The curious case of Tottenham Hotspur

I think it is time to admit it. We have been proper ropey this season so far. There have been a couple of bright games (City and Stoke) with the odd 10 minutes or so in other games but, by and large, compared to last season’s performances we have been way below the expected level.

That is what makes it all the more depressing. We know these players are capable of so much more, most are mere shadows in comparison to last year. We are 20 games into this season now (all competitions) and we still have not really seen the Spurs of last season we fell in love with. Last season’s identity has been lost or at least degraded and needs to be rediscovered.

Is it mental? Is it just unlucky? Is it Poch trying to change too much in search of a plan B? Honestly I do not know but feel free to give your opinion… Poch himself has said he thinks it is mental.

I’ll start with what I feel I have seen wrong with this team so far this year.

  1. Too often the centre backs or defensive midfielder have the ball look up and there is nothing on. They have plenty of time on the ball but either the opposition are all experts at marking or our players are simply not moving enough. This then results in them having the ball too long and then playing it to a full back who is usually facing their own goal with little option other than to play it back to the keeper.
  2. Lack of a first touch. Too often the players in the advanced position receive the ball in a decent position but their first touch is off and they fail to control the ball. This usually results in the opposition getting a sniff of the ball and either winning it or forcing the ball back to the defence and point 1 above. Take last night’s game against Monaco, when the control was there it usually resulted in a chance (like Alli’s through ball for Son’s chance) but this is not happening enough. More regularly we see Alli’s first touch be too heavy and he ends up on his backside or losing the ball. This is true of all the attacking players, not a dig at Alli.
  3. Way too narrow. This is not a debate about ‘traditional’ wingers versus ‘inverted’. Last season Eriksen and Lamela were the wide players in the three behind the striker. They always came inside but their start positions were wide which meant the opposition had to deal with them. Again looking at last night, Monaco’s full backs didn’t have an attacker to deal with, resulting in them being able to overload our full backs and create two on ones. The last few games have been a diamond midfield which is about the most narrow you could be which has not helped at all. Being too narrow has resulted in the middle of the pitch being so congested, would not be such an issue if there was fast one touch passing, triangles and movement but see point one again…
  4. Where has the pressing gone? Instead of pressing in packs it all seems very individual. Again this is made more annoying when opposition teams are pressing us how we feel we should be pressing them. And because of point 1 and 2 we are unable to beat the opposition press often enough for opposition to give up on that tactic. Whereas our press is currently being easily beaten resulting in us constantly appearing to be outnumbered in defence.


Let’s face it, injuries have not helped our cause at all this season. Lloris, Toby, Dier, Dembele, Alli, Lamela, Kane and more spring to mind. I don’t think we have been able to field what was the starting eleven last season this season as of yet. Some injuries have affected the team more than others, it is not a coincidence that we have hit our run of draws when Toby and Kane got injured. But our squad should be good enough to cope, whether it is or not is up to personal opinion.

Tactics have been odd to say the least. We needed to find a plan B but what has been odd is the amount of different plans that have been used from the start of the game. Plan B’s are either to change a game mid game because something is not working or to cater for a specific set of injuries. I understood the move to 4-1-4-1 when Dier and Dembele were injured. Unless we are facing an opposition that have a massive gulf in quality between us and them, we should be starting a game with our first choice tactics.

Perhaps opposition teams have simply worked us out. It is always an option. Perhaps the game against Chelsea at the end of last season simply affected these players more than we thought and hoped. Perhaps the game this weekend is the perfect tonic for the team, there is no doubt they have been looking forward to this one. The whole squad (well at least those from last season) know what this game means this season. A positive result and things may start clicking back into gear for Spurs.

In the last few games you could argue that the passion has gone from the team and, to be fair to Poch, he has mentioned this numerous times this season. It is up to Poch to get this passion back into the players psyche for all games but if we see a lack of passion this weekend then perhaps we are in for a long old season.

The plus side in all of this is we are four points off the top (and one point off fourth if that floats your boat) despite not playing particularly well yet, last season we were five points off top (three points off fourth) after the same amount of games. We know we haven’t played well for most of the season so far, problem is knowing which way it will go. Continue to play poorly and we will lose touch as it is impossible to continue picking the point up we have so far, start playing better and anything is possible. The season is a long way from being decided just yet… let’s keep the faith a little longer, the players deserve that a least.

So what’s needed then

After the negative feelings felt towards the end of the season start to ebb away, perhaps it is time to look at what is needed if we are to improve next season. Not only to be title contenders again but to also perform well in the Champions League. I don’t think it is wrong in saying that, to the club at least, the two domestic cup competitions are very much secondary objectives. Fans will always want to win something but the club is more concerned with revenue streams.

I am sure Poch and co will come out and say that top 4 is the primary goal. That is probably the minimum expectation in reality despite other wealthier foes likely to spend big this summer. There will be pressure on Spurs next year but not as much as if a United or City had been champions and us second. The media will be focused on Leicester, not because they are champions but because they are looking for an end to the fairy tale. A point when they can say ‘told you so’ and that last season was a fluke. Only time will tell whether that will happen but it does deflect this sort of media scrutiny away from Spurs, at least initially.

What that does mean is that Spurs can go again, under the radar at the beginning of the season. You only have to look at all the headlines and pictures of next season’s managerial head to heads to see that Poch is frequently absent from the headline match ups. Mentioned eventually but only after the Sky 4, City and Leicester have been mentioned. Hopefully that will fire the players up.

So onto the squad improvements, there is a strong argument that we do not necessarily need to buy guaranteed starters. We are looking for competition and players who can come in and do a job better than the current reserves. This is true largely due to the age of the team, it is very young and still plenty of improvement is achievable. This need is greater because of Champions League commitments, not sure we can justify putting out youngsters or those that need a game in that competition like we have done in the Europa League.

Before I go into where I think we need strengthening, I am not going to put forward names as possible solutions as I honestly don’t watch enough foreign football to have an idea of whether someone will fit into Poch’s system.


Lloris is the number one with no questions asked. Vorm is ok but perhaps not good enough should Lloris get injured long term, one or two games will probably be survivable. Problem with goalkeepers is that they are rarely injured so you do need a backup that will be happy to sit on the bench and Vorm fits that bill currently. I don’t think anything will happen in this department unless a stunningly good young keeper becomes available.

Verdict: Probably nothing happening here


Fazio will be gone if everyone gets their way so there is a backup centre back needed. I think it is clear that Toby and Jan are the first choice pairing so Wimmer will need to be content with playing back up again. Dier can cover but given he is the first choice defensive midfielder currently I think it is clear we need another centre back. There are some promising youngsters coming through so it will be interesting to see if one of them is promoted or whether Poch dips into the market. Yedlin probably surplus to requirements given Walker and Trippier.

Verdict: Don’t be surprised if no one is bought, probably not through want of trying but because the player would have to be content to start as fourth choice. Fazio shipped out for sure and if the right offer comes in, Yedlin too.

Deep lying midfield

This is probably the biggest problem area in terms of effect on team dynamics. The backups to the first choice pair of Dier and Dembele have not performed. Alli has had a few games here (in Dembele’s role) but he is too important further up the pitch now to really be considered. Mason and Carrol have simply not been good enough in this role but I also feel that (in Masons case in particular) this position is too deep for them.

I have read many different articles and it is debateable whether Carrol is out of contract or not this summer however I can only see two of Carrol, Mason and Bentaleb staying and this is assuming we buy no one. Ah Bentaleb, so much promise but this season has not worked out how it was supposed to. Injuries have not helped but I also think he may be being used incorrectly.

Last season he was the defensive midfielder alongside Mason but in Poch’s system this year a defensive midfielder frequently becomes part of the defence as cover. I don’t think he is suited to that at all. I would like to see him in Dembele’s role (as backup to him) which may well negate the need for a signing there. Perhaps another youngster in Winks is the answer to Dembele when he is out but I get the impression if that was the case, Winks would have played a few more minutes this season.

What is clear is that another defensive midfielder is needed, whether this be from internal or bought in. When Dier was missing or being played at centre back it was clear there was a gaping hole in the middle of the park.

Verdict: A defensive minded midfielder will be bought but Bentaleb may get another shot at being Dembele’s competition. Mason will probably stay also (unless a couple of signings are made for this area) and Carrol moved on/released.

Attacking midfield

I think the first choice here are currently Eriksen, Alli and Lamela. Backups being Son, Chadli, Onomah, Njie, Winks, Pritchard and Mason (occasionally). That is ten players fighting it out for three places in the team. That’s probably a few too many. Mason and Winks may be considered deep lying while Son and Njie may be considered strikers – that would take it to a reasonable six for three places but I don’t think that is the case.

I think in this area we are missing someone with a bit of trickery, someone who will beat a player or two (with skill rather than pace or movement) to make space. This is most notable when teams set up with 10 men behind the ball. Pritchard may do this but we have yet to see what he can do at this level.

Verdict: I don’t think anybody will be coming in here despite saying we are missing something. Think one of Chadli or Pritchard will be lost.


The most glaring shortage of options in the squad as Kane is pretty much all alone. Son and Njie were touted as strikers but they appear to be much more geared towards being attacking midfielders. Poch has named checked a youngster or two but I think if he were serious about them they would have appeared on the bench and got some minutes at the ends of games to save Kane and give them some experience.

The problem here is that we are being linked to some of the more sought after and high profile strikers around. I can’t see them wanting to come in and initially be playing second fiddle to Kane.

Verdict: One will come in, can’t go another window without another striker coming in. Perhaps two if there are some undiscovered youngsters around.

So there you have it. I think a minimum of two players inbound in the shape of a striker and defensive midfielder. Maximum would be four I feel with two strikers, a defensive mid and a defender. I think the key here is that we are not necessarily looking for people who need to hit the ground running as they go straight into the first team, this is different from previous years.

Oh my god we just finished 3rd! Sack the manager!

First of all I want to say I haven’t posted on here for the majority of the season as I was stupidly busy before Christmas and didn’t have the time. And when I did think about posting we were doing so well I didn’t want to jinx it. I’m a superstitious fool really…

Now I’m putting this post out there to try and put our achievement this season into perspective:
We finish 3rd. Not 4th like what we all probably would have said our realistic target would have been back in August. 3rd: Our best finish in the Premier League. Yes AVB got more points and finished 5th, so what? We finished 3rd this season on our merit and ability. Seeing as no pundit gave us a chance of top 4 at the beginning of the season it’s pretty impressive. And we would have been the “fairy tale story” of the season if it hadn’t been for the brilliant performance from Leicester.

Arsenal finishing above us has seemingly taken the gloss off the season for the majority of Spurs fans. If you’d said to me at the beginning of the season that we’d finish 3rd but behind Arsenal in 2nd only a point ahead of us I’d have bitten your hand off for it! Too many of us Spurs fans allow what Arsenal are doing define our season. Yes it would be nice if we were to succeed and they were to fail but hand on heart there is only two times a season that their result truly matters to me and that’s when we’re playing them.

Don’t get me wrong, Spurs’ collapse after the Stoke game has been disheartening and I’m gutted at what could have been but we just achieved our highest finish ever in the Premier League! I’m certainly not going to complain about that! It’s better than the football I grew up watching at Spurs that’s for sure!

Let’s hope that the awful performance yesterday against Newcastle proves to Levy that our squad needs strengthening and Pochettino is allowed to go out and get the players he wants! We have a young squad and if we can keep them together we could be on the cusp of a brilliant time with our beloved Tottenham Hotspur!

Poch Knew

He did. Poch knew the players had gone. Since the Southampton game we have heard how the teams mental state needs to improve and how finishing above the lot down the round is not important.


Well to the finishing position bit anyhow. They were simply trying to soften the blow that they saw coming.

Poch hails from Argentina, a football mad nation where some of the most intense rivalries are based. He knows that when no competitions are won then bragging rights are the next thing. He KNOWS that.

Saying that finishing above your local rivals is not important is the rational argument. It is the business argument. Perhaps for Poch and some of the players, this may be true. What does it matter where you finish if it is not as the winner and are not relegated? It doesn’t. What is the difference between second and third for the club? Money.

But football fans are not rational. Football lives off rivalries between teams. Fans live and breathe for these derbies and rivalries. For the fans it is important no matter how childish or ultimately insignificant it turns out to be. That is what hurts so much at the moment.

Kane is the spokesmen for the team because he is one of our own, we trust what he says. So he was rolled out to tell us to ‘look at the bigger picture’ in that we will be in the Champions League next year.

Too soon, we are still too raw. Champions League qualification was secured a few games ago. One of my criticisms of the modern player is that playing in the Champion League is the be all and end all, for some it even appears more important that actually winning something. More important than winning their domestic league. It should never be more important than your domestic league. I hope, by some divine intervention, that this is not true for our lot.

Finishing above them (and the rest of London) was all that mattered after missing out on the league and, in a season where Spursy was not supposed to apply to us, we did the most Spursy thing possible. Got hammered by an already relegated team that went down to 10 men when only a point was needed. They did the double over us no less. Haven’t conceded more than two or lost by more than a single goal in a league game all season but we manage it against Newcastle. They are a much better team under Benitez but not so good to win 5-1.

I really hope Poch meant it when he says it was his worst day in management.

The close season will be an interesting one, the first XI are pretty solid and is perhaps only really missing a trick in the final third. A player that will beat defenders and make space for himself with skill. Outside of that it is really backups that will be able to come in and perform when needed. Backups for Dembele, Dier and Kane are a must.

It was a good season for Spurs, I don’t think anyone denies that, there is an identity from the club and a connection with the squad that has not been seen or felt for a while. The squad is young and able to improve both playing wise and mentally, the achievement this season is still valid. I think we all agree that Poch and this squad are going forward and upwards.

But those last few games do leave a very, very bitter taste. Best way to resolve that will be to put the wrongs right from day one next season, roll on to the final season at the Lane…

Not since 1960

To win the league I think we will need to do something we have not done since the double winning side of 1960/61. That is the last time we won 9 league games on the bounce, it went on to be 11 league games on the trot that year so no chance of beating that this season but I think we really need the 9.

Winning the 9 would give us 82 points and assuming we still have a better goal difference than Leicester at that point, we would need them to lose one and draw one of their last 9. Only 6 times in premier league history has 82 or fewer points won the league and it has only happened once in the last 10 years (2010/11). The lowest winning points total was 75 (1996/97) and I would not be surprised if the winning total is close to that number this time around given the unpredictability of the season so far. If you extrapolate our current points per game over the remaining 9 then we end with 72 which only matches our best ever points total in the premier league (and we finished 5th that year).

Of course, all of that means very little as it is historical and definitely not related to Spurs in the Premier league (our average points haul in the Premier league is 56). So who is left for each and their positions:

Spurs Leicester Nomads Man City
Villa 20th (a) Newcastle 19th (h) West Brom 13th (h) Norwich 18th (a)
Bournemouth 14th (h) Crystal Palace 15th (a) Everton 11th (a) United 6th (h)
Liverpool 9th (a) Southampton 8th (h) Watford 12th (h) Bournemouth 14th (a)
United 6th (h) Sunderland 17th (a) West Ham 5th (a) West Brom 13th (h)
Stoke 7th (a) West Ham 5th (h) Crystal Palace 15th (h) Chelsea 10th (a)
West Brom 13th (h) Swansea 16th (h) Sunderland 17th (a) Stoke 7th (h)
Chelsea 10th (a) United 6th (a) Norwich 18th (h) Southampton 8th (a)
Southampton 8th (h) Everton 11th (h) City 4th (a) Nomads 3rd (h)
Newcastle 19th (a) Chelsea 10th (a) Villa 20th (h) Swansea 16th (a)
Newcastle 19th (a) – still to be rearranged

Couple of points about our fixtures – the three games of Liverpool, United and Stoke will determine whether we are in a title battle or Champions League battle and Chelsea will clearly have the ability to derail whatever we are in with a few games to go. West Brom at home is also one of those where they will have 11 men behind the ball at all times and it will be up to us to break them down. That all sounds a little depressing!

But having said all that, I think that the run in for all the teams looks pretty even. Leicester’s first six games though all look winnable given their form – it is the last three games that will trip them up.

I thought before the last two games we needed 4 points from 6 to have a very good chance to win the league. We are still in it but with 5 points to make up it will be difficult.

This season has been fun so far, there is no reason why it couldn’t still be a great season.

Quick word on yesterday’s derby

I was worried before the game because everyone was making it out that we were overwhelming favourites. I hated that because it’s a derby, anything goes. Also they were a wounded animal, completely bashed about in the media and losing their best goalkeeper and defender. If there was ever a time they would be more up for it, it was then.

Did the team look a little tired – it’s hard to say. When the pressing game is broken through our players need to turn round and then accelerate, that is always going to look laboured against a fast moving team already moving forward. The lack of quality final ball could also be a sign of mental fatigue – not concentrating enough on what they were doing but this could be put down to the occasion and atmosphere. That also includes the amount of poor first touches we saw during the game.

I think the team perhaps let up a little after taking the lead, even time wasting a little. I didn’t like that – they had ten men. Waste time by playing the ball around them, there was always a man free. But that could just be my perception as I wanted another goal to put the tie to bed.

I understand why Lamela was replaced (on a yellow) but surely Son would have been replacement that would have kept the pressing going. Mason coming on meant he went central with Eriksen moving wide and I don’t think our pressing game copes without the intensity players like Lamela and Alli bring. I am not saying Mason and Eriksen do not press, simply saying it is not as dogged as the others.

Finally, I think Kane has reverted to beginning of season Kane for me. A few too many shots from positions that were unreasonable. Two that spring to mind were volleys from inside the box but quite wide and tight angled (less than 6 yards from the touchline). In those situations it would have been better to retain and recycle or at least put back into the danger zone. Now his goal did come from a tight angle but not as tight as the volleys and also far fewer players in path between ball and goal – also he was completely in control of the ball for the goal. But Kane, like most of the team, are young and still learning – they should only get better.

Again that sounds pretty negative (and it is) but that is because it is easier to pick on bits you consider bad. It is also because I want better and know that this team are capable of much better!

Nine massive games left in the league and a massive cup tie against Dortmund – win that and we will, rightly, be favourites for the Europa League.

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Calm Down Dear, It’s Spurs…

So the transfer window slammed shut without us signing an out-and-out striker to cover for Kane/give him some competition. And while I’m disappointed that we didn’t get anyone in we have otherwise had a really good transfer window.

Yes it’s left us with only one striker (unless Adebayor somehow works his way back into the first team picture) but to play devil’s advocate, we played all of last season from November onwards with practically one striker.

Another point to “look on the bright side” is although N’Jie and Son are not “out-and-out” strikers; they do play in a forwards position, and can hopefully fill in if Kane needs resting/gets injured. And we saw that Chadli was being used there to some success in pre-season so he is another option. So if you count them three as forwards and put them with Kane we’ve got 4 attackers! (I am of course clutching at straws there)

On the other hand, why did we put all our eggs in the one basket? It seems that Levy had one target in Berahino and wasn’t going to look anywhere else. I find this shocking when we were having reported £25m offers rejected for a player who still has a lot to prove, when we could have gone across London and signed Charlie Austin for £10m less than that and have been in a better position. Granted Austin could have been a “one year wonder” and flopped but there’s nothing to say that Berahino would be a guaranteed success. Another option was possibly Javier Hernandez who signed for Bayer Leverkusen for reportedly only £7.3m! I know he would have wanted first team football but why didn’t we at least have a go at getting him?

But in my opinion, when you look at the players coming in compared to the players going out we’ve got a younger, hungrier squad than before. I’ll list them below and you can then make your own mind up as to whether it’s a marked improvement:


Toby Alderweireld

Clinton N’Jie

Heung-Min Son

Kieran Trippier

Kevin Wimmer


Etienne Capoue

Cristian Ceballos

Vlad Chiriches

Younes Kaboul

Aaron Lennon


Roberto Soldado

Benjamin Stambouli

Lewis Holtby


When you look at the players we got rid of, we’ve got rid of mistake making/lazy players (apart from Aaron Lennon, Lewis Holtby, the unproven Ceballos so he doesn’t count, and Soldado who wasn’t lazy and didn’t make mistakes as it were, but missed his chances) and we’ve brought in what seems to be hungry players.

Yes we could have also done with an actual Defensive Midfielder but so far Dier is doing a decent job there and we’ve still got Bentaleb who can play that role as well.

This transfer window for me would get a mark of 7.5/10. It would have been higher if we’d signed that elusive “out-and-out” Striker and Defensive Midfielder, and if we’d got rid of all the deadwood (I’m looking at Adebayor and Fazio… and possibly Lamela).

The problem comes for me is IF we had signed the managers original targets when he wanted them, we wouldn’t have ended up with as much deadwood. When you look at who we wanted the past few years (Joao Moutinho & Morgan Schneiderlin) and who we got in their place (Etienne Capoue and Benjamin Stambouli) is there any wonder why we’ve struggled to get to where we want to be? The blame for that has to go to Levy and Baldini, not the manager(s).

Let’s hope that we have a squad who can work and gel together, and get us where we want to be. OR we can just wait until next summer, when Levy/Baldini can let us down again and we’ll be having this same conversation, again!


Pace is not the be all and end all

Now before I start, I can clearly see like everyone else that Spurs’ attack is lacking genuine pace. My point, which I will hopefully get across in the blog, is that pace alone may not suddenly fix everything that has made the start to the season feel a little damp squib.

So why do we want pace? With pace you can stretch the opposition in behind, getting the opposition to turn around and face their own goal. We clearly lack this with our current attacking options, well at least in those that Poch is willing to select.

We do have a couple of wingers on the books that do (or at least did) have genuine pace, Townsend and Lennon. Both of which have had plenty of abuse thrown their way because, despite their pace, they rarely (or at least are perceived to rarely) have an end product. So for pace to work there needs to be an end product involved as well. So what other options are there along with pace that will help us break the opposition down and recreate the Spurs way of playing?


This one is always linked with passing. Yes Spurs have made a load of successful passes so far this year but if they are all in front of two banks of four opposition players then what is the point? The keep ball or tiki taka football that is currently en vogue is primarily designed to wear the opposition down (along with the point that if you have the ball then the opposition cannot score). However if all you are doing is passing the ball in front of the opposition then all they need to do is shuffle left and right as needed, not really tiring for the elite professionals.

So this is where movement comes in, you need your players to be able to move to find the space. Not simply come deep to receive the ball but find space in advanced positions that will result in the opposition having to work hard to prevent an attack. Do the attacking three behind the striker really have the level of movement required currently?

Many of you will now be saying that teams set up against us to restrict space. That is true but good movers will still find space. Also pace is generally nullified by the same concept i.e. restrict space. Now many of you will probably be saying that pace will help on counter attacks and again this is true. But unfortunately for Spurs, we are still a massive scalp to the majority of the league – as such many teams will set up against us to try and avoid being beaten which would generally mean being open to a counter attack is pretty rarely.


Being able to beat the man in front of you. Honestly, who in the players that have played so far this season have you looked at and said ‘he is going to beat the opposition here with a bit of skill’? It doesn’t have to leave the opposition on their backside but create that half a yard so they can do something useful with it.

Again it is about end product after beating the man because Dembele pretty much beats people for fun but then appears to not know what to do next. Yes if we have a tricky player the opposition would double up on them but that means there must be someone unmarked and this is where movement comes in to ensure that it is in an advanced position.

You need all four attributes in the attack

Yes there is four: pace, movement and trickery which have all been mentioned but also, and arguably the most important of all, an end product. With no end product then the advantage gained from the other three is nullified almost immediately.

If you look at City who are probably the best attacking team so far this season, they have all three in their attacking players. By attacking players I mean players who are there to score and create goals – yes they will and do defend but defending is not the priority. So far this season this has been Aguero, Silva, Sterling and Navas – clearly there is plenty of movement, pace and trickery there all combined with end product (ok you could argue that perhaps Navas and potentially Sterling may lack an end product enough of the time).

Now clearly we do not have the funds to spend £50 mil on a player but the players individually do not need all three, probably only two in reality to be able to really compete but even if you do one exceptionally well it will make a difference. The caveat is that it needs to be combined with an end product. All four in one player leads to a Messi or Ronaldo I suppose…

Now there are other issues as well at Spurs such as the lack of a specialist defensive midfielder, the individual mistakes being made and is Kane really an out and out striker but this article was purely based on the impression I was getting that pace is the ONLY missing ingredient in Spurs’ attack.

So to come back to the question that I suppose I am postulating. Is the glaring lack of pace in Spurs’ attack potentially hiding other flaws also present in the attack?

I fear it may – but perhaps not to the extent that this article has come across as. How very ‘sit on the fence of me’! I hope pace is the missing factor and that my fears are misplaced, it is early doors so there is plenty of time for me to be proved wrong.

Let us know what you think…

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We need a striker

I watched the Audi Cup 3rd place game and was a little shocked that Chadli played as our main striker. Now don’t get me wrong Chadli can play in that position IF we need him to, but we shouldn’t have to rely on him to.

What it did tell us is that Adebayor and Soldado are all but gone from the team (for the right deal of course) and Pochettino doesn’t trust any of our young strikers from the developmental squad to be good enough (yet) to play as deputy to Harry Kane. This means we will have to buy a striker or two. I’ve come up with my own list of players I would like to see us at least try to sign. I’ve gone for Premier League experience over reputation as we don’t need to blow another £26m on a striker who should have been brilliant but ended up being a let-down.


Charlie Austin (QPR)

The second highest scoring Englishman last season in the Premier League (behind you know who) should be an obvious choice for us, and surprisingly I’ve only heard us linked with him today! Austin scored 18 goals for QPR last season… 18 goals for the Premier League’s worst team. Just imagine the potential he would have with a better team around him! Another reason why I think we should go for Austin is because both he and Kane would help each other out by taking pressure off the other in both their second seasons in the Premier League. The reported £15m price tag isn’t too bad when you look at what English talent is going for in today’s market.

Saido Berahino (West Brom)

Young, tricky and pacey, Berahino is everything Harry Kane isn’t in his style of play. Both are undeniably talented and would both complement each other. One thing that goes against Berahino is the apparent, media reported attitude problems. But if he’s happy scoring goals I don’t see that being a problem unless he doesn’t want to play second fiddle to the HurriKane.

Javier Hernández (Manchester United)

He wants out, we need a striker. He knows where the goal is and (apart from Kane) our strikers don’t. Match made in heaven? Biggest problem to this is again he would not want to sit on the bench at Spurs playing no2 to Kane. As a professional footballer he’ll get more out of sitting on Manchester United’s bench with them in the Champions League than he would sat on our bench and probably only getting started in the Europa League

Dimitar Berbatov (free agent)

Yes it looks as though he is about to sign for Villa but he could be lured into “coming home”? We’ve seen it happen before (Teddy, Keane, Defoe) so why can’t Berba be added to that list? Give him a one year deal with the option of another if he scores say 15 goals and we’ll have go good number 2 for Kane to mentor…


Like I said I’ve only picked a few options that have Premier League experience. If you can think of anyone like this who I have missed out please leave a comment at let me know!


The New Season is here! YAAY!

So we’ve had our summer break, and the season starts this weekend against Manchester United at Old Trafford. We could have had easier starts but it also could be a lot worse.

This isn’t a match preview post so I’ll get on with my actual point of how I feel we will do this season and what my take on our transfer activity is.

Let’s start with the transfers:

We’ve seen a few players leave and only a handful come in (so far) and it’s got many people on different forums worried that we’re leaving ourselves short changed. As much as we do need to bolster our squad I don’t think the situation is a bad as some think. Out of the players who have left, how many of them were regularly getting into our match day squads last season? The only one that I can think of is Paulinhio. None of the others were getting a look in. Whether that was the right or wrong thing is neither here nor there as it was Pochettino’s decision to not use those players. Yes we’ve seen 3 Central Midfielders leave but it’s not like we’re scraping the barrel for replacements. And we all know how much Levy likes signing CM’s so there’s every possibility that there will be at least one like-for-like replacement before the end of the window.
Both Kaboul and Chiricheș have left but have been replaced by Alderweireld and Wimmer. We’ve also brought in Trippier so our defence is in a better condition that it was last season.
My main worry is that we only have on reliable striker. Kane will need competition and also someone to take some of the pressure off his young shoulders. With Adebayor almost out the door (although I did just read that the Villa deal is off…) and Soldado not looking much more secure in his place at Spurs, we will need to see a striker brought in before the end of the window. We all remember how much fun it was last time we had only one recognised/trusted striker in the first team…

How I think we will do this season:

We’re in the process of streamlining the team, cutting off the fat so to say but it’s not taking away from the quality that was already there. I don’t see any reason as to why we won’t be challenging for the top 4 again this year. Pochettino is getting rid of the dead wood and making a fresh bright team who want to push on. We’ve got some brilliant young talent just waiting to be let loose and IF it goes well for them we could be in for a very good season.
With bringing in 3 defenders it shows that Pochettino knows where our biggest weakness was last year and he’s going about to rectify it. If the Alderweireld Vertonghen partnership works we could be looking at one of the best in the league. Coupled with Walker now having some real competition at Right Back in Tripper and Yeddlin and Rose being kept on his toes by Davies, we could have a Spurs back 4 that is actually quite reliable (I can’t remember the last time I could say that without my tongue firmly in my cheek…)
My first team line up (with a fully fit squad) would be this:

15-16 lineup

To round up I think our best possible achievement this season would obviously be to qualify for the Champions League. But I’ve got a feeling it’ll be another case of “so near yet so far” for Champions League football. I am hoping that we will win a domestic cup (the F.A Cup if I’m being picky) and finish 5th (or higher…)
Let’s get behind the team regardless and let them know they are playing for the mighty Spurs! Tottenham Hotspur season Review 2014/15

So the season is up, the final whistle has been blown, the last ball has been kicked. But how did our beloved Lilywhites do? Well here is my review of the season:

Highlight of the Season

Beating the champions elect 5-3. This just pipped beating Arsenal at the Lane for me because we’ve beaten Arsenal on a semi regular basis the last few years, where as beating Chelsea hasn’t come as regularly as we’d have liked. But beating them by 5 goals to 3? That never bloody happens!

Low point of the season

There was a few “meh” moments this season but the most disappointing for me was the 3-0 loss to Stoke a few weeks back (although their thumping of Liverpool made our result seem better than it was). A team that is apparently pushing for Champions League football should be doing better against Stoke. That’s no disrespect to Stoke, who have come on leaps and bounds under Mark Hughes. But IF we are to be where we want to be we should be doing better in these games.

Player of the Season

There’s only one choice here isn’t there? Not really. I AM going to give it to Harry Kane but a massive honourable mention goes to Danny Rose, who has been outstanding this season!
So it does go to Harry Kane. 31 goals in all competitions with 21 in the league, It’s nuts to think his first start in the league didn’t come until November. I’m looking forward to seeing him play from the off next year, but I’m not expecting him to hit the ground running as he’s playing in the summers u21 championships and will probably be a bit tired already.

Disappointment of the Season

Bloody hell I’m making this hard for myself. Soldado? Capoue? Kaboul? Paulinho? Adebayor? I’m sure I’ve missed a few but you get the picture. My disappointment of the season is Roberto Soldado. How someone who was only out scored by Messi and Ronaldo in La Liga has gone to a goal shy goalscorer is beyond me. Don’t get me wrong Soldado does try and you can make an argument for him being unlucky as well, but overall he has been a massive disappointment. The biggest thing we have to thank him for is the fact that IF he was scoring goals Harry Kane wouldn’t have been given his chance.

How did the manager do?

Pochettino has done a good job in his first season. We got to a cup final and played some good football once he had worked out which players fitted into his plan and which didn’t. Our form dipped towards the end of the season, but whether that was down to Pochettino’s tactics or the fact our players where shattered due to him not trusting half of our squad will only be proved one way of another once he is given a full season with a squad that he is 100% happy with.

A quick round up

5th place and a cup final. We never seemed to get out of 3rd gear in the league but we had some massive results to savour (5-3 vs Chelsea and 2-1 against Arsenal spring to mind). The cup final was a nice peak but to fall at the final hurdle was heartbreaking. It was a season of “what if” but ultimately a season of standing still. There’s plenty to keep us looking forward rather than back (young homegrown talent flooding the first team is brilliant in my books). Hopefully Pochettino gets the backing he needs in the transfer market to get the players he wants rather than cheap knockoffs, and maybe we might be onto something exciting in the next few years.