Results for Spurs vs Benfica

Pre & Post Sherwood, Kane & Fryers

7:30 am
Tim Sherwood has a temper, I think we all know that and if we didn't we certainly have learnt that over the last few games.

Verbals with Jorge Jesus at White Hart Lane and throwing his gilet during the Arsenal game in an anger rarely seen from a manager. The guy cares, he hurts just like we do. Whether some supporters like it or not not his heart beats Tottenham.

Tim Sherwood and Les Ferdinand
Sherwood and Ferdinand have plenty to smile about
Before the game he spoke to the ITV cameras.

"I knew it was going to be tough, the first month was easy when you are winning games and I knew that we would come against tougher opposition but we will be striving to do better.

"There have been a lot of well-wishers in football and I thank them and there have been a lot that want to tread on your head and I don't thank them.

"We need to find some leaders out there tonight, I'm sure there are some in the dressing room and they can bring us through. We are playing against a Champions League side, but we have nothing to lose. There are 3,000 travelling supporters and we need to do them proud."

Then after making those 3,000 travelling fans proud and all the supporters watching at home he said:

"It was good to see their manager sweating. I did not see a suave character on the side, I saw someone who was really flustered, which was good to see.

"That is what we intended to do and that is what we achieved. I just wanted to get a better view and maybe take some steam out of the situation.

"It was about what our boys could do against their boys on the pitch. I didn’t want that to take away from what we did on the pitch."

I think we are all well aware he didn't want to be anywhere near Jorge Jesus and had no intention of shaking his hand. Sitting in the stands saved him having to publicly not do so for which I don't blame him at all.

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Related Articles:
Superb Second Half Performance
Half-Time
What a Challenge
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Harry Kane made an impact when he replaced Roberto Soldado was involved in plenty of the action. He headed on for Chadli to grab our first, he headed back for Chadli to grab the second, and was bundled over for the penalty that was not given, although as the commentators said, had it been at the other end it would have been given. He spoke after the game.

Harry Kane made an impact
Harry Kane created an aerial threat
"The lads were working hard [before I came on] but then perhaps Benfica got tired. I posed an aerial threat, won a few flick-ons and got them going the other way a bit. We got the two goals and were unfortunate not to get a third in the end.

"The third goal at home was a poor goal to give away and it is always a tough ask to come here and get three goals – but once we went 1-0 down here nothing changed, we still had to get three goals. Overall, today we were different class but it's a shame the game hasn't gone into extra time.

"Once we got one and then two they started to get a bit nervous and it was down to us. We had a few crosses, a couple of unlucky headers but they are the fine margins in this competition. We were playing a great side in Benfica and I thought we were a bit unlucky. We showed we are a team and that we are together. We stuck together throughout both legs and hung in there.

"We're disappointed, we came so close. The lads are proud of each other, we feel for each other because we all put in a shift but that's football sometimes. You want to impress in these games and you're playing against some of the best teams in the world so to get the two headers was good."

Young left-back Zeki Fryers who had to fill in at centre-back had a solid game of which he could be proud. He also spoke after the game.

"I thought the lads showed great character to come here 3-1 down and show some fight. We still had belief after the first game. Once we scored two we really believed we could get a third. It was disappointing but we have picked our heads up already. Benfica are a great side and it's a great stadium. The atmosphere was great so for a young lad like myself it was a great experience.

"I've got to play in the UEFA Europa League quite a bit and it's different, there's a different style of play to other games. We now know if we go a goal or two down we can pull it back. If we show the same fight for the rest of the season it will help us."

He makes an important point about the experience. This was a makeshift side who have never played together before, that is tough in itself. Add to that it was a young side and the bench was full of 18 year-olds gaining experience of first team life.

The back four did their job and Nabil Bentaleb in front of them must surely have silenced his crazy critics. The experience he is gaining now and will gain at the World Cup will stand us in good stead next season, when we won't need to be buying any defensive midfielders. He is a star in the making and could be a stalwart of Spurs sides for years to come.

The Benfica eagles flew before the start of the game and our lads soared during it. They can hold their heads up high.




Pre & Post Sherwood, Kane & Fryers Pre & Post Sherwood, Kane & Fryers Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:30 am Rating: 5

Superb Second Half Performance

7:56 pm
A suburb second half performance from the boys who should have had a penalty to put us 3-1 up and extra-time. Bentaleb had an excellent game in midfield and Chadli is starting to produce the goods at last, after showing up well against Arsenal.

The Second Half highlights:

Sigurdsson keeps getting caught defensively with the ball when pressed and Bentaleb looks twice the player he is.

Rose overlaps and doesn't cross the ball soon enough letting the defender get back to cover.

An excellent chip in from Chadi which Sigurdsson can't quite reach.

Bentaleb fires a ball wise to Townsend with a nice back heel gives himself a shooting chance which is deflected for a corner.

Superb challenge from Sandro prevents a dangerous ball into the box.

Bentaleb caught with nobody to pass to but it comes to nothing.

Good ball wise from Bantaleb to Townsend but he doesn't play the first time ball so Rose is offside when he does play it.

Harry Kane comes on for Roberto Soldado.

Harry Kane wins the ball, Townsend runs at the defence , gives it to Chadli who dinks inside and curls a tame shot at the keeper.

Another good fired ball wide from Bentaleb but Townsend able to look along the line is offside when he shouldn't be.

Christain Eriksen comes on for Andros Townsend.

Friedel clearance is headed on by Kane and finds Chadli on the left wing he runs at the box and fires the ball into the corner of the net from 19 yards. Spurs draw level 1-1.

Rose makes an interception, plays a cross field ball to Naughton who plays it wide to Lennon. His cross see a had down from Kane and Chadli fires the ball into the top corner. Spurs lead 2-1.

Bentaleb plays a brilliant cross field ball to put Naughton in but he can't beat the full-back.

Sigurdsson plays in Lennon who cuts the ball back but a Benfica player clears straight at the keeper.

Good anticipation from Friedel sees him comfortable save a good volley from Benfica.

Kane is pushed over when through and the referee refuses to give the penalty he should.

Lennon skips by two players and is charged to the floor in the middle of the park.

Chadli plays a superb cross for Sigurdsson to head but the keeper anticipates and claws in away.

Eriksen pays in Chadli on the right and a chip to Kane sees his back peddling header saved by the keeper.

Sandro gives a penalty away with seconds left, 2-2.

Final whistle.




Superb Second Half Performance Superb Second Half Performance Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:56 pm Rating: 5

Half-time

7:02 pm
Andros Townsend showing us once again how poor he actually is. His problem appears to be that the only thing he wants to do is shoot. The fact that there are other options, better options and that he has to learn how and when to use them means he simply doesn't make any decision at all.

Pass to the opposition seems to be his modus operandi at the moment. It was him once again unable to decide what to do with a ball from our free-kick 10 yards from goal that led to the Benfica break, corner and goal. From the corner he doesn't do his defensive duties to cover Lennon to compound his error. That is just not good enough, that smacks of not trying, it smacks of I couldn't care less.

Soldado has missed a very good chance. As expected not playing him for 3 weeks after he had scored a goal has done nothing for his confidence and that mismanagement is showing.

Bentaleb is soldiering on and is showing the passion Spurs players need. In terms of his development this is a good game for him. Naughton is making his usual errors while captain for the night Lennon in front of him is anonymous.

Our back four have never played together before and it shows, it takes them too long to find a pass and if pressured it could lead to another goal. The midfield have never played together either so only being 1-0 down at half-time is almost an acceptable result.

The have tried and put in effort and created some half chances so all in all an acceptable performance with the team we have out.




Half-time Half-time Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:02 pm Rating: 5

What a Challenge

6:00 pm
What a challenge.

Sandro has to marshal the back four and he is not even a centre-back, Bentaleb has a tough job to do with the four in front of him having to attack to score 3 goals.

Friedel starts in goal, Kyle Naughton, Sandro, Zeki Fryers, Danny Rose form a back four who have never played together before.

Sitting in front of them is young Nabil Bentaleb who will sit and hold leaving Andros Townsend, Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Aaron Lennon to provide for Roberto Soldado.

We will see Chadli and Sigurdsson combining with Soldado so they will at times leave Bentaleb exposed. I don't think this midfield four have played together either so there are so many things stacked up against Tottenham that even the most optimistic fan would struggle to see us go through.

The subs bench is full of kids and Christian Eriksen. He sits alongside Jordan Archer 20, Dominic Ball 18, Connor Ogilvie 18, Milos Veljkovic 18, Harry Winks 18, Harry Kane 20.

I hope we get to see Veljkovic at some point, it would be great for his development. He is the pick of the 18 year-olds on the bench.




What a Challenge What a Challenge Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:00 pm Rating: 5

Headless chickens

8:30 am
Spurs vs Benfica report
The two managers refuse to even acknowledge each other at the final whistle.
The interim reign of Tim Sherwood took another twist last night as he picked Harry Kane to start against Benfica in midfield. It defied logic and totally backfired as he was largely a peripheral figure.

Spurs vs Benfica was a night to look forward to, the worry started as soon as I saw the team sheet.

Harry Kane's contribution was to give the ball away in midfield allowing Benfica straight through a vacant centre of defence. Hugo Lloris came to his rescue, but from the resulting corner Benfica scored. No mistake from Kane, no corner, no goal.

On the positive side at the other end, he was fouled on the edge of the area for Christian Eriksen to curl one in from the resulting free-kick. You have to ask why hasn't he been taking them all season because before Christmas he wasn't.

This defeat though was not Harry Kane's fault, he hasn't proven he can play in the Premier League yet so quite what he was expected to produce in Europe goodness knows. A wrong selection Mr Sherwood I'm afraid.

How on earth do the players know what is going on with change after change after change. You have to have a system and stick to it, this continual change was never going to work and isn't working. We have had five different basic systems under Tim Sherwood so far.

Roberto Soldado scores a goal to take a weight off his shoulders and then doesn't get picked, what is the guy supposed to think, how is sitting on the bench for several games going to boost his confidence?

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Related Articles:
Sandro reveals some players have let the club down
Tim Sherwood's standing within Spurs may have actually increased
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We did exactly the same to Erik Lamela earlier in the season, he scored and had a great European night at home with his family present and we should have given him a half-hour cameo in the Premier League game, but no he sat on the bench for several games and that opportunity was blown.

Sometimes the management have got to take responsibility for making mistakes and not just say it's the players fault. Players this season have been mis-managed and that is still continuing it seems.

Some of Sherwood's decision simply defy explanation. Has he actually just resorted to giving players auditions for next season?

Tim Sherwood asked for character once again. He asked against Dnipro and now asks against Benfica. Character though has to be channeled within a system. There isn't a system to channel it in, nobody knows what system is being played week to week. You are asking for the players to keep getting you out of trouble and that can only happen so often.

What we had was 11 men trying to show character, but individual character and not character as a team. Mistakes occur, and there were plenty of them, because a player is not 100% focused, determined and playing with desire for the club. Giving your best without the desire, which can not be faked, will always result in mistakes as you switch off.

The team tonight did not have 11 men playing with a passion for the shirt. Jan Vertonghen is one simply going through the motions, Paulinho another, Naughton wants to leave and isn't good enough anyway, Eriksen looks ordinary game after game but then he is not a left winger.

The game showed Sandro's words (see related article above) were spot on.

It is not much good Younes Kaboul running around trying to do everything when he is not concentrating on his own job. He is not needed getting in the way on the right wing. He burst out of defence in one occasion, passed the ball to Lennon and then ran towards him bringing defenders with him, the exact opposite of what he should have been doing. All he did was get in the way, he should have headed for the box.

That incident epitomised the problem, too many players playing as headless chickens.

Benfica were easily the superior side, they played as a team, we played as individuals. It has become clear that some of the players have not been playing for Sherwood, they have been going through the motions. It seems patently obvious they they know he is a temporary boss and are waiting for the new manager in the summer.

The fact that players were shouting at the team meeting demonstrates they know some of them couldn't care less. A team can't perform in those circumstances. It probably means that some of them have no respect for someone without any coaching experience, or don't like honesty.

Jan Vertonghen being booked means he is out of the second leg so we'll have one fit centre-half. That may mean Zeki fryers having to play there, it may mean Sandro even playing there or Sherwood may dip into the development squad once again.

What will the score be, I dread to think. With the managers having a spat and refusing to shake hands at the end Benfica will probably want to score five.

The season can't end quick enough. Daniel Levy despite board words to the contrary, needs Louis Van Gaal or Cesare Prandelli as a matter of urgency.

I was dead against Tim Sherwood's appointment from the start but there have been positives. His standing within the club has probably increased and he will be informing Daniel Levy which players do not have the desire to play for Spurs.

It depends upon what Levy wanted out of the appointment to determine whether it has been a failure, it has in footballing terms. To be fair to Sherwood it was 18 months of Andre Villas-Boas that has left the club in a mess. Gareth Bale carried a bunch of average players. With his money we have bought another bunch who are waiting for the summer. Tim has had to try and pick up the pieces and muddle through.

Our season is going the way we expected it to when he was appointed so disappointment is tempered with reason. It was a wrong appointment as is now being shown. Bring on the next game and let's see what formation we play and who is selected this time, I'd wager it will be different again.




Headless chickens Headless chickens Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

Spurs vs Benfica - Lisbon Greaves Tonight

1:16 pm
Tonight Tottenham will play host to Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League’s last 16 tie. It is a mouth watering clash for Spurs fans as Tim Sherwood will want to see his team bounce back from the 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Chelsea.

On Saturday, Spurs showed lack of spirit against the West Londoners and we paid heavily because of our defensive blunders. Benfica’s current form makes this match even more interesting, the Portuguese giants have registered 21 wins in their last 23 matches.

Last time these two sides met in Europe, half a century ago, sparks flew. It was probably the greatest ever Spurs side under the legendary manager Bill Nicholson. It was the first side in the 20th century to have completed the League and FA Cup double, considered impossible until that point.

Not just the North Londoners, it was arguably the greatest ever Benfica team too. Portuguese legend Eusebio, one of the finest players ever to have graced the game, was the backbone of the side which reached 5 European finals in that decade and came out victorious twice.

Spurs boasted tremendous players 52 years ago, Dave MacKay, Cliff Jones, John White, Jimmy Greaves, Danny Blanchflower, Bobby Smith, you could go on and on. Tottenham were quick learners too and in their debut of the European competition they reached the semi finals to face the already champion side Benfica.

To get there we defeated Górnik Zabrze (Poland 10-5 on aggregate. We lost the first-leg 4-2, Jones, Dyson and, won the second-leg 8-1 with goals from Blanchflower, Jones hat-trick, Dyson, White and two from Smith.


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We then defeated Feyenoord (Holland) 4-2 on aggregate, winning the first-leg 3-1 with Dyson scoring again and two from Saul before drawing the second-leg 1-1 at home with Dyson keeping up his goal a game record.

The Quarter-Final saw us pitted against Dukla Prague of the then Czechoslovakia who we defeated 4-2. We lost the away leg 1-0 but turned it around at White Hart Lane with two goals from Smith and two from MacKay.

Then came the semi-final. In the first leg, Benfica easily edged out Bill Nicholson’s men and the game ended 3-1 in favour of the Portuguese club with Smith getting an away goal to give us hope. The Tottenham side were intimidated by the atmosphere is the first half. The attendance was down as 60,000 but it is though 86,000 were present in a stadium years ahead of it's time.

Jimmy Greaves had a goal disallowed for offside and we missed several chances. Right near the end though Smith was given offside with two Benfica players standing on the goal line, that goal would have made the return tie a different prospect.

For the second leg at the White Hart Lane a crowd of approximately 60,000 turned up. The atmosphere and the air before the match suggested that Tottenham could turn things around and reach the final in their first ever European Cup competition. London humour was in evidence with banners shouting “LISBON GREAVES TONIGHT”

But Benfica took the lead through an Aguas goal in the 15th minute to give us an uphill task. Spurs pulled two goals back through Blanchflower and Smith  reducing the aggregate to 4-3. It was a good come back yet Spurs fell one goal short of a replay at a neutral Brussels. The ground shook that night, the supporters sang, Greaves had another disallowed for offside, why nobody knows.


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Tottenham have the opportunity of partly making up for that loss in the Europa League tonight, a competition that still allows you to meet all sorts of teams from all round Europe, rather than the same old same old of the Champions League.

White Hart Lane is in for another pulsating tie, the manager has publicly berated his players, the players have no choice but to publicly show heart, desire, commitment, passion. If they don't, they will stand out a mile and their future at the club will be in serious doubt ahead of the summer culling.

Let us hope that this time the banner is right and LISBON GREAVES TONIGHT.




Spurs vs Benfica - Lisbon Greaves Tonight Spurs vs Benfica - Lisbon Greaves Tonight Reviewed by THBlogNews on 1:16 pm Rating: 5
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