Thursday at home against Rubin Kazan was a match that Tottenham needed to win to maintain dominance in their Europa League group. Harry Redknapp sent out Gomes; Walker, Bassong, Livermore, Rose; Lennon, Carroll, Sandro, Giovani; Defoe, Pavlyuchenko; in a 4-4-2 formation. Pavlyuchenko scored the only goal of the game and Gomes made a number of big saves to keep the score at 1-0. In the second half, Assou-Ekotto, Kaboul and Modric subbed in to shore up the game. Even with the additions, Rubin Kazan pressed Tottenham for the whole match.
Redknapp ran out a starting 11 that included two regular first team players; Walker and Defoe. Both Sandro and Aaron Lennon have been recovering from injury and neither was 100% fit. Going forward, it was obvious that this group of players did not have experience playing together as players constantly made errant passes and mistimed runs. Tottenham had to absorb a great deal of pressure from the Russian side in both halves without creating much going the other way. This was surely a performance that Spurs would like to forget despite squeezing out the result. After all, The Game Is About Glory, not just getting the result after 90 minutes.
I’m looking forward to seeing Bale, Modric, Parker, van der Vaart, and Adebayor tear into the Blackburn Rovers defense on Sunday. We need a good strong win at Ewood Park to boost the team after a poor performance against Rubin Kazan and a tough draw last weekend away to Newcastle.