Club Focus – Tottenham Hotspur – Bassong wants perfect Christmas

With the Christmas period coming ever closer, and the football season becoming more and more intense over the wintry months, Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to take advantage of any slip-ups the teams above and around them could make during the busy time of the year. Lying in fifth place, Spurs will be looking to gain some ground on fourth placed Chelsea, who lay four points above their London rivals and behind Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City.

Cameroon international defender Sebastien Bassong has been a prominent figure in the Spurs defence in recent weeks while manager Harry Redknapp experiences something of a defensive injury crisis with Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, William Gallas and Younes Kaboul all missing and instrumental centre-back Michael Dawson only recently returning from injury. Bassong believes his side should look to take six points from their next two games away to Aston Villa on Boxing Day, then just two days later against Bassong’s former club Newcastle United at White Hart Lane.

Both games will prove to be a huge test to Redknapp’s side, but with Aston Villa struggling for form at the moment, they should not be taken for granted in front of the Villa Park faithful. As for Newcastle, they have been underestimated and their form has been one which has impressed the St James’ Park crowd. However, with the recent departure of manager Chris Hughton and the arrival of new manager Alan Pardew, the players may still be taking time to adapt to the new situations at the club, although their 3-1 win against Liverpool last week may say different.

Spurs target Andy Carroll is the player who Bassong will be looking to keep quiet when Spurs and the Toon lock horns on the December 28. Carroll has scored 10 league goals for his side so far this season and the 21-year-old has also made his first appearance in an England shirt in the 2-1 defeat to France at Wembley – a game in which Carroll received praise for his aerial threat, making it difficult for the French defence to deal with. Despite possibly making the move to London in January to join Redknapp’s revolution, as well as the appeal of Champions League football, Carroll will still want to add to his goal tally for Newcastle so Bassong will have to be in top condition to stop one of the Premier League’s in-form strikers.

Villa on the other hand are struggling for form. It seems the loss of Martin O’Neill is still proving to be a factor in their current season as the boys in claret and blue look to assert the kind of authority they had on the league when O’Neill was in charge. It seems the departure of James Milner has also proved fruitful, and despite replacing him with Stephen Ireland, the former Manchester City midfielder himself has struggled to settle into life at Villa Park.

Tottenham will want a successful Christmas period to put them in the hunt for the title in January. Redknapp on the other hand will be focusing on which players are set to leave and which players will be close to becoming the new faces of Tottenham Hotspur.

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