January 26, 2009
Spurs made it through to the final of one cup competition last Wednesday and were then knocked out in the fourth round of another on Saturday. While this sounds like a week of mixed fortunes, in fact it was perhaps the worst few days since Harry Redknapp took over the reins at the club.
The manager has tried to portray the FA Cup defeat at the hands of Man. Utd. in a positive light, stating that the team did well and – rather worryingly – that had Spurs played a more open game, it might have been possible to concede “four, five or six goals”.
January 20, 2009
Portsmouth’s visit to White Hart Lane was much anticipated, although not entirely for the contest on the field. Harry Redknapp was facing his former club for the first time since leaving them to take the Spurs job in October. Jermain Defoe lined up against the team whose shirt he wore less than two weeks ago. And Sol Campbell was appearing in front of the fans, a section of whom abused him so disgracefully during the reverse fixture in September.
January 13, 2009
The comprehensive Carling Cup win over Burnley and the excitement following the reacquisition of Jermain Defoe were overshadowed by this defeat to Wigan, which drops Spurs back into the bottom three. Admittedly this was a much changed Wigan side from the one that Spurs knocked out of the FA Cup just over one week ago. The return of both Heskey and Zaki could have been expected to trouble the Spurs defence but Woodgate and Dawson kept clear-cut scoring chances to a minimum. In fact, it was a first Wigan goal for the Honduran defender Figueroa, who rose above a static Jermaine Jenas to head the winner.
January 6, 2009
A first win in six took Spurs through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, at the expense of a Wigan side missing their first-choice goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland, and their two main strikers, Zaki and Heskey. The victory sets up a tie with Manchester United, who knocked Spurs out of the Cup last season before being beaten themselves by Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth in the last 16. A showdown with United in the Carling Cup Final is also looking likely - assuming that Spurs can overcome Burnley in the semi-final.
The team will certainly enter that game with some confidence following the well-deserved win over Wigan. With Darren Bent now injured, Pavlyuchenko will no doubt start up front, perhaps partnered with Campbell in a 4-4-2. That partnership and formation certainly worked well on Friday evening, with Pavlyuchenko scoring twice and producing a well-rounded performance for the first time since his arrival from Spartak Moscow.