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Spurs 2 - Aston Villa 0


White Hart Lane


Attendance: 35,802

Referee: Swarbrick

2 - 0
Aston Villa
Caulker (58), Lennon (67)
Venue: White Hart Lane
Attendance: 35,802
The Teams
El Ahmadi
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On Target
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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 7 2012

Time: 5:00PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Turning point was when Benteke missed the sitter. Bent would have put that chance away. Good performance up till that point.
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07/10/2012 17:05:00

Yup taking our chances was again the biggest problem. If we'd have taken the chance to shock them, the game was close enough for us to have seen it through, but we didn't.
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07/10/2012 17:06:00

The two issues we have is not taking our chances when we are playing well and the utter shock that comes over the team when we concede... In the end we were unlucky and quality showed through...
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07/10/2012 17:08:00

Benteke, is he the new Heskey, I hope not but at the moment he certainly has Emules goalscoring touch. Very worried and hard to see how we are going to get out of danger. A long hard winter awaits us. Mr Lerner you have a lot to answer for. Top 6 to bottom 6 in 3 seasons. A team of players from the lower leagues and it shows in our play, lots of enthusiasm but little class.
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07/10/2012 17:12:00

Thought we did well for an hour, both teams had a go and had chances. I don't understand bent not starting, he would have scored the chance benteke had. Benteke is only young but he has missed some sitters for us so far. Bent must play, if we feed him he will score goals. Midfield worries me, just isn't strong enough.
Lion Heart
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07/10/2012 17:19:00

This week I will mostly be blaming the manager. 1) SELECTION: apart from the inexplicable continuation of the Clark-Vlaar pairing, seriously, what does Bent have to do to start ? If you thought he was *****ed off last week, wonder how he feels now. And Bennett is NOT up to starting PL every week. I sincerely hope he is not badly injured, but Lihaj had one bad game (Soton) and suddenly he's out. There are others who did equally badly vs Soton but are still starting (begins with C, for example). At this point Bennett is a squad player/cover. Lihaj earnt his colours during the war of 2011-12. Benteke has missed too many chances before today to be starting. He had the TWO BEST CHANCES IN THE WHOLE GAME put on a plate for him (not like he missed his own chances, so to speak). Unless he is going to start in a formation with a different role in it to that of Bent, he is a squad player/impact substitute. What ******** point is Lambert trying to prove. 2) SUBSTITUTIONS: today I saw perhaps the worst set of decisions since DOL days. First of all you wait until they have scored the jammiest goal ever to put Bent place of Benteke, surely ? No - I am going to take off the two players who can provide service to Bent and/or Gabby (Holman and Albrighton) and then by taking off Delph as well I basically hand them the midfield for the rest of the game. So now I have Bent, Benteke and Gabby WITH NO ******** SERVICE WHATSOEVER. Nzogbia I have no words really - can we retire the No 10 shirt please, for ever ? After this set of brilliant choices, we never had a dream of getting a goal back.Then to top it all I have made my third substitution way too early....given that Spurs seem to have a strip of ******** concrete a yard and a half behind the touchlines. 3) TACTICS: 4-5-1 (which is the way it was lined up on TV) is a difficult formation to play at the best of times. And if you believe we should play Gabby (as opposed to not play him) then 4-5-1 is probably only going to work if Gabby is the 1. Otherwise has to be 4-4-2.....which is apparently what worked at City of Manc the other night. I could see 4-5-1 working with Gabby upfront if Ireland was playing. Everyone should be aware that we had a relatively easy entry phase to this season - and we have not capitalised on it. We needed to get 7-9 points ou t of these games, so we are now badly behind the curve. And as Jonathan has pointed out the Nov-Dec fixture list is pretty tough. Serious money will probably have to be spent in January to avert disaster.
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07/10/2012 17:26:00

As I said before a ball was kicked this season - witht he manager and players at the club, the target is to finish above three other teams. Are Villa becoming the new Coventry City? (* slightly tongue in cheek *).
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07/10/2012 17:34:00

Agree with malacaxeta RE: the midfielders. Nzogbia was the best player when he came on though. Bent had 3 touches and they were all within 5 secs when he trapped it and passed back. Benteke puts himself about and goes to get the ball. Bent just waits on the last man's shoulder. Without an amazing pass (which was lacking today), and the defender or 2 that's marking him making a slip or error of judgement, he is useless.
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07/10/2012 17:37:00

Bennett has to get some experience from somewhere and that's from playing. Lennon did him but he's been in this div for years now.
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07/10/2012 17:40:00

Didn't see the match, didn't get the comments during the matc due to internet, but reading malacaxeta's post Ican fully understand the frustration. I've been all the way behind Lambert, but this does not mean he is above criticism. He got it all wrong today again!
Pride of Lions
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07/10/2012 17:48:00

Just to follow on, this is what you get when you play a team bought at Poundland when playing against a team bought at Harrods!
Pride of Lions
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07/10/2012 17:52:00

Bent was completely ineffectual. Benteke missed two superb chances. He has to put them away at this level. Scoreline flattered Spurs a little. Bennett struggled against Lennon.
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07/10/2012 18:01:00

Bennett needs to get experience in the reserves, so does Benteke. Neiher of them have PL experience and theres plenty of PL first teamers in reserve games. As for Bent being ineffectual (change the record mate!) - no one got any service after the subbings, not Benteke not Gabby.
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07/10/2012 18:22:00

Anyway - heres whats crossing my mind now......theres another Paul in the equation who would like to offload Bent in January (more austerity measures - as pretty soon his wages will be equal to everyone else's put together). He was injured in the summer, remember! It would be the last chance to get some decent cash for him on the current contract. Maybe Benteke was bought to be the guy to step into Bent's shoes come January. Heres the irony - look why we bought him when we did! It'll be deja vu all over again. So the dastardly plan is going to explode in your face. Benteke might be up to it in 2 years when that contract expires...maybe.
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07/10/2012 18:28:00

So the sense to offload Bent for decent money is to not have him playing...erm crystal? For all our crap players funny how it took a very lucky goal for them to take the lead. Maybe, just maybe before the toys and rants come out the pram, we give the youngsters and newbies more than seven league games to adjust to the league and Lambert's style of play before we expect them to role over a side like Spurs without breaking a sweat?
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07/10/2012 19:22:00

Pride of Lions - Spurs? A team bought at Harrods? Pull the other one, they won't finish top 6.
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07/10/2012 19:43:00

I 100% agree Mike the flak Joe Bennett is getting is amazing he was comfortable on the ball and to my memory I cant remember Lennon getting the better of him to leave us completely exposed... Similarly Lowton did a good job on Bale... We looked pretty comfortable for 50-60 minutes until Benteke missed... Yes PL and the team are not without criticism but some of it is completely ridiculous... Im a big Bent supporter V444 will tell you but I can actually understand why Betneke started up front and it was to relieve pressure and provide an outball... Bent being left out is purely tactical but without him its difficult to see where the goals will come from... Teke wont adjust fully until after Xmas IMO, people rave about Gabby and on his is unplayable but those days are few and far between I just dont see where he is going to find form... Hopefully January will see more comings and goings while Nzog was ok at times today I think he needs to go and I still dont rate Bannan... We really need a LM I was willing to persist with Albie n Nzog to see how it would go but Mzog still hasnt made the grand Albie has impressed since coming back to be fair... Without Ireland we stuggle to create and without Bent we struggle to score... Im holding any negativity back until January or mid February I think we will be struggling between 12-16 until Xmas and a bit after but will start climbing toward the end of January as the team takes shape more guys will come in and others will leave... Today we played well didnt take our chances and thats to our detriment the goal shocked the team and it wasnt until the 80th minute until we recovered... I will say I thought the changes were bad myself but in that position PL cant win because if he left Delph on some dummies would say he wasnt ambitious enough... Bent isnt leaving, more time is needed, some criticism is completely unwarranted and miracles dont happen...
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07/10/2012 20:02:00

No-one gets DECENT experience playing reserves football. Patience must be given, PL isn't another Eck. If he makes the same mistakes constantly then fair enough but this is mostly a brand new team and they need time. Bent has had his time though and....
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07/10/2012 20:13:00

The time to worry is if by mid November we haven't gelled properly and starting turning losses into draws and draws into wins on a more comfortable basis. By then we should know which youngsters are ready and which aren't, and those that aren't even IF that includes Westwood or any of the newbies, then get them out for 6 months on loan in January at clubs that play football so they learn more.

The new reserve league is pants for experience. It's age restrictive unlike the last reserve league so often our youngsters were playing against seniors which helped. The key now is get them out to the Champ or League 1 for proper games.

We have to remember basically half the team are new to the league and the other half are new to a manager expecting them to play football, it takes time and the truth is, until Spurs hit the lucky goal (yes they looked the more likely to score) but we were well in with the game overall and good for at least a point. Benteke missing his sitters, and then conceding and our heads dropped for too long, but Spurs didn't take the pressure off when we went to 10 men and we were still competing but the damage had been done. The team are getting there but the difference for us at the moment is finishing the chances when they come so we have a cushion for the inevitable errors that will happen, both naturally it's football, and as youngsters learn.
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07/10/2012 20:20:00

Its interesting how easy it is for some people to turn on a manager look at the league table and look at Liverpool... 1 point ahead and they have spent how much on their team? 20 million more than us? they have a new manager and they are still gelling yes they have had a far tougher time than us but they are still struggling... But how many fans have criticised him? very little from what Iv seen defo a less criticism than PL is getting... Im not worried and Im not sure why other are the foundation for future success is there and its clear to see... The Villa problem will not be a quick fix...
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07/10/2012 20:26:00

heres a condensed version of what I wrote to ensure there are no misunderstandings - based on his performance up to today (ok) I do not understand 1) why PL left Bent out 2) the subs he made. Cannot rationalise either of those under any scenario, sorry. The other selection issues I raised will either prove accurate or not another day. If we pick up wins and draws in rest of October then it becomes less important. But here it is - WE HAVE WON 1 GAME IN SEVEN THIS SEASON
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07/10/2012 20:38:00

No different to seasons under Monny and his record winless streak mate, difference is yet we haven't clicked and racked up the points to mask it, but the overall performances are coming and that's a positive.
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07/10/2012 20:42:00

We lost away to a team with CL aspirations. Last season we started with 5 right backs and didn't create a single shot. I'm not sure what some people are expecting?! Regarding Bent, maybe PL wanted a similar situation to last week, where Benteke softened the defenders up to allow Bent to find spaces against a tired defence, who also played on Thursday? Didn't work, so we move on to the next game.
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07/10/2012 20:51:00

Agree entirely mala... with the subs. Holman had just created the chance for which Walker got booked when he got subbed. Bannan was ineffective. So was Gabby in this week's formation. So was Bent with Gallas looking superb at the back. In fact, the Bent and Bannan combo seems to be for the latter to play long balls to the former when we're chasing the game. PL really has bugger all options with this squad though. Bent needs service in behind to perform his talent and we can't service him.
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07/10/2012 21:00:00

Same as Southampton - Benteke scores the sitter header and it's a different result. I know he's young and shows a lot of promise but he has to bury those all day long.
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07/10/2012 21:28:00

Mike your positivity is admirable but equally whilst no one should be asking for the manager's head after 7 games neither should the cloud of untouchability remain. From what I've seen so far this season Lowton looks like a great signing as do Vlaar and Holman (actually a Mcleish signing). KEA looks ok but Benteke and Bennet, Westwood and Bowry all look way short of the required quality. The manager's tactics and decision making have been questionable to say the least and his man management has been truly awful (Hutton, Warnock and now Bent). I understand that its a work in progress (although its debatable how much progress is actually being shown) but equally no one should be above criticism and PL has had a year in the premiership to know what its all about. I really hope PL gets it right but I am firmly expecting us to be in and around the relegation zone for most of the season.
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07/10/2012 22:10:00

To be fair Spuds should have scored in the opening 30 secs and that would have been a tough start to the game for us. I didn't really expect us to come away with anything however we grew in confidence and matched them for the first 60 mins until they got their break. On measure of attacking play they deserved it too. At this point we still had a chance and kept at them up until the changes were made which changed our formation for the worst. Benteke needs to find the net with either of his chances and then it is a different game but then so did Dempsey with his headed chance being fluffed when it was easier to score. Spuds will be up in top seven and they will expect more than that. We will be mid to lower table and expect better than that. We need more time to gel but fixtures will not allow for that and without a couple of wins soon we will struggle for confidence. I agree the full backs did well as did Vlaar. We are not clicking as a team yet and there are patchy individual performances when we need a more collective team effort. I'm not sure Lambert knows his best formation or team and neither do we as fans. For all those that jump to is WAY to early for that.
holte ender 1969
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07/10/2012 22:47:00

Oh yeah I nearly forgot, when is Bale going to stop diving, bloody Cheat!! A very talented footballer who's ability has gone to his head so much that he thinks he can now con everyone and the ref in getting his own way. He should be booked for that dive by the officials to stamp it out. If Guzan had of been sent off or booked for that then there would have been an uproar. If bad tackles can be booked retrospectively then so should that disgaraceful pantomine dive act!!!!
holte ender 1969
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07/10/2012 22:55:00

I think i'm ok with bent off the field. I'm finding that he doesn't contribute overly much to build up play. Benteke should of scored but i reckon he'll get better. PL has to keep playing him. I actually quite like the benteke/gabby partnership. It'll come good.
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08/10/2012 04:14:00

Nath you almost had me until you judged Bowery...who has yet to play in the first team! lol I do however agree, PL has made mistakes as have the players. But I think we are getting closer, not at speed, but slowly. I even annoy JF in our chats because I'll give us until mid November...then I'll panic. I'm expecting 15 this season because we are building a base again, if by mid November we aren't turning losses into draws and draws into wins then I'll be re-enacting my famous after match rants. But for now....not yet because I see progress.

1969 even if that was true we could've been 3-1 up by your own standards. It doesn't matter, they took their chances, we didn't. That cost us, we lost the chance to change the game again...that should come from confidence and experience but Benteke needs to put these away so he has Yorkie's smile on his face when he misses. As for the rest 100% agree mate. We've been in transition for 3 years, this time round it's genuine and we have to accept that, we'll be up and down, but we need to give time. Panic if nothing changes by December by all means, but we lost our heads on a freaky goal today. However pathetic that is, they are learning.

ps Bale - Hay - rolling around grass....don't hold out hope, certainly don't hold your breathe.

Zarch time and a place, Bent finishes, Benteke should be an impact sub whilst he learns.
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08/10/2012 06:18:00

Agree mike except; you say Benteke should learn from the bench, I say Bent should've learnt all the other aspects of forward play by now so should be benched and saved as the impact sub.
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08/10/2012 08:03:00

I'm not calling for Lambert's head and I still think he will be a very good manager for us but he did get the team selection wrong. Benteke is a handful for any defender but would be much better utilised as an impact Sub at this stage, the game against Albion proved that last week. Bent is our best striker and should be starting every week unless he is woefully out of form.
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08/10/2012 12:38:00

Do not understand what some fans expect for a manager. The guy took over a wafer thin squad short on numbers and taking the claret & blue specs off not one bit of real quality I would point out to add to that a restricted spend and restricted wages.So he sets about bringing in a few bodies for relatively low fees. Joe Allen cost liverpool the same as our total spend.No he hasnt put together a team of world beaters on this sort of money and yes we probably do face a relegation battle but give the guy time he arrived at a club on the floor at least I am not ashamed of the football we play this season. UTV
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09/10/2012 10:25:00


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