The World Cup & Xmas over, now back to the Conti riddle (plus Palace away)

The World Cup and Xmas over, now back to the Conti riddle (plus Palace away)

Happy New to all!

It has been a long November/ December and an even longer Xmas (at least the preparations). I spent my Christmas in Cheltenham and Newbury (two different days, of course), which exceeded expectations. The World Cup – where England is concerned – was predictable, but Christmas in itself was brilliant and a joy.

My first day back at Football was a trip to Brentford and inevitability. Spurs started off the first half as they always do, on the back foot. In the second half, we decided to bounce back… but that only meant a draw. The good news was that the Bees annihilated Liverpool a few days later (they beat them 3-1), but we shouldn’t laugh; we were humiliated by a poor Villa team a few days later. Yes, we got beaten 2-0.

If the  Bees had won, it would have been their first win over us since 1948 after goals from Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney,  but then we netted twice within six minutes to get a draw and bugger up Brentford’s celebrations.

Kane, who scored one penalty and missed another in England’s 2-1 quarter-final loss to France, pulled one back in the 65th minute with an excellent header from Clement Lenglet’s cross. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made it 2-2 with a curling finish.

A big problem for many fans was that the sun was in our eyes for most of the game (so hands over our brows were the order of the day). A few of the players also suffered from sunlight directly affecting them. Anyway, we got a draw, then a long walk back to our cars and home to Cheltenham to celebrate boxing day with Janette and JJ, her son.

We had better hopes for the Aston Villa game and moving back up the ladder. After all, Villa ain’t that good!

Spurs v Villa

As it was a 2 pm kick-off, I left at 6.15 am to pick Mel up and take a long trip to the Spurs stadium. Finally getting there at 9.50.

It was great to meet up with old friends, but that is the best I can say about the day.

An error by Hugo Lloris in his first game back since the World Cup allowed Emiliano Buendia to score before Douglas Luiz doubled the lead. Hugo is past his sell-by-date and should be moved on.

We were Lacklustre, and because of that defeat, we fell out of the Premier League top four and have now won only two of our past seven matches.

After the final whistle, while people around me left, I sat and listened to the booing, while some fans directed angry chants towards chairman Daniel Levy (and well deserved they were). I don’t think the finger should be pointed at Conte but at Levy, as he has been starving the first team of quality ever since he took over the club.

After the game, Mel and I left early; he got home at 7.30, while it took me another 30 minutes.

Will Palace be any better?

Palace v Spurs


Crystal Palace

They are again without the suspended Tyrick Mitchell, but James Tomkins is back from a ban.

Nathan Ferguson, Sam Johnstone and James McArthur are out injured.


Yves Bissouma received his fifth booking of the season against Aston Villa, so will serve a one-match ban.

Spurs await news on whether Dejan Kulusevski will be available, but Rodrigo Bentancur, Lucas Moura and Richarlison remain out.


This is a game between two teams who are both so inconsistent it is hard to know exactly what to expect. Saying that, though, I think Spurs will win this… or I should probably say that I hope we win it…

Will Spurs turn up? I hope so. If not, then Conte will have an answer… so do we… Levy.

Crystal Palace’s performances have also been very up and down all season. Although they got a good win against Bournemouth last time, there is no guarantee they will follow that up against us and carry the same attacking threat we know they possess.

My prediction or hope: 1-3

My possible starting lineup:

Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Sessegnon; Kulusevski, Kane, Son



Crystal Palace are aiming to earn consecutive home league victories against us for the first time, having won the corresponding fixture 3-0 last season.

Among Premier League sides they have played more than 20 times, we only have a higher win rate against Sunderland (66%) than we do versus Crystal Palace (58%).


Our current run of 10 away London derbies without a victory in the league is the longest in our history.

We have conceded the first goal in seven successive league matches for the first time since September to November 2010.

We could concede at least twice in eight consecutive league games for the first time since November 1988.

We have gone two goals behind in four of our past five away league fixtures.

Our players have made a combined five errors leading to opposition goals this season, two more than any other Premier League side. Hugo Lloris is responsible for three of them.

Conte has lost two of his five league matches against Crystal Palace with Chelsea in 2017. He’s only lost more Premier League games as a manager against Manchester United.

Harry Kane has been involved in eight goals in his last six league appearances against Palace, scoring five and assisting three.

Crystal Palace Premier League form:


Crystal Palace form (all competitions):


Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:


Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):


That is it, folks! Happy New Year to you all!

Glenn COYS!

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