Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Are Hamburg finding the key to Holtby

Lewis Holtby arranged a free transfer to Tottenham who then paid £1.5 million to secure him early, 28th January 2013, from German side Schalke 04.

Are Hamburg finding the key to Holtby

He signed a four-and-a-half-year deal and just 2 days later made his Tottenham debut. He immediately endeared himself to Spurs fans with his passion and work ethic. However his career never progressed and a series of managers have determined that work without an end product wasn't good enough.

Under Mauricio Pochettino he had again displayed that work ethic and looked as if this season he would be the understudy to Erik Lamela, however Holtby wanted to be laying regular first-team football and Tottenham needed to offload some non-home grown players.

Therefore on 1st September he went on loan to Hamburger SV with the option to buy after a season. The Bundesliga season hasn't started well for him however with Hamburger SV sitting at the bottom of the table after 6 matches on only 2 points. They haven't won a game yet and have scored only 1 goal all season.

Results have been so bad the manager who took him to Hamburg, Mirko Slomka, has been dismissed and Joe Zinnbauer has taken his place. That is the sixth manager Holtby has had since January 2013, Andre Villas-Boas, Tim Sherwood, Felix Magath (Fulham), Mauricio Pochettino, Mirko Slomka and Joe Zinnbauer.

Zinnbauer immediately moved Holtby into the number 10 role and the 24-year-old is now starting to get talked about in the German media for his performances. He was their best player in the 0-0 draw with giants Bayern Munich and in the latest 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. The Hamburger SV goal, their first of the season after they had secured the unwanted Bundesliga record for the longest period at the start of a season without scoring 507 minutes, was laid on by Holtby.

Prior to his assist he had rounded the keeper at the start of the second half only to hit the side netting from a tight angle before then playing in Nicolai Müller to give the 47,000 fans something to cheer about at last.

The pess report he has brought not only his work ethic but an invention to the role. It's a role many fans fans were suggesting he should have been playing at Tottenham, it's early days but suggestions are that Holtby is starting to look like the player we were keen to get hold of again.

U21 Vine, Table, Image, Teams, Result & Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur U21's took on Manchester United in the Barclays U21 Premier League on Monday under the watchful eye of Mauricio Pochettino and his Spanish number two Jesús Pérez.

We're sitting with the boss

Tottenham U21's now play all their home ties at Stevenage in a football stadium instead of a training ground so every game helps the players adjust to a football sitting, helps them get used to travelling to a match, it makes each game more of an occasion and increases the potential number of fans watching.

Tottenham lost the game 2-1 after being 0-0 for all but the final 4 minutes. An Adnan Januzaj free-kick put United ahead before Nathan Oduwa equalised. There was still enough injury time however for Tom Thorpe to head home the winner for United.

U21 Premier League Table - National Group


Manchester United: Lindegaard; Janko, Thorpe, Vermijl, C. Evans; Pearson, A. Pereira, Harrop (Rothwell 45+1); Januzaj; Wilson (Grimshaw 46), W. Keane.

Subs: Grimshaw, O’Hara, Rothwell, Weir, Tuanzebe.

Manager: Warren Joyce

Tottenham Hotspur: McGee; McQueen, Ball, Veljkovic, Ogilvie (Lesniak 46); Sonupe (Miller 59), Winks, Onomah, Oduwa; Ceballos; Akindayini (Lameiras 77).

Subs: Voss (GK), Miller, Lesniak, Lameiras.

Manager: Ugo Ehiogu

Monday, 29 September 2014

Pochettino dealing in bargains

The Daily Mirror tell us that Tottenham are considering a bid for another Valencia striker, having bought an expensive one who has failed to live up to expectations.

Pochettino dealing in bargains

They tell us we have scouts watching Paco Alcacer despite the 21-year-old having no Premier League experience. It is common knowledge we have been looking for a striker with proven Premier League experience, but inflated transfer fees and an injury to number one choice Jay Rodriguez make that difficult.

The Mirror say Pochettino is having the Spaniard watched because we missed out of Danny Welbeck, although after the weekend the words miss and Welbeck have appeared in an increasing number of sentences. Welbeck wanted a permanent transfer and Tottenham wanted a loan deal this summer so there was never any chance of his coming to Tottenham really and he remains a player who flatters to deceive.

The Mirror claim, but don't tell us how they know, that Pochettino is a 'huge personal fan' of Alcacer and that he could be a bargain. Bargains do seem to be his stock in trade at the moment, Federico Fazio, Eric Dier, Benjamin Stambouli, DeAndre Yedlin, Michel Vorm were all cheap purchases. The Mirror go on to tell us that Pochettino is unconvinced by Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado which probably means the reporter is unconvinced by them without knowing how Pochettino feels at all.

A manager would not tell the media he was unconvinced by players he has to play for the next three or four months, that would be simply shooting yourself in the foot. Many a player hearing now he is not wanted would down tools, although some fans would say Adebayor has done that already. At the moment Alcacer is not signing a new contract but this may just be a case of a newspaper putting two and two together to make five.

He has 4 goals in 6 games with 3 assists to his name this term and he is already a goalscoring international with 1 goal in 2 appearances for Spain. Transfermarkt value him at £10.56 million ($17.17m - €13.50m) and he has a contract at Valencia until 2016 meaning next summer he will enter the last year of his contract, usually the time when a player is sold if he hasn't tied himself to a new deal.

In the 2013/14 season he scored 6 goals and had 2 assists in 23 appearances over 1,533 minutes, the equivalent of 17.03 full games. In total he scored 14 goals in 37 games, 7 of those came in 11 Europa League games. He played 2,387 minutes in total the equivalent of 26.50 full games.

Martinez on the radar again

Tottenham are being linked with a winter transfer window move for prolific striker Jackson Martinez, however the time to buy him was probably the window just gone.

Martinez on the radar again

Of course to buy a striker we have to offload a striker, remember we don't have any spaces available for a non-home grown player in the squad, we are only allowed 17.

The Porto hit man has a £35 million ($56.80m - €44.81m) release clause in his contract and bids this summer didn't reach high enough for Porto who would have been happy to sell had bids reached an acceptable level. The Colombian has a contract until 2017 and as well as playing as a centre-forward can also play the wider roles.

Transfermarkt suggest the 27-year-olds current valuation has flat lined at £26.40 million ($42.89m - €33.80m). This season he has scored 7 goals in 8 games, 5 in 5 in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, 1 in 1 UEFA Champions League qualifying games and 1 in 1 Champions League group games.

He joined Porto from Mexican side Jaguares for £7.74 million ($12.58m - €9.91m) in 2012, when we were also linked with him and Martinez has scored 67 goals in 99 appearances for them. He has only had 5 assists in that time and has also scored 9 goals in 30 international games for Colombia.

His Italian agent, Giovanni Fiore, revealed before the window opened that there was strong interest in his player from both Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Arsenal were also thought to be considering a move.

"I can confirm that there's a strong interest from Barcelona. They are not the only Spanish team keeping tabs on him, though. There's an important team from Madrid as well. Additionally, there is serious interest from a big Italian team, and a few other clubs have enquired about his availability, too. 
"Porto might study any offers they get, but we're talking about big bids here given the player's importance to the club."

Given that he has started this season in fine goalscoring style again his valuation will not be going the way of Roberto Soldado's.

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