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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Tottenham Talk


Tottenham fans this afternoon were showing the humour football fans have by serenading boozer Wayne Rooney with a rendition of "He only drinks when he is driving!"

Ben Pearce reports that Spurs had Ain't No Stopping Us Now, originally a disco hit in 1979 for McFadden & Whitehead reaching number 5 here in the UK.

Moussa Sissoko played yesterday in central midfield and it was no surprise that he put in arguably his best performance for us. He is a central midfielder after all and not a winger, at least that has always been my opinion.

Today looks to have backed that up. A central midfielder was what I suggested we buy him for at £15m, a winger at £30m is a different kettle of fish. I still think he isn't up to the standard we require though.

While he wasn't perfect, there were certainly things he could have done better like laying on a simple chance for Kane or his header at goal, he did show that he could help to give Mousa Dembélé a rest for UEFA Champions League games.

A report is circulating that Tottenham were interested in 33-year-old (34 next July) Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanović during the summer transfer window, but that we either rejected him or that he turned us down, depending upon which piece of the article you read! The Slovakian international has 81 caos for his country.


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  1. We had to win this game to keep us around the 2 points a game average needed to compete for a CL place…
    We were profligate yet again in front of goal and in the six yard box no less (without naming names).
    Allí ineffective for most of the match apart from drawing the attention of 2 or 3 of the opposition when he gets the ball…we should be able to take advantage of that shouldn’t we?
    Excellent debut from DS…played as the central defender no less…so no hiding place.
    MS is showing what he can do in central midfield… great running off the ball into space, Alli please note. That extra player in and around the box takes defenses out of their comfort zone.
    Apparently Everton had one shot on target!
    p.s. Poch still learning.

    1. Dele is still young. He's been under the spotlight again - and, again, a bit unfairly IMHO. Maybe he got it into his head that he would be answering his critics by doing something spectacular. That would just be immaturity. I'm not suggesting we indulge it, and I would expect Poch to have a quiet word with him. I was a bit peeved after his ludicrous attempt on goal yesterday - not scoring what should have been a relatively straightforward third could have cost us. And it was just sheer showboating. But after the match I saw his age, stats/games played. It did make me think. In terms of goals alone, he is a 21 year old not too far off one goal in two after 70 games. It's easy to forget his age. Just as it is easy to forget that opposition players are targeting him, often with sly little niggles, and if he reacts in any way the media steam in like he's the third Kray Twin! Opposition crowds already overreact and have created a whole persona for him like he is one of the biggest villains in the game, rather than an extremely gifted and very young players who sometimes reacts immaturely to unfair but inevitable physical and psychological pressure.

      The mature way for him to react to the latest over zealous policing would have been to play the percentage game and perform effectively, which is what taking that shot sensibly and scoring would have been, rather than showboating ineffectually. But, as said, that should come with maturity.

    2. Can you imagine the reaction if Dele had made the challenge Mane did yesterday! The Liverpool media mafia wouldn't have been out in force trying to defend him ....... they would have tried to have him banned for life, put in prison then hanged drawn and quartered,

      All the hoohaa about the England finger was down to ITV making an issue about something nobody saw and drawing the wrong conclusion.

  2. Typical defeatist attitude! Great all round performance great result! Bring on zee Germans!

  3. Great performance at a difficult place. Alli is still learning, which is actually a frightening thing to say....for the opposition.
    We are now a very powerful side that can dominate most opposition we meet. I've always supported Sissoko as I believe he hadn't been given much game time, I was right about Janssen and hopefully I'll be right about Sissoko.
    Poch needs to continue getting his way in the transfer dealings every summer.

  4. Sometimes I think we expect too much from the young ones... it was a good win... let's not take that away from the team and keep focusing on looking for a perfect game... I'll take Tim win over a perfect performance any time...

  5. Following on from my post above I can assure Alex that I am not a defeatist (if that was aimed at me) but there is always room for improvement in a team performance otherwise they cannot, as a group, move forward can they?
    I will admit to being critical of under-performance and given the salaries that these guys are raking in I think that’s justified… you wanna be a pro footballer in the EPL then you gotta take your knocks as well. The simple answer is ensure your performance is commensurate with your reward and there are players in the EPL that do that week in week out but do not necessarily hit the headlines.
    The most pleasing aspect for me on Saturday was to see two players being played in their normal positions and those two players replacing the usual suspects and yet we achieved a more than satisfying result.
    That’s what using the full range of your squad’s strengths is all about hence my comment ‘Poch still learning’.

  6. Sissoko needs to be a more flexible player. I easily accept he's not always played in his perfect position but that's because we generally don't need him there. At the price we got him for he needs to be able to play as a winger.

    I don't believe he would be first choice even in his preferred position. We simply have that spot covered by better players than he is. A fairly creditable performance against Everton, but still has the problem of breaking down team moves far too frequently by :
    Poor choices when in possession.
    Poor finishing.
    Poor positioning that gives away too many off-sides.

    That said, I was pleased to see him burst through the opposition tackles on a number of occasions yesterday. If he keeps improving he may possibly come up to scratch. Consider how many of our players in recent seasons have improved demonstrably under Pochettino.

    My reading of the Dele debacle was that he jumped up to take the straightforward shot but that the ball moved slightly in the air and he found he was badly placed for that when it arrived (or he misjudged it initially). Such things are often too fast and too subtle for many spectators to perceive. I certainly saw signs that he changed his mind half way through. Too late of course.

    Not that he was the only one profligate in front of goal. There were a hatfull of missed chances up there yesterday. Had Everton not struggled so badly to deal with all the pressure we put on things may have ended differently. Whatever our other shortcomings though, we very rarely fail to put any team under persistent pressure.


    1. Sorry Adrian but that’s bollox.
      You cannot take a seasoned international and expect him to reproduce his form in what for him is a secondary position on what was the smallest pitch in the EPL given the game time he was allowed.
      If we thought (for one moment) we could use him on the RW then we were sadly mistaken and, in your words, another mistake.
      His ‘creditable performance’ on Saturday had nothing to do with Poch.
      He was simply allowed (instructed) to push forward into his favoured position (CM) when the occasioned allowed.
      It’s not a question of the player being first choice, it’s a question of rotating your squad when the opportunity arises, something that Poch, IMHO, finds difficult.
      Go ask a S’hampton supporter where he operated with basically 14 players.

    2. I'm sorry I left you unimpressed Hib.

      On the other hand I find very little of your latest post very convincing. I would suggest that, as has been said before, players flexibility is one of the main demands for Pochettino. I would further say that gametime is still no excuse for a player underperforming, as it seems clear to me that Sissoko is (although improving admittedly).

      The training pitch is where a player has to impress his manager. The fans are irrelevant at this stage. The manager has to choose based, largely, on what he sees day in and day out in training. I might even suggest that Poch's use of Sissoko out of his preferred position is because he already knows what he can offer elsewhere. If I guess correctly he's putting pressure on Sissoko to do what he finds hard in order to determine if he has enough in his locker for him (Poch) to consider him (Sissoko) more fully in his plans.

      I suspect that bird's flown by now, but that's how I understand Poch's recent usage of him. I would even look to see a couple of games where he's played in his more natural position prior to the point at which we try to unload him. Just to give potential buyers the reassurance that Sissoko still has what they want. Will that be in December, or March, or next season even? I can't be sure.


  7. Adrian,
    Mon ami, I used the adjective ‘seasoned’ because that’s what Sissoko is. If you doubt my evaluation then see where he plays for his country. You cannot, in all truth, expect every player that arrives to become a ‘pawn’ in Poch’s plans
    If that were so and, for one moment we thought he was a RW, then we f***** up big time.
    As you rightly say, given what we paid for him, I can understand you expect more than what the player has currently delivered but the player has zippo to do with his agreed transfer fee so don’t hang that around his neck.
    “I would further say that game time is still no excuse for a player underperforming”
    There is a chasm between training time and game time & that is the bridge that managers/coaches have to cross.

  8. Hibberni,
    While I respect your opinions, I don't necessarily share them. I suspect that MP had words with MS before the purchase and agreed what was expected of him. In fact, I'd be very surprised if that were not so.

    I also agree that there is a chasm between game time and training time, but the point is that effort absolutely has to go into the training in order to earn the game time. I suspect there's a certain level of difficulty for MS to think that way when he sees himself as a star.

    I don't see that myself as the coach's problem, but that of the player, as well as every other player in the club. Some get to play even though they can't do the business out on the pitch. If they're putting the work in day in and day out at training though, they will be given chances again.

    I guess we see things differently. I don't mind that. I still read all your comments and agree with most of them if I'm honest. Life might be boring if we agreed on everything. It's absolutely right to disagree when we don't see things the same way. Here's one thing we'll always agree on - :




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