspirational performance when given the captain's armband by Martin Jol for the game against Newcastle at White Hart Lane in December. He led the team by example in one of his best games in recent times and helped the team to a comfortable 2-0 win. Although he didn't score himself in that game, he did have three goals disallowed for off-side and while all the decisions were correct, they were close and Keane finished each in style.

Keane has served Ireland well and scored some important goals in their European and World Cup games.

Congratulations to Robbie Keane - he is well deserving of this honour.

Keane may well have one of his young club mates on the Ireland team at some time during the game as Stephen Kelly has been selected as part of the squad. Kelly hasn't been able to get a regular place in the Spurs team this season but is pushing Paul Stalteri hard for the right back position. His opportunity may come for Spurs as Stalteri has been caught out in the last few games as Spurs have conceded crucial goals.

1st March - Spurs in History - Ronnie's Moment

1st March, 1995

Southampton 2 Spurs 6 (aet) FA Cup 5th Round Replay

Ronnie Rosenthal - hat-trick
Having drawn 1-1 in the first game, Spurs looked to be on their way out of the FA Cup when Southampton took a two goal lead in the first half.  Gerry Francis brought on Ronnie Rosenthal and he had an immediate impact by scoring twice to take the game into extra time.  He completed his hat-trick early in extra time and the other goals were scored by Nicky Barmby, Darren Anderton and Teddy Sheringham.

It was beginning to look as if this could be Spurs' year for the Cup with Klinsmann and Sheringham working so well together and Anderton and Barmby providing the spark from mid-field.  Francis had turned the team round following his appointment, a few months earlier, in place of Christian Gross but sadly while the Cup run was to go a little further, it would ultimately end in failure and disappointment.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Spurs Season Starts Now

March is going to be a defining month in determining the success or failure of Spurs' season. The promising results up to the beginning of 2006 have slipped some-what and since the win at Manchester City there has been only one victory in the last six Premiership games. The chasing pack are gathering behind Spurs who still hold the coveted 4th place with its qualification for Champions League football next season.

Recent results have seen opportunities missed to consolidate in 4th place and while Spurs have watched Arsenal struggle to close the gap, other clubs have taken the chance to join the fight for European places. Next weekend's opponents, Blackburn have shown improved form in recent weeks with wins over both Arsenal and Manchester United at Ewood Park. Their away form has not been as good so Spurs will be hoping that record is maintained next Sunday. Bolton, now free from European commitments and West Ham have made considerable advances in recent weeks and all are eyeing European places.

This month's games will determine whether Spurs can maintain their challenge or tail off into mid-table after such a promising start to the season. Blackburn at home followed by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge will demand maximum effort and concentration by all the team and it is to be hoped that they will all be 'up' for these games. The matches against Villa, Sunderland and Wigan saw dropped points which could be crucial come the season's end. They were games were Spurs would have hoped for more and having missed those chances, Spurs will need to make the most of the games at Birmingham and against West Brom at the Lane. Four games against teams in blue and hopefully Spurs won't have 'the blues' by the end of the month.

What would be a respectable points tally from those four games? A team wanting Champions League football next season would expect nine points - how near Spurs are to that number could indicate their chances of achieving that goal.

'Come On You Spurs'