Spurs: Half-term reports

So, 19 games played and we sit third in the table with our best points tally, at this stage, since the legendary 60-61 season.

Not too shabby and a position not too many fans would have predicted after two games.

So how have the players fared that have got us into this position?

Well here’s my half-term report, for those that have featured enough to merit a mark:

Friedel – 7 (out of 10)

A few raised eyebrows when we signed this fella, mainly due to his age as we could all see he was a decent keeper. I’m happy to say he’s proved most of us wrong.

Cool, calm and collected – a steadying influence between the sticks. I no longer panic when the opposition get a corner or when someone lets fly speculatively from 35 yards.

Brad gobbles most things up in a very assured manner. This has rubbed off on the defence too as his safe handling and kicking gives the back four improved confidence.

Some decent stops along the way too, although not as spectacular as Heurelho’s antics. Only one real error of note at Swansea but even that was slightly debatable.

My only criticism would be that he remains rooted to his line at times but compared to his predecessor maybe we just notice that a lot more.

Walker – 8

Isn’t it great knowing we have England’s future RB marauding up and down our right flank? Like having a new signing, Kyle has been superb – demonstrating a great attitude and work-rate, coupled with barnstorming runs at a frightening pace.

This guy is the full-back we’ve been craving. His defensive work has sharpened up too as the season has worn on and not many wingers fancy taking him on. Scoring the winner in the NLD didn’t do him any harm either.

Assou-Ekotto – 7

Excellent for the first third of the season, demonstrating why he is many a fan’s favourite with his icy cool defending, great overlaps, crazy hair and mismatched footwear.

I feel he has lapsed a bit of late, probably due to having no real competition and maybe the fact he has start to believe his own hype, but he returned to his best against the Baggies.

Needs to eradicate the silly cut insides which many wingers have now sussed and stick to the basics. Due a goal too.

King – 8

Has probably played more than we all thought and rumours of a minimum amount of matches this season deciding whether he’s offered a new deal may have spurred him on.

Either way the bloke is a class act and we simply don’t lose when he plays. If we can get another 10-15 games out of him we’ll be in the shake up come May.

Still has pace to burn despite having knees held together by blutac as his recent race with Daniel Sturridge against the Chavs showed.

Kaboul – 9

Virtually ever present and a beast of a centre half. A different player from the jittery wreck we signed originally – aerially impeccable, quick, strong and decent in possession. His season has only been marred by an iffy display up at Stoke followed by the harsh red. About time he smashed one of those free kicks in….

Gallas – 6

Absent for the first third of the season before returning with some rusty-looking displays in the ill-fated Europa campaign. Mad Billy has slowly returned to form and has been excellent of late. Cue his calf going ‘twang’ and now another spell on the sidelines looms. Still a valuable member of the squad.

Bassong – 6

Seb has been restricted to Europa League kickabouts and fleeting PL sub appearances and has the look of a man who is eyeing the exit door in January.

Has done OK when called upon and was excellent up at Stoke even though it was too late but has to accept he’s fifth choice. With Caulker returning in the summer (a player Redknapp rates highly) it’s clear the end is nigh for Bassong which is a bit of a shame as there’s a decent CB in there. Should do well at another club where he can be loved.

Dawson – 5

Looked ropey in our first couple of games before succumbing to a nasty achilles injury, Daws has slipped down the pecking order and is probably fourth choice now which won’t do his Euro 2012 hopes many favours.

Can look cumbersome at times and has the turning circle of a Diplodocus, but his attitude and commitment can never be questioned.

Will play an important role in the run-in covering Gallas/King alongside Kaboul.

Rose – 5

Hasn’t really kicked on from the promise shown last season and as a result hasn’t threatened to oust Benny from the LB berth.

This is probably due to the fact he isn’t really a full-back and some other Welsh bloke who’s quite good plays in his position which doesn’t help him either.

But he scored that goal against the Scum so we all love him regardless.

Lennon – 6

A stop start season for the jet-heeled winger. Seems to suffer from hypochondria as even the slightest strain rules him out for a month.

His injury record is becoming a concern as he rarely plays more than 25 games a season.

On his day can be electrifying and once he is up to match fitness forms a devastating prong to our attack.

Needs to have a big second half of the season, particularly if Bale gets injured.

Has looked effective on the left and scored a couple of crackers against Fulham and Bolton.

Parker – 9

Let us not forget how ridiculously good this guy was for about 15 consecutive games.

Tired recently and now a knee injury has temporarily sidelined him. Let’s hope he returns quickly where he can be our midfield general once more, forming an awesome alliance with Mordic and, of late, Sandro.

A great pro that ‘manages’ the team on the pitch as can be seen by his mini teamtalks when there is a break in play. Should be England captain too, rather than Terry.

Modric – 8

Despite the well-publicised ‘head not in the right place’ start to his season, once the window shut Luka knuckled down and has been the usual class act we all know and love.

He may not truly love our ‘chicken badge’ and he may look like a lesbian tennis player, but this guy is the heartbeat of the team and we miss him hugely when not fit apart from West Brom.

His shooting has improved but still needs to get 7-10 goals a season with his ability, however, if he can create for the likes of Bale/VDV/Adebayor/Defoe I’ll take that.

Sandro – 7

There was a feeling this guy was being criminally underused, save for a few Europa appearances and the odd run out from the bench.

But the Brazilian monster finally got back into the team recently after the injury to Lennon and a switch in formation.

We all know how good he is but there is a nagging feeling he is casting envious glances over to Serie A and Milan so we need to use him and ensure he feels a massive part of this squad.

Obviously the long-term replacement for Parker but we can’t afford to have him kicking his heels in the meantime. Picked up a nasty calf injury against West Brom which hopefully won’t keep him out too long as he’ll be vital up at Eastlands.

Livermore – 6

Limited footballer that gives his all for the shirt so that must be commended.

Keeps things very simple and plays a very low risk game which is fine when we’re 3-0 up against Bolton but not what we need if he has to play a major role in the the tough months to come.

Huddlestone’s imminent return will push him down the pecking order but hopefully won’t be called upon too many times in the run in.

Bale – 8

After a slightly slow start the Welsh wonder has reminded us all again what a devastating player he can be.

He’s got the lot so I won’t bother listing his attributes and he could obviously play up front but Harry’s new ‘free role’ for him has added another dimension to his game and makes him almost unplayable.

A good goal return yet you feel he should score even more with his finishing ability.

Needs to work on his free-kicks which have dried right up. Indeed, he leaves too many to the myth that is VdV.

Either way, we are lucky to have such a talent pulling on the white shirt and should cherish every game he plays for us.

Van der Vaart – 7

Not the same explosive start he made to last season yet still possesses an uncanny match winning ability and relishes the big games.

A series of strains and pulls has marred his participation this season and he struggles to build up a head of steam before he sits out another couple of games.

Probably the best finisher at the club when presented with a chance but has played very deep at times, leaving the goalscoring duties to Adebayor and Defoe.

His best position is off a front man but has found himself on either the right of a midfield four, or one of three behind Adebayor. Still a top player on his day either way and seems to genuinely love being at Spurs.

Defoe – 7

Has found it hard to oust either VDV or Adebayor when we play a 4-4-2 and struggles even more when harry opts for a 4-5-1.

Quite rightly miffed as Redknapp kept trotting out the ‘tough choice’ line when having to choose between VDV and Defoe as he always picks the Dutchman.

Either way he has done well when called upon, with 10 goals in all competitions, and a good attitude on the pitch.

Remains our most natural goal poacher as his goal against the Baggies showed and will be vital in the second half of the season.

Pav – 5

Lazy twit. Great goal against Rubin (shop window) and great finish against Sunderland but spends the rest of the time moping around, wondering why he isn’t starting games despite his lacklustre displays.

If we can upgrade him in the window then great. A top finisher but we need a bit more from a potential stand in for Adebayor.

Adebayor – 8

The fulcrum of our attacking play and the class act we’ve been craving for years.

This guy is the final piece in the Bale/VDV/Modric jigsaw that saw us floundering with no end product last season.

His finishing is infuriating as his inability to remain onside in simple scenarios but his arrival has catapulted us into the title race.

We need to do all we can to make his loan a permanent deal in the window as it’ll be mission impossible at Eastlands without him.

A great footballl brain, mesmerising feet and Harry has managed to get a great work ethic out of him too.

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