Blogs | Fresh Spurs - Part 30

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What Tottenham Hotspur means to the fans!

Tottenham Hotspur. It’s more than a club to us fans. We’ve all grown up with the club, and we’ve all seen the effects it can have on us all. The missed chances, the stars we let go, but at the end of the day, that is what it is all about when you support Tottenham Hotspur. It just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have the hard parts. The tough times are what make the good times amazing.

 

I’ve grown up surrounded by Tottenham, and I think that’s why the club means so much to me, but I’m not the only one. The majority of our fans have been fans for generations, with fathers having their sons and daughters loving the club, and that is why there is so much passion in every one of our supporters. Each fan has their favourite player, or the player they wanted to be when they played football at the park.

The new stadium will obviously mean more fans, and more money, but for the supporters who have taken the pilgrimage to the famous White Hart Lane every season, or even if it Is just that one time, it means a lot more. The new stadium introduces what we have been waiting to happen for many years. Sure, the Olympic Stadium would have made more financial sense, but it isn’t Tottenham. East London isn’t Tottenham, and the protests made sense to us, and that is all that matters. I cannot wait to walk up the Tottenham High Street after coming off of Seven Sisters station with my family and my girlfriend and see the fantastic new stadium, all the fans looking in amazement at what the club has built.

Tottenham runs through my family. It always has done come to think about it. My granddad has always supported Spurs, ever since we beat Leicester in the FA Cup final in the almighty year of 1961. He went to every game he could at the Lane, but then things changed. My mum came along, and also discovered her love for the club and followed the squad through many a cup run, accompanied by my grandfather. She grew up watching the likes of Gary Mabbutt, Paul Gascoigne, and Chris Waddle. My grandfather grew up watching Cliff Jones, Dave Mackay, Danny Blanchflower, Jimmy Greaves, Glenn Hoddle, Ray Clemence, Ardilles and Villa. It’s amazing to think at all the history just these two have witnessed at White Hart Lane, Wembley and many other places.

Then comes me…

For years, I watched on Sky Sports my heroes play for the famous Lilywhites. The likes of Robbie Keane, Dimitar Berbatov, Ledley King, Paul Robinson, Gareth Bale just to name a few. These were players, who I looked up to, and if I played in goal I was Robinson, but if I was a defender I was “Deadly” Ledley King. It was amazing. But there was one game that I had looked to go to at least once in my lifetime. That was the North London Derby, and it wasn’t until this season that has just gone, that I managed to go. My girlfriend was the one who got the tickets, and we made our way to the ground, and feeling the atmosphere is what made the day. I knew it was a good day when Ledley came out at halftime (side note, my girlfriend has admitted that Ledley is a great name, but she wouldn’t buy Pavlyuchenko, or Chimbonda. She wouldn’t even bite for Thorstvelt.)

But seeing the joy in the faces of every single Tottenham fan on that day, alongside the fact that everyone was singing their admiration for a certain Harry Kane. This joy and love is what this club means to us as fans. The history, the players, the atmosphere and just everything that makes this club great. Tottenham runs through the blood of some, and some are born into the club. Either way, the fans are all the same.

Other clubs may have a lot more tourists at their games, other teams may not even fill up their stadium (we know who that is) but none of them can match the passion and love that the Tottenham Hotspur fans have for this great club. I write this in the hope that anyone reading this remembers some of the moments that they love about the club. Whether it be winning the double, the cup victories, the first game or first derby like myself, I hope this allows some great memories to flow.

Should Tottenham Sell Andros Townsend This Summer?

The common feeling around Tottenham Hotspur right now is that Mauricio Pochettino is building a young, hungry talented squad with plenty of potential to improve. Combine that with players who are approaching their prime such as Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen and the balance in the squad looks positive.

However, caught in the middle of all of this is Andros Townsend. At 23, he can no longer be considered a young up and coming talent along the same lines as 20 year old Nabil Bentaleb or 21 year old Harry Kane. Here and now is the time for Townsend to prove himself a player that has a future at Tottenham.

Cast your mind back to 2013. Townsend had started the season in terrific form and had fired himself into the England team, scoring a terrific goal on his debut. It looked like Spurs and England had unearthed a true gem who would go from strength to strength. Townsend was electric in his play, however an injury hampered his progress and from that moment to this day he has never looked the same. His confidence clearly plummeted after his injury and he has not been able to hit a consistent level since. The question now is does he still have a future in the Tottenham first team? Last season we saw mere flashes of his talent (his superb goal against Swansea for example) and for the most part he was kept out of the team by Erik Lamela.

It was reported last summer that Tottenham had received bids of up to 12 million for Townsend’s services. Spurs are not exactly blessed in Townsend’s position, with his challenger Lamela not enjoying the best of seasons either. Both players are viewed as frustrating by most spurs fans, due to their decision making and lack of a final product. Townsend in particular though is certainly at a crossroads in his career, as there’s no guarantee of him getting a starting spot next and season and also every chance that Spurs could sell him for a sufficient fee.

Would selling Townsend be a good idea? Some may feel that all he really needs is a consistent run in the team to try and prove himself again, and there’s also his international performances to take into consideration. Roy Hodgson consistently shows faith in Andros and most of the time it pays off, his superb goal against Italy proving that. His confidence seems to sky rocket when he pulls on the England shirt and if Pochettino could channel that form into his performances for Spurs then we may be looking at the Andros of 2013 again. However, this is all easier said than done and there have been little signs of it happening so far. Townsend’s career at Tottenham may very well depend on his performances in 2015/16, as that may just be his last chance to prove that he can reach the levels he achieves for England and has achieved for Tottenham in the past.

Is Andros good enough? Does he deserve a starting spot? Tweet us @Fresh_Spurs_ and let us know your thoughts

Tottenham’s Recruitment So Far This Summer Is A Step In The Right Direction

Cast your mind back to 2013 when Spurs sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a record-breaking fee of £85m, and over the course of that summer transfer window, the club bought in seven new additions all from overseas clubs.

Two of the biggest signings over the spending spree were Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado, who have both somewhat underachieved in their respective times at the club. Although, Lamela is improving game by game, he still has scored just two Premier League goals since his arrival from Roma, and for £30m, you would expect a little more from a club-record signing.

Etienne Capoue and Paulinho have just been sold on to other clubs after two seasons at the club, with neither being able to break the solid midfield partnership of Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb. As for Vlad Chiriches in the defence, well, do I need to say anymore?

On the other hand, Christian Eriksen has contributed a number of key late goals in his two years at the club, whilst Nacer Chadli, who had a rocky first season, has been able to put himself on the scoresheet twelve times over the course of last season.

The point I am trying to make is that bringing in players from overseas can very much be like a lucky dip. Some players adapt to the pace and physical demand of the Premier League, whilst others don’t, and sometimes the players that you paid less for can sometimes blossom a whole lot more than your record signing, Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli in this case.

After the summer disaster of 2013, I have been of the opinion that we should bring in predominantly English players, or players that have had experience in the Premier League. In the summer of 2014, this improved as Spurs brought in Michel Vorm, Ben Davies, and Eric Dier, who in fact spent his early footballing years in England before moving to Portugal and Sporting Lisbon. All three have been on the fringes of first team football, or have been played out of position when given the chance, so haven’t shown their full potential yet in my opinion.

In that summer window, we also made the signings of Federico Fazio and Benjamin Stambouli, both have failed to prove their worth in their first season at the club, and both were bought from overseas clubs.

As you can see from last year’s signings, and the summer before that, overseas players have been less than successful to say the least in their time’s at the club. However, you can uncover a gem from time to time when recruiting from overseas. Take Luis Suarez for example, or Eden Hazard, both players that Spurs could have signed according to Harry Redknapp.

This summer, I think that so far, Levy, Mitchell and Pochettino have got the balance just right. They have offloaded some of the ‘deadwood’ in Paulinho and Etienne Capoue, and we have brought in two players with Premier League experience, and just the one from overseas, Kevin Wimmer.

When signing a player from a Premier League club, or a player that has just finished a loan spell at a Premier League in our case, then generally you know what you are going to get from them, you do not have this luxary when signing a foreign players as I mentioned earlier.

Adding to the already good additions of Kevin Wimmmer, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweield, I would like to see Spurs make a couple more signings in this window. I would like to see a striker brought in, and maybe a holding midfielder. Who do you think Spurs should bring in this summer.

What Kevin Wimmer Can Bring To An Evolving Tottenham Side

With the summer transfer window rumour mill starting to gather speed, it would be easy to forget that Spurs actually completed the acquisition of Kevin Wimmer before the window technically opened. They weren’t the only ones of course to get some of their business done early but with Spurs reportedly on the verge of signing Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld, Wimmer does look like he’s gone under the radar.

The defensive side of our game was certainly something that all fans knew we needed to improve and its been great to see Pochettino bringing in talents with some Premier League experience (Trippier and hopefully Alderweireld) but this article focuses on the Austrian born man bought from Cologne, and what he can bring to this evolving Tottenham team.

Cologne were promoted into the Bundesliga at the beginning of last season, a return to the top flight for them which was built on a superb defensive record, as they conceded a mere 20 goals in 34 games. Promisingly, 22 year old Wimmer was at the heart of this defensive success and remained a regular for the start of the Bundesliga season, a season which would see him pitted against some truly world class players. Once again, he was the foundation at the back that helped Cologne finish in a comfortable 12th place in the Bundesliga,again with an excellent defensive record, the 5th best in the division. Stats like these are flattering and although of course Cologne’s success can’t all be down to Wimmer, encouraging signs are certainly there to be admired.

Looking further into the stats side of his game, Wimmer certainly has clear strengths but also clear weaknesses. Wimmer is described by most sources as tough, committed and superb in the air. Looking at his stats for last season, there is no reason to believe any different. In comparison to our other centre backs, he made 31 blocks over the course of the season (the most in the Bundesliga last season) 10 more than our highest Jan Vertonghen. He also won more aerial duels than Vertonghen and Dier over the course of the season, backing up the common feeling that he dominates in the air which works in his favour considering the reputation the Premier League has for it’s physicality.

However, based on this it would be wrong to assume that despite his tall stature and physically imposing presence, he can’t get about the pitch. He has the pace to cover for teammates which means he can also mix it up to keep up with the more pacey, tricky players that he will inevitably come up against.

At 22 years of age, there is plenty of time for Wimmer to iron out the weaknesses in his game, which seem to be the technical aspects. Looking at his distribution from the back, he has a disappointing 75.2% pass completion rate, compared to Vertonghen’s 85.1% and the much criticised Fazio’s 80%. However, he didn’t make a single defensive error last season which will put many fans minds at rest that he is calm and composed enough in possession to cope with the intensity of the Premier League.

Of course, stats are not everything and many fans will have a ‘let’s see him play’ before making any real judgment on if he is good enough. It would be wise to assume that Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches won’t be at the club next season which would push Wimmer closer to a starting place. However, his squad role in my opinion depends on whether Spurs get the deal to sign Alderweireld over the line. We have reportedly offered around 11 million for his services and with him having premier league experience and also having a good relationship with Belgian team mate Vertonghen, it would be expected that he goes straight into the starting line up.

This doesn’t mean Wimmer won’t get his chance to impress though, as Spurs once again have plenty of games in the Europa League to contend with and you would expect Wimmer to make his first foray into the first team picture in European games.

Based on his stats and reputation, it is clear we have signed a talented young centre back that can improve. Luckily, if there’s one man who knows how to get the best out of young talents its Pochettino (There have been plenty of examples of it this past season). Wimmer is certainly an improvement on the ageing Younes Kaboul and the calamitous Vlad Chiriches, and at 4.3 million, a very good signing. Let’s hope we see him enjoy many successes in North London.

FIVE Players Harry Redknapp Could Have Signed In His Time At Tottenham

This dates back to 2014, when Harry Redknapp claimed in an interview with Four Four Two that “I could’ve won the league with Tottenham”. Now, there is no doubting that Harry Redknapp could have won the league with Tottenham, after all we did have a midfield of Scott Parker, Luka Modric, Rafael Van Der Vaart and Gareth Bale, arguably the best midfield in the league at that time.

But when he made these quotes earlier in the week, it reminded me of that time Redknapp turned down Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez because “they weren’t cut out for the Premier League” (his words not mine). We would have won the league for sure if we had them two, so I looked up a few players who Harry missed out on, and here are the biggest names that Tottenham Hotspur missed out on, probably because they weren’t “great lads” (he uses that as legitimate criteria for a good player).

Use the page numbers below to navigate round the post!

Why Lewis Holtby Didn’t Achieve As Much As He Could Have Done At Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that Lewis Holtby has completed his move from Spurs to Hamburg on the opening day of the summer transfer window, making his loan deal a permanent one following Hamburg’s survival in the Bundesliga. However, you cant help but think that Lewis Holtby could have achieved so much more than he did at Spurs, and here is perhaps why he underachieved in his time at the club.

Holtby came to Spurs for a fee of just £1.25m in the January window of 2013, and was regularly used in the second half of the season under Andre Villas-Boas, making sixteen appearances in all competitions, which included ten starts. He made a solid start to life at Spurs, and as you can see from his amount of appearances, made a decent impression on the first team, despite not scoring a single goal

The German made little more of an impact in his second season at the club, and scored in the qualifying round of the Europa League, and one in the group stages. He contributed to the comeback at Craven Cottage, scoring one of the goals in a 2-1 win over Fulham, who he would eventually join little under two months later.

Holtby returned from his loan spell at Fulham, and looked good in the pre-season tour of America, and was tipped for a better season under the management of Mauricio Pochettino with his high work-rate and high pressing, but instead was loaned out to Hamburg, and now has completed his permanent move to the German club.

First-Team Opportunities Limited Due To ‘Summer Seven’

Holtby signed for the Lilywhites in January 2013, and it was in that summer that seven new players arrived at White Hart Lane, and with three of these challenging for a starting place with Holtby, it was always going to be hard for the German to nail down a regular starting spot, and it panned out exactly like this for the former Schalke man.

Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Christian Eriksen, Gylfi Sigurdsson (although not part of the ‘summer seven’) all reduced Holtby’s chances of making the starting eleven, either playing in a deeper role in a 4-2-3-1, or a more attacking role in the same formation, and it was mainly the latter that Holtby was given his chances in the first team.

Reduced starting eleven opportunities of course hindered Holtby’s development as a player, and as we know, any young player need first team minutes in order to progress as a footballer.

Failure To Transfer Form From Cup Into League

Lewis Holtby was sometimes played behind Jermain Defoe in the cup competitions, and showed some good form in periods, and proved to be a useful player in the cup, being able to pick out the occasional gem of a pass, and come up with the odd finish from time to time.

As I have mentioned earlier, the ‘summer seven’ had limited Lewis Holtby’s chances of making it into the first-team, and for some unknown reason, the German was mostly unable to transfer his form in the cup competitions to the Premier League, despite playing a part in a couple of goals throughout the season.

Perhaps it was the pressure of his situation that stopped Lewis Holtby playing with the freedom that he might have done whilst playing in the cup competitions, we do not know. But all that we do know is that failure to transfer his form to the Premier League was one of the reasons why he wasn’t given an extended run in the side.

There is just a couple of reasons why Lewis Holtby didn’t achieve the big things he could have done at Spurs, and as you can see, the arrival of the ‘summer seven’ is an issue that appears more than once. Players on the fringes of regular first-team football have been put under huge amounts of pressure to perform when given the chance, and I am afraid that some players haven’t responded well to this pressure, and Holtby unfortunately falls into this category for me.

Would Holtby have performed better if Andre Villas-Boas had stayed at the club a little longer? Would Holtby have achieved more if he was given more starts under Villas-Boas and Sherwood? These and many others questions are ones that we will never know the answer to, we wish Lewis Holtby the best of luck at Hamburg.

Trust Levy! He Knows What He Is Doing

We need to believe in our chairman for once, and we need to back him when it comes to transfers. I mean, look at his face! What isn’t there to trust about him! Daniel Levy may be a figure that splits opinions, but it is hard to deny that if there is a transfer out there waiting to be signed at a cut price, Levy is the man. Besides, who else could get £10 Million for Paulinho?

 

He may have sold our best players, but it’s hard to argue that Daniel Levy got the most amount of money we could for these players. £18 Million for Michael Carrick, £30 Million for Dimitar Berbatov, £40 Million for Luka Modric and £85 Million for Gareth Bale. That’s £173 Million for 4 players! Granted, we didn’t exactly spend the money wisely, but all Levy had to do when bringing in players was supply the money. We had Directors of Football who you should blame for players like Vlad Chiriches, so Daniel Levy could be seen as a scapegoat for the signings.

But these next few months are going to be like the lead up to Christmas for Daniel Levy, and if I’m being honest, I trust him with the transfer funds. The thing with Levy that I find admirable is that he doesn’t put the club in jeopardy when it comes to finance. He wont splash the cash on someone that he doesn’t feel will help the club. I mean, the biggest mistake he made as chairman was probably letting Harry Redknapp has final say on transfers (if you’re wondering why, ‘arry turned down Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez, for a combined total of £40 Million, saying they weren’t good enough. That’s why he was sacked).

Ultimately, my point is that despite the fact we may not spend millions upon millions on players for the sake of it, makes us one of the teams that is the most intriguing during the transfer season. After we bought all those players with the Gareth Bale money, we immediately were seen as challenges for the top 4 and potentially the title, until all but 2 players turned out to be god-awful.

 

The board has stabilized the club, and has made us an attractive club, and a healthy club at that with an amazing stadium on the horizon. Levy has allowed the tag team of Pochettino and Mitchell to take over scouting and picking players, and Levy has also taken a step back and has only got control of how much money is to be spent.

 

As a fan base, we need to really look at Daniel Levy and the board and not demand they spend absurd amounts of money to push for a top 4 place that essentially non-existent if the current top 4 continue to strengthen. We need to support the fact that Levy, Mauricio Pochettino and Paul Mitchell are going to find the best players to build a good, young squad, and with this potentially being the last summer before the construction of the stadium, we need a bunch of players who may not be top class now, but when we have the foundations set in stone of a club ready to challenge the elite, then that is when I would expect the cash to come flying out.

Why Exactly Didn’t Paulinho Deliver At Tottenham?

Why didn’t Paulinho do better for Tottenham? Why did we never see the best out of someone, who or a period of time was our record signing? We paid Corinthians £18 Million for Paulinho, and they must be laughing all the way to the bank for that fee. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to have seen Paulinho perform well, or even score more than 10 goals in two seasons, but in hindsight, it all seemed doomed from the beginning.

When Paulinho arrived he had just finished the Confederations Cup in Brazil, so he didn’t really have a great first pre-season in terms of settling in with his new teammates. Another thing was the fact I always got the feeling that he wasn’t a player the our manager at the time Andre Villas Boas (I do miss him) really didn’t want. It was at a time when Franco Baldini was just appointed our new Director of Football, which any long suffering Spurs fan will know has never worked (See Damien Comolli and David Pleat). Baldini wanted to make an impression and brought in someone who was seen to have a great talent in the Brazilian League. The Brazilian League, where only Oscar and Juninho (the old Middlesbrough one) have come straight to the Premier League and made an immediate impact. Paulinho didn’t really have a chance when you think about, did he?

 

Oh, I almost forgot. He was compared to Frank Lampard before he even kicked a ball. Yes, Paulinho was linked to someone who was, and is, one of the greatest Premier League and English midfielders ever, and he hadn’t even put on his shirt yet. That was probably one of the biggest problems when you look back, and how the expectations on Paulinho hindered his ability at Tottenham. We judged him on performances we hadn’t really seen, and based his game around one of the legends of English Football. But in all fairness, it was Paulinho who compared himself to Lampard, not us fans. We would never hype up a player for no apparent reason.

But without blaming too much of this on outside factors such as a Director of Football, or even our own expectations, we have to look at what makes a footballer, and that is his performances on the pitch, and Paulinho didn’t have many great moments on the field. I will point you in the direction of “that shot” away at Burnley this past season as a visual representation of Paulinho’s time at Tottenham. Everything was going great and he had a great chance in front of him, but when he got that chance, he failed to deliver, despite how he made it look harder than it arguably was. When it all comes down to it, he just wasn’t cut out for the Premier League. That isn’t a slight on Paulinho himself, as some just can’t play in the pace, like Andrey Shevchenko, but we all wish him the best in China, with his former manager Luis Felipe Scolari, where I predict that he will be an absolute superstar in China.

 

So good luck Paulinho, at least you scored the winner away at Cardiff that time.

What Will Kieran Trippier Bring To White Hart Lane?

Yesterday we completed the signing of Kieran Trippier from Burnley and although many feel that it’s an unnecessary signing considering we have several right-backs, however, I feel it’s a very shrewd purchase from Mauricio Pochettino.

Consider the right-backs we currently have in our squad. Kyle Walker is still recovering from long-term injury and his form has been very inconsistent and worrying for the future, DeAndre Yedlin is untested and still looks a very raw product to throw into the first-team right now. Eric Dier is stronger as a Centre-Back so Trippier provides solidity and continuity.

Stats compiled from last season show that Trippier is better than Walker from last season in every defensive department, includes tackles/interceptions/clearances/key passes and crosses. The crossing in particular is a key one. So often we’ve seen Walker get forward and waste final balls into the box, Trippier has shown much greater efficiency with crosses.

The other advantage that Trippier signing will do is push Walker on to improve his own game from next season. Personally I feel Kyle could do with competition for his position as he’ll feed off that, look at how much Danny Rose improved last season courtesy of Ben Davies’ arrival, it motivated him to further his own game and improve his level.

Trippier is a consistent player who has great potential to improve and will provide depth that we sorely need in our squad and if all goes well he could even become the No.1 choice at RB for Spurs next season.

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Is Mousa Dembele Good Enough To Play For Tottenham?

For the longest time, I have been waiting for Mousa Dembele to show us what he is really about. When he was at Fulham, he was one of their best players, second to ex Spurs player Clint Dempsey, and that’s why we bought the pair. Ever since then, Dembele hasn’t looked like a player at the level we want to be. Under Andre Villas Boas, Dembele played some games and you could see that he was making his way to be a starter consistently, but since then he has fallen out of favour with both Tim Sherwood and Mauricio Pochettino. So that begs the question, is Dembele good enough to play for Tottenham?

In the week, when away with international duty with Belgium, Tottenham told the Belgian FA that they don’t want Dembele answering any questions, or even being asked questions about his future. Now, to me that seemed a bit weird, with the club telling the country what can and can’t be asked? But that is exactly what Tottenham did, and that makes me think that Dembele is on his way out of White Hart Lane.

For months, Dembele has been in and out of the starting eleven, with Pochettino still not able to figure out what his best position is or where he wants to play. This isn’t the manager’s fault, because he isn’t the only one who didn’t know what to do with him. Tactics Tim Sherwood tried so hard to use al his wisdom to find a place where Dembele could flourish, and even he couldn’t do it. It seems that Dembele just cant hold down a place, or even produce performances where they put the question into the manager’s mind.

I am a Dembele fan. I have said on numerous occasions, that a genius is waiting to come out of Mousa Dembele; it was just a case of when and how long it would take. But now, my hopes of that genius playing the way he did when he was at Fulham are fading away. It looks like Dembele was suffering from the case of “big fish, small pond” at Fulham. But at Spurs, he is a “small fish in a huge pond”, and it’s a shame that we can unlock the talent of the Belgian midfielder, but never say never with football, anything can happen.