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Sunday, 19 August 2018

£123m and £0m sit Top of the Table

£123m and £0m sit Top of the Table

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2 but quite frankly neither side looked anything special. That isn't a surprise given they both have new managers and thus will be getting used to the systems they are playing.

Tottenham and Chelsea have both win 2 games and sit top on 6 points each, Chelsea, who spent £123m in the summer, have scored 6 goals and conceded 2, Spurs have scored 5 goals and also conceded 2.

Down at the other end, West Ham United once again sit at the foot of the table with no points, having spent £94m.

Fulham are one place above them in 19th also with no points and who also spend £100m.

In 18th sit Huddersfield Town who play Manchester City away today, they spent £44m and above them in 17th with no points from two games are Arsenal who spent £71m.

Manchester United play Brighton & Hove Albion away, Burnley play at home against Watford, while on Monday Crystal Palace host Liverpool.


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Saturday, 18 August 2018

Players are employed to train, not to play

Players Are Employed To Train, Not To Play

The latest article from the Daily Mirror quoting Mauricio Pochettino is very revealing. What did he say?

“I am very grateful to the club, to the fans and to Daniel. When you are in a difficult situation, this is the moment when you need to show that you are there. 
“It is easy when everything is good to be there but, when the winter is coming, it’s easy to run away. 
“I want to be there in the frontline ­fighting and trying to compete with all the ­circumstances that, today, are in the club. 
“I feel the responsibility to be here and that is why I am here. 
“I am happy and think ­Tottenham gave us a lot of things that we will always be grateful for. So it was a moment to say, ‘We are going to be with you all, fighting in these circumstances’ – we knew what was going to happen. 
“I feel the ­responsibility to be here. That’s why I am here, but also because I am happy. 
“Tottenham gave us a lot of things – my family, assistant Jesus Perez, everyone – when we ­arrived here four years ago. 
“We will always be grateful. It was a moment to say that I will be with you all, fighting.”

Regular readers will recall this recent article:
Pochettino Doesn't Think Like A Fan, He Has A Winning Mentality

The anti-Levy haters think Pochettino thinks like them, some were saying he'll resign. Their hatred is clouding their judgement.

From the day he arrived, I have been shouting this is a man of loyalty, it's one reason why we employed him. He left Southampton because a new chairman came in and changed the project. Look at where they are now, from being a team challenging the top six, from being the next Everton.

Pochettino knows the problems, the constraints at Tottenham, knows everything doesn't run smooth, knows to take us from where we were to where we want to be, there will be difficult moments and hurdles to overcome.

A winning mentality is not put off by hurdles, they don't moan and groan about them, they look for solutions, they find a way. Indeed a manager in any business should know where to go to get the information he doesn't have and implement it. Who you know not what you know.

Daniel Levy sought out and appointed Mauricio Pochettino because he had answers on the field, rather than chequebook answers. Tottenham doesn't yet have the chequebook.

The club are in a difficult situation he says and points out this is no time to run away, which he could easily have done for a chequebook at Real Madrid.

He was handed the task of building the playing side of Tottenham while Daniel Levy builds the business. He has got rid of the wrong mentalities and the deadwood and changed the mindset to a positive one, through the use of hungry youngsters and a set, though flexible, playing system,

That task is nowhere near completed.

He isn't going to get an opportunity to build a club in this manner again probably, very few managers actually get the chance to stay at a club as long as Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger.

Some players, if they are not the first choice, sulk which means they can't produce their best, but if they are sulking on the training ground then they are not going to get picked anyway.

Some rant or try to lay the law down to the manager, which means they are not channelling their energies in the right direction so are not going to get picked. Some will sit down and have a quiet word, seeking advice on what areas of their game they need to work on, while others will give it 100% in training to show the manager they should be playing and they are ready to play.

The latter group are the group with the greatest chance of playing.

Mauricio Pochettino only wants people who are 100% committed to what he is doing at Tottenham and if you are not totally behind him and his methods then you can leave the club, whoever you are.

Vincent Janssen, Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose and three such players. Daniel Levy isn't going to simply just give them away though, he is still going to demand his pound of flesh because that is what is best for Tottenham.


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Moura puts pressure on Lamela

Moura puts pressure on Lamela

Lucas Moura has added lively pace and trickery to Tottenham's attack

Spurs 3 Fulham 1

The first half against Fulham was virtually all Tottenham and we passed the ball around well. However, there was the Achilles heel again when we simply were not clinical enough.

Lucas Moura missed an open goal after 6 minutes and then a heavy touch when through and with a one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper.

It took a superb left-footed curling effort from 18 yards in the 41st minute to put us in front. Until then we hadn't given their keeper enough to do.

Erik Lamela now has a problem because that Lucas Moura strike is what we should be seeing from him when he is on the right, but it is rare. It is fine looking good, but we need end product on a more consistent basis.

He now has strong competition for a place in the starting line-up.

Over on the other side, Dele Alli has had two impressive games coming from the left-hand side.

You would say that Alli, Eriksen and Moura are currently the first choice three behind Kane, but Son still has to come back as well.

In the first 15minutes of the second half Eric Dier had four Fulham men to deal with on his own at some stages and we conceded before we made the change after 62 minutes, bringing Dembele on.

From then Tottenham regained control and a succession of chances went begging.

How did Erik Lamela respond when he was brought on for Davinson Sanchez?

Fulham were attacking, Dele Alli challenged, the ball was played in space to Lamela and he ran at the heart of the defence drawing players to him. That gave and Harry Kane space on the left-hand side of the penalty box.

Lamela played the ball to Kane just before the tackles came in, Kane cut back onto his right foot and calmly slotted home to make it 3-1.

Prior to that Kieran Trippier had emulated his England free-kick at the World Cup and scored our first goal direct from a free-kick for a couple of years.

Lamela himself had a couple of chances to score but the keeper was equal and he was kept out.

Two games, two wins.


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Is the Danny Rose story true?

Is the Danny Rose story true?

It seems a strange fee for Danny Rose being reported

Over on Twitter, @ParisUnited6 have reported that Tottenham Hotspur have set an obligatory £22.44 million (€25m) fee for England left-back Danny Rose.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is said to want a transfer or a season-long loan with an option to purchase after Mauricio Pochettino decided he is not totally committed to the Spurs project and can thus leave.

Rose was considering leaving the club before Pochettino arrived and the Argentinian told him he would turn him into an international left-back, which he did. He improved Rose's game immensely, but in no time at all, it seems the 28-year-old (29 next July) wants to go again.

I pointed out last season that his mentality was all wrong and sure enough, he subsequently came out in the press and talked about depression. It explained his going through the motions performances and the patient Ben Davies was the beneficiary, stepping into his shoes as our number one left-back.

The suggestion is that with the move has been given the go-ahead by the Sports Director of PSG Antero Henrique and his right-hand man Luis Ferrer.

Now if Daniel Levy was demanding at least £70 million (€78m) for Toby Alderweireld, sold Kyle Walker for £50 million (€55.71m), is asking £22.44 million (€25m) for Mousa Dembele with just one year left on his contract and quite rightly demands top prices for players, why would he let Danny Rose go for a pittance in today's market, just £22.44 million (€25m)?

He is under contract until 2021.

Aston Villa wanted £40 million (€44.57m) for just a Championship player!

Rose joined Spurs in 2007 from Leeds United for £1 million (€1.11m) and there is a 10% sell-on profit clause meaning Leeds United would get £2.14 million (€2.38m) from this sale reducing our element to £20.3 million (€22.62m).

It just doesn't sound Daniel Levy like.

Is Rose that much of an unsettling influence?

Are Spurs deciding he has given valued service and are pricing him so that he can get a move?

Does Mauricio Pochettino want him gone at all coats this summer?

Is the story true?

If we sell him then that is one less non-homegrown player we can name in our UEFA Champions League squad, it seems very strange that all the talk should be about him now.

Surely if we had decided to sell him there would have been a lot more in the press to keep his name in the frame earlier in the window.

If the story is true you have to wonder what he has said behind the scenes and whether he has waited until our window has shut so that time constraints would mean his price drops?

The issue raises so many questions we don't have the answers to.

It sounds to me that the French are feeding the press the figure they would like to pay rather than the one being asked for.

I'm very sceptical of this.


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25 players, 40/50 staff, fans, board, all together working for one objective!

25 players, 40/50 staff, fans, board, all together working for one objective!

"The only way to success is if we are 25 players, 40/50 staff, fans, board, all together working for one objective, to win games. I am so open to fix problems, I don't want anyone upset, not happy. 

"It's so clear the rules, it's so clear my message, I promise I will fix it if someone is not happy to be here for the next five months until the transfer window opens again. 

"All players that are going to be here need to feel part of the team can help the team anytime the manager will demand. And full commitment.

There are quite a few fans who need to take on board that message.

"The only way to success is if we are 25 players, 40/50 staff, fans, board, all together working for one objective, to win games."

Twitter full of abuse, daft ideas of stadium walkouts, the agenda-driven blame game being played, so the players, not at their best, simply go out and beat Newcastle to record three points and a good start to the season.

Now is the time for everyone to be on the same page, to get behind the team, stop the moaning nonsense and create a positive atmosphere around our club.

Erik Lamela and Harry Winks revealed on their Instagram accounts that they were back training with the squad and that has been confirmed by Pochettino who also says Josh Onomah is also training, although is behind the others in his preparation.

I was surprised nobody asked at the press conference how Lucas Moura was, he had an ice pack on his inner thigh when he was substituted against Newcastle. It was a precaution but I would have thought it would have been worth finding out.

As it was, one presumes he comes under the 'all are fit' banner, even if they are not match fit. They have to think they are fit doesn't really tell us much. 

Dier is over his cramp as you would expect and Moura is over the groin issue.

Cameron Carter-Vickers and Juan Foyth are both still out and Son Heung-min has departed for the Asian Games. Victor Wanyama was going gym work earlier in the week so remains out too.

My XI against Fulham:

I would expect Dembele to be removed for Sissoko after 60 minutes or if Sissoko plays, Dembele to come on, but not before the hour mark.


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Friday, 17 August 2018

Pochettino demands the right mindset

Mauricio Pochettino demands the right mindset from Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose

Alderweireld and Rose could leave Spurs

While the press are talking about Tottenham being happy to release Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Fernando Llorente before the European transfer window shuts, he has actually told them to knuckle down and show the right mindset.
He wants each player to realise that they haven't left and that they, therefore, must show 100% commitment to the club regardless of what has happened in the past. Not all players do that, 
Saido Berahino being just one instance, an instance that quite frankly ruined his career. He is now a striker in the Championship for Stoke City.
Pochettino told the media, as reported in the Daily Mail.
"If we have all the squad thinking as individuals rather than as a collective, you cannot succeed. That is the key this season.
"It is human nature that you always look after yourself. But once you cannot change anything, then you need to change your mindset and think about the team.
"I am the boss and if I expect from you to do something, then you need to provide it. You need to show your commitment, from the pitch, from the bench, sometimes from outside. That's what being professional means."
Mousa Dembele is having to be managed as he can not handle a full season now. His fitness problems have slowly got worse, it's why Harry Winks used to replace him regularly until his own injury.
Tottenham are grateful for the service he has shown the club and will not stand in the way of a final payday for him. In the meantime his game time will be carefully controlled, perhaps he will be saved to start against Manchester United and Liverpool and the much-maligned Mousa Sissoko will start against Fulham instead.
We'll see.


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Spurs vs Fulham

Spurs vs Fulham


Tottenham take on Fulham at Wembley on Saturday afternoon and the newly promoted side are somewhat of an unknown quantity.

Encouragingly, Spurs are on a run of 18 consecutive home Premier League victories against newly promoted sides. We have conceded just once in our last nine of these fixtures and just seven in the 18 games.
Fulham are the first promoted side to have spent in excess of £100m after promotion, but that didn't help them on the first weekend when they lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace after winning only one of their six pre-season fixtures, that being against Crawley Town.

They failed to score in four of those games, Reading 0-0 (neutral venue), Fenerbache 0-3 (neutral venue), Lyon 0-4 (neutral venue), Sampdoria 0-1 (neutral venue). They finished pre-season off with a 2-2 draw against Spanish side Celta Vigo at Craven Cottage.

Jeffrey Schlupp 41 mins and Wilfried Zaha 79 mins scored the goals to sink Fulham in their first game back in the Premier League since the 2013/14 season.

Fulham won the English Football League Championship play-off Final against Aston Villa to return to the Premier League on 26 May 2018, after securing their first ever win at Wembley in their 139 year history.

Thir own match report suggested to their fans that they matched Palace and that the scoreline was not a true reflection of the game, a game which saw six new faces for them.

Fulham Line-up: Fabri; Christie, Chambers, Le Marchand, Bryan (Vietto 71'); Cairney, McDonald, Seri (Johansen 82'); Schürrle (Kamara 61'), Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon

Unused substitutes: Rico, Fosu-Mensah, Kebano, Cissé

Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic

Former Tottenham boss Martin Jol spent over two seasons as their manager, Clint Dempsey and Dimitar Berbatov both being their top scorers after he took over from Mark Hughes, who had replaced Roy Hodgson.

Fulham had been a regular in the Premier League since 2001/02. That year Steed Malbranque was their joint top scorer with 8 goals, he was top scorer the following season with 6 goals and Louis Saha netted 13 in 2003/04.

Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, Mousa Dembélé, Alan Mullery, Scott Parker is one of their first-team coaches, there are quite a few links between the two clubs.

What will Fulham's tactics be?

They beat Newcastle United 3-1 last season. Rafa Benitez has his sides very well organised defensively and are set up to press in several areas. Fulham's solution was the same solution Newcastle used against us, in fact, the solution many teams, including Liverpool, used against us, to switch play quickly with one pass.

If we are pressing towards a touchline then the players are drawn over and thus a winger or full-back who hugs the touchline on the opposite side is always a get out ball.

Their other tactic is to try and pass between the lines dragging the opposition backwards and forwards side to side until they find a hole to play someone in between the defenders.

They have a bull in a china shop centre-forward in Serbian Aleksandar Mitrovic so crosses mixed with aerial bombardment also play a part in their game.

The game on Saturday sees a settled Tottenham squad face a newly assembled squad trying to come to grips with the manager's requirements and thus you would expect nothing more than a Spurs victory.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

From castigating Levy to eulogising Pochettino

From castigating Levy to eulogising Pochettino

Both Levy and Pochettino are disappointed by the stadium delay.

There is a love in going on at the moment with Spurs fans and Mauricio Pochettino.

For one set of fans, every little problem is the fault of Daniel Levy and not Mauricio Pochettino. Take the transfer window.

It was pretty obvious that we were only interested in our top targets during the window and not in 3rd/4th/5th choices, yet fans were screaming for a signing, any signing.

Who is blamed, Daniel Levy, not the man who has told Levy not to buy anyone other than his top targets, which clubs simply didn't want to release to us.

A little bit of understanding goes a long way.

The club are not stupid. They let Mauricio Pochettino tell the media club messages, like the latest one over the stadium delays.

The usual section blames Levy when the constructors we employed to manage the project, MACE, are the ones responsible for the delay.

"We all feel disappointed of course with the announcement from the club this week. I feel so sorry for myself first of all, for our fans, the players, everyone, and of course for our chairman. 
"He tried with the board and everyone who is involved with building the new stadium to arrive on time. It’s been a massive effort. 
"We feel it every day, that effort. That we cannot deliver for the Liverpool game is massively disappointing for everyone. I understand that. But the first to be disappointed is Daniel [Levy]. 
"Our job is to try to help, to be positive, to adapt ourselves in the moment that we are going to play in our stadium. But now we’re still going to play a few games more – Liverpool and Cardiff, that is sure. 
"We hope we can finish all the work in that moment and start to play in our new home. If it’s not possible I think we’re going to try to give our best to try in the end to win games, to show good performance, being positive. 
“We need to be all together. My message last week was that message. We need our fans to understand that it’s a massive, huge project that will be [there] forever for them and the club. If it’s not possible for different things that it not in our hands, the most important thing is to be positive. 
"Of course I understand the problems about the tickets, the money and everything, and I feel sorry for them. I want to say thank you and apologise. We’re going to try to reward them by winning games. It’s the only way we can add and can pay all the effort they are doing and they are going to do for the club."

Some are eulogising him over these comments, but what did they expect him to say. He will have had a word with the Spurs PR team and the message to be put across in this weeks press conference.

He has said what I would have expected him to say, expected any manager to say in the same situation quite frankly.

Nice to hear it but let's not go overboard. It seems to be one extreme or the other at the moment with our fans.

We remain positive is his overriding message, my overriding stance and message this summer too.


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What's the real Issue With Vincent Janssen

What's The Real Issue With Vincent Janssen

Fotospor are suggesting that Vincent Janssen wants to join Turkish side Galatasaray, who are based in Istanbul.

This summer Janssen has been linked with three Turkish Super Lig sides, Fenerbache, Besiktas and now Galatasaray.

He has been relieved of the number 9 shirt.

He didn't go on the USA tour to play in the International Champions Cup, which we won.

There are no pictures of him training with Spurs even though he has been.

It seems rather strange. There must be a reason beyond that he is for sale I would have thought.

Why is he being frozen out?

It does beg the question, is he the one turning down offers made to him and not Tottenham or the clubs interested like Fenerbache being responsible?

Is he another who doesn't want to take a drop in wages like Emmanual Adebayor, whom we simply couldn't shift and ended up sending him to train with the Development Squad?

Has he had a row with Pochettino?

Has he become a disruptive influence, sulking and moaning at Hotspur Way?

Fans suggest he is being badly treated but fans do not know what has happened behind the scenes. There is a reason, it isn't just that he hasn't made the grade I am sure. If that were the case he would be openly training with us and there wouldn't be an issue seeing him in Tottenham kit or clothing.

I'd love to be able to give you the answers and an explanation of what is happening but I simply don't know.

But I'm convinced there is more to this than meets the eye.


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Fenerbache pay the price for not buying Janssen

Fenerbache pay the price for not buying Janssen

Should Fenerbache have bought Vincent Janssen?

Turkish side Fenerbache have paid the price for dithering and not paying the price Daniel Levy was asking for striker Vincent Janssen.

The Dutch 24-year-old (25 next June) seemed to be in talks of a permanent move or a loan move to Turkey all summer and with Fenerbache playing a UEFA Champions League Third Round Qualifier on 7th and 14th August, they needed a striker.

Former Spurs striker Roberto Soldado was injured and Janssen was there last season so knew their style of play. They wanted him to return but a deal could not be reached for whatever reason.

It could be we asked more than they were prepared to pay, but if we believe the majority of the media reports, the Turkish side wanted him on loan for another year, which, to be frank, isn't much use to Sours.

Media reports suggested we wanted a guaranteed buy option at the end of any loan deal, Fenerbache would only so far as to agree to an option to buy, which means they could simply return the player to us at the end of his loan spell.

Again, that isn't really much good to us as we need the income from his sale to help fund future purchases. It helps the instalment balance.

As explained in an earlier article the instalment income we get from player sales affects our transfer budget in future windows for up to 5 years. Getting the best prices is essential, especially when we have an expensive stadium to pay for.

Fenerbache played fellow Turkish side Benfica over two legs and lost on aggregate 2-1. They lost the away leg 1-0 and then could only draw the home leg 1-1 on Tuesday.

That has financial implications and I would think a sale of Janssen to them highly unlikely now.

Celtic went out but there are some interesting looking ties and Spurs could be drawn against one of these teams.

Plenty of European names from the past who would automatically have been in the knockout draw before the competition was renamed and reformated to guarantee big teams European competition to prevent them forming their own breakaway league.


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