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League Cup

Spurs draw first blood over Chelsea in League Cup

Tottenham Hotspur edged closer to a first title in over a decade with a slim 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Wembley.

The Lilywhites have not won a silverware of any kind since clinching the EFL Cup in 2008.

Harry Kane’s first-half penalty gave Spurs a slender advantage ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge.

Referee Michael Oliver awarded the 26th-minute spot-kick after thorough consultation with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for offside and keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s foul on the England skipper.

Both sides were guilty of squandering chances in a strongly fought contest.

Maurizio Sarri will be confident of turning things around in a fortnight on Thursday, 24 January after encouraging signs in the match, though.

The Blues struck the woodwork twice in the first half through N’Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Chelsea faithful will be hoping they don’t ruin those missed chances in the corresponding fixture.

Andreas Christensen also missed a glaring opportunity from six yards after the break while Arrizabalaga produced a fine save from Kane as this semi-final remains in the balance.

The victory means Tottenham have won three successive games against Chelsea in all competitions for the first time since a run of five between March 1961 and September 1963.

The Blues, meanwhile, have failed to return from their last three trips to Wembley triumphantly.

Both sides are aiming to catch Liverpool – the record champions with eight.

Spurs have won the accolade four times and finished as runner-up the same number of time.

Chelsea, on the other hand, has one more than their London neighbours but one less second-place.

Player Ratings: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham – Spurs Midfield Frustrates

A weakened team was fielded by Mauricio Pochettino against a weakened team fielded by Jurgen Klopp, but it was Liverpool who came out on top to progress into the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup.

Daniel Sturridge fired Liverpool into the lead just nine minutes in, and doubled their advantage midway through the second half. Vincent Janssen pulled a goal back from the spot to set up a nervy last fifteen minutes, but Liverpool held onto their lead to dump Spurs out of the cup. Here are the Spurs player ratings.

Michel Vorm- 7

Our second goalkeeper made some good saves throughout the ninety minutes. Was a little unfortunate, appearing to slip prior to the first goal, but it could have been so many more.

Kieran Trippier- 5

Not a great night for Trippier. He struggled to have a real impact going forward down the right-hand side. Made a few unnecessary errors too.

Cameron Carter-Vickers- 5

A tough night for the defence against a skillful and pacy Liverpool attack, and in truth they were lucky not to concede more than two. The American should consider himself lucky perhaps not to give away a penalty on Sturridge.

Kevin Wimmer- 5

Tried to play the offside trap against Sturridge for the second goal, and got that horribly wrong. A tough night, but not the way to try and get yourself back into Pochettino’s plans.

Ben Davies- 6

Showed a little more intent going forward than Trippier did and threatened to put a few good balls into the box, but unfortunately, nobody was there to get onto the end of them.

Harry Winks- 6

Made a few too many errors in the middle of the park, so that is something for the youngster to work on, but looked comfortable on the ball and should have done better with his shot right at the end in stoppage time.

Eric Dier- 6

As the captain, I would have like to have seen a little bit more of Dier in the midfield. However, he did his job and put in a few strong tackles before being replaced by Victor Wanyama midway through the second half.


Player Ratings: Spurs 5-0 Gillingham – Winks & Eriksen Excel

Pochettino named a side to face Gillingham with eleven changes, but Spurs made light work of their League One opposition, putting five past Justin Edinburgh’s side on the manager’s return to White Hart Lane. 

A double from Christian Eriksen and goals from Vincent Janssen, Josh Onomah and Erik Lamela saw Spurs easily into the fourth round, where they will face Liverpool at Anfield. Here are the Spurs player ratings.

Michel Vorm- 7

Hard to rate the Dutch stopper any higher or lower to be honest. Gillingham only took six shots throughout the whole game and none of which were on target, a poor night for them in front of goal.

Kieran Trippier- 7

Looked solid defensively, dealing with anything that came his way with composure. Also posed a threat going forward too, winning the penalty for Janssen’s first goal in a Spurs shirt.

Kevin Wimmer- 7

Didn’t have too much to deal with for the whole game, but looked good on the ball when building from the back. A good display.

Cameron Carter-Vickers- 7

A strong debut for Carter-Vicker, who hardly put a foot wrong. Looks like a man Pochettino can call upon when needed.

Ben Davies- 7

Aimed to bomb forward a little more than in previous games, and looked dangerous, put didn’t quite produce the final ball or shot to finish.

Tom Carroll- 6

Had a solid game, but that’s all I can really say about Carroll. Quietly went about his business, but wasn’t quite good enough going forward.

Harry Winks- 8

Played really well alongside Carroll in the middle of the park. He carried the ball forward with purpose and confidence. Another viable option for Pochettino should injuries get the better of the likes of Dier, Dembele or Wanyama. An excellent game from Winks


Rotations Galore! Tottenham Team News And Predicted Line-Up To Face Gillingham

Spurs make their return to the re-branded EFL Cup on Wednesday with an opening third round tie against League One Gillingham. The Gills caused a second round shock knocking out Watford, so Spurs should by no means underestimate the lower-league opposition. 

Pochettino is likely to make use of this game to make plenty of changes and use the full depth of his squad. Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele will miss out with knocks while Harry Kane’s ankle injury will keep him on the sidelines. Danny Rose will miss out again. Here is our Spurs predicted line-up to face Gillingham.

GK: Michel Vorm

Lloris has resumed is position at first choice goalkeeper following his spell out as a result of a knock picked up at Everton, but Vorm provided first class backup and I expect him to start here.

RB: Kieran Trippier

Kyle Walker has played three games in the space of nine days and it is more than likely that Trippier will step forward to play here. The former Burnley full-back has always played well when called upon, and is likely to do the same here.

CB: Toby Alderweireld

Toby has been our most consistent performer, and will probably play again here, it all depends if Pochettino feels Cameron Carter-Vickers is ready to play or not, but for me, the Belgian will start here.

CB: Kevin Wimmer

The Austrian is likely to be given his chance along the back line on Wednesday night in what would be his first competitive start of the season since signing a new contract with the club.

LB: Ben Davies

With Danny Rose still expected not to feature with injury, Davies could well feature here after Jan Vertonghen took his place on Sunday afternoon.

CDM: Victor Wanyama

With Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele both hobbling off injured in the win over Sunderland on Sunday, Victor Wanyama could be guaranteed a starting place with the defensive midfield duo both set to be out of action for this EFL Cup fixture.

CDM: Tom Carroll

With Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb both leaving the club, either temporarily or permanently over the summer transfer window, Tom Carroll has signed a new deal and has moved up the squad pecking order as a result, and he should start here.

RAM: Erik Lamela

The Argentine would have been disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up to face Sunderland at the weekend, and will be keen to make an impression on Pochettino to rival Moussa Sissoko with starting spots up for grabs over the next few weeks.

CAM: Christian Eriksen

Like Lamela, Eriksen was left out of the starting eleven on Sunday, with an in-form Son Heung-min preventing him from occupying the left flank. It looks unlikely that the Dane will beat the Korean to a starting spot in the next couple of weeks, but he could challenge Dele Alli in the number ten role. Either way, a good performance here will do him no harm at all.

LAM: Josh Onomah

Pochettino is likely to see the game against Gillingham as I have mentioned as an excellent chance for rotation, and this could see Josh Onomah make his first start of the season. The youngster has featured at various times for Spurs, and it will be interesting to see if he has made any progress over the summer.

ST: Vincent Janssen

Harry Kane was stretchered off on Sunday, so Janssen is more than likely to be the man to lead the line for Spurs over the next couple of months. I expect him to make his second start of the season and it would be good to see him bag his first goal in a Spurs shirt.

3 Players Keen To Impress Pochettino Against Gillingham

Wednesday night sees the return of the EFL Cup for Spurs and a home tie against League One Gillingham is what awaits the Lilywhites. With a welcome break from the pressures of the Premier League and the Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino might see the Gillingham fixture as a perfect opportunity to rotate the Spurs squad.

Competition for places in the Tottenham squad has never been stronger, and here are three players that will be keen to impress the Pochettino in a bid to claim a regular starting spot.

1) Vincent Janssen

Since the Dutchman’s arrival from AZ Alkmaar, Janssen has made just the one start in all competitions, and has not beaten Harry Kane to a starting spot so far this season which is hardly surprising the form the Golden Boot winner was in last season.

However, we saw Kane stretchered off in the 1-0 Premier League win over Sunderland on Sunday, and we are unlikely to see the striker for the next couple of months. This means we are likely to see Janssen lead the line for the next couple of weeks at least.

The Dutchman will surely see the Gillingham game as an excellent opportunity to bag his first goal in a Spurs shirt having put in a number of good performances already and show Pochettino why he is more than capable of leading the Spurs line up top by himself.


Player Ratings: Spurs 1-2 Arsenal

It wasn’t a great North London derby to watch, coupled by the fact we lost to our bitter rivals Arsenal, the old enemy, in the cup. The reaction on social media was large as it always is with Tottenham, but this reaction was one of anger mixed with confusion in Mauricio Pochettino changing a winning team, with some claiming that he didn’t understand the importance of this game. Now, I’m sure that isn’t the case, but Pochettino did make some mistakes in his selection, making wholesale changes. But who played better than others? Who shone in an otherwise dire North London Derby? Let’s find out, shall we?

Michel Vorm- 6

Vorm had a solid game, but his parry to the feet of Mathieu Flamini is one glaring mistake he made on an otherwise solid game. On another day, in the lead up to the goal he would have tipped it away from goal, but unfortunately, that had to be the one time Flamini was running into the box to pounce.

Kieran Trippier- 6

Solid enough game, without making any game changing mistakes, but without attacking with much threat either. I still rate Trippier, and I feel a lot more secure defensively with him rather than Walker, but maybe we need to start seeing the Trippier we saw at Burnely.

Federico Fazio- 2

Shouldn’t be near the team, let alone a North London Derby. I don’t actually think he can kick a ball, run, or quite frankly defend. Fazio is a shocking player, but blame for this selection is solely at the feet of Pochettino. Don’t understand why he played Fazio instead of, well anyone?

Kevin Wimmer- 6

Wimmer didn’t play to badly, but he is guilty by association at Centre-Back for this one. His “partnership” with Fazio was abysmal, but at least Wimmer is getting valuable game time at the back, which is the only way he can develop.

Danny Rose- 7

A good threat down that left hand side, Rose exposed the weaknesses left by Campbell and Debuchy, but couldn’t get the finishing touch sometimes. Rose is really looking top draw this season, and if he keeps playing this way, then he can only improve as time goes on. Let’s remember, he played in a shoddy backline against Arsenal, so wait to judge until he plays a good run of games with our first choice back line.

Eric Dier-6

Dier is really playing well at the holding midfield position, but in modern football the holding midfielder needs to do a bit more than just win the ball. We all know how good Dier is when it comes to defensive battles, but his ball playing skills and key passing may need to improve to be a starter for the whole season. Saying that, he is still doing a mighty fine job considering we signed him to be a centre back.

Tom Carroll- 4

Carroll has a lot of potential, but as I think I have said before, maybe he just isn’t made for the Tottenham starting eleven. He looked out of his depth in the middle against a weaker Arsenal team, and his passing wasn’t up to standard. Maybe it is harsh to criticise him, but Ryan Mason made his debut against Arsenal last season, and was twice the player Carroll was in their respective games.

Andros Townsend- 5

Frustrating to say the least, but he showed glimpses of what he could potentially do when given the chance, but he didn’t show them well enough. We know he can be a great winger, but if his head is in the game, and his end product is up to scratch, then he can be great. Unfortunately, this game wasn’t to be one of those games for Andros.

Christian Eriksen- 5

I will cut Eriksen some slack here seeing as it was his first start since his lay off, but I hardly remember hearing his name mentioned? A shadow of his usual self, Eriksen looked to be laboring in the second half, but he did show some good passes, and good reasons why he is always one of our top performers.

Nacer Chadli- 4

Chadli started off the game in full swing, attacking with pace and looking like he could be a right handful, but he lost interest when he realised it was going to be a tough game, especially when Arsenal opened the scoring. I like Chadli, and I believe he is a key player, but he has way too many games where he can go missing, and this game was no different. Chadli is, and can be, a top player, he just needs to fancy the game and that is so annoying to me.

Harry Kane- 6

Again, another game goes by without a goal from Harry Kane. But we saw that he is getting close to that goal, despite how long it may take. His runs, his build up play, and his efforts (especially the overhead kick that was cleared off the line) are signs that Kane is coming back, but maybe it will be a long haul effort, but I can bet that when the 1st goal goes in, the rest will come. Just like a London bus, you could say!

Tottenham Hotspur Season Preview!

Oh not another transition season? Unfortunately, that seems to be the feeling for the upcoming season for Tottenham Hotspur, but with a lot more influence from the manager Mauricio Pochettino than last season. As fans, we have some expectations for where we want our club to be this season, but this season will be the typical rollercoaster that we have all grown accustomed to recently, whether we enjoy it or not.

With the club lacking in the transfer department, I would expect that in the next few weeks, Daniel Levy might flex his business muscles and bring in a few players for a reasonable price, but as a fan, I would like to see a striker and midfielder be signed, just so we have some depth in the team.

Season Targets:

Well, we all know what we want, and what we aim for, and that is the Champions League places. But in the real world, where Tottenham only have one fully operating striker, we know it is going to be a while before Spurs are near them places again.

However, we were only 6 points off Manchester United last season, so if one of the big teams doesn’t live up to expectation, combined with us putting in fine performances week in and week out, then maybe we may be able to sneak back into the top 4.


Alongside our hopes to gain Champions League football, but also retaining Europa League football, we will want to go far in all the Domestic trophies and the Europa League. In the previous season, we all remember our run to the Capital One Cup final, and Pochettino will want to go one better and win the trophy this season, as well as doing well in the FA Cup.

With the Europe League, however, it offers a completely different prospect. If Tottenham win the Europa League (and at this stage, it is looking like a big if), then we will be automatically entered in the next seasons Champions League. The club may see the Europa League as the best and easiest way to enter the competition if our league season isn’t going great.


I would expect that Spurs will do well in at least one of these cups, with the Capital One Cup possibly the best chance of capturing the cup, but Pochettino will be ambitious enough to try for the Europa League.


Manager: Mauricio Pochettino:

A man that I can only imagine was rather frustrated at how last season went for Tottenham. Brought in from Southampton amongst their mass exodus from 2 years ago, Pochettino has been allowed time to develop his own tactics, bring in young players and get after transfer targets that are clearly his own.


This season, as shown by the Pre Season, Pochettino is looking to blend in a good mixture of youth in his first team, with Dele Alli, Shaq Coulthirst and Josh Onomah playing big parts in the Pre Season, and unless any clubs come in with loan bids that could benefit the players, these youngsters could play a part in our season.

Let’s just hope that Levy and the board give Pochettino enough time to work his magic at Spurs, and hopefully, we could have a successful reign at White Hart Lane, and the new stadium!


Key Players:


Harry Kane:

This one is a simple one. Without Harry Kane, we would not have had as nearly as great as a season as we had. But the only thing that is stopping us from being even better is the worry that whether Kane can do it again? We know it will be difficult to replicate the form he had, but as long as he keeps banging in the goals, then we have the first genuine goal scorer since Jermaine Defoe and Robbie Keane.


Hugo Lloris:

Our new captain! Hugo was arguably our most important player last season, and hopefully if our defense improves this season, he could be one for the Fantasy Teams. Keeping hold of Lloris this summer is one of the best pieces of business that Tottenham have done. Our summer could have been a lot worse if we didn’t have Lloris keeping the goal. Lets hope to another season where he performs as well as he usually does.


Christian Eriksen:

Our creative gem in the midfield last season, Eriksen has proven to be pretty much the only player from the “Magnificent Seven” summer spending spree that hasn’t fully flopped. His set piece threat, coupled with his occasional touch of class can turn games on their head at the touch of a button, and hopefully another year in the Premier League can enhance his performances.

Player Ratings: Chelsea 2-0 Spurs

Despite falling to a disappointing 2-0 loss at the hands of Chelsea in the Capital One Cup final, Spurs fans can feel positive about the future after we observed a young Mauricio Pochettino side put in a decent performance against a very strong Chelsea side.

There is nothing to be embarrassed about after out 2-0 loss at Wembley, and we can look forward to the future we rate the players.

Hugo Lloris – 6/10. Wasn’t awfully busy and made a few good saves. Both goals deflected beyond him. Could possibly have done better for the second in terms of his usually cat-like reflexes, but that’s harsh on our best player. Must hold on to him.

Kyle Walker – 6/10. Was tasked with dealing with Hazard and limited the Chelsea man to passing infield on many occasions. Was slightly hampered with injury and this lessened his impact on the game. Good to see a player soldier on.

Eric Dier – 8/10. A very mature performance from the young Englishman. Was arguably lucky not to get a second yellow but his original caution was harsh. Dealt well enough with Costa.

Jan Vertonghen – 7/10. Not spectacular but solid as ever from Jan. Forming a good partnership with Dier as well as having a good record with Fazio. A definite leader on the field today.

Danny Rose – 7/10. Another good attacking performance and he looked fairly comfortable dealing with Willian on the whole. Also nice to see a bit of steel about him, he’s been very impressive under Pochettino.

Nabil Bentaleb – 8/10. My personal man of the match and another good performance from our young Algerian. Completed 92% of his passes and kept things ticking over in midfield. A sloppy pass here or there was often recovered well, accompanied by some great tackles. He’s grown immensely under Pochettino, too.

Ryan Mason – 6/10. Good first half from the 24 year old but his influence was lessened as the game went on. Some very intricate passes and runs but didn’t impact the game with his usual exuberance.

Andros Townsend – 6/10. A quiet game from Andros, who had to aid Walker in keeping Hazard at bay. A couple of good runs and crosses but was limited when Mourinho began to pull players back. Very effective on the counter, especially on a big pitch like Wembley.

Christian Eriksen – 7/10. Often accused of going quiet in the bigger games but had a much bigger impact today. Good passing and much better crossing. Unlucky not to score in the first half after his incredible free-kick bounced back off the bar.

Nacer Chadli – 6/10. A quieter game than New Year’s Day for the Belgian. Did well defensively, despite giving away the free-kick for the opening goal. Needs to try his luck more, he’s got a good shot on him.

Harry Kane – 6/10. Not his best performance whatsoever. His tendency to stray into offside positions is becoming frustrating and he perhaps needs to recycle the ball quicker, rather than repetitively attempting marauding runs. The stage was set for him today but a lack of support from those behind him and good defending lessened his impact. He’s on course for 30 goals this season, however.


Roberto Soldado – 5/10. Didn’t have much of an impact, bar two or three pin point crosses. A tough one for him as Chelsea had the bus parked by the time he came on.

Mousa Dembélé – 5/10. A few good passes but still adamant at passing backwards and sideways, a reason Mason starts ahead of him. Needs to be more adventurous.

Erik Lamela – N/A. I don’t feel he was on long enough to judge. A couple of good passes but a couple of poor touches too.

Mauricio Pochettino – 7/10. A very good starting line up that most agreed with. A good decision to play Lloris but on the day, the tactically astute Mourinho got the job done, despite the lack of expressive football. A lesson for Pochettino and his young side to learn from and one they will be better off as a result of. An overall good season that needs one last push.

THREE Selection Headaches Pochettino Faces Ahead Of Wembley Showdown

Mauricio Pochettino has the chance to make history this weekend as Spurs face Chelsea at Wembley for the chance to lift the Capital One Cup in his debut season as manager at the Lane.

This season has given us some unbelievable highs and so will go down as a positive one whatever the result, but the opportunity to win our first silverware since we won the same fixture 6 years ago this week is one that is not to be sniffed at.

Poch gave us a big clue as to what side he’ll put out to start the 2015 League Cup Final, by resting the likes of Christian Eriksen against West Ham before pulling Jan Vertonghen and Nabil Bentaleb from the action early as we lost to Fiorentina.

However, he’s not completely in the safe zone when it comes to selecting his side. The Argentine has a few decisions that will need some deep thought…

Chadli Starts! Tottenham Team News And Predicted Line-Up For The Capital One Cup Final

In what could possibly be the one moment Spurs fans remember at the end of the season, the Capital One Cup match this Sunday could prove vital to how this season ends. If we win this game and (hopefully) finish fourth, then the season will have been a success.

However, if we lose on Sunday and are subjected to yet another year in the Europa League, then who knows? But coming off the back of a rather disappointing performance in mid-week against Fiorentina, the boys will want to bounce back in the best way possible. With a more or less fully fit team, Mauricio Pochettino has a array of talent to choose from, but these are just my opinions who is likely to start.

Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm

Whilst Hugo is clearly number one, Vorm is the cup goalkeeper and it would be rather unfair to him to miss out on the final, so starting spot goes to him.

Defence: Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Ben Davies

With the defence being solid for the majority of the games they’ve played together, there’s no need to change much. Originally, I thought Fazio might have had a chance of starting against Costa, after his performance in the 5-3 thriller at The Lane earlier in the season. However, after his performance in the Fiorentina match, I doubt highly he will push Dier out of the Squad.

Midfield: Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli

The midfield pretty much writes itself. Mason, Bentaleb and Eriksen are certain to play, provided they don’t get injured, but the only issue would be the wide areas. Pochettino has a habit of picking Lamela, as Erik does have a lot of running in his expensive legs, so Lamela seems to be a certain to play, but After the 5-3 win in January, Chadli might be put in to replicate his form that day.

Striker: Harry Kane

There’s no way in God’s Lilywhite world that this man doesn’t play. Simply because he’s Harry Kane. I’ve managed to convince myself that even if he is injured, he’s still going to pull on the Spurs shirt underneath the Wembley arch this Sunday.