Spurs versus Real Madrid: (match preview)

825676A9-F232-4368-ABDB-A2AD330E235AJust over two weeks have passed since our famous 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu, but Pochettino’s side who are on the cusp of qualifying for the knockout stages of the champions league. Will be facing Real Madrid (the current holders of the competition) again when they host the Spanish side at Wembley Stadium tomorrow evening. It’s a game in which all Spurs fans are looking forward to and rightly so, players and supporters alike deserve it. With key players such as Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane both out injured, whilst key man Isco is also a doubt through injury. There’s reason to feel confident, Spurs produced a brilliant performance up against Zinedine Zidane’s side in Madrid and there’s no reason why they can’t replicate that tomorrow. Real, who lost their last match against newly promoted Girona at the weekend haven’t been at their best this season, even with world class players such as Ronaldo and Kroos in their team, I’m feeling quietly confident that we can pull off a big surprise. COYS

My predicted lineup:(3-4-2-1) Lloris(c), Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Aurier, Winks, Dembele, Davies, Alli, Erisken, Kane.

Subs from: Vorm, Trippier, Dier, Rose, Sissoko, Son, Llorente.

My score prediction: 3-1 to Spurs courtesy of goals from Kane x2 and Dele Alli.

One to watch: World class midfielder and excellent passer, Toni Kroos.

Some post match thoughts on Spurs’ defeat to Manchester United:

Some post match thoughts on Spurs’ defeat to Manchester United:

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I thought I’d wait for a couple of days before I reflected on our narrow defeat to Manchester United at the weekend. It was a game with few clear cut chances, memorable pieces of play or much cutting edge. The game was to be decided by Anthony Martial’s late winner which was a cruel blow for Pochettino’s side who had done enough to earn a draw. The absence of our talisman Harry Kane was an evident factor throughout, and were he playing, he could well have balanced the game in our favour. But he wasn’t and Pochettino had to learn to adapt to that, playing the inform Son up front in a side which included a fair bit of rotation. As a matter of fact it was a dull game which didn’t throw up too many talking points, our lads managing to grow into the game after a difficult opening 15 minutes. And for large periods of the game we looked the more likely to find the opener, we looked really solid and composed at the back. Though there was an attacking potency missing up top, Pochettino’s side done well to create against one of Europe’s most defensive teams. Eriksen’s lovely lofted ball to Dele Alli inside the penalty area towards the tail end of the game saw Alli unable to quite adjust his body in time as he volleyed wide, in what was our best chance of the game. And from that opportunity came the winner, when minutes later Man United went on a good run down at the other end, which culminated in Martial’s winner.

It was a frustrating game especially after our hugely disappointing defeat to West Ham in the league cup, just a couple of days earlier. But it was one that we could take knowing that our lads had done their all even with limited resources. Very few sides are going to go to Old Trafford this season and come home with any points, our side pushed Mourinho’s team very close. But there’s no time to ponder, we have a massive Champions league game against Real Madrid on Wednesday. COYS

Spurs versus Manchester United: (match preview)

Spurs versus Manchester United: (match preview)

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How will Spurs cope without Harry Kane for the visit of Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime? Well Mauricio Pochettino’s side are going to have to, with Spurs announcing on Friday morning that their top scorer will be unavailable for selection against Man United due to a slight hamstring tear. This comes as a massive blow for our side, after the huge disappointments of midweek, where we managed to mess up a two goal lead over West Ham in the Carabao cup, with the final result ending in a surprise 3-2 defeat. The sheer disappointment of that defeat will resonate across the whole of the Spurs fan base, but in saying that it would swiftly be forgotten about if we could pull off a good result against United tomorrow. Mourinho’s excellent side who sit in second position above of us only on goal difference in the table, had started the season brilliantly well until an unexpected slip up away to Huddersfield last Saturday. However, that is likely to be a rare blip, and he will be desperate for his side to get all three points on Saturday when these two teams meet. COYS

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Lloris(c), Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Aurier, Dier, Dembele, Davies, Alli, Eriksen, Son.

Subs from: Vorm, Trippier, Walker-Peters, Sissoko, Nkoudou, Georgiou, Llorente.

Absentees: Lamela, Kane, Wanyama.

My score prediction: 1-1. Courtesy of a goal from Dele.

One to watch: One of the leagues finest strikers, Belgian superstar Romelu Lukaku has netted 7 league goals so far this season.

Spurs 4-1 Liverpool: (some thoughts on a thrilling game of football)

Spurs 4-1 Liverpool: (some thoughts on a thrilling game of football)

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It was a day in which two of the premier leagues most attack minded sides faced each other, our beloved Spurs and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, and it certainly stood up to the billing. It was a game in which Pochettino’s in form side flourished in, against an attacking Liverpool side with a woeful defence, the Wembley curse had been well and truly broken with a superb 4-1 victory. There was champagne football on display from both sides though it was our lads who were the exceptional side, out playing Liverpool with some brilliant incisive football from just 36% of possession, the colossal Harry Kane at the heart of all the action. Carrying on from our famous 1-1 draw with Real Madrid in midweek, Pochettino’s side could never have looked fresher starting the game with some electric play, where we looked destined to score every time we approached the Liverpool goal. Harry Kane got things off to a brilliant start inside just 4 minutes when he latched on to Trippier’s pass before powering his way into the area and swivelling around the diving Mignolet with immaculate close ball control, before clinically tapping home. The 80,000 strong crowd (a premier league record) were in jubilant form and things were to get even better for them, when Spurs doubled their advantage a mere 8 minutes later, after the unstoppable Kane powered down the right wing, before shrugging off a hapless Lovren and crossing into Son, who clinically converted at the far post. Spurs could have gone three up after another brilliant move which resulted in Son smashing an effort off the crossbar as Liverpool continued to look dazed.

Spurs seemed destined to put the game to bed, but Liverpool had other ideas. Klopp’s side pulling a goal back when Salah clipped the ball home after receiving a long ball from Henderson. Liverpool then begun to make more of a mark on the game following Salah’s goal, good chances being created from both sides. However, the pivotal goal was scored for Spurs by Dele, when he capped of a perfect first half of football with a well measured volley on the edge of the penalty area, in additional time of the first half. A surprise half time guest which was none other than the legendary Diego Maradona prolonged the excitement. And it was straight after the interval when Spurs wrapped up proceedings after Harry Kane put the game to bed with a poachers finish inside the area following Eriksen’s resulting free kick which was totally missed by Mignolet, who went to punch. Spurs went on to control the game, and in truth we could have scored as many as six goals, such was our creativity and energy going forward. Our brilliant side played like a team of champions with the skill, class and intelligence to outplay one of the leagues finest sides with such a low
amount of possession (36%). It was yet another tactical masterclass from Pochettino he set his side up impeccably, with Dele Alli in a deeper creative role, Son coming in to form a diamond with Erisken and the centre of attention, a certain Mr.Harry Kane. It was that free flowing and confident football that we had seen over the course of the last month or so, really come into fruition and we looked unstoppable.

Klopp’s side set out to get us on the counter attack, but our brilliant start ended that plan meaning they were always on the back foot. There were three standout performances which I’ll be focusing on, starting with our superstar Harry Kane. There are no words to describe the magnificence of our talisman, Sunday’s game was played around him and every contribution he made to the game was significant. Contributing just the two goals and one assist, the powerful English striker put in one of his performances of the season giving the reds defence a torrid time in the process. You just had to see the runs he made, his positioning, strength and clinical ability in front of goal to show you why he is one of the Worlds very best. Though he did come off injured towards the tail end of the game (it appears it was just cramp) he’s sensational swashbuckling performance was that from a player at the top of his game who is more often than not impossible to defend against or nullify. With the absence of both Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, Pochettino put Dele Alli in a deeper position against Liverpool as he formed a midfield partnership with Harry Winks. Dele had a tremendous game, and put in a performance to rival any premier league midfielder. Efficient and creative, Alli was so composed against the likes of Can and Henderson. He oozed class, combining his attacking play with a more defensive stance. The pocket of space he found, and the brilliant volley for our third and most decisive goal was so perfectly executed.

The other player who really impressed me was Jan Vertonghen, whose tenaciousness across the backline had just as big an impact on the game as Harry Kane did going forward. His timing and reading of the game was immaculate, the numerous important interceptions he made, was testament to his class on the pitch. Apologies for the late write up of the game. COYS

 

Statistics: Senior goal scorers: Alli-3
Davies-2
Kane-13
Eriksen-3
Son-2
Sissoko-1

 

Assists Eriksen-3
Trippier-6
Davies-2
Kane-3
Alli-2
Alderweireld-1
Sissoko-1

 

Spurs versus West Ham United: (match preview)

Spurs versus West Ham United: (match preview)

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The fourth round of this seasons Carabao cup is upon us, an intriguing London Derby for Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side will see them host rivals West Ham at Wembley Stadium later on today. At a time when West Ham’s manager Slavan Bilic is fighting for his job after a torrid start to the campaign. Following on from our dramatic 3-2 victory over the hammers at the London stadium, as well as a string of brilliant results our side couldn’t be more of a polar opposite to the hammers current situation. Our dazzling 4-1 victory over Liverpool on Sunday put any worries of a Wembley curse to bed. But with a much rotated team to the one that thrashed Liverpool expected, will it be enough to progress through to the quarterfinals of this important competition? COYS

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Vorm, Sanchez, Vertonghen(c), Foyth, Walker-Peters, Dier, Dele, Rose, Son, Sissoko, Llorente.

Subs from: Gazzaniga, Trippier, Alderweireld, Winks, Nkoudou, Georgiou, Kane.

My score prediction: 3-1 to Spurs courtesy of a hat trick from Son.

One to watch: Unstoppable when fit, the aerial ability of striker Andy Carrol could prove to be a pivotal part of this evenings game and will be something that will push our defence to the limits.

 

Spurs versus Liverpool:(match preview)

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No team came closer to beating us at White Hart Lane than Liverpool last season, Jurgen Klopp’s attacking side stunned us and were desperately unlucky not to have beaten us in the 1-1 draw at the beginning of last season. Over a season later and we host the reds again this time in a mouth watering home match at Wembley, on Sunday afternoon in the premier league. What a game this one is going to be, two of the leagues most attack minded sides facing each other, it promises to be a real treat of a game. Following on from our fabulous draw with Real Madrid in midweek, Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be high on confidence going into this game. However, so will Jurgen Klopp’s side who dismantled Maribor 7-0 in midweek in one of the biggest away wins in champions league history. Though their form can be somewhat erratic, the reds can rip apart any side on their day. Their formidable front three consisting of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is one of the best in Europe, though the latter is injured their attack still provides great pace and creativity, and will really test our defenders especially on the vast Wembley pitch. When the fixtures were drawn up over the summer, this was the one game that I feared the most mainly due to the size of the Wembley pitch and the pace that the Merseyside club posses. Klopp’s side move the ball around very quickly and are devastating on the counter attack, and though they are not the best defensively they have the capabilities to really test us.

Of course with our brilliant recent form and blossoming side, I’m confident going into this game but I feel that a win will still be a tough objective to achieve. Our home form over recent seasons has been pretty dire against Liverpool but I’m hopeful that this game will be an exception, I cannot wait for this one! COYS

Absentees: Lamela and Dembele.

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Lloris(c), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Aurier, Eriksen, Winks, Davies, Son, Alli, Kane.

My score prediction: 3-2 to Spurs courtesy of goals from Son, Harry Kane and Serge Aurier.

One to watch: Liverpools pacy and skilful Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah has been one of Liverpool’s star players so far this campaign. Since signing from Roma in the summer, Salah has already scored four league goals and has provided one assist so far this season.

Spurs 1-1 Real Madrid: (some thoughts on the game)

Spurs 1-1 Real Madrid: (some thoughts on the game)

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It was a famous, famous night in Madrid on Tuesday as Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side produced one of their finest and most impressive performances under his tenure in the Spanish capital. Rather than doing a report or going into great detail about the game, which has already been done hundreds of times since Tuesdays game. I thought I’d share a couple of my thoughts on that brilliant team performance which leaves us on the cusp of qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA champions league. No one could have expected the lineup for the game at the Santiago Bernabéu, the surprise inclusion of Fernando Llorente up front as a target man and the deep lying Harry Winks as a holding midfielder, showed just another tactical master stroke, by Pochettino in a highly effective Spurs side. During the 1-1 draw which we could even have won, such was the potent chances we were able to create. There were so many fantastic performances, but I’m just going to focus on three players in particular. New signing Serge Aurier put in his best performance yet in a Spurs shirt since his summer arrival from PSG. The impact he had on the game from right back was immense not only was he rock solid down the flank, he produced a dazzling attacking display which with his pace and power, really propelled us going forward.

His excellent cross to create the opening goal was a thing of beauty, and it wasn’t the only wonderful ball he put into the area. Yes, he did concede the penalty after his challenge on Toni Kroos resulted in Ronaldo’s equaliser from the spot. But the Ivory Coast international put in the complete performance at right back, he was so assured and comfortable in dealing with the Real Madrid front line, his experience from his PSG days evident. But he also provided the pace which Kyle Walker once provided on the counter attack. Aurier may have a bit of a competitive streak to his game but the 24 year old is a brilliant defender whose best years are still ahead of him. Academy graduate Harry Winks stole the show against Real Madrid with his colossal performance as a holding midfielder against the galacticos. The 21 year old put in a performance which grabbed the plaudits of many across the globe, though us Spurs fans have seen him put in shifts like that before, his performance at the Bernabéu was still remarkable. His deftly accurate and slick passing combined with his decisiveness and ice cool composure in the centre of the park, saw him adapt perfectly to a high tempo game which included some world class midfielders. We saw his more defensive side which he showcased with such aplomb, Winks’ decisive defending and ball retention saved us on quite a few occasions against a formidable Real Madrid attack. The 21 year old from Hemel Hempstead put his name on the world stage with a brilliant performance from that of a young man with the world at his feet, Pochettino’s faith in him couldn’t have been more evident.

The final player I’d like to talk about is another new signing, versatile Colombian centre half Davinson Sanchez. The 21 year old operated as a right side centre half, and his influence on the game was nothing short of immense. Sanchez has adapted so quickly to Pochettino’s style of play and posed with his biggest challenge yet against players of the ilk of Cristiano Ronaldo, he produced his finest performance thus far in a Spurs shirt. Sanchez’s awareness, composure and decisiveness were all top notch, he was unfazed with defending against Cristiano Ronaldo. And he defended against the Portuguese super star with the maturity of a veteran, along side Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier in the Spurs back three. Our performance against the holders of this prestigious competition, was one in which each and every Spurs fan and player alike can savour, what a contrast to last seasons campaign this is proving to be. COYS

Spurs versus Real Madrid: (match preview)

Spurs versus Real Madrid: (match preview)

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Spurs versus Real Madrid in the champions league under the lights of the world famous Santiago Bernabéu, is an occasion which fans have been dreaming about for years. That dream will become a reality this evening when our inform lads take on the greatest club side in the world on their own patch. As good as we are and as hard to beat as we are, is a draw to high an expectation against the holders of the competition? A team which includes mercurial talents such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco and Sergio Ramos. Zidane’s side although not exactly firing on all four cylinders at the moment have the potential to play us off the park. Pochettino’s side regardless of the team selection will have to stand tall and give their all, and for that our supporters will be proud. I cannot wait for this one! COYS

Absentees: Davies, Lamela, Nkoudou, Wanyama, Alli.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lloris(c), Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Eriksen, Son, Kane.

Subs from: Vorm, Rose, Foyth, Trippier, Llorente, Winks, Georgiou.

My score prediction: 2-2 courtesy of goals from Sissoko and Kane.

One to watch: One of the very best, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The continued rise of Christian Eriksen:

The continued rise of Christian Eriksen:

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“it’s almost unimaginable to think of Mauricio Pochettino’s blossoming Spurs side without the Danish magician at the heart of it.”

The 30th August 2013 was the day in which Andre Villas Boas’ summer spending spree came to an end, following the pending big money departure of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. On that day a young Danish attacking midfielder by the name of Christian Erisken signed personal terms with Spurs at Hotspur way. A success story in between a whole host of other marquee signings who could never quite adapt to life at Spurs, Christian Eriksen was and has been a remarkable exception. The young Dane who was being sought after by a host of top European clubs during his emergence at Dutch Eredivsie club Ajax, had been signed to AVB’s post Bale side as an exciting young buy. It was after all for today’s meagre transfer fee of just £11 million pounds. Fast forward four and a bit years later and it’s almost unimaginable to think of Mauricio Pochettino’s blossoming Spurs side without the Danish magician at the heart of it. The Denmark international now 25, netted his 45th goal in Spurs colours at the weekend, when he scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at Wembley. Ask any Spurs fan what Eriksen’s greatest quality is and they won’t say goals, they’ll highlight his unique ability to create. The young Dane from the town of Middelfart in central Denmark, has developed into one of the most visionary players in the current game, and also one of the most underrated.

The attacking midfielder joined Spurs as a player of immense potential, he went on to show that in his first two and a half seasons at the lilywhites. However, in the last year Eriksen has gone from being a very good player into becoming a world class one. Arguably our most prized asset the attacking gem more often than not runs games on his own, with his ridiculously high work rate, remarkable vision and supreme footballing brain. Erisken’s stats over the last year read that of one of the finest playmakers in the world. Capped just the 73 times for his country, Eriksen has grown immensely as a player under the tutelage of Pochettino. Awarded Spurs’ player of the season last term for his influence on our title challenging side, his footballing education at Ajax plain to see throughout the campaign. There have been times in big games in previous seasons where I felt that Eriksen faded away a bit from the heat of the action, that is no longer the case, he has shown remarkable consistency and strength and has risen to the occasion when called upon. Since joining Spurs the 25 year old has accumulated a total of 46 assists for the lilywhites (that’s not including domestic cup competitions) add the 45 goals to that and it highlights just how profound an impact he has had in a relatively short space of time.

The former Ajax man is the ultimate Pochettino player if ever there was one, he presses non stops, covers more ground than any of his team mates, links up well with the team and most importantly of all provides the on the field brains behind our attacking quality. Four years of Christian Erisken at Spurs has shown us that we have yet another world class player amongst a team of stars, but it gets better, he hasn’t even reached his peak yet. With the ability to grow even more as a footballer. The master creator is as essential to this current team as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and the man himself Mauricio Pochettino, long may this brilliant player continue to flourish in lilywhite.

Some thoughts on Spurs’ 1-0 victory over Bournemouth:

Some thoughts on Spurs’ 1-0 victory over Bournemouth:

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– Match winner Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in six goals so far this season.

It wasn’t a pretty game, nor was it one in which our lads showed off their footballing prowess, but it was however a massively important win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side on Saturday afternoon against Bournemouth. There was no underlining the importance of our victory over the cherries on Saturday afternoon, our first league win at Wembley was finally achieved with a dominant display over the Dorset club. Despite having 73% of possession it was a far from straight forward game against Eddie Howe’s energetic side, a magnificent reflex save from Lloris and a dangerous chance for Stanislas saw the cherries have the best chances in the first half. Harry Kane could well have converted Eriksen’s brilliant pass just after the half hour mark were it not for an alert Asmir Begovic, as he capped off a quiet first half. The second half was started with real intent from Spurs, an intent which saw them take the lead just two minutes after the restart. When, a block by Simon Francis fell perfectly at the feet of Eriksen, who stroked the ball past Begovic from the edge of the penalty area, to put us ahead. It could and most probably should have been more, as Spurs continued to hog possession for the remainder of the half. Bosnian international Asmir Begovic denying Kane with fine saves in quick succession on the hour mark, as we continued to look for that illusive second goal, Begovic was to make four saves in the second half. Former Spurs favourite Jermaine Defoe was brought on late in the half to bolster the cherries attack, Defoe forcing Lloris into making an important save at his near post on 78 minutes.

A good team move towards the latter stages of the game almost saw Dier seal victory were it not for a valiant block by Cook. Then, deep in additional time the newly introduced Nkoudou was played through on goal by Sissoko. The Frenchman was brought down on the edge of the box by Begovic though the referee waved play on, Winks’ effort from a tight angel sailed high over the crossbar. As the whistle blew for full time, I was sat in my seat relieved that the final Wembley jinx had been broken, and that we had secured that vital win which leaves us in a healthy third place in the table. It’s a real privilege to watch our blossoming team, that’s five wins on the bounce now, ahead of Tuesdays glamour tie against Real Madrid. The lads dug in deep today and achieved the primary objective, yes it may only have been 1-0 but had Bournemouth come at us more when they were behind, then I think we’d have got a couple more against them on another day. Pochettino’s side kept things nice and simple today, they kept the ball attacked when they needed to and defended almost impeccably. Match winner Christian Erisken will have stolen the headlines with his classy winner, but the player who really stood out for me was the brilliant Jan Vertonghen, the central defender switched to left back against Bournemouth. And the Belgian put in a brilliant shift, everything from his tackling to his forward runs and crossing was top notch. At times it felt like he was playing like an out and out winger, he really is such a versatile and important player.

I also thought Winks had a good game today in the centre of the park, he was very creative from deep. And also Kieran Trippier really impressed, both solid and a real attacking threat from the right back. On to Tuesday now, and what a game it will be! COYS