Posts Tagged ‘ Tottenham ’

Ronaldo Uncertainty Continues

Ronaldo vs Chelsea 2006. Source: Ray Booysen, Flickr

The saga of Cristiano Ronaldo has continued to rumble on, the latest ‘development’ being that the forward has confirmed on Facebook that any currently circulating news regarding his signing of an extension to his current contract is untrue. “All the news about my renewal with Real Madrid are false,” he said via the social networking site.

Many media outlets have taken this as a sign that Manchester United are once more in the running to secure the Portuguese star’s signature for the second time. Apparently the money is there (if not in United’s coffers then certainly in Nike’s, who would be undoubtedly happy to see one of the world’s most marketable players in their shirt), the history is is there and of course, the need is certainly there too.

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Bale to Stay at Spurs For Now

File:Gareth Bale Brighton v Spurs Amex Opening 30711.jpg

Tottenham’s star man Gareth Bale is reportedly set to stay with the North London club for at least one more season, despite the lack of Champions League football. According to English newspaper, the London Evening Standard, which is close to the club, Bale is poised to commit his future to Spurs with a new £130,000 a week deal. However it is believed that should a bid in excess of £50 million come in for Bale at the end of next season, the Welshman will be allowed to leave. An announcement is expected to be made by the club shortly, which should give the fans something to cheer about since Arsenal pipped them to the Champions League by a point on the last day of the season on Sunday.

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Away Teams to Perform This Weekend

Gareth Bale Aston Villa v Tottenham HotspurI allowed myself to be convinced by someone (who shall remain nameless but is my only brother) that Liverpool would win against Stoke on Stephen’s Day. I assure you I will not be listening to his dilettantish advice again and to make up for this pathetic blip, I have picked out some value bets and moulded them together to form another beautiful big odds accumulator.

At this stage, everybody is getting sick of the Benitez’s boo boys at Stamford Bridge. Obviously Roberto di Matteo was harshly treated but is it Rafa’s fault that the club is being run by a megalomaniac? I for one am glad that he has reformed the Chelsea side, David Luiz’s move away from the back four can only be positive and his footballing ability is slowly being nurtured in a defensive midfield role. He was quite impressive in his suffocation of Wes Hoolahan against Norwich and I think he could have a similar effect on the lively Steven Pienaar this weekend when his side face Everton. Strong at the back and equally impressive up front recently, Chelsea should record an away victory and are priced at 6/4 to do so.

Tottenham looked sensational on the break against Aston Villa on Wednesday with Gareth Bale in especially good form. They face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the early game on Saturday and hopefully they will kick off our accumulator, we’re going to back them at evens to come out on top.  The home side have been on some sort of a road to recovery with 3 wins in their last 4 outings, having beaten QPR, Southampton and remarkably Man City. However, Tottenham have had tasted success on the road many times this season and I fancy them to overrun their hosts and they are favourably priced to do so.

To complete the accumulator I’ve picked out Southampton to pull off a draw against Stoke at the Britannia. The home side, who have not lost on their own patch yet this season, will be weakened without their suspended captain Ryan Shawcross and right-back Geoff Cameron. Their skipper has been indispensable to the team this season, essential in holding their water-tight defence together with Robert Huth. He will be sorely missed as Stoke come up against Southampton’s danger man Rickie Lambert. I fancy the away side to earn a welcome point against draw-specialists Stoke, whose defensive absentees should not be underestimated. The draw is available at 5/2 and cranks up the overall odds of our big odds Accumulator to 16/1.

A Class Together – The North London Derby

With Arsenal losing to QPR and Tottenham beating Swansea at White Hart Lane the two North London clubs are finally level on points, each with 58 and seven games to go. Arsenal fans might be nervously looking over their shoulder as Spurs look to close the years of a gap between the two clubs and might even overtake their fierce rivals. Today, Irish News Review takes a look at the tinders that ignited this famously fierce feud.

The two’s history goes back further than many of the other rivalries. Their first match against one another was a friendly in November 1887, resulting in a 2-1 win for Tottenham, the match being ended 15 minutes before full-time “owing to darkness.” In their first league match, Arsenal repaid the favour, beating Spurs 1-0 on December 4th 1909. However the rivalry we see today didn’t really get going until 1913.

Up until that year, Arsenal had resided at Manor Ground in Woolwich. When they moved, it was to Arsenal stadium at Highbury, North London, only four miles from Tottenham’s White Hart Lane. As a result, a natural local rivalry was swiftly established. Both teams faced each other as North London clubs, and often clashed during the wartime competitions. The rivalry deepened after World War I, in 1919. It was decided that the Football League should be expanded by two clubs and a meeting was held to decide the two by means of a vote. The first spot was given to 19th placed Chelsea, who were facing relegation. The second should have been given to either 20th placed Tottenham or Burnsley, who had finished third in the League directly below. Arsenal, however, despite having finished 5th in the second tier, also bidded for a place, received endorsements from the League president and the Liverpool chairman, and won the vote by eighteen to Spur’s eight. It has often been alleged that Arsenal chairman, Sir Henry Norris used suspect methods in garnering votes, though nothing has ever been proven. At any rate, Spur’s supporters were outraged and the rivalry between the two clubs deepened.

Following the 1919/20 season, Tottenham regained their top flight status and normal bitterness was resumed. Early matches during the interwar period were noted for their often unpleasant nature, after a particularly nasty match in September 1922, both clubs were rebuked by the Football Association, and threatened with having to play their games behind closed doors. From the late 1920s, relations cooled between the two clubs for several decades. Tottenham played much of 1928 to 1950 in the Second Division, naturally leading to a decline in meetings between the two. After World War II, Tottenham allowed Arsenal to play their home games at White Hart Lane as Highbury had been requisitioned as an ARP (Air Raid Precautions) centre and bombed during the war. Since then, however, there has been only one season during which the two have not played in the same league, and naturally, the rivalry has only grown once more.

During the next half century the two sides clashed several times in high-profile games, battling hard in title deciders and cup quarter and semi-finals. In May 1971, Arsenal met Spurs in the final game of the season, needing either a win or a scoreless draw to ensure title triumph. Despite a tight game, with few chances from either sides, Ray Kennedy headed home the winner. In March 1987, Arsenal clinched a place in the League Cup finals with a 2-1 win over Spurs, who got their revenge three years later, dashing Arsenal hopes of a double with a 3-1 victory at Wembley, sending them into the FA Cup final. Arsenal again won the title at the hands of their neighbours, drawing 2-2 on April 25th 2004, the year of the so-called Arsenal ‘Invincibles’. And, in January 2008, Tottenham recorded their first win over Arsenal since 1999, hammering their neighbours 5-1 thanks to goals from Jermaine Jenas, Nicklas Bendtner (og), Robbie Keane, Aaron Lennon and Steed Malbranque, putting Spurs in the League Cup final against Chelsea, which they went on to win.

Players who have crossed the North London have often been ridiculed by their old supporters. Sol Campbell, in particular, was named Judas after his switch to their red and white rivals. Former Arsenal defender, William Gallas, was also subjected to hate from Arsenal fans when he departed for White Hart Lane in 2010 and Emmanuel Adebayor, who moved from Arsenal to Manchester City and eventually to Spurs on loan has also come in for his fair share of abuse. And over the past number of  years, Arsenal fans have begun to celebrate Saint Totteringham’s Day, held on the day when Arsenal have won enough points to mathematically ensure a finish above Spurs in the league table. In recent years, Tottenham have once again begun rebuilding, stars such as Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart helping Tottenham to begin to match the free-flowing football that is the mark of their North London rivals. On the 20th November 2010, Spurs registered their first win over Arsenal in the League in 17 years in a thrilling encounter; 2-0 down at half time, they fought back to win the match 3-2.

Spur’s resurgence, and Arsenal’s seeming decline over the past number of years, and the small, but continued transfer of players between the two clubs, will certainly ensure that London’s strongest rivalry will continue on, for many years to come.