Tuesday, 16 September 2008

tottenham - aston villa 1-2

Tottenham manager Juande Ramos is still targeting a top four Premier League finish this season, despite that that that Spurs currently sit bottom of the table following their worst start to a league campaign for 34 years.

Last night’s 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa on left Spurs marooned at the foot of the Premier League, with Tottenham fans angrily expressing their dismay by booing the team off the pitch at White Hart Lane.

Although they brought in a clutch of talented new players during the summer, Tottenham also sold their two top strikers - Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov - to the frustration of many fans. However, neither player wanted to stay; both were set on fulfilling ‘dream’ moves to Liverpool and Manchester United, respectively.

Despite the negative vibes reverberating around the Lane on Monday, Ramos insists his newly-assembled squad, with just one point from their first four games, will soon start to climb the table. It’s just a case of the new signings settling in, he says, and not a cause for panic.

"We are behind in our preparations but we've only played four games," the former Sevilla manager said after the Villa defeat.

"Vedran Corluka, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Frazier Campbell are new to the club and we haven't really had time to prepare with them. But we need to keep the spirit going and climb as high up the table as possible.

"We've made it an uphill struggle for ourselves but we have a young squad with plenty of quality and hopefully with calmness and experience we'll get a positive result and after that things could well change for us."

Nevertheless, Ramos knows it was a shambolic performance against Villa last night.

The visitors’ second goal was a howler by new Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who allowed a tame 25-yard shot from Ashley Young to squirm under his body and into the net. After that (which followed Nigel Reo-Coker's early goal) Darren Bent's fortuitous 87th-minute effort was an empty consolation.

But Ramos was not about to make Gomes a scapegoat. "I'm always angry at the end of games like this with the players and myself as well," he said.

"The blame I give to the goalkeeper is the blame that is due to him, like the other players. On other occasions he also stopped them scoring goals. I think he was absolutely magnificent apart from that goal."

Tottenham Tumbang, Juande Enggan Panik

Di depan suporter sendiri, Tottenham Hotspur malah tampil mengecewakan, tanpa semangat berarti mereka ditaklukkan Aston Villa 2-1. Hasil lanjutan Liga Primer Inggris itu makin membenamkan Spurs ke posisi juru kunci klasemen dengan raihan satu poin saja dari empat pertandingan.

Tim asuhan Martin O'Neill itu meraih kemenangan melalui gol-gol yang dicetak Nigel Reo-Cooker dan Ashley Young. Tuan rumah hanya bisa membalas lewat sepakan spekulatif Darren Bent, tiga menit sebelum usai.

Juande Ramos mempermasalahkan minimnya persiapan yang menyebabkan penampilan mengecewakan Spurs.

"Kami hanya punya sedikit waktu untuk persiapan. [Vedran] Corluka, [Roman] Pavlyuchenko, dan Fraizier Campbell baru bergabung dan mereka belum dapat beradaptasi," tukas Ramos kepada BBC Sport.

Lilywhites baru saja kehilangan duet striker Robbie Keane dan Dimitar Berbatov -- keduanya hengkang ke Liverpool dan Manchester United. Sedangkan dua pemain baru, Corluka dan Pavlyuchenko, didatangkan menjelang tenggat jendela transfer, awal bulan ini.

"Kami kurang siap. Kami harus menghimpun semangat demi mengangkat posisi dalam klasemen," lanjut Ramos.

"Kami mengawali musim dengan buruk, dengan kalah tiga kali, yang membuat segalanya menjadi jalan terjal bagi kami."

Tiga kekalahan di awal musim itu, rekor awal musim terburuk Spurs dalam 34 tahun terakhir, tidak disikapi Ramos dengan kepanikan.

"Aku takkan menjatuhkan penilaian berdasarkan hasil satu pertandingan saja. Mudah-mudahan dengan ketenangan dan pengalaman, kami akan kembali menuai hasil positif," pungkasnya.

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