Young and Invincible at White Hart Lane?
By Elise Brunton
Friday 11 Apr 2008 14:44:00
Browse all Match Previews articles

Boro are heading to White Hart Lane tomorrow, coming off the back of a draw at the Riverside against Man Utd where we played the best football we’ve played all season. Alves is firing, Ali is creating chances, our defence are (mostly) magnificent and George looks like he’s been given a new lease of life. We might be the visitors tomorrow, but we are starting to make our presence felt in the Premiership.


I’m not getting carried away here, I know we are 14th in the league and I haven’t, and indeed never will have, forgotten Cardiff, but Boro have certainly bounced back.


We are on something of a roll at the moment (only Chelsea spoiled our unbeaten run) we look difficult to beat, we look like we are going there to win, and most importantly, we look like scoring.


Boro have yet to score three goals in any game this season, but Alves narrowly missed netting a hat–trick against Man U, imagine what we can do to a lack-lustre Spurs side if we put our minds to it!


We drew 1-1 in the corresponding fixture this season, when former Spurs defender Luke Young scored the Goal of the Month for Boro back in November at the Riverside.


Young would no doubt like a replay, but he isn’t expecting a warm reception from the Spurs fans, he said:


"I used to get a good reception when I first went back,"


"Now I get a good reception for about three minutes. If I take throw-ins I get a little bit of stick and then it turns sour. Especially if we score." (BBC TEES)


And it looks like a case of sour grapes from the Spurs fanzine The Proud Cockerel, whose website states


“Stewart Downing will no doubt be looking to impress again as he puts himself in the Spurs shop window before another transfer frenzy while Afonso Alves is beginning to adapt to the English game and has shown signs that he can finish when presented with chances. Those two will probably provide the biggest threat, along with former gooner Jeremie Aliadiere, with the rest really no better than honest Premier League players.”


Let’s address that little comment shall we? Downing has played every game this season and has been dangerous since he signed his new contract, he looks superb, sharp and SETTLED.


Our ‘honest Premier League players’ include a plethora of England U21s, full Internationals from Australia, Austria and Germany, and ex Spurs’ Luke Young, who isn’t in favour regarding the current England squads, but really should be.


We, like most teams as the season draws to a close, have a few players who are struggling,Aliadiere is carrying a knock but will probably still start, but Catts and Tayls both look very doubtful, and Huth and Mido are still out.


Spurs have been playing half heartedly since winning the Carling Cup in February. Southgate understands the problem Ramos is facing, he said: "They have qualified for Europe, they've got a trophy in the cabinet and it's difficult to find that additional motivation. We found that."


Now they are also playing with half a squad. If selected Robbie Keane would be making his 250th appearance for Spurs, but Ledley King, and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are both out with knee injuries, while Gareth Bale is out with a foot injury.


Robinson and Younes Kaboul are both highly doubtful with a leg muscle injury and a knee problem respectively and England U21 international Jamie O'Hara is also a major doubt for Spurs.


Woodgate though is ‘counting down the minutes’ according to the Spurs official website. He said:


“I can’t wait for it,


. “I know I’ll get well worked up about it so I’m trying to treat it as just another match.” 


“They’ve [Boro] really improved since the turn of the year,”  


 “They are resilient and it will be a tough one for us.”


I repeat, we got his best season and selling him was good business. I hope there are some tensions between Woodgate and his former team mates though because it will add a spark to the game.


Spurs are both scoring and conceding goals left right and centre this season, they have lost two of the last seven games, scoring 29 goals in the process. However they have also conceded 19 goals, eight in the last two at home.


In the last four seasons, Tottenham have always scored twice against Boro at home.


Spurs are the third top scorers in the Premier League, scoring 62 times in 33 games, whereas Boro are the third lowest scorers, with 30 goals.


But that was BA – Before Alves. Not to put too much pressure on the guy but he has set the bar now for his performances to come, we don’t expect two such fantastic goals every game (although…) but we do have great expectations. We also expect a similar display of passion and professionalism from our boys as we got against Man U, so it would be nice to see Ali convert one of the many chances he creates in a game. Downing too looks like he might score at any minute, and there’s always Luke...


To reference Oasis, we’ve already got Young, let’s see if we can be invincible tomorrow.


On a personal note, I’m on holiday next week so your Fmttm preview will be brought to you by Rob, See you back here for the run up to the Mackems match.

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