Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday February 4 2010
OxfordSpur from Vital Spurs answers our question ahead of the crunch game Saturday evening.
1) So, how is your season treating you so far?
At the start of the season I would have bitten your hand off to be where we are at this point. Let’s just hope it continues. The turnaround in 12 months has been staggering to be honest, both on and off the pitch. The squad is now very tight (almost too tight), but in giving every player the expectation that they can and will get games could be vital as the final third of the season come into play. There is no point in having a massive squad and half of them never play competitive football, as they are potentially a waste of space as they are simply not match sharp.
2) Riding high, are you optimistic that will continue and without lillywhite specs on, a) will you finish top four b) who do you see as the main threat to that place?
At the start of the season I predicted Spurs would finish 6th and I tipped Man City to get 4th and I don’t think I will be far wrong on either. City now have the squad, it is now about how they handle the pressure and I can see that it may be getting to them based on recent performance. Liverpool are playing terribly at times and football wise are the worst side of the four contenders, but the fact they are struggling and still very much in the running should be a worry for the rest.
3) Keane to Celtic. Why was he allowed to leave again and do you care?!
I have defended Robbie since his return, but for all the reasoning as to why he isn’t playing well are looking more like excuses to be honest. There has to be some truth in the fact that he was bought in, more in panic than actual plan at a time when we had just lost Jermain Defoe to a long term injury last January. Robbie is a great character, but for all of his posturing about being a great team man, was his complaining about not being an automatic pick, working to the detriment of others around him. This is a player who has stated that he was miserable because he wasn’t playing, but in truth played some part in almost every game this season.
As for do I care, not really and I remain a fan of the player. What troubles me is that he doesn’t really gel with any of the three other strikers and I would guess he and Gudjohnsen are far too similar player to ever work. I always felt that Robbie needed either a back to goal striker (Berbatov/Carew, Jones) or a quick front runner such as Agbonlahor or Darren Bent, so in the end we weren’t getting the best from Robbie and he was looking toothless at Spurs. I think he will be fantastic at Celtic, but that is more about the pub football they play in that division. If he scored 20 goals he would be a Celtic legend, but that still wouldn’t tell us whether he was good enough to play at the top of the Premiership.
4) Appy Arry. Long term manager for Tottenham, all happy and merry with him?
I assume that he will stay as long as he isn’t in jail... in his time at the club he has been ‘triffic and it is hard to quantify the change he has made to the club. We are organised on the pitch and appear to have a plan off of it. I think changing the mindset of the players has and still is the biggest task he has and that may well be why we will still see a high turnover of players over the next window or two, as he looks to bring in strength of character as much as ability as a player
5) If you could have one of our players to Spurs, who would it be and why?
This answer probably changes every time I answer it (fickle football fan), but I will base it more on how I feel we need or would fit in as opposed to who I think is your best player. A player like James Milner offers so much as a footballer and winner, much in the same way I guess Steven Gerrard offers Liverpool. He appears to drive the team on regardless of how he is playing and will give his all to get the result. Similarly Richard Dunne offers the same for me and he was a player I wanted at Spurs although I was in a very small minority. Both are leaders and take responsibility for the team and their own performance, I would take that over Ashley Young’s ability everytime. Well until you ask this question to me next season...
6) Who should Villa be afraid of in the Spurs team on Saturday?
We are a team with genuine options, which always makes it difficult to identify individuals. Jermaine Defoe will always get chances, whilst I assume Bentley and Modric will give you trouble from wide and Luka cutting inside gives us extra in the middle, plus it makes him very difficult to pick up as a marker. The player I will pick as the difference could be Gareth Bale, especially if he plays behind Luka Modric. I assume you will play Luke Young at full back and the pace and desire to get to the corner and put the ball in, could make his life very difficult.
7) Opinions on Martin O'Neill and Villa?
I have always likes MON from his time at Wycombe, but he has always been a little too cautious for me in terms of bringing in the big player I think you need at any given time. I love the fact that he has built a British core and a team full of pace and energy, but if I were a Villa fan, I would be a little frustrated at times over a lack of a player with the X-factor, but then again does he now have that in James Milner?
8) Ok, let’s be having you, what is your prediction?
In terms of style I still see Villa as being a side to trouble teams away from home. You still seem a perfect counter attacking side to me and that worries me a little to be honest. Add to that you have longer preparation with our game last night perhaps adding to fatigue in our legs, I will go with a 2-1 win for Villa, but then I always get it wrong when I predict a Spurs loss...
Could I finally send my best wishes to a family member of mine, a lifelong Villa fan and season ticket holder, who was very badly hurt in a fire in Liverpool a few weeks ago. Get well soon Kieran and if any of you Villa fans have a few player or club contacts who could make a young man very happy at a tough time do give me a shout...
With thanks to OxfordSpur from Vital Spurs. Deanovilla has done the reciprocal interview with Vital Spurs, so to see 'our side' go to here: A cosy chat with Vital Villa
Date:Thursday February 4 2010
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