We’ve Met Before
For the second successive season, Tottenham face Norwich City in their second home match of the season. Both teams have had a better opening to the season with Spurs recording two wins before losing at Arsenal last time out while Norwich have four points and achieved their first League win against Southampton at the end of August.
The recent matches against Norwich at White Hart Lane have proved troublesome to Tottenham. The clubs have met 6 times in the Premier League with both clubs recording two wins and two draws but Spurs haven’t won any of the last three games at White Hart Lane. The last win was in April, 1984 when Teddy Sheringham’s first half goal secured the points. Since then in two periods in the Premier League Norwich have had a win and two draws. Last season they took the point with a late equaliser after Mousa Dembele scored a debut goal after coming on a half-time substitute. A point was the least that Norwich deserved after a very positive performance which troubled Spurs throughout.
The previous season, having won promotion, Norwich dominated the game which was played at Easter and scored a goal in each half. Jermain Defoe had equalised for Spurs but in a poor display, they didn’t deserve a point.
In September, 2004 Norwich were setting out in the Premier League having won promotion. They were to spend only the single season in the top flight but in a hard-working performance denied Spurs with the match ending scoreless.
They’ve Played for Tottenham and Norwich
Over the years many players have played for Spurs and Norwich. The most recent is Sebastien Bassong who moved from White Hart Lane a year ago and has rebuilt his confidence at Carrow Road after a difficult time at Spurs. He captains the side and looks a completely different player from the one who was so uncertain in a Spurs shirt in the final 18 months at the club.
Last season Harry Kane went on loan to Carrow Road and made a number of early season appearances but injury brought it to an early conclusion.
The 1971 League Cup winning team had three players who would later play for Norwich. Martin Peters spent 5 years at Carrow Road, playing more matches for the Canaries than for Spurs, Martin Chivers had a season with Norwich after two years in Switzerland on leaving Spurs and Jimmy Neighbour spent three years with Norwich having progressed through the Spurs youth system. In the 1980s a number of younger players left Spurs for Norwich having had little opportunity to gain League experience at White Hart Lane. Ian Crook, Ian Culverhouse, Mark Bowen and John Polsten enjoyed successful careers in a strong Norwich team.
Ruel Fox spent 8 years with Norwich before moving to Newcastle United. After a year in the north-east he moved to Spurs where he spent 5 seasons.
The most significant player to join Spurs from Norwich was Maurice Norman who was transferred in 1955, playing initially at right back. He moved into central defence and was the cornerstone of the Double winning defence and was present through those successful years in the early 1960s. He had returned to full-back in the mid-60s but a broken leg in a friendly in November, 1965 brought his career to a premature end.
Many others have worn the white and yellow shirts including Tim Sherwood, Garry Brooke, Paul McVeigh, Garry Brady, Laurie Brown, Kevin Scott and Neale Fenn.
Norwich started the season with a 2 – 2 draw at home to Everton. They had gone ahead in the second half but two quick goals saw Everton gain the advantage but Norwich’s new signing, Dutch international Ricky Van Wolfswinkel headed the equalised with 20 minutes to play – all four goals being scored in a 20 minute spell.
Norwich suffered defeat at Hull City the following weekend, losing to a penalty midway through the first half. They could not find a response even though Hull were reduced to ten men with over an hour to play. Both Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore started that game for Hull.
Norwich had a single goal win over Southampton at Carrow Road in the weekend before the international break. The goal was scored midway through the second half by another new signing Nathan Redmond. The 19 year old winger signed from Birmingham City in the summer and the goal was his first in the Premier League.
The Norwich team has experience in central defence with Bassong and Turner in front of goalkeeper John Ruddy. Johnson and Snodgrass provide the hard work in midfield with Redmond to provide the creativity from wide positions. The height of Van Wolfswinkel will provide a constant threat and he was a regular goalscorer with Sporting in Portugal, with a record of scoring once every two games.
The Manager – Chris Hughton
Former Tottenham player, coach and assistant manager, Chris Hughton has proved himself quietly and efficiently to be a very astute Premier League manager. Having served a lengthy apprenticeship as coach and assistant at Spurs and later Newcastle, where he was appointed caretaker at St James’ Park. He was eventually appointed manager in 2009 and was unfortunate to be dismissed just over a year later. He had a season with Birmingham and took over at Norwich on Paul Lambert’s departure for Aston Villa in the summer of 2012.
Hughton’s teams are well organised and disciplined. They work hard as a unit and have proved difficult opponents for Spurs and many of top teams – defeating Arsenal and Manchester United at Carrow Road last season. Playing against Tottenham always seems to give him an extra incentive.
Tottenham have no further injuries following the international matches. Etienne Capoue and Aaron Lennon are still out while Emmanuel Adebayor returns to training next week after being away on compassionate leave. New signing, Vlad Chiriches is not available as he has yet to receive a work permit.
Andre Villas-Boas will probably retain the same back five as has opened the season. Capoue’s absence will allow him the opportunity to introduce a creative element into midfield with either Erik Lamela or Christian Eriksen. One may start with the other given an opportunity from the bench. Eriksen would be my choice playing in a central role behind Roberto Soldado. Paulinho and Mousa Dembele will probably continue in central midfield although Sandro is putting pressure on Dembele. Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli will probably make up the rest of the team.
The visitors will be on similar lines to previous games but their other new striker, Gary Hooper, signed from Celtic, is nearing fitness after a shin injury. Ryan Bennett is fit again but Elliott Bennett who scored in Norwich’s win two seasons ago is out with a long-term injury.
A visit by Norwich is a game supporters expect Spurs to win but that hasn’t been the case of late and Tottenham can expect another tough match against a competitive Norwich team. They have shown a desire to go on the offensive in their last two visits to the Lane with a high work rate so Spurs can expect more of the same this time around.
Tottenham have had a great deal of possession in their three League games this season, even out-passing Arsenal at the Emirates in the last game. They, however, need to be more precise and telling with their passing in the final third to open up the defence and create opportunities for Soldado. This is where AVB will expect more from Townsend and Chadli with Eriksen and Lamela also having a major role to play in this part of the Tottenham game. Hopefully, as the Premier League resumes Tottenham can return to winning ways as they enter a very busy period of the season with the additional matches of the Europa League and Capital One Cup.