The Opposition View - Spurs
1) How did you feel about the appointment of AVB and how do you think he has done so far?
Firstly, I was a fan of Harry, and though I feel his removal was almost inevitable in the end and hardly the shock the media have tried to portray, the initial talk of appointing AVB was. However, if the club are looking to develop youth and in theory be more tactically adept at dealing with the elite sides or ones that look to park the bus, he might prove to be an inspired choice. Personally, I am like many other Spurs fans in currently being hopeful, though yet to be convinced that we have made the right decision on either sacking Harry or appointing AVB.
2) Who are the player/s to look out for?
I would like to think that you have got us at a good time. We have of course brought in several new players of undoubted quality, but who will have had little or no time to gel with their team-mates. Add to that, I feel we are still finding our way in terms of getting comfortable with some of AVB's demands and tactics and of course an international break usually causes untold problems in terms of preparation. However, Spurs have many excellent players new and old at the club, and I suppose you can take your pick from the likes of Bale, Lennon, Adebayor from last seasons players and others like Moussa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and your old boy Gylfi Sigurdsson from the new recruits.
3) What are your expectations for the season?
I will be looking for top six ideally, and probably a season that improves as it goes. Last season was excellent for twenty-five games, but was very disappointing in its finish. Perhaps we will have to take things the other way round this time, with a slow start and hoped for strong finish, as the team embraces AVB's approach. At the time of AVB's appointment, the majority of fans were talking of a season of transition and that is what I think we will get. What everyone needs to be is patient and allow time for the team to gel. Of course fans are not exactly known for doing that.
4) If you could add one more player to your team, who would it be and why?
I think most fans would go for Joao Moutinho from Porto, a player that we missed out on in the final minutes of the summer window. Supposedly he was the player Vilas-Boas wanted most, and based on that alone, That is why I would have liked him, as it would have surely have given the new manager a player he felt would work well within his system and proof of support from above.
5) If you could offload any player from your team, who would it be and why?
I don't really think we have any poor players, though in some, such as Jermaine Jenas, I feel we have one or two that need to kickstart their careers. Add Heurelho Gomes to JJ and that is probably about it. There has been talk of the club looking to sell Michael Dawson and loaning Tom Huddlestone, but both are good players, but who might have to be content to be squad players or make the decision to leave, and I feel the decisions to possibly allow them to go was based more on finance and fitness than a lack of quality in either.
6) What are your first impressions of Gylfi Sigurdsson?
As yet he hasn't set the world alight at WHL. In saying that I remember him well from his time at Reading and also of course Swansea last season and feel he is an excellent player and given a little time and perhaps a slightly deeper starting role, he will become equally good for us. We often forget that he is still developing and is very young, so fingers crossed. So far, I feel he has perhaps played with his back to goal a little too often and I would like to see him play slightly deeper and drive forward, instead of having to play on the turn. I feel he may have so far done a job for us as opposed to been playing as himself, and with new strikers now at the club, I hope we will slowly start to see the best of him.
7) Expected line up for the game?
I wrote yesterday, that picking the Spurs side is getting very difficult, but on this occasion I think we will not see things too different from the early season games due to new players not having time to work with their team mates due to the international break. I believe we will go with, Friedel (Over Lloris), Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, BAE; Sandro, Dembele, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale, with Defoe in attack. Adebayor might push for a start over Defoe, but that will probably depend on his match fitness, which I know was a content prior to the break.
8) What's your prediction for the game?
I have a niggling feeling for another 1-1 draw for some reason. I wont get too stressed at that, as long as I feel we played well and are heading in the right direction.