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Tottenham - Oppostion Views


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Ahead of the vital league clash with Tottenham, life-long Spurs fan, Andrew Hallett, was kind enough to answer a few questions about the match. Here is what he had to say:

1. First, how long have you been a Spurs fan?
I have supported Spurs my whole life - a family tradition. My dad saw them play against his local team in Cape Town during the 1960s and adopted them as his team. My elder brother followed suit and then me. It hasn't been easy being a Spurs fan over the years, but my love for them will never wane.
2. The main prize is still on the line obviously, but what have you made in general of your season? Was it worse or better than you expected?
When AVB took over I convinced myself to be realistic about the new season. I wasn't going to get too upset about results because I knew it would take time for everyone to settle in - and I really wanted to give the new boss a chance. However, in typical Spurs fashion, the season didn't go as I had expected and now I'm biting my nails as we reach the finish line. I would have been happy with a top seven finish, now I'm demanding top four!
3. Much has been written in the papers about how AVB, who did not have a good time here at Chelsea for various reasons, has done well at Spurs. What do you think of what Andre has done at Tottenham?
AVB has brought a good balance to the team with his approach. He is a lot more tactically astute than Harry Redknapp, while his man-management skills are clearly a lot better than what was being said during his time at Chelsea. If you listen to the players talk about him, it is clear that he pays special attention to players on an individual level. One of the biggest things for me is the way he handles the media. He is always calm in his answers and never gives too much away - unlike Redknapp. It is refreshing to also hear a manager refer to the team as "us". I think he has done a great job overall and I look forward to many more years with him at the helm.
4. Is there an aspect in your team you think needs improving?
We need a regular goalscorer up front! We have lacked a cutting edge at times this season which has cost us points. If we had a genuine goalscorer for a striker we would have clinched third by now. In hindsight, we could also have done with a back-up winger for the times when Aaron Lennon has been out, because we have looked pretty average without him.
5. The race for top 4 will probably go to the last match of the season. How do you rate Spur’s chances and who do you think will get the two spots?
I don't think Wednesday's match will be the decider. All three teams have some difficult matches to navigate before the end of the season. We could win at Stamford Bridge and then go to Stoke and lose, so it is difficult to predict. Having said that, I think Chelsea and Arsenal are the favourites, but our own destiny lies in our hands - win all three remaining games and we will finish in the top four.
6. The reserve fixture in the league was a very open game which ended in a Chelsea win. What did you make of that match? And how similar do you think tomorrow’s affair will be?
From a Spurs perspective, we simply weren't good enough defensively. Kyle Walker was dreadful that day and we struggled to contain Chelsea's attackers in general. I thought Juan Mata was outstanding and bossed the game. I can't see this one being as open, because Chelsea don't HAVE to win the match. I would take a smash 'n grab 1-0 win all day long, though!
7. A Chelsea win tomorrow would all but ensure a top four finish for us. Do you think Spurs can afford to not win tomorrow and still make top four?
As I said earlier, I really don't think this is a decider, the three points would just be a massive boost ahead of the final two games.
8. Bale has obviously been your star player this season. Who else has been a stand-out performer for you?
Jan Vertonghen has been brilliant. His technique for a centre-back is incredible. He is classy on the ball and knows how to make a tackle. I think the loss of Ledley King has been softened by his arrival. Hugo Lloris has also been excellent and has saved us quite a few points this campaign. The way he comes off his line to mop up danger is something we have missed for a long time. Lennon has also been invaluable to the cause. He doesn't always get the praise he deserves. His defensive work has been a highlight for me and is something I give credit to AVB for.
9. How difficult do you think would it be to keep hold of your star players, including Bale, if you fail to qualify to the Champions League?
It appears that Bale is going to stay regardless of where we finish. I think it will be more difficult to attract the players we need to push on. Nervy transfer window ahead...
10. If you could have one player from Chelsea, who would it be and why?
Mata. The guy is class. He scores goals and gets loads of assists. Lennon, Mata and Bale playing together would be frightening!
11. What lineup and formation would AVB likely use tomorrow?
AVB is keeping his cards close to his chest with regard to injured players, so it is difficult to say who will be on the pitch in white. If I had to hazard a guess it would be...
Walker Dawson Vertonghen Assou-Ekotto
Parker Dembele
Lennon Bale Dempsey
12. Finally, what is your final score prediction?
I think it is going to be a tight match, so 1-0 Spurs. Bale with the goal.
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