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Premier League race hots up

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Dan Walker | 11:00 UK time, Thursday, 19 January 2012

Blog brethren I need to apologise - it's been too long. Let me give you three reasons for my absence...

1. I was always going to go dark over Christmas and New Year.
2. I've only just come out of mourning after losing Celebrity Mastermind by a point (yes I was asked to go on even though both words make me a little uncomfortable).
3. A horse ate my homework.

Anyway, it's nice to be back and the footballing landscape has changed a little while I momentarily rested my blogging boots. Manchester City seem to have lost their aura, Manchester United and Arsenal have brought back the old boys, Martin O'Neill is weaving his magic again and Swansea are playing the best passing football in the Premier League!

On top of all that my team, Crawley Town, have embarked on another FA Cup run and I found some posh Christmas biscuits - a discovery which lifted my late-night glass of milk to a whole new level.

For those of you who missed Mastermind, my specialist subject was 'The Gunpowder Plot'. Many have questioned why I didn't opt for a football-based subject but the answer is two-fold.
1. It felt a little bit like cheating.
2. Having witnessed the rage that accompanies the tiniest factual error from the football fraternity, the idea of being asked something like "Who plays their football at Ewood Park?" and answering "errr... Sweden?" was enough to scare me off.

I also finally gave up on my dream of making it as a professional footballer during my blog hiatus. Like many other lovers of football, a small completely misguided part of my brain has always persisted to inform me that I was 'decent' at the beautiful game despite more than 25 years of distinct averageness.

My first match of 2012 confirmed what the rest of my brain has been screaming at me from the day I missed from seven inches in a game for Three Bridges Middle School at the age of 11.

My touch resembled that of a lame rhinoceros, my cranium seemed to be shaped like a 50p piece and I was routinely skinned by a young pup who wasn't even wearing proper shorts.

Talking about football has, in contrast, been going well. We've had some great guests on Football Focus over the last few shows, loads of people are watching and we have another bumper edition lined up this week too.

Before I get to that, if you want to see Mr Shearer & Mr Savage's extended thoughts on the issue of tackling you can watch the Focus Forum here...

 

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This Saturday the whole show comes live from Molineux where Wolves take on Aston Villa, and our guests will be Lee Dixon and Neil Warnock. If you have any questions for the former QPR boss let me know and you can also send in something you'd like to ask Rio Ferdinand and Nigel de Jong - they are both coming on this week too.

Finally, I have been somewhat irked this week by suggestions that 'the media' want Spurs to win the title and were gutted when they failed to beat Wolves. I know I only speak for Football Focus but I assure you that is not the case.

Yes, Tottenham are a good story because they are keeping pace with the Manchester pair and have usurped Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. Yes, we all (as neutrals) want to see the best possible finish to the Premier League season and Spurs could make it interesting and yes, Mr Redknapp is a good talker and the England angle makes him a 'person of note'.

But be assured, if any team were where Spurs are now they would get the same degree of coverage and media luvvies everywhere would not be weeping into the double half-fat mochachinos when Steven Fletcher put Wolves ahead last Saturday.

Right then. See you all on Saturday at 1215 GMT on BBC1. Get your questions or comments down below and I shall pop back inbetween visits to the biscuit tin. Don't forget you can find me on Twitter at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc

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Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    I can't see Spurs finishing there at the end of the season. Europa League is most likely.

  • Comment number 2.

    Oh joy. The perfect invitation for The Soul Patch of David Villa to write another damning critique on the quality of the English Premier League. Prepare yourselves for talk of 'Premier League plodders', 'Sunday pub teams' and 'Sky Sports Bassett Hounds'.

  • Comment number 3.

    Aaah...Soul Patch, yes no doubt it'll be getting excited over that prospect. Still, it's the best that care in the community can do these days.

  • Comment number 4.

    Still awaiting a blog about Newcastle.. It seems like they just dont get mentioned by the BBC.

    Probably because they beat Man Utd 3-0.

  • Comment number 5.

    Dan,
    Good to have you back from what appears to have been an early midlife crisis of self identity and intellectual near misses. As soon as I read that you had gone dark I thought you were the guy behind Wikipedia. My jaw almost dropped when I read you were on Mastermind, specializing in the Gunpowder plot. I used to teach Tudor and Stuart history and at certain points would depart from the 'National Curriculum" script and pay inordinate amount of attention to events of Aug 1588 and Nov 1605. I was always unclear what Salisbury's involvement in the whole thing was prior to Monteagle's letter.
    Anyway back to the footie. MUch on my mind for the next 5 or 6 months. Starting with FF
    Please can you get more of the big interviews back in the format? Last year you produced some fine journalism interviewing Cantona, Raffa, and the Bradford fire tragedy. I know you have had some remarkable numbers for recent blog entries (in the 400's) but, young chap, always shoot for quality not quantity, then you'll not repeat those 7 inch misses.
    Your defense of the media re. a partiality to Spurs rang a bit hollow, not sure your the best one to be making such a defense. Just saying, you know, given your declared interest in Hoddle, and the rest of your family being Spurs fans (or so you said).
    Ohh, and Swansea's last win hurt. Arsene please buy, please start winning, bring a Cardiff boy it stung doubly so. Another random thought,I do hope Martin O'Neill does well at Sunderland, good solid bloke.
    Well, better sign off I should not be typing at all after fairly major shoulder surgery due to a bad fall, but after a 5 week wait I just had to...
    Press on young Padwan

  • Comment number 6.

    What a great broadcasting venue Mr Dan Walker – the Molinuex Stadium.

    Looking forward to this programme, Wolves have just announced a delay to the second phase of the current redevelopment of Molineux.
    Interesting if you plan to re-visit also the new training facilities

    Out of darkness cometh light!

    Enjoy the day and the snacks.

    Do you decide the running of the programme or, is that the job of the producer on the day?

    Good to have you back on your excellent blog – keep up this good work and with Football Focus!

    Come on the Wolves…..!

  • Comment number 7.

    An interesting blog.

    Have a wonderful time at Wolves, perhaps they are still dancing with delight at taking a point from Spurs, or maybe the fact that a lower league club knocked them out of the FA Cup has just settled in.

    http://wp.me/1qHQT

  • Comment number 8.

    @2.At 11:50 19th Jan 2012, IntelligentAnalysis wrote:
    Oh joy. The perfect invitation for The Soul Patch of David Villa to write another damning critique on the quality of the English Premier League. Prepare yourselves for talk of 'Premier League plodders', 'Sunday pub teams' and 'Sky Sports Bassett Hounds'.

    @3.At 12:10 19th Jan 2012, Bela Lugosis Dad wrote:
    Aaah...Soul Patch, yes no doubt it'll be getting excited over that prospect. Still, it's the best that care in the community can do these days.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    And who would blame him? By such comments you award him some sort of cult status on these blogs and if I were him I'd be delighted with that.

    Ignoring him on the other hand would be an excellent strategy......but you just can't help yourselves.

  • Comment number 9.

    #8

    I for one am a massive fan of Patches.

  • Comment number 10.

    Soul patch is the only reason i read these blogs, he cracks me up, is very erudite and actually makes some very good points. I have only come on here to see if he has written anything about last nights el classico, which was (as always) a top match.

  • Comment number 11.

    1. At 11:47 19th Jan 2012, It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:

    Couldn't disagree more, I think they will give us (city) a real test on the weekend and are capable of winning...will they win the league? I don't think so but I for one have them nailed on for 3rd! (possibly better)

  • Comment number 12.

    Welcome back, Dan. Predicting this season is a bit like going to your first dance. Trying to disguise nerves with brave words. Confidant of nothing other than your own ability to look foolish and the inevitable fear, should you get on a roll, that you'll peak too early and everything will droop on the run in. There's the inevitable fear of approaching a group (team) of girls with your best (and much practiced) line (up) only to be hammered 6-1 and having to retreat back across the floor with your 'mates' rolling in the aisles.

    Everyone chasing the same 'beauty', some even trying to buy her with ostentacious wealth (a strategy that seldom fails in my experience....Sheila Banks is a prime example). But then who'd bet against the dude whose won her heart in 4 of the last 5 seasons? That guy must have something going for him.

    Confidence usually woos them in the end. Ain't seen much of that anywhere recently! It could be a virgin summer I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 13.

    I've got a soft spot for Spurs, but I do wish they'd hurry up and implode to give Liverpool a helping hand at finishing in the top 4.
    Does anybody else think that in the above photo, it looks like Shearer and Savage have formed a Status Quo tribute band?

  • Comment number 14.

    Wow, I wish all the questions were this easy to answer. Citeh will win the league, why? coz they have the best team and the best squad. Spurs will finish second, coz they have the second best team and the second best squad. United will finish 3rd, not because they have the 3rd best team or sqaud, but because they have had and will continue to have the luck. Also it would appear that the refs and trying their best to win United the league!

  • Comment number 15.

    Wolves, yep I want them to stay up for Mick's sake, for me he's a bit like Mick McManus and I'd miss his interview on MOTD, I don't know why because he never says anything remotely interesting but then again thats part of his appeal .

  • Comment number 16.

    14.At 13:43 19th Jan 2012, swintondude wrote:
    Wow, I wish all the questions were this easy to answer. Citeh will win the league, why? coz they have the best team and the best squad. Spurs will finish second, coz they have the second best team and the second best squad. United will finish 3rd, not because they have the 3rd best team or sqaud, but because they have had and will continue to have the luck. Also it would appear that the refs and trying their best to win United the league!

    ============================================================
    Yawn! What worries me most is that I think you actually believe that. Delusional!

  • Comment number 17.

    @10 moreorless the same haha he is a great laugh when bored at work but to the football spurs have a great squad and are rightly in the top 3 and that is were theyw ill finish to many incosistencys from the likes of liverpool and arsenal, chelsea for fourth to me thinks :)

  • Comment number 18.

    16. At 13:48 19th Jan 2012, WordsofWisdom wrote:

    He may actually be correct (except the ref's bit) - it's all about the delivery for me...not helping! I hope he's right but a little more tact may be appropriate!

  • Comment number 19.

    18.At 13:50 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:
    16. At 13:48 19th Jan 2012, WordsofWisdom wrote:

    He may actually be correct (except the ref's bit) - it's all about the delivery for me...not helping! I hope he's right but a little more tact may be appropriate!

    ======================================================
    Very well said. I agree!

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    @14 zzzzzz

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Where the flip is Soul_Patch. I idolise his unbiased, insightful knowledge on the game and am suffering withdrawal symptoms from his current absence. On a happier note, great to see Cristiano Ronaldo play an absolute blinder in the recent 'Clasico,' his first half display stunned Barcelona and he showed why he should have been given the Ballon D'Or even though it is a popularity contest and not a pure footballing prize, which is why Lionel "I'm a nice guy" Messi won.

  • Comment number 24.

    I for one was not suprised with the wolves v spurs result, i just thought the media pressure on spurs that week was too much too soon. although im really looking forward to the Man city v spurs this weekend, should be a v good match.

    and here today again as usuall we have the utd luck + ref vomit already on the go from swindontown...... i guess that will always be there from the bitters and for lack of a better word i.d.i.o.t.s

  • Comment number 25.

    24. At 14:00 19th Jan 2012, King Red wrote:
    ---------------------------
    I sincerely hope that wasn't a pop at me? I like to think i'm objective and as unbiased as a football fan of a particular club can be! Think a draw on the weekend would suit both clubs to be honest (i'd certainly take it) .... and for the record I can see Arsenal beating united so maybe another draw....having said that despite a lack of "quality players" (argue all you want) think united have the belief that could make the difference....as you were come Sunday evening for me!

  • Comment number 26.

    About time that the premier league had a look at the loan system. It is a disgrace that Spurs can be challenging for the title yet not be allowed to field their main striker against City but obviously can against all of their other rivals. Of course if he were to play and have a stinker then people would question that too. I think ultimately that it is unfair for players to be loaned between premier league clubs as it compromises the integrity of the league. I can't understand why it isn't be addressed?

  • Comment number 27.

    25. At 14:06 19th Jan 2012, You wrote:

    *can't* see Arsenal beating united....my bad!

  • Comment number 28.

    @11.At 13:37 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:

    I'm not so sure about that. They have a much tougher end of season and I forecast Arsenal and Chelsea to come good.

    Manchester City
    Manchester United
    Chelsea
    Arsenal

  • Comment number 29.

    After the media coverage and 'Arry mouthing off about not spending to win the title (coincidentally Spurs are 2nd in the spending stakes in the last 5 years behind City), it was inevitable Spurs were going to drop points. They are the epitomé of flattering to deceive...

    Now the pressure's cranked up Mancini is cracking (see the numerous card waving incidents) and Chelsea seem to be finding some form. United are poor as usual but manage to do what is needed. What has happened to Wayne though - his touch in front of goal (and penalty spot) is rubbish!

    Liverpool continue to be built up as top 4 material when they are nothing of the sort and Arsenal will finish in the top 4, because Wenger always does.

    So the question is...who out of Spurs and Chelsea are going to drop out?

  • Comment number 30.

    28. At 14:12 19th Jan 2012, It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:
    @11.At 13:37 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:

    I'm not so sure about that. They have a much tougher end of season and I forecast Arsenal and Chelsea to come good.

    Manchester City
    Manchester United
    Chelsea
    Arsenal
    -------------------
    You could of course be correct...I wouldn't put my hard earned cash on any team finishing in any position! Way too close to call

  • Comment number 31.

    @23.At 13:57 19th Jan 2012, Stumpy_Mc_No_Limbs wrote:

    "great to see Cristiano Ronaldo play an absolute blinder in the recent 'Clasico,' his first half display stunned Barcelona and he showed why he should have been given the Ballon D'Or even though it is a popularity contest and not a pure footballing prize, which is why Lionel "I'm a nice guy" Messi won"

    Note that this was his 'first' good display against Barcelona and it only lasted for the first half. He was nowhere to be seen in the second half as Barcelona went on to win. I will concede that Messi did have a very quite game with only one sublime assist.

  • Comment number 32.

    My bad...that's in the last 2(ish) years Spurs have outspend the Sky Four.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/t/tottenham_hotspur/8352793.stm

  • Comment number 33.

    Manchester United
    Man City
    Chelsea
    Spurs

  • Comment number 34.

    Question for Neil Warnock: You were at QPR for nearly two years, do you feel that the time was right for you to leave?
    Question for Rio Ferdinand: Do you think racism is present in English football or is just meant as 'banter' to get a reaction from players?
    Question for Nigel de Jong: Do you regret your 'karate' style tackle on Xabi Alonso in the last World Cup?

  • Comment number 35.

    25.At 14:06 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:
    ==============================================================
    The point about the ref's handing united the title maybe your opinion buts its an opinion we only get from united "haters", yesterday's blog was full of it, i hear it year in year out, and what excatly have the ref's done this season to help united?

    The Arsenal v United match has a few of my arsenal mates worried, our injury list is bad, but arsenals is looking a bit worse off, 3 out of 4 CB's injured, i cant see Arsenal winning, if RVP plays a blinder i'd go for a draw, but i cant see anything but a United win, the last match which i can honestly say i didnt enjoy watching was a one off, nothing will come from that game to this weekends game.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    23.
    At 13:57 19th Jan 2012, Stumpy_Mc_No_Limbs wrote:

    On a happier note, great to see Cristiano Ronaldo play an absolute blinder in the recent 'Clasico,' his first half display stunned Barcelona and he showed why he should have been given the Ballon D'Or even though it is a popularity contest and not a pure footballing prize, which is why Lionel "I'm a nice guy" Messi won.
    _______________________________

    Which game did you watch ?

    It was normal tactics from Mourinho when Real play Barca (which failed again) , go 1-0 up then put 11 men behind the ball.

    Real looked good for the first 15 mins, Ronaldo played well for 20 mins but after that he went awol...again. Nice goal from Ronaldo but the keeper really should have saved it with ease.
    At the end of the first half Real had 1 attempt on goal and 33% of the ball, not exactly a blistering oerformance as Barca had 4 shots on target and 67% of the ball.
    At the end of the game Real only had 2 shots on goal and Barca finished 8.
    Real only had 27% of the total possession at the end of the game, very poor from a home team. Mourinho is going to get a lot of flack from "AS" (sports newspaper) today

    Throughout the game Real were a disgrace, playacting and fouling on and off the ball. I really dont know how Pepe ever manages to escape red cards ?.

    Messi had 4 players kicking him every time he had the ball. I cant remember another player taking so stick with so many physical and cynical challenges , especially when he was on the ground after being fouled, Pepe putting his knee in his back and later stamping on his hand for examples.
    Messi played quite well and he did supply the sublime pass Abidol to score the winner.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Real/Barca was excellent to watch and although not half as hate-filled as your average OFirm match, of a better technical standard than any UK game. Almost a copycat of their first match of the season: Real come out and take the game to Barca, score and then get pushed back for the remainder. Great to watch and looking forward to the return leg.

  • Comment number 40.

    35. At 14:20 19th Jan 2012, King Red wrote:
    25.At 14:06 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:
    ==============================================================
    The point about the ref's handing united the title maybe your opinion buts its an opinion we only get from united "haters", yesterday's blog was full of it, i hear it year in year out, and what excatly have the ref's done this season to help united?

    The Arsenal v United match has a few of my arsenal mates worried, our injury list is bad, but arsenals is looking a bit worse off, 3 out of 4 CB's injured, i cant see Arsenal winning, if RVP plays a blinder i'd go for a draw, but i cant see anything but a United win, the last match which i can honestly say i didnt enjoy watching was a one off, nothing will come from that game to this weekends game.
    -------------------------------
    I've mentioned nothing of the sort....in fact i stated that Swintondude may be correct (EXCEPT THE BIT ABOUT THE REF'S) I firmly believe the ref's have a really hard job and although wouldn't call them good I at least think they are honest!

    Tend to agree on MU v ARS - think united have too much belief and "will to win" to allow Arsenal to win....stranger things have happened though

  • Comment number 41.

    @30 i think that is spot on, although i can see a rush from Arsenal and maybe see them 3rd or 2nd

  • Comment number 42.

    Predictions for the League:

    Man Utd (by a point)
    Man City (Man city to spend another 100m)
    Spurs (Drop out of contention after harry leaves for england)
    Chelsea (Either sack AVB and spend another 100m or keep AVB and spend 100m)
    Arsenal (Sell rvp and buy some 18m rated youngster from southampton)
    Liverpool (spend 70m on the likes of morrison, britton & mclean)

  • Comment number 43.

    36.At 14:21 19th Jan 2012, swintondude wrote:

    "I think the Dutch have a name for you, een eikel!"

    Why would they call him an acorn? Don't answer that or you will be moderated.

  • Comment number 44.

    42. At 14:27 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    how very mature and insightful of you :-p

  • Comment number 45.

    Don't feed the troll.

  • Comment number 46.

    I really don't get why Real Madrid can't beat Barcalona

    It's almost like they are afraid of them!

  • Comment number 47.

    40.At 14:24 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:
    oh dear, predictive text alert, i meant to write swintondude but my phone has corrected it to swindon town..... sry bout that.

  • Comment number 48.

    42.At 14:27 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    "Spurs (Drop out of contention after harry leaves for england)"

    That would give them more chance. They'd be able to get a good manager in.

  • Comment number 49.

    Sunday football

    City v Spurs will be 3 - 1
    Arsenal v Trafford United will be 2 - 0

    tasty double there, easy money. Its not even a gamble!

  • Comment number 50.

    47. At 14:31 19th Jan 2012, King Red wrote:

    HAHA no worries, how would have though predictive txt knew about Swindon Town! I live here and still not sure it exists!

    (side note: went to see Swindon Town vs Man City in the youth FA Cup on tuesday and Alex Henshall looks like he might be a top player! Swindon were very good for the record too)

  • Comment number 51.

    42.At 14:27 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    ----------

    Ha! I can just see the story now: "'Liverpool buy Swansea' Fern Britton for what Kenny has said is a bargain £20m. The Kop have already labelled him the new Henderson."

  • Comment number 52.

    @ 38

    im guessing it is then

  • Comment number 53.

    48.At 14:31 19th Jan 2012, It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:
    42.At 14:27 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    "Spurs (Drop out of contention after harry leaves for england)"

    That would give them more chance. They'd be able to get a good manager in.

    -----------------

    Better be careful what you say about The Messiah. He's gonna win us the Jules Rimet!

  • Comment number 54.

    @.28 You clearly do not rate Spurs, what evidence can you provide that they will slip away from the top 4.????. iTS SO ANNOYING when you come out with this garbage on the back of no evidence to back it up. Half way through the season and Spurs are there on merit,can you never give credit where credit is due. I suppose your whole argument is based on that spurs have not been there b4. Tell me how the Arsenal squad stands up against the Spurs squad for them to finish above us.

  • Comment number 55.

    Questions:
    Neil Warnock: Do you think that you would have been able to save QPR from relegation if you were given the same transfer budget Mark Hughes has?
    Rio Ferdinand: With all the injury problems to the Man Utd defence, how difficult is it to play with a constantly changing back four?
    Nigel De Jong: People have branded yourself as an over physical player, and given the extra attention on two footed challenges, do you holding midfielders and players need to be more careful when going for challenges? What do you think of the expression, clean sheet is good, but clean shorts are better?

  • Comment number 56.

    49.At 14:32 19th Jan 2012, swintondude wrote:
    Sunday football

    City v Spurs will be 3 - 1
    Arsenal v Trafford United will be 2 - 0

    tasty double there, easy money. Its not even a gamble!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    il take that bet ;)

    city v spurs: 2-1 but only as ade cant play otherwise i think he'd make a big difference

    arsenal united 1-3 but only as arsenal are missing so many other wise i wouldnt touch it.

  • Comment number 57.

    @49 good job i didnt follow tips of you id be bankrupt within a few weeks :-p

  • Comment number 58.

    46.
    At 14:31 19th Jan 2012, Media_Man_UK wrote:

    I really don't get why Real Madrid can't beat Barcalona
    It's almost like they are afraid of them!
    _______________________________

    If Real play their normal attacking game they are good enough to beat Barca.
    The problem is they tried it last year and were beat 5-0.
    In my opinion I think they should forget about that loss and try to attack Barca for the whole 90 mins , not just to go 1-0 up and then defend.

    I dont really understand it , Real get more flack when the play using the "dark arts" and lose 1-2, than playing a clean attacking game and lose 0-5. In the end they are both losses.

  • Comment number 59.

    Nice to see I'm getting a mention.

    Now begins my legacy

  • Comment number 60.

    @59 hes a fraud!!

  • Comment number 61.

    44.At 14:29 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:
    42. At 14:27 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    how very mature and insightful of you :-p
    _________________

    Just an opinion.....Mancini keeps harping on that he "needs more quality in midfield" despite already spending millions and reputedly having the best team & squad. I'm just going with his logic that if they finish second, expect more transfers!

  • Comment number 62.

    No I'm not

    English Football Sucks

    Up yours Geoff Hurst

    We all Love Spain and it's long history of bailing out it's football teams using public sector money

    Blah Blah... Fried Chicken

  • Comment number 63.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 64.

    48.At 14:31 19th Jan 2012, It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:
    42.At 14:27 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    "Spurs (Drop out of contention after harry leaves for england)"

    That would give them more chance. They'd be able to get a good manager in.
    ________________

    Like Juande Ramos....second coming of the Messiah? Or give martin Jol another go at buying and selling 20 midfielders?

    On a serious note, who is better for spurs than harry?

  • Comment number 65.

    @54.At 14:37 19th Jan 2012, dur1 wrote:

    " You clearly do not rate Spurs, what evidence can you provide that they will slip away from the top 4.????."

    It is just an opinion. I think AVB will get Chelsea playing better and Manchester United and Arsenal have the experience. United finished as Champions with what I believe to be their poorest squad in a long time last season and Arsenal have been top 4 finishers for the last 15 odd years.

    Tottenham are a much improved side but they should be with all the money that has been spent and did achieve a top 4 finish recently but Manchester City have bypassed them.

  • Comment number 66.

    62.At 14:47 19th Jan 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Vila wrote:
    ====================================================
    is it wrong that i know that def does not sound long winded enough the be the true true patch

  • Comment number 67.

    51.At 14:34 19th Jan 2012, becks-phone-call-went-to-me wrote:
    _________________

    That's what I was thinking, and of course some form of 15-25m bid for Andy Morrison, the new spearhead of the liverpool attack, to bulldoze his way through defences all over the world with Andy Carroll. The two Andy's!!! Lol

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm having a day of Bullet points and summary's

    We live in a micro-wave culture

    An instant success to a long term problem

    To type out all my thoughts would be to counter act the desire and will of the modern worker

    Over and out

    Mr Goose

  • Comment number 69.

    #58

    Real Madrid don't need to beat Barca, they can lose to them twice in the league and still win the league.

    Obviously for the CL thats different, they need to hope someone can do them a favour or have a good day in the final

  • Comment number 70.

    66.At 14:53 19th Jan 2012, King Red wrote:
    62.At 14:47 19th Jan 2012, The_soul_patch_of_David_Vila wrote:
    ====================================================
    is it wrong that i know that def does not sound long winded enough the be the true true patch
    _________________

    No think we're all use to his style to know this is an impostor. NO doubt patches will tell us this anyway.
    the real patches is The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    Urgh I feel dirty............. :shiverindisgust: :(

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    @65

    To be fair Spurs will lose their bottle,i can already see it now,slipping up at home to Wolves is the start. And @ 42,no one wants to leave Southampton,we have loads of money now,clearly going to win the league and the youngsters we do have that are coming through will only ever go out on loan at most.

  • Comment number 73.

    @72 how can one result mean they are slipping? are you trolling i mean you did predict arsenal 2nd??

  • Comment number 74.

    @ Southampton90

    can't see you winning the league, you'll slip away like all the others (except Norwich)

    Maybe playoffs though, where Brighton will give you another 3-0 spanking.. :D

  • Comment number 75.

    69.
    At 14:57 19th Jan 2012, swintondude wrote:
    #58

    Real Madrid don't need to beat Barca, they can lose to them twice in the league and still win the league.
    _____________________________

    I know , but I work with a bunch of Spanish guys who are Real Madrid fanatics.
    All they want is for Real to beat Barca with flair and good clean attacking football.

    This morning they were more upset with Real for the cynical tactics than for losing the game.
    Real have always had a reputation for this type of football, but recently against Barca they throw it out of the window and try to win by devious methods.

  • Comment number 76.

    54.At 14:37 19th Jan 2012, dur1 wrote:
    ________________

    Arsenal outclass Tottenham in every sector of the pitch!

    Tottenahm have the massively over rated attacking players in Adebayor, Van Der Vaart, Defoe, Bale and Lennon? Whereas Arsenal have the class beaming strike force of Van Persie, Henry, Walcott and Arshavin.

    And as for the midfield!! Scotty "Tiny Tears" Parker is nothing on the midfield operator that is Alex Song! And Modric doesn't even qualify to clean the boots of Rosicky! Nevermind the future Xavi and Iniesta- Wiltshere and Ramsay!!

    Don't get me started on the defence!! Ledley "Keep A Wheelchair Handy" King, Dawson, "Red Card" Kabul, Walker, and that chap Ekotto who has the right foot of a jelly baby!

    Behave!!

  • Comment number 77.

    @76 only one which is believable is scott parker v alex song, for me alex song

  • Comment number 78.

    Can't forget Gervinho when he comes back to replace Arshavin

  • Comment number 79.

    Of course every team that wins the league are champions but how they do it is another matter. Sometimes it is handed on a plate to the eventual champions by the challenger collapsing, Newcastle and Liverpool spring to mind immediately. On other ocassions we have seen teams win it and it would not matter what happened elsewhere, Arsenal's invincibles, Utd several times.

    Yes it's normally a two horse [possibly three] race by this time of the season. This season I have not seen a side play well enough or have enough in the management to stamp it's authority and go on and win it. In other words the realistic challengers this season look frail.

    Yes before the usual posters say look at the number of points at the top but that is only because the top 3 are so much better than the rest. Look at the bottom where it looks likely, that teams will survive with a lower than normal points total. The combined total number of points for all teams, is the same each season and all this season means is the top three have taken what the rest would normally have.

    One of the teams at the top has to win it but there does not look a stand out title winner this season. It's harder with three at the top and challenging because it's easier to catch one but if two teams are above by 3 or 4 points, then you have to rely on both teams dropping points.

  • Comment number 80.

    76.At 15:05 19th Jan 2012, Ryan_Giggs_Wrinkley_Forehead wrote:
    _________________

    And more importantly, they don't have Darron Gibson. I firmly believe if he stays fit, he push Everton into the top 4. I think he's a shoe in for the ballon d'or next year. A player that will certainly knock Messi off his perch!!

  • Comment number 81.

    3. A horse ate my homework.

    -------------------

    I know Van Nistelrooy was on over Christmas but that is a low-blow Dan!

  • Comment number 82.

    @73 . No im not trolling. In addition though,Arsenal will be in the top four. There form is picking up at the right time.

    @ 74 . Why can't you see us winning the league exactly,just elaborate a little. Because we have had one bad patch and were through that now,top scorer,12th man in the stands if you been down there,we are top at the moment,and its 26 games in,i could see your point if we were 10 games in,but that isn't the case. Seeing as you left a cheeky scoreline to grin over,we beat Brighton 3-0 as well,jokes on them,there position is embarrassing seeing as we were runners-up last season to the Seagulls

  • Comment number 83.

    80.At 15:09 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    _______________

    Glad you're thinking along the same lines as myself. Although I wouldn't credit Gibson with that much praise just yet, give him time to find his feet.

  • Comment number 84.

    in regards to liverpool, even as a united fan i sort of feel for them, torres left them in a hole they had to let him leave but also bring someone else in, its easy for us now to say that a player that they could have bought for £1m 11 months before they paid £35m for him was stupid, the biggest reason i would not have bought him was due to him falling off a bar stool drunk and injuring himself for a few months!!! that doesnt say to me pro footballer the same way £35m's worth does.

  • Comment number 85.

    @82 like the swansea result?

  • Comment number 86.

    On paper Sunday's game at Eastlands looks a tall order for Spurs, though City will be without two of their most important players, Yaya Toure AND Emmanuel Adebayor. No disrespect to either of the Mancs though; the threat to Spurs lies elsewhere. From time to time, some contributors refer to the Premier League as the 'EPL', which inevitably puts one in mind of our trans-Atlantic cousins. Surely, part of what makes any league, in any sport, truly 'great', is the annual prospect of close-fought battles between old enemies. Returning if i may to these shores; Tottenham Hotspur must set their sights on achieving a string of no less than 50 league games without defeat. Bill Nicholson would expect nothing less.

    It's time for the 'Cowboys' to take on the '49ers'.

    Oh, and the Manchester clubs might like to bear in mind;

    No one remembers who came second.

  • Comment number 87.

    @64.At 14:50 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    "On a serious note, who is better for spurs than harry?"

    David Moyes

  • Comment number 88.

    @58. Your logic seems flawed somehow. If they attacked Barca and lost 5-0, on what basis do you conclude that they can beat them with this tactic?

    I'll stick with mourinho

    and @ 76. what??

  • Comment number 89.

    83.At 15:12 19th Jan 2012, Ryan_Giggs_Wrinkley_Forehead wrote:
    80.At 15:09 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    _______________

    Glad you're thinking along the same lines as myself. Although I wouldn't credit Gibson with that much praise just yet, give him time to find his feet.
    ________________

    Gibson's an absolute pro, a dynamo! I think he'll slot in instantly and start curling in those 25 yarders we used to drool over at utd thinking, why have xavi when you have gibson!

  • Comment number 90.

    @Southampton90

    I've nothing against Southampton as a team, all the best too you, I just don't see you staying there.. One injury to Lambert and you're in trouble.

    Secondly, your competing against teams who have a much bigger squad, West Ham will run away with it second half of the season.

    Lastly, I'm mighty happy with Brightons position at the moment, after years of achievng nothing we are finally getting some stability about us. At the start of the season all I cared about was maintaining our championship statues.

    If we both make the playoffs then it's been a good season for the both of us.

  • Comment number 91.

    I get frustrated when you talk so much about random things like biscuits and mastermind. You're a presenter of football focus, writing a blog about football on a football news page. Please stick to the topic of football

  • Comment number 92.

    If Spurs have a worry then it's what they do when they suffer an injury to either Bale of Modric. I like their spirit in the game. I'm a passionate Man City fan, but I'm not of the school of supporter who hates other teams. I'm a football fan first and foremost, so if Spurs exceed their form up until now to win an EPL title then it's only what the players deserve. I can't see it happening though, not so much becasue of City, but because of Ferguson. Spurs have really benefitted from the underdog/wildcard status so far. If they had been heaped with the media expectation that United/Chelsea/City had had then I wonder how that would have affected their game. Still, it's worth saying that a lot of us wouldn't be at all surprised if they won the title, injuries permitting, because they have a very good team/manager.

  • Comment number 93.

    87.At 15:17 19th Jan 2012, It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:
    @64.At 14:50 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:

    "On a serious note, who is better for spurs than harry?"

    David Moyes
    ________________

    But would he leave Everton?

    Now that he's signed gibson, I can see them challenging spurs for a CL spot.

  • Comment number 94.

    @85,really? Did you watch the game? Worst penalty decision of the new year so far. Which would of made it a draw,which is a good result away at Swansea if you have seen their record at home.

  • Comment number 95.

    89.At 15:17 19th Jan 2012, eduard_streltsov_ghost wrote:
    _____________

    Yes but the same was said about a similar chap from my neck of the woods, Barry Ferguson. Having links with Real Madrid and a number of EPL teams back in his hay day. Now look at him, plodding along making a living with the rest of the mochery that is the Championship. Let's not count our chickens now Eduard, before our wealth of eggs hatch!

  • Comment number 96.

    moyes still has to prove he can do more than overachieve with a medium sized mid table club. I'm not saying that's easy, but that it's a specific skill. spurs would be hoping for more than that.

  • Comment number 97.

    88.
    At 15:17 19th Jan 2012, tork wrote:

    @58. Your logic seems flawed somehow. If they attacked Barca and lost 5-0, on what basis do you conclude that they can beat them with this tactic?
    __________________________________________

    In La Liga they have only tried to attack Barca once and lost. They tried to put to put 11 men behind the ball against Barca 3 times and lost 3 times.

    In last years "copa del rei" they played a more open game and won 1-0

    My logic is for Mourinho to forget the 5-0 loss and attack Barca when they play against them.
    Real constantly attack against all the other teams in the league, he should not worry about Barca , let Barca worry about Real Madrid.

  • Comment number 98.

    If Spurs can keep their confidence and momentum going there is no reason why they cant win the league, especially if they get at least a draw with city and beat united at home.

  • Comment number 99.

    @ 76.
    At 15:05 19th Jan 2012, Ryan_Giggs_Wrinkley_Forehead wrote:

    54.At 14:37 19th Jan 2012, dur1 wrote:
    ________________

    Arsenal outclass Tottenham in every sector of the pitch!

    Tottenahm have the massively over rated attacking players in Adebayor, Van Der Vaart, Defoe, Bale and Lennon? Whereas Arsenal have the class beaming strike force of Van Persie, Henry, Walcott and Arshavin.

    And as for the midfield!! Scotty "Tiny Tears" Parker is nothing on the midfield operator that is Alex Song! And Modric doesn't even qualify to clean the boots of Rosicky! Nevermind the future Xavi and Iniesta- Wiltshere and Ramsay!!

    Don't get me started on the defence!! Ledley "Keep A Wheelchair Handy" King, Dawson, "Red Card" Kabul, Walker, and that chap Ekotto who has the right foot of a jelly baby!

    Behave!!


    This is surely a joke right? I can't take it seriously as its pure rubbish. Ask any knowledgable football fan to put together a combine Arsenal and Spurs First Eleven and you will realise you are watching another game. Ledley King has only got one knee and he is still better than any of Arsenal's. Yes they have had key injuries but so have every club. Wenger's summer purchases have been poor and his position surely now must be questioned, no matter how brilliant he has been in the past.

    I am a spurs fan and wasn't surprised with the Wolves result. Teams are now coming and making it difficult for us to play at the lane but that is what happens when you are at the top of the league and have the attacking talents we do. Teams are not going to try and play as they risk getting hammered.

    I think there is also a possiblilty of complacency at home with us now which has to go if we are to do anything this season.

    The team have been talked about as title contenders and rightly so given current form. The only league defeat we have suffered since august was mainly due to the ineptitude of Chris Foy and his assistant. The team's form, combined with the lack of consistency of the Manchester clubs means people were saying 'why not?'

    I can't see it myself as I think City are too strong but I think we could sneak 2nd.

    28.
    At 14:12 19th Jan 2012, It wasnt me A big boy did it and ran away wrote:

    @11.At 13:37 19th Jan 2012, swindonbluearmy wrote:

    I'm not so sure about that. They have a much tougher end of season and I forecast Arsenal and Chelsea to come good.

    Tottenham's end of season:

    Tottenham v Swansea, 15:00
    Sunderland v Tottenham, 15:00
    Tottenham v Norwich, 15:00
    Bolton v Tottenham, 15:00
    QPR v Tottenham, 15:00
    Tottenham v Blackburn, 15:00
    Aston Villa v Tottenham, 15:00
    Tottenham v Fulham, 15:00

    Not the toughest surely?

    Another reason for the media hype is the fact that we are playing good football, much like the Arsenal of old and also everybody loves an underdog. Maybe the pressure did get to the players at the weekend? but then again the corner for the goal should not have been given and we had a perfectly good goal chalked off for offside so maybe not so? These decisions hopefully do come and go throughout a season.

    If I had to put my house on it I would see the top 4 staying as it is now. Essien's return is huge for chelsea and Torres looks like he is starting to improve.

    The battle for 4th will be very close between all 3 teams with Newcastle potentially squeezing in there. cue ridicule..!

  • Comment number 100.

    @98.At 15:29 19th Jan 2012, repo wrote:

    "If Spurs can keep their confidence and momentum going there is no reason why they cant win the league, especially if they get at least a draw with city and beat united at home"

    There are a lot of 'if's there.

 

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