3 min read
Dominating Mousa Dembélé by Stephane M’bia

For a long time the feeling that Tottenham’s defects are genetic has been haunting me. There is something in the make up of our club that when certain tests present themselves our biological make-up prevents us from prospering. On Saturday we once again faced a test that we pretty much failed.

As Andre Villas-Boas stated before the game, it was weekend to create some space, or reduce some with those teams around us. Fortunately, results went our way which meant that our quest for 4th is still on track, but 2nd and 3rd is starting to look slightly beyond us.

Despite what some may feel, it is not our God given right to win every game at a canter. But surely against an outfit destined for Championship football, a team desperate for the Champions League should be cruising through these games?

However, we are Tottenham and it is our ability to mix spell binding play with pure ineptitude that keeps us all on tenterhooks. It is this swing-ability that casts a doubt on Gareth Bale’s mission to usurp CR7 and Aaron Lennon’s long quest to become England’s regular right midfielder.

[authquote text=”Despite this inability to win a certain criticial junctures, Tottenham Hotspur remain a team on the cusp of achieving something.”]

Perhaps we should view a teams dedication to defence even at home as nod to our ability, but what it shouldn’t become is a How To Upset Spurs Guide for every lower Premier League club.

Our former manager, famed for having a go, decided by fielding a false number 10 in a false number 9 role, to not bother. The midfield was packed with players whose technical abilities amount to zero, but their dedication and commitment were unparalleled. As stated in Section 6 of Sods Law, those same players will crumble in their next fixture, but on Saturday Stephane M’bia dominated Mousa Dembele.

It was Dembele’s least effective game for Spurs so far this season; the presence of his Cameroonian man marker highlighted the fact that he still needs to develop certain aspects of his game and that he shouldn’t bear sole responsibility for central midfield creativity.

We are desperate for that player who can create magic from nothing and drag even the most disciplined journey men into uncomfortable areas.


Meanwhile further up the pitch, we were offered another lesson that two number 9’s don’t always add up to one goal. Watching Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor attempt to work together is like two men trying to Tango, its rather uncomfortable viewing. Thankfully FIFA moving the AFCON to a new cycle (hence two competitions in two years) will deny us this partnership for a few games.

It’s well documented what we’ve lost this season, but let us not forget that we have also gained. We have signed a top class keeper and a centre back more than capable to replace one whose name we sing on 26 minutes.

What we haven’t gained though is that pedigree to believe that a victory is ours if we just reach out and grab it. Man Utd, Barcelona and Juventus have this belief imprinted into their genetic coding, we need to capture this formula and inject it into our club from the grass roots up.

[authquote text=”It is this swing-ability that casts a doubt on Gareth Bale’s mission to usurp CR7 and Aaron Lennon’s long quest to become England’s regular right midfielder.”]

Despite this inability to win a certain criticial junctures, Tottenham Hotspur remain a team on the cusp of achieving something. We have been privy to many false dawns and five year plans, but thankfully we are actually on the horizon now and not Christian Gross tube ticket away, but still we must learn to impose ourselves on the field and in the transfer market.

Daniel Levy has already signed wünderkid Lewis Hotlby for next season, but a little bit of investment now will see us achieve our goals. The Premier League season of 2012/2013 is a weak one and if we can reclaim fourth the financial repercussions for Everton and Woolwich would be catastrophic.

Tottenham need to ensure that this result was just a slight hiccup and not another global demonstration of our genetic failings.

[author name=”ARLombardi” avatar=”https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/profile_images/1344407697/soccer.jpg” twitter=”ARLombardi” website=”arlombardi.com” tag=”ARLombardi”]


All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

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Published on 14th January 2013

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8 Responses to Dominating Mousa Dembélé by Stephane M’bia

  1. mark procter 14/01/2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I have long considered Dembele to be overrated. I now see him as the modern day Zokora.
    That is not up to the job

  2. nigel 14/01/2013 at 6:03 pm #

    mark procter if you think dembele and zokora are comparable you need to be put down

  3. Hamish 14/01/2013 at 6:15 pm #

    The game would have been different if the ref had booked M’Bia early on for some of the manhandling and also if Sandro hadn’t gone off. M’Bia would have had to resort to football and I don’t think it’s his strong suit. Way to go Mark Procter in the art of writing a player off for one bad game. Thank God Scholes, Giggs, Lampard and Gerrard have never had an off day or they’re careers would have sunk without trace.

  4. Gary fox 14/01/2013 at 6:15 pm #

    IDembele tried hard but had nowhere to go once bale and Lennon decided to come inside. Mbia committed 6 fouls before getting booked then tripped bale right in lfront of the ref. Dembele was not on top form but he got little support from ref or colleagues. He is quality.

  5. Ramos43 14/01/2013 at 6:22 pm #

    I think the MAIN reason for not being able to overcome a resolute QPR side was our inability to maintain the high tempo we set for the first 5/10 minutes of either half.
    While the need for a ‘lock picker’ is not lost on me, there is STILL a lot to be said about the simple art of pass and move, a tactic that lead to the Defoe/Ade chance, and our best period of the second half. Infact, any/every time we did play with some sort of high tempo (with and without possession) QPR’s team would shudder with caution, resembling the fragile, confidence stricken team we have come to know this season.

    The problem was, we couldn’t seem to maintain that sort of tempo for a sustained period of time, with certain players among the Spurs ranks forgoing their efforts when without the ball, allowing the QPR players regular breathers and the sense that their tactics were working perfectly.

    3 areas which if improved upon , would make Spurs better equipped to counter the challenges presented by ‘negative’ tactics would be:

    1. Pass and move with speed. This means dropping deep for little one-twos rather than looking for long cross field balls (ala Dawson). Too many times during the match on Sat their seemed to be too big a space between midfield and attack, meaning that both departments found themselves isolated, without the required options (to play high tempo), whilst in possession.

    2. Press/hassle opposition,as a unit, whilst out of possession. This concept is pretty self explanatory, but again on Saturday not everyone in the team committed themselves to this strategy (not for longer than 5/10 minutes in each half, anyway). This would’ve given Spurs a greater sense of authority in the match, and as a result, a greater belief that the goal was going to come. It also would have denied a very limited QPR side the respite (both mentally and physically) their odd counter attack, and our lack of tempo (with and without the ball) afforded them.
    In other words they were TOO comfortable and we offered little in terms of unsettling them. You don’t NEED Wesley Sneijder to do that!

    3. Play with width. The fact Gareth Bale now seems incapable, or simply unwilling to stay on the left flank touchline for any significant amount of time, it is IMPERATIVE we counter that by deploying a LEFT-SIDED full back to play in behind him. I like Kyle Naughton, and I even like him playing at left back on occasion, as he has the intelligence and defensive nous to handle the disadvantages of playing ‘on his wrong side’. However, playing that position when there is little in terms of support from a naturally left-sided player in front of you, against a team intent on defending in numbers and then hitting you on the counter, is just asking for trouble. THAT was a main factor in Spurs play becoming confined almost exclusively to the centre/ right-side of the pitch, especially in the 2nd half. Thus, not only making us predictable but easy to COUNTER (literally) against, as we saw the more the game wore on.

    I could go on, but I won’t. You see, but, to think all our problems will be solved (vs the lesser sides in the league) by simply adding a playmaker and/or striker would be misguided, as there are factors that will continue to inhibit us, unless the team makes a concious decision to alter them.

  6. William 14/01/2013 at 6:29 pm #

    I think this article is crap. We had some great games over December good run of games seeing us score goals n creat chance. We all knew Harry would pull off sum thing Saturday having known are football club inside out. Regardless of avb new style of play they didn’t press us in are half to create space for us to hit on the counter which is tottenham style of play. For a bunch of wasters and has beens QPR done the job they set out to do and done it well. If Defoe shot would have gone in or ade would have put his foot through the rebound instead of taking a second touch would have been a complete different game. But just because we drew to QPR does not mean we out of touch for third. With the players we are being linked to and levry knowing avb is going to take tottenham to that next level it’s a great time to be a tottenham fan. Come on you coyssssss. ( Tom Carroll needs to be given playing time because I think we have something special in him. He moves the ball well very simlar to Spanish type footballer. Love to see him break in to first team )

  7. DAVSPURS 14/01/2013 at 9:35 pm #

    We have a lad who noes Lennon Bale Defoe inside out ad could pick ADY out in the dark Tom Huddlestone a modern day 6ft3 football quarter back. This is his attributes is size you get extra height when you concede corners and free kicks he can deliver perfect diagonal free kicks also Shoot both feet he can pass in a flash once again left or right. These are the things most fans who have never played golf or football would not see when he hits a long pass it has pace hehits the ball on the bottom third of the ball in a sweeping motion so when he picks out Lennon the ball has back spin like a golf shot and drops perfect in front of Bale Lennon or there chests. What this means Lennon Bale can get away quickly from markers and cross to Defoe Ady. He can also pass to Dembele get it back and send him away running with the ball at full speed then if Dembele can find defoe Hudds will or Lennon Ady. This was why Harry stopped his old team Sandro the mop any lose balls he gets and then passes to Dembele he passe to Lennon hei double Marked ball goes back Sandro he gives Daws he lamps to Bale 50 yards he double marked ball goes back then we get in the box 8 player keeper waiting balls lost or saved Sandro off Parker on runs with ball 30 yards snapping pack of players full extra tempo. They Chased him he passes Dembele he gives it to Lennon Utd twin runs at him right up his back Mbi Mackie Phillips Derry Park Taraabt Flavio Onahua Flavioa wall of energy so topped up they where never subbed closing down quicker than a terrier chasing a ball. So just like Chelsea without Mata Remiras against Rangers they lost to what i call desperate work rate by desperate players and Harry has not coached that work rate is fitness coach. We will see this next weekagainst Utd whose Manager said after last season we wont get beat on the last day like that again and by god there come backs prove he was tru to is word . I knew Liverpool would match Utds work rate and second half they did and could have drawn. This is why i was praying the finest 6ft3 passer i have seen since Hoddle would come back fully fit but 14 months out left me with doubts has to what kind of damage had been done by Harry who admitted to playing him with needles to numb a bad ankle. He was being sent on loan to Stoke but he failed to convince there medics he was fully healed and came back to us . He has shown glimpses of his talents free kick we scored from one and a few shots and long passes he rarely enters the penalty area these days and his shooting is just off target like a bent sight on a rifle. Thres on mith needs addressing a lot of fans say Hudds is slow well i read he ran the 100 meters Hurdles at school showing me he has the pedigree to run if he needs to and if you asked the trainers they would tell you he is not slow. Why dance if you have a knockout punch his skill is passing the ball with speed backspin and accuracy and having the next pass in is head before he has received the ball like Carrick something we sadly missed in a packed midfield at QPR. I don’t no if he will ever get back to his best but there are managers who will risk it and i for one hope we don’t let a player leave who can beat this modern football because shifting the ball quick in a flash saves six passes and means less in the box defending this is why Fergie has brought Carrick back to spray the ball all over and through the middle to stop Wigan 1- UTD 0 last season . This year with Carrick 4-0 i rest my case the missing link is a fit healthy Hudds not a hoover like Sandro who wins balls we lose through bad passing This midfield got us third and scoring for fun Lennon Hudds Modric Bale

  8. Howard 15/01/2013 at 8:51 am #

    Harry got his tactics spot on. It’s a narrow pitch at QPR so he played two rows of 5 doubling up on Bale and Lennon. Not hard really. As for M’Bai dominating Dembele, the lad never had any space to operate in a congested midfield. 20 players in one half of a small pitch!
    Harry deserves that point for all he did at Spurs.

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