Results for Benjamin Stambouli

Proposed moves for Benjamin Stambouli and Loic Remy

11:00 pm


Benjamin Stambouli, who didn't make the grade at Tottenham, is now talking with Schalke 04 after discussions with Real Betis. Currently a home-grown player with PSG he has been told he is surplus to requirements by the new manager Unai Emery. The 26-year-old (27 next August) defensive midfielder met with Schalke officials in Paris on Tuesday with a loan deal being proposed.

Crystal Palace are continuing the search for a striker and have turned their attention to Loic Remy after failing to convince Liverpool to lower their price for Christian Benteke. They have offered a loan plus purchase deal to Chelsea according to French newspaper L'Equipe. Everton have also been linked with the 29-year-old (30 next January) Frenchman who was a former Tottenham target, indeed he even agreed to join us at one point unless an offer came in from a Champions League club.

French Football News report that stories linking him to Lyon are not correct and that Liverpool have spoken with him but he prefers to stay in London.

Proposed moves for Benjamin Stambouli and Loic Remy Proposed moves for Benjamin Stambouli and Loic Remy Reviewed by THBlogNews on 11:00 pm Rating: 5

Stambouli medical today

10:20 am
Benjamin Stambouli will complete his move to PSG within days after flying to America to have a medical for the French champions.

The hold up to this deal has been PSG and Tottenham agreeing a fee, personal terms had all been agreed with  the player and when Watford found out Stambouli preferred a move back to France they pulled out of their deal. Stambouli had everything agreed with the newly promoted Hornets but was delaying a decision and keeping his options open.

The chance for him to go to PSG arose as they needed to increase their home grown quota after selling Cabaye and it didn't take long to negotiate personal terms. Tottenham are now believed to have agreed a £5.56 million (US$8.69m - AUS$13.22m - €8m) according to French newspaper L'Equipe, having originally paid £4.70 million (US$7.33m - AUS$9.94m - €6.77m) a year ago.

The French press have been all over this story and La Parisien are reporting that Stambouli flew to New YorK last night to have a medical today before joining his new teammates as they prepare to take on Benfica in the International Champions Cup, a pre-season friendly to you and me.

That will be three players gone from central midfield. One of those spots will be taken by Dele Alli who is impressing hugely in training so we may be seeing more of him than expected this season.

Further Tottenham Reading
Former gold pros explained what Spurs need
Two revealing stats tell the truth about Dembélé
Spurs targeting the very best
Experienced Players vs Inexperienced Players

Stambouli medical today Stambouli medical today Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:20 am Rating: 5

Other clubs know the value of Bentaleb

5:58 pm
While some Tottenham fans amazingly fail to see what Nabil Bentaleb does and why people have been amazed at how he has handled being thrown in the pressure cooker of Premier League football at a tender age, other clubs don't.

Both Manchester City and PSG, for instance, were both chasing him. Manchester City were widely reported in the British press to be interested in signing him, as were Liverpool and Arsenal were even mentioned. France Football revealed that PSG wanted to sign the 20-year-old Algerian, they approached his representatives before switching their attentions to Benjamin Stambouli. Roma, Lazio, Napoli and Juventus from Italy were all reported to have made advances towards the defensive midfielder.

His game grew last year thanks to Tim Sherwood picking and sticking with him before giving him a rest ahead of the World Cup, where he excelled. Mauricio Pochettino benefitted from his early introduction and the early introduction of Harry Kane towards the end of Sherwood's reign. The goals he scored at the end of that season showed he could make it at Premier League level.

Despite all the paper talk he was never going to leave Tottenham, we are the club who gave him a chance when nobody else would. Sherwood took a chance on him and Bentaleb has said previously this is his club, this is a club he feels for. The new five-year deal he signed ensures we can benefit from his improvement.

The number and standard of clubs that were interested in signing him before he signed his new deal speak volumes about his play and his potential for improvement. Being only 20 he has years ahead of him at the top level and he hasn't cost us anything.

Further Tottenham Reading
The Chadli vs Lamela shot time tells a story
Where England right to pick Mason over Shelvey
The experienced players cost Spurs a Champions League spot

Other clubs know the value of Bentaleb Other clubs know the value of Bentaleb Reviewed by THBlogNews on 5:58 pm Rating: 5

It makes a change to get rid of deadwood

7:00 pm
Tottenham has a history of not being able to get rid of the deadwood, players that hang around for their wages even if they are consistently not figuring in the first team.

Since November Mauricio Pochettino has been making it quite clear to certain players that they have no future at the club and that they will not figure in the first team matchday squads. Daniel Levy has supported his manager to change the playing staff and it appears to be working.

Paulinho has gone to China and his £60,000-a-week (US$93,477 - AUS$126.083 - €93,561) wages are off the books. Etienne Capoue has joined Watford, Younès Kaboul is having a medical at Sunderland before he completes his £3 million (US$4.68m - AUS$6.3m - €4.29m) move.

Of other players, Emmanuel Adebayor will be frozen out again if he stays and reports suggest he won't even be given a squad number. Roberto Soldado needs to rediscover his goalscoring touch, but Pochettino likes him, Benjamin Stambouli is being chased by PSG.

The Frenchman has agreed to return home and has now agreed terms with the top club in France. All that remains is for Spurs and PSG to reach agreement over a fee which isn't expected to be a problem. Spurs want £6.20 million (US$9.66m - AUS$13.03m - €8.87m) while PSG are offering £4.50 million (US$7.01m - AUS$9.45m - €6.43m) so the club will at worse not be making a loss on him.

Vlad Chiriches is wanted by Galatasaray and again it is only agreeing a fee that is holding up a deal, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Brad Friedel have also left.

That leaves Aaron Lennon on £55,000-a-week (US$85,753 - AUS$115,666 - €78,782) waiting to leave, Everton want our winger permanently but we will have to lower our fee, it seems a little crazy that we want over double the Younès Kaboul fee but then they have the same stance over Kevin Mirallas..

It has felt all summer that we are making significant changes to put together a squad for the next few years, a squad that is suited to the system we are now playing. The transfer window has only been open for 16 days, but everyone is trying to do early deals because the season starts on 8 August with the 2016 UEFA European Championships next summer.

This season should be a season where we continue to move forward, whether we can close the gap enough on the top four is another question, they can pay double our wages. We have to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts, if we can then we have a chance, if we can't we don't. It's only a couple of weeks now and we can start watching football again and get involved with the season, can't wait.

Further Tottenham Reading
Spurs could/should be doing more with the loan system
Europe League is important for Tottenham
A further delve into the financial side of Tottenham

It makes a change to get rid of deadwood It makes a change to get rid of deadwood Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:00 pm Rating: 5

The Levy nonsense

8:30 am
Plenty of rubbish being written in the mainstream media surrounding Daniel Levy telling Mauricio Pochettino he has to sell before he can buy any more players, some even suggesting as much as six players.

All complete tosh of course, Pochettino doesn't sell the players, not does he buy them either, so it would be pretty pointless telling him. You can advise him that is what the club is going to do which is quite different from telling him he has to do it.

Daniel Levy and those responsible for selling the players, Franco Baldini has a part to play here, all know who is for sale and who they are happy to keep unless an offer that suits us comes in. The four main players in that bracket are Roberto Soldado, who Pochettino is quite happy to keep, Benjamin Stambouli, Federico Fazio and Andros Townsend.

The players up for sale all know they have to look for another club, Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon and Younes Kaboul are three players the head coach does not want to keep and doesn't want with the senior squad. Lennon is waiting for Everton, who are waiting for us to lower our price, while they try to keep Mirallas's price high, Kaboul is wanted in Turkey and seems keen to move there while Adebayor is being Adebayor.

He held Manchester City to ransom for the only thing that seems to matter to him, money, and he is doing the same thing again. Rather than be loaned out, he wants his years wages and a transfer so he gets even more dosh. No wonder Pochettono doesn't want him anywhere near the other players.

The word from the inside is that we will buy anyway as those for sale will be frozen out if they don't leave so we have made it plain to them, go, now. We have always had a problem selling players we don't want as any move is often a step-down or lower wages so to avoid the problem we have taken a very hard line approach this time, fingers crossed it works.

Further Reading
Behaviour - Presonality x Environment
It takes some players too long to shoot

The Levy nonsense The Levy nonsense Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

£1.94m loss on double deal

12:30 pm
Newly promoted Watford are preparing for life in the Premier League under new head coach, yes they have the same as we do, 50-year-old Spaniard Quique Sanchez Flores.

They have already made four signings, 27-year-old Lithuanian goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis from Steaua București on a free transfer, 28-year-old Austrian defender Sebastian Prödl from Werder Bremen on a free transfer, 23-year-old Czech Republic striker Matěj Vydra from Udinese for an undisclosed fee and 31-year-old Greek left-back José Holebas from Roma for a fee believed to be £1.78 million (US$23.34m - AUS$30.19m - €2.5m).

Étienne Capoue will be joining them shortly, personal terms have all been agreed, the only delay to the deal is their negotiations to take 24-year-old Frenchman Benjamin Stambouli as well. It is much the same situation as we had with Swansea City last year, do you negotiate a price for each or do you negotiate a combined fee.

Benji is one of the players we don't mind if we keep and don't mind if we lose either, Watford are keen to take him so it may well be in our best interests to accept a deal for him where we lose little or nothing.

Étienne Capoue cost Tottenham £7.81 million (US$12.19m - AUS$15.97m - €11m)
Benjamin Stambouli cost Tottenham £4.13 million (US$6.43m - AUS$8.55m - €5.79m)
Total: £11.94 million (US$18.62m - AUS$23.52m - €16.79m)

If the dual deal goes through and we know to our cost anything can go wrong we are said to be receiving £10 million (US$15.57m - AUS$20.71m - €14.01m).

The financial loss of the pair would be limited to £1.94 million (US$3.05m - AUS$2.81m - €2.78m) and leaves us requiring further midfield reinforcements.

£1.94m loss on double deal £1.94m loss on double deal Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Defensive Midfield shot time is damning on Dembélé

8:30 pm
The second article in the Shot Time Series, having looked at the defenders and seen why Danny Rose is preferred at left-back, sees us move on to the defensive midfield players, of which we have two types.

One has more defensive responsibility than the other and we have three players for each position, rather than how the commentators like to put it as a lot of midfielders. They don't seem to be able to make the distinction between the two different types.

Nabil Bentaleb, Étienne Capoue and Benjamin Stambouli are the three players charged with a more defensive role throughout the game, they are the third defender with the two centre-backs. If you haven't done so already jot down in which order you think our players will be, there will be a complete table in the last of the four article series.

Ryan Mason, Mousa Dembélé and Paulinho are the three charged with a defensive responsibility bit also to join the attack whenever possible, they are often referred to as the link player. It is the duty of both sets to switch play quickly to gain an attacking advantage, they receive from one side and give to the other.

Defences shuffle over depending upon which side the ball is so a quick switch of play diagonally forward allows the full-back or wide attacker time to attack space or an out rushing defender, given that he then has more space to operate in.

The more attacking of the three should all have a lower shot time than the three with licence to attack for the obvious reason they spend more time joining the attack. Is that the case though?

The players under the microscope are Mousa Dembélé, Étienne Capoue, Paulinho, Nabil Bentaleb, Benjamin Stambouli and Ryan Mason, so what order would you put them in?

The time is arrived at by taking the total amount of time on the pitch in the Premier League over the season and dividing that by the number of shots a player takes, thus giving us a time it takes him to have a shot. The lower the figure the more shots a player gets in, the higher the less.

Shooting Time Tables

Premier League Only
Defensive Midfield
Player - Mins Per Shot
Nabil Bentaleb 84.83
Étienne Capoue 128.14
Benjamin Stambouli 234.50

Defensive Midfield (Attacking Licence)
Player - Mins Per Shot
Paulinho 43.43
Ryan Mason 56.49
Mousa Dembélé 105.45

Overall Shooting Time Table
Player - Mins Per Shot
Paulinho 43.43
Ryan Mason 56.49
Nabil Bentaleb 84.83
Mousa Dembélé 105.45
Étienne Capoue 128.14
Benjamin Stambouli 234.50

The Mousa Dembélé shot time rather backs up his own claim not to like shooting and demonstrates why he doesn't score more goals. He isn't a goal threat to the opposition, when he should be. Nabil Bentaleb as the more defensive player still takes less time to have a shot and Dembélé isn't rescued by accuracy either, being only 33% accurate to Mason's 42%.

The had tells the feet what to do, the head is giving Dembélé the wrong messages because that is how he has programmed it, he needs reprogramming to unlock his potential.

How accurate were you in this section? Given you had some answers in the Mousa Dembélé player assessment, it should have been quite easy.

Shooting Time Tables

Premier League Only
Players To Date
Player - Mins Per Shot
1.   Paulinho 43.43
2.   Ryan Mason 56.49
3.   Nabil Bentaleb 84.83
4.   Danny Rose 98.75
5.   Mousa Dembélé 105.45
6.   Étienne Capoue 128.14
7.   Federico Fazio 161.45
8.   Eric Dier 191.50
9.   Younès Kaboul 198.00
10. Jan Vertonghen 216.23
11. Benjamin Stambouli 234.50
12. Kyle Walker 261.20
13. Vlad Chiriches 707.00
14. Ben Davies 898.00

The third of the four article series will cover the attacking three behind the striker, same time tomorrow night, 8.30pm GMT.

Further Tottenham Reading
Man Utd £40m is a poor offer for Kane
We need to arrest the decline with small improvements - April 2014

Defensive Midfield shot time is damning on Dembélé Defensive Midfield shot time is damning on Dembélé Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Which DM should Spurs keep?

8:30 pm
Upon his arrival Mauricio Pochettino highlighted the defensive midfield area as one that needed improving at Tottenham with the transgression for the back to the front too slow. He wanted his two defensive midfielders to move the ball quicker from the back forward.

In the Pochettino system the two defensive midfield players play staggered slightly, one is more defensively minded and the other in addition to his defensive duties, is also tasked with getting forward and assisting play in attack. Thus while both defensive midfield players they perform slightly different roles.

The three who are the defensively minded in the Tottenham squad are Nabil Bentaleb, who has been the first choice for most of the season, Étienne Capoue, who started the season in the role and Benjamin Stambouli.

Étienne Capoue is totally out of favour for a number of reasons and Benjamin Stambouli is wanted by Marseilles, although Spurs are quite happy to keep hold of him. We have looked at each player individually in the Tottenham Hotspur Blog News (THBN) Player Assessments Series so now it's time to compare the three.

Premier League Games Only

Bentaleb vs Stambouli vs Capoue
Played: 26 - 12 - 12
Minutes: 2,194 - 469 - 897
Pass Completion: 86.76% - 84.45% - 87.05%
Forward Passes: 61.74% - 63.96 - 67.05%
Key Pass Time: 1 every 156.71 minutes - 156.33 mins - 224.25 mins
Chance Creation Time: 1 every 137.13 minutes - 156.33 mins - 224.25 mins
Positive Attacking Action: 1 every 37.83 minutes - 58.63 mins - 59.80 mins
(Total Minutes divided by Shots, Goals, Assists, Key passes, Chances Created combined)
Tackles Won: 46.39% - 56.10% - 41.82%
Blocks: 9 - 1 - 3
Interceptions: 54 - 8 - 29
Clearances: 65 - 11 - 33
One-on-One Success: 84.85% - 71.43% - 41.67%
Heading Success: 59.65% - 47.06% - 66.67%
Defensive Action: 1 every 17.14 minutes - 23.45 mins - 13.89 mins
(Total Minutes divided by Blocks, Clearances, Interceptions)

Nabil Bentaleb comes our top in 6 areas: Games Played, Minutes Played, Key Pass Time (how often he makes a key pass), Chance Creation Time (how often he creates a scoring chance), Positive Attacking Action (how long it takes to have make an attacking impact) and One-on-One Success (how often he beats his opponent).

Benjamin Stambouli comes out top in 1 area: Tackles Won.

Étienne Capoue comes out top in 4 areas: Pass Completion, Forward Passes, Heading Success and Defensive Action (how long it takes to make either a block, interception or clearance).

Bentaleb is 20 (21 in November), Stambouli 24 (25 in August) and Capoue 26 (27 in July) so in terms of longevity and potential to improve Bentaleb has more to offer. Stambouli I feel, and so it seems does Hugo Lloris, has the game, the ability to play in the Premier League but whether he will be at the club remains to be seen.

Marseilles is his home town, they wanted him before we signed him and still do, but he'll be a better player next season for us I feel. Capoue has the game but operates too slow for our system and the off the field happenings have affected his future as has his attitude. He is the one most likely to leave and will be a good player for somebody.

If we can arrange a player to come in early that doesn't involve a swap for Stambouli then news linking Capoue with other clubs will grow.

The media seem to be making a mountain out of a mole hill over Nabil Bentaleb and the wage increase being negotiated. The quotes attributed don't suggest a big problem, merely an agent saying he feels his client is worth comparable to other midfielders. It's all quite normal stuff, he certainly isn't leaving the club, still it sells newspapers.

Which DM should Spurs keep? Which DM should Spurs keep? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Lloris believes Stambouli will come good

2:30 pm
It seems that Hugo Lloris and I are on the same page over Frenchman Benjamin Stambouli and his ability to play in the Premier League.

In an interview with French media the France captain and Tottenham number one was asked about his French teammate.

"A boy like Benji Stambouli , for example, will succeed, he has the talent, he has his head on his shoulders, he's a hard worker, he came to question and I know he has not lost this year, he worked hard, and it's going to pay, he will come out grown up. I love this kind of players who give everything for the team. It's really a good guy."

It may be significant that Stambouli has always had his family close by, he is described as a family man and this was his first year away from them. Reports in France say he and his advisor's will only leave the Premier League for home time club Marseilles who have asked to take him on loan and been turned down.

Lloris believes Stambouli will come good Lloris believes Stambouli will come good Reviewed by THBlogNews on 2:30 pm Rating: 5

Watford make contact for Stambouli

12:30 pm
The news stories emanating from France all seem to be surrounding the future of Benjamin Stambouli at the moment who didn't get much Premier League action under Mauricio Pochettino in his first season with us.

French daily L'Equipe ran a story about Marseilles asking to take the Frenchman on loan but being refused amid suggestions only a permanent deal would suit Tottenham. As Marseilles tried to sign him before he chose us and as he is family orientated and from Marseilles the stories make sense.

They went on to say that Tottenham have suggested taking Giannelli Imbula in return. The French club have to operate within Financial Fair Play rules and are thus restricted by their income. Commercial revenue is not enough to keep the club afloat so selling players is a requirement. They have recently put in place a wage cap that will see them lose André Ayew and Andre-Pierre Gignac as our of contract players.

L'Equipe quoted Stambouli's agent as saying he would like to stay in the Premier League and would only leave for Marseilles. Following on from that news they now report that newly promoted Watford have contacted his advisors about his availability.

Watford make contact for Stambouli Watford make contact for Stambouli Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Stambouli vs Imbula Comparison

8:30 am
With Tottenham discussing a potential swap move involving Benjamin Stambouli and Marseilles midfielder Giannelli Imbula, we can compare the stats of Stambouli at Montpekkier in 2013/14 and Imbula at Maeseilles in 2014/15.

Stambouli is a family man and Marseilles is his home town, his move to Tottenham was the first time away from them and L'Equipe newspaper reveal that he would move to Marseilles ot stay in the Premier League. He has featured little for Spurs which set me wondering whether he is homesick given he has always had his family around him.

Stambouli vs Imbula Comparison

Benjamin Stambouli statistics from 2013/14 in Lique 1 with Montpellier
Giannelli Imbula statistics from 2014/15 season with Marseilles

Games: 37 vs 37
Minutes Played: 3,330 vs 3,174
Pass Completion: 83% vs 90%
Forward Passes: 61% vs 67%
Key Pass Time: 1 every 133 minutes vs 99 minutes
Chance Creation Time: 1 every 128 minutes vs 93 minutes
Shots: 24 vs 49
Shot Accuracy: 38% vs 36%
Tackles Won: 48% vs 42%
Blocks: 11 vs 5
Interceptions: 56 vs 44
Clearances: 122 vs 38
Heading Success: 50% vs 57%
One-on-One Success: 58% vs 74%

Stambouli vs Imbula Comparison Stambouli vs Imbula Comparison Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 am Rating: 5

Stambouli for Imbula

6:30 pm
Benjamin Stambouli has not yet made his mark at Tottenham and while Mauricio Pochettino and the club will listen to offers there is no rush to dispense with his services.

Marseilles have made a loan offer which we have turned down, it has no benefit to us, if a deal can be completed that does benefit us then he may be allowed to leave. In my article on the 24-year-old yesterday (Mental adjustment seems all Stambouli needs) I wondered whether the fact he is away from his family for the first time has affected him.

He has the technical ability to shine in the Premier League but has only managed 469 minutes, equivalent to just 5.21 games in his first season.

French newspaper L'Equipe are suggesting that a move Tottenham feel will benefit them is being discussed. Marseilles coach Marcelo Bielsa wanted to sign Benjamin Stambouli last summer, feeling the Frenchman was ideal for his system, a system Mauricio Pochettino bases his on. If he is ideal for the Bielsa system he should be ideal for the Pochettino system.

L'Equipe claim that Stambouli and his advisors would move to his home town Marseilles but if not then the intention is to stay in the Premier League. That tells me that he is one of the players, as I said yesterday, that you listen to offers for but you are quite happy to keep if nothing favourable comes along.

The suggestion for a deal is that Tottenham sign 22-year-old former Guingamp midfielder Giannelli Imbula, who they say we are very interested in signing. Marseilles bought the defensive midfielder from their Lique 1 rivals for £6.80 million (US$10.36m - AUS$13.50m - €9.43m) in July 2013 and his contract runs out in 2018. He is a former target for Chelsea who tried to sign him before he joined Marseilles.

Stambouli was bought from Montpellier for £5.19 million (US$7.91m - AUS$10.30m - €7.20m) last summer and has a contract until 2019.

Marseille have imposed a wage cap which will see them lose out of contract players André Ayew, also wanted by Tottenham and 29-year-old striker André-Pierre Gignac. With clubs having to operate on revenue they generate Marseilles have to sell players to add to the £109 million (US$166.12m - AUS$216.52m - €151.51m) their 2014 accounts show, that puts them 23rd in Europe with 10 Premier League clubs earning more.

All that puts Tottenham in a good position to get a good deal for the highly regarded Imbula.

Stambouli for Imbula Stambouli for Imbula Reviewed by THBlogNews on 6:30 pm Rating: 5

Mental adjustment seems all Stambouli needs

8:30 pm

Player Assessment: Benjamin Stambouli

The third of our defensive midfield players is 24-year-old Benjamin Stambouli who arrived from Lique 1 unknown to Spurs fans and has struggld to get games.

Benjamin Stambouli

Benjamin Stambouli  gave a telling interview in January to the Evening Standard and in it he talked about the mentality of football in the Premier League.

“If you’re 2-0 down in France, you carry on playing but you don’t think you can win the game, but here, the players always think they can win. 
“If you’re two goals down with only three minutes left, the teams here think they can score three times in the last three minutes. That isn’t the case in French football. 
“We are not believers in France like you are in England. Maybe our football has more tactical discipline, maybe it is more organised, but the spectacle is not like it is here. In France, the results are often 0-0 or 1-0 and the football is very tactical. In England it is about the show. 
“Even if you’re winning the game here, you’ll still attack all the way to the end. You might lose the ball, concede a goal and end up drawing the game, but still the fans are happy because they have seen goals. It’s a big difference. 
“The first game I played in the Premier League was at Sunderland in September. We took the lead after two minutes, but Sunderland equalised two minutes later. It was incredible – something I had never seen in France.”

His interview highlights just how important the mental side of the game is and how important concentration is. You are constantly subjected to attacks and that has a wearing effect, both physically and mentally. If you are used to going through the motions almost in French football and he says, to have to play without switching off is draining.

I don't quite know what to make of Stambouli. He looked OK in his cameo at Sunderland and was up and down in the Europa League, he did some excellent defending but then passes a ball without looking. The technique is there, he has the ability on the ball, but he may not have got up to speed mentally.

Only 469 Premier League minutes, equivalent to just 5.21 games, is a telling statistic, even with Bentaleb playing you would have expected him to get more game time. Is he up for sale? If the right offer came along I'm sure we would listen but I don't see us giving him away just t get rid of him, we have Étienne Capoue and Paulinho to replace first. We have always had a group of players we will listen to offers for but are equally happy to keep and he may well fall into that category.

His pass completion statistics are good, he looked to move the ball forward, did well in the tackle, is good in the air and beat his opponent 71% of the time. He was looked on in France as a future captain so has leadership qualities and Marseilles have enquired about taking him on loan. Naturally that was turned down, a loan offers us no benefit.

Premier League Games Only

Benjamin Stambouli
Played: 12
Minutes: 469
Total Passes: 283
Pass Completion: 84.45%
Forward Passes: 63.96%
Key Passes: 3
Key Pass Time: 1 every 156.33 minutes
Chances Created: 3
Chance Creation Time: 1 every 156.33 minutes
Shots: 2
Shot Accuracy: 0%
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Positive Attacking Action: 1 every 58.63 minutes
(Total Minutes divided by Shots, Goals, Assists, Key passes, Chances Created combined)
Tackles: 41
Tackles Won: 56.10%
Blocks: 1
Interceptions: 8
Clearances: 11
Take On Success: 71.43%
Heading Success: 47.06%
Defensive Action: 1 every 23.45 minutes
(Total Minutes divided by Blocks, Clearances, Interceptions)

In France he broke into the Montpellier side as a centre-half and he played there against Sydney FC. He has the physical attributes and in France was an excellent reader of the game, he seems to have all the playing skills to succeed in the English game but has he adjusted the speed of his thinking, hi decision making. With less time and more attacks you are constantly having to make fast decisions, again and again and again.

He is a family man, he likes his family around him and this is his first time away from them, is he home sick? There is a better player inside him than we have seen and I have no doubt he could do well in the Premier League. He has had a season to adjust so if his mentality is right and he stays he could well kick on next season.

Previous Assessments

Mental adjustment seems all Stambouli needs Mental adjustment seems all Stambouli needs Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Capoue, Paulinho & Stambouli, Spurs to sell 1, 2 or 3?

8:30 pm
Tottenham are still looking to strengthen the defensive midfield with Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason having had to do the bulk of the work, but how many players will Pochettino change?

Paulinho has been very poor  and I have covered before why mentally he is not the right player for Spurs. We all see what we want to see to justify our opinions, I'm no different so while the media were saying he was Man on the Match against Newcastle United, I saw him receive the ball under no pressure, only to turn and pass bacwards back behind the half way line to a full-back, simply to get given the ball back almost immediately 10 yards furthe back. That happened several times and sums him up for me. happy passing sideways and backwards but offers little going forward.

Statistically he passes forward 57.27% of the time but he is supposed to be the more attacking of the two defensive midfielders, the link man, the role Ryan Mason plays. The same statistic for Mason and the more defensive Nabil Bentaleb, 68.19% and 62.03% respectively. They seem to confirm my impression., he likes to give responsibility to someone else, that's not the hallmark of the mentality we need.

Etienne Capoue has been left to rot basically. he had an outburst under Tim Sherwood, complaining that the English didn't understand foreigners, then he showed himself to be too slow on the ball, against our foreign managers wishes, before siding with Adebayor against the youth in November. Result, banishment. Whatever his statistics (67.05%) are we all know he will be offloaded in the summer.

That leaves us with Benjamin Stambouli, who being French needs to be playing first team football with the European Championships in France on the horizon. He has proved so far to be nothing more than average. His forward passing statistic to be consistent with the rest is 64.37%. The player himself you would expect would want a move to try and force his way into the squad. Do Spurs want to sell? Unknown, but with Capoue certainly up for sale and a desire to get high earners off the books, Paulinho fits that bill better than Stambouli and would command a higher fee also, important if we want to make purchases.

For those of you shouting Tom carroll at me, I believe he'll be sold, he isn't a regular in the Swansea side so isn't an upgrade on what we have. he could of course come back as a squad player, playing the Europa League and Cup competitions.

Delli Alli has signed of course so he will be brought along next season, I would have thoughtb at the expense of Carroll. He may well be the better long term prospect as a defensive midfielder, it would however be interesting to know how Carroll would get on in a number 10 role.

The question is will we be offlosding one, two or three defensive midfielders. My guess is two.

Capoue, Paulinho & Stambouli, Spurs to sell 1, 2 or 3? Capoue, Paulinho & Stambouli, Spurs to sell 1, 2 or 3? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 8:30 pm Rating: 5

Stambouli & Capoue fail their auditions

9:06 pm


Premier League


Crystal Palace 2  Spurs 1

Tottenham XI: Lloris (c), Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose; Dembele, Stambouli; Chadli, Eriksen, Townsend; Kane
Tottenham Subs: Vorm, Davies, Kaboul, Capoue, Lennon, Paulinho, Soldado
Tottenham Goalscorer: Kane

Too many Tottenham players had an off day, Andros Townsend spent the first half passing the ball into touch for some reason and was anonymous for the rest of the game. His only contribution was an easy ball to an overlapping Kyle Walker which resulted in a chance for Eriksen.

But Benjamin Stambouli is increasingly not looking the answer to me as a holding midfielder. he gives the impression of always being late which is a consequence of not reading the game quick enough. We can argue all day about the penalty, personally I don't think it was one, but from the referee's angle it was. The fact is he dived in and the referee had to make a decision.

If that was a penalty then so was Harry Kane's but he hasn't yet learnt how to fall, every time he goes over it looks like a dive. The Palace player deliberately moves into Stambouli to go over and Kane had his lower shin tapped above the boot and went down. Neither player needed to go down but today's game is all about acting and the Palace player won the award.

I'm more concerned with Stambouli always looking off the pace, not greatly but slightly and then Etienne Capoue came on to make matters worse. He is a poor tracker and he react to play rather than anticipating it, which is a prerequisite of the defensive midfielder position. It's no surprise we are looking at bringing in Adrien Rabiot.

It's typical Spurs, beat the league leaders, lose to a team in the relegation zone.

Stambouli & Capoue fail their auditions Stambouli & Capoue fail their auditions Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:06 pm Rating: 5

Stambouli Yellow was right decision

4:30 pm
Manchester United fans were squealing on Twitter suggesting Benjamin Stambouli should have been shown a red card instead of a yellow for a 'horror' tackle on Michael Carrick.

Stambouli Yellow was right decision

I doubt these same people were calling for a Tottenham penalty after Rooney wrestled and then threw Kane into another United defender before heading the ball away himself. Some of these are given, some are not so it's difficult to complain had it gone either way.

Alas they are letting their emotions get the better of them or they don't know what a horror tackle is. He was late yes, very late but there was no maliciousness and the referee let play go on. The crucial difference is that Stanbouli caught Carrick with his instep, had he contacted his knee directly with his studs then yes, that would be a horror tackle and a red card, but he didn't.

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His leg was in front of Carrick so Carrick is moving into the leg, that no shouldn't be there, but Stambouli has not targeted and gone in studs first straight at his knee cap. It was not a leg breaking tackle but clearly appeared to some to be worse than it actually was.

Play continued and when play stopped, referee Jonathan Moss went to Stambouli to quite rightly show him only a yellow card.

Stambouli Yellow was right decision Stambouli Yellow was right decision Reviewed by THBlogNews on 4:30 pm Rating: 5

Stambouli not worth a Premier League place yet

4:30 pm
A player scores a goal and is therefore perceived to have had a good game thus their is a clamour for him to be included at the weekend and indeed some, absurdly, class it as a mistake Benjamin Stambouli wasn't playing against Everton.

Stambouli not worth a Premier League place yet

In case these people haven't heard yet, we beat them 2-1 with our most encouraging home display since we beat QPR 4-0 at White Hart Lane. Scoring a goal is a bonus for a defensive midfielder, the important part is his work in front of the back four and did he move the ball forward quickly. That is Pochettini's requirement and therefore the criteria by which to judge.

Tottenham want youth progressed, Pochettino wants youth progressed and Nabil Bentaleb, unfairly tarred by some fans simply because he was picked by Tim Sherwood, was rushed back from his post World Cup break to be a first choice starter. He has had a recent malleolar injury and has missed the last 6 Premier League games as a result.

We won, we put in our best display against a regular top four rival who were in form, we didn't do that despite not playing Stambouli, we did it because we didn't play Stambouli. He has done very little so far to force his way into the team, even though Etienne Capoue has regularly been found wanting.

Stambouli needs to put a series of performances together in the way Harry Kane did to put pressure on for a place. Kane forced his way into the Premier League team not on the back of one game but a series. Tottenham are not a charity and no player deserves charity selection. To be a top team every player must have to perform every game for fear of losing their place and every player not in the Premier League team must produce a performance that says pick me when they turn out for the cup team.

Stambouli not worth a Premier League place yet Stambouli not worth a Premier League place yet Reviewed by THBlogNews on 4:30 pm Rating: 5

Box-to-box role a major concern for Pochettino to solve

10:53 am
Watching our performance last night and considering our defensive midfielders we do seem to have a bit of a problem.

At Southampton Mauricio Pochettino played with one defensive midfielder who sits and one who joins the attack. Morgan Schneiderlin is the man who lays the defensive role but supports the attacks as well.

While both players need to have the capability to switch roles, providing greater flexibility and therefore danger to an opponent, one predominantly performs the role more than the other. Our man to sit and do the unseen by many defensive work this season is Etienne Capoue, who came to us as a box-to-box midfielder.

He was chosen over Sandro, who has since departed to QPR for £10 million (£5 million + £5 million add-ons) and is rarely seen in attack. The criticism of him is that he is too slow to release the ball forward when he has won it. Defensively he has looked good though.

Benjamin Stambouli was bought, everyone assumed, because we couldn't get Schneiderlin but watching him he is another defensive defensive midfielder. His role in the Europa League team is to play the Capoue role and not the box-to-box midfielder role it seems. He is rarely seen supporting the attack. I would suggest he and Capoue are fighting over the one role.

That leaves the other midfielders playing the box-to-box role, Nabil Bentaleb, Mousa Dembele and Ryan Mason, I discount Paulinho because he is showing he simply isn't interested in playing for Pochettino so is highly unlikely to be selected for the Premier League again. He put in another I can't be bothered performance last night in a role he has played for Brazil.

The statistics for forward passing should all be similar for people playing a similar role. The figures are the Premier League statistics but I have added the 2 games that Stambouli and Bentaleb have played in the Europa League, Capoue has only had 19 minutes, Dembele 26 and Mason none in that competition.

Tottenham Midfielders

Forward Passing Statistics
Etienne Capoue 67.82%
Benjamin Stambouli 64.28% - Europa League 52.12%
Nabil Bentaleb 58.95% - Europa League 63.21%
Mousa Dembele 57.47%
Ryan Mason 77.14%

Ryan Mason has had only one game to compile his statistics but they are impressive. Mousa Dembele for instance played against Sunderland where we were on the front foot all the time so rarely needed to pass backwards and his forward passing statistic fr that game was 61.64%.

You would have though in s defensive rear guard action there would be plenty of passing backwards to keep the ball and waste time. Mason's statistic shows why he made such a difference when he came on against Nottingham Forest and what he offers to our midfield that the others do not. His forward passing statistics are ones to keep an eye on, if they continue to be so impressive then he'll soon be the regular first choice.

Nabil Bentaleb seem to me to be caught in the middle. His role is defensive when he plays but should it be. Against Besiktas he got forward but not enough, he made a lovely turn and pass for Harry Kane to score but perhaps isn't playing the box-to-box role enough. Because he is only 19 and hasn't finished growing into his frame it's hard to know what his eventual position will be and therefore what he is being trained for.

If he is the box-to-box midfielder in the side then he needs to get forward more, he has a shot on him and looks good further forward. At the moment he is a little frustrating but he is not the only one.

Mousa Dembele continues to frustrate, almost a wasted talent. He could be quite some player with the talent and physique he has if he had the mental side but he's too content with game to want to improve it it seems. There were glimpses last night of what I suggested in a pre-game article, get round the box and take men on there, not the half way line. When he did he caused problems so I wonder whether he should be moved back to an attacking midfielder role.

He is competent as a box-to-box midfielder, sometimes very good. He dribbles too much slowing the play down when we need to move the ball quickly and his forward passing statistics are poor.

We need to find a way to get the best out of these players, Capoue and Stambouli seem to have their roles set, Bentaleb is in no-mans land, Mason has made a promising start and Dembele may need to have his role changed.

The box-to-box position is our major problem area in midfield because the central two control the game, they determine the tempo, whoever controls the game usually wins. It rather explains why Mauricio Pochettino is so keen for Tottenham to get hold of Morgan Schneiderlin.

Box-to-box role a major concern for Pochettino to solve Box-to-box role a major concern for Pochettino to solve Reviewed by THBlogNews on 10:53 am Rating: 5

Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report

12:30 pm

Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report

Opponents: Partizan Belgrade
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Venue: Partizan Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia (UEFA Category 3 Stadium)

Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report

A good performance away from home in trying conditions. he was no doubt nervous having talked before about feeling like a kid with excitement. He looks a good player, strong in the tackle, a decent pass on him and an excellent buy. He and Fazio on this performance show that potentially there are some bargains to be had, both in a short time will be worth a lot more than we have paid for them with the exposure they are going to get.

Stambouli is going to be pushing for a Premier League start soon as he looks as if he is going to develop into a better player than Capoue, who is playing a restrained role as opposed to the box to box midfielder he started with us as. Stambouli came off after 71 minutes to be replaced by Capoue.

Like Fazio, Vetonghen and Bentaleb he had a good game without having to be noticed. Their was only one real error when Davies was up field he gave the ball away which could have put us in trouble but chased it down and an excellent sliding tackle put the ball out for a throw-in.

He will need to be careful in the Premier League with his sliding tackles, he does go in aggressively which is rather frowned upon today but it's good to have an aggressive ball winner who can then pass the ball quickly as well. He is an upgrade on Holtby, less running around everywhere and more end product.

First-half: Stambouli has had a good first-half winning a lot of ball in the centre and is accurate with his passes. A good addition to the squad.


27 mins Plays the ball to Townsend who has a shot but it is blocked.

34 mins Stambouli gives it away with Davies stranded high up the field, but the central midfielder recovers with a good tackle.

43mins Bentaleb gives the ball away but Stambouli is covering and clears

53 mins Gives a free-kick away for a professional hand ball on the half way line allowing the team to get men back behind the ball.

63 mins Stambouli knocks an excellent first-time diagonal cross from 20 yards out on the back post. Soldado tries to bring id down and can't when it would probably have been simpler to go with his head.

71 mins Capoue replaces Stambouli

His awareness of what's around him was good, he was always available for a short pass, he moved into positions to receive the ball between players and moves the ball on well. Personally I thought at Sunderland and even more so here that we have picked up a bit of a bargain. He is unknown over here but is a lot better than people realise I think.

There were question marks how he would handle being away from home for the first time but he looks to be loving it. He spent the first part of the game winning a lot of the ball in midfield, being strong when staying on his feet.

Twitter Reaction

To Dier Is To Do ‏@Mishmoo5
Loving Stambouli. Encouraging play, directing operations, talking to everyone.
There's our leader.

Ben McAleer ‏@BenMcAleer1
Benjamin Stambouli had a 92% pass success rate and made 6 tackles - the joint highest of all players in Spurs' 0-0 draw with Partizan

Spurs Family ‏@spurs_family
Benjamin Stambouli has started impressively. The new Spurs man hasn’t misplaced a pass so far

Ben Pearce ‏@BenPearceSpurs
Looks like Stambouli will fit in well and be a good option in the centre, while Fazio was solid apart from one error from a throw-in.

Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report Benjamin Stambouli Performance Report Reviewed by THBlogNews on 12:30 pm Rating: 5

Who are our best defensive midfield pairing?

9:56 am
The weekend Premier League fixture against Sunderland away at the Stadium of Light may see us get an indication of who Pochettino sees as our strongest midfield pairing. It's tough for fans to know considering we haven't seen one of the options available play yet.

Benjamin Stambouli is an unknown factor, just as Etienne Capoue was when we signed him from Ligue 1 last summer. Arsene Wenger has long used French players who have had little problems adapting to the Premier League.

There is a reason why they take less time to adapt then others. Of the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 players, the French are physiologically, the hardest working. They have the highest total distance run and distance in high intensity (sprint + high speed) of the four divisions.

The number of challenges is also relatively high, second to only the English Premier League (EPL). Players also make the most number of touches per ball possession. They are already better equipped physically to make the adjustment and Stambouli looks to be another for whom the transition period may be brief.

James Eastham is a French football scout, analyst and writer who has watched the 24-year-old. He had this to say about Stambouli.

"He’s a pretty big guy, about 6ft, and with a strong build, and is a powerful operator in the middle of the pitch. On the ball you would describe him as good rather than excellent – he has a decent passing range without being outstanding, and can beat a man when necessary - but generally keeps the team ticking over without getting forward too often."

One of the problems Mauricio Pochettino sees at Tottenham is the speed with which the ball is distributed forward. As we fans are well aware our play had become laboured, almost as if we were waiting for teams to put eleven men behind the ball before we would consider an attack. Passing the ball among ourselves was the name of the game, great for individual player passing statistics but nobody actually tried to create anything.

Now we have three creative players and a striker who interchange, it's important they get the ball forward fast to them to have a greater affect on games. The role of the two defensive midfielders is to win the ball and pick out the right ball to set us away on an attack. We need more than winning the ball and playing a 5-yard pass and for that a player has to have vision.

All vision is is constantly looking around to see where everyone is, sounds simple but it's amazing how little players actually do it. Andres Pirlo is so good because he does it constantly, if any footballer wants to improve his game, it's probably the biggest thing he could do, as a study into that very fact within the Premier League revealed.

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Professor Geir Jordet of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences used the Sky Sports' PlayerCam function and examined 55 Premier League midfielders' head movements. He discovered that the more players scanned their surroundings, the statistically more successful they were with their passes.

"The visually most active third of the players completed almost twice as many forward passes as the least active players."

It's not rocket science is it, it's pretty obvious and quite incredible that players aren't trained to do it more, instead of allowing them to act on default. It's just one aspect of football coaching that is way behind the times. The brain in football coaching is the next frontier and Tottenham need to be leading the way to gain an advantage and improve the players we have.

Eastham continues with his assessment of new defensive midfield recruit Stambouli.

"Arguably his strength is his work off the ball and he will suit the high-intensity pressing style with which Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino achieved success at Southampton. He plays with great intensity and energy, pressing well and having the stamina to put the opposition under pressure over 90 minutes. A lot of players need time to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Barclays Premier League. Stambouli will need time like everybody else, but he is well equipped already on based on what he has shown in Ligue 1."

If he already has the stamina then he could possibly make his debut at Sunderland. If he did who would he be alongside though, Capoue, Bentaleb, Dembele, Paulinho, or will he come off the bench. We have quite a few options to choose from.

Capoue has been a first choice for pre-season and in Premier League games so far but as Jamie Redknapp points out, operates at a slow pace. Bentaleb is learning his trade and gets caught on the half-way line a couple of times each game, yet is playing balls to wide men and has created a couple of chances with his passing. Dembele is defensively solid but slows the game down and his passing statistics show he passing backwards almost as much as he does forward, with his favourite pass being to Capoue when it should be to one of the four attacking players. Paulinho hasn't been fit yet so very hard to know how he is going to play this season.

We have bought a UEFA Europa League winner and a French Ligue 1 winner to help add the right mentality to the squad. Sambouli burst onto the scene in France the way Bentaleb did for us last season reports Eastman.

"At Montpellier he was a member of the side who caused a massive shock by winning the 2011/12 Ligue 1 title. At the start of that campaign Montpellier were more than outsiders, they were not on anybody’s radar as potential title-winners. Stambouli was a fringe figure during the first half of that season but broke into the team midway through the campaign and went to play an important role in their shock title. That was the season in which he became known to French football fans."

It is very hard to assess a player and You Tube is not the place to be doing so, you only see the good and not the bad, but focussing on the good he appears to be an all action midfielder who has improved his passing range since he broke into the side.

Now that the international break is out the way and all the players are fit, it will be interesting to see which combination Pochettino feels is our best and plays in most of the Premier League games. Sunderland may give us an indication of that. However with players having played international football and undertaken travelling we may have to wait a little longer.

Who are our best defensive midfield pairing? Who are our best defensive midfield pairing? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:56 am Rating: 5
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