This Saturday afternoon, Tottenham returns to White Hart Lane for the first time in the new campaign, and when we play Stoke today, we only want one thing. A win.
Cast your minds back to last season when Spurs played Stoke at home, and you will remember that we weren’t great. We were worse than that, and it was the typical Spurs performance. We were sloppy in every department, and Stoke took advantage of this. Fast forward to now, and we have improved and jumped leaps and bounds to avoid being that team again.
Since then, Mauricio Pochettino has implemented his style (or at least tried to) and in some games it seems to have work. The only thing that has been missing is that without Harry Kane, we probably wouldn’t have got as many points as we did. Sure, Eriksen and Chadli both got into double figures, but the lack of a second striker hurt us last season. A striker and defensive midfielder is needed, but I’d actually give Dele Alli a game today. No Spurs fan would be against seeing Charlie Adam being nutmegged.
As I write this, Clinton N’jie has officially been confirmed as a Tottenham player on his birthday (Happy birthday by the way), and this could be a good sign for fans, and it shows that the club is prepared to spend. N’jie has bundles of pace and is very similar to someone like Jay Rodriguez, and N’jie will most likely play on the wing once his work permit is completed.
After the opening games last week, we learnt a fair bit about the two sides, and judging by the two games, Spurs looked better than Stoke. It helped that Stoke were awful against Liverpool, but Spurs didn’t play as badly against Man. United. There were signs that things weren’t bad, and Toby Alderweireld played extremely well, and he looks the real deal next to Jan Vertonghen, but today could be a game where a few new boys, in particularly Alex Pritchard and Dele Alli, get a run around.
Make no mistake, Stoke are a good team, but the thing is, as is the same with many of Mark Hughes’ teams, and that is he can stabilize a club, but once he needs to push further something seems to stop him. Could this be different for Stoke? Probably not, so let’s just hope Tottenham make us happy today and pick up the 3 points this afternoon. If you’re wondering, the Tom Scholes prediction of the day is Tottenham 2-1 Stoke.
Despite dominating the opening 20 minutes at Old Trafford, Spurs still found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreline come full time yesterday, thanks to Kyle Walker unfortunate own goal. However, it was far from a bad performance and there were still positives to take.
Michel Vorm (4/5)- Our Dutch stopper was virtually untroubled all match which goes to show how little Manchester United threatened with actual shots on target. Calm and efficient in dealing with whatever came his way, could do nothing about the goal.
Kyle Walker (3.5/5)- Would be easy to assume that because of his own goal Walker played poorly but the full back actually put in a thoroughly proffesional performances, winning his duel with Ashley Young comfortably on many an occasion. He showed incredible speed and commitment to get back to try and stop Wayne Rooney netting the opener and it was massively unlucky that he saw the ball roll in off of his own foot.
Toby Alderweireld (4.5/5)- An extremely encouraging debut. Consistent in his passing, including some superb long range cross field balls than found their target. Toby looked assured and confident and dealt brilliantly with whatever came his way. Hopefully a sign of things to come.
Jan Vertonghen (4/5)- Like Toby, did very little wrong over the course of the game. Was solid and reliable despite picking up a yellow card for a rash challenge. Spurs look to have a very promising centre back partnership on their hands.
Ben Davies (3-5)- A solid, if unremarkable performance from the full back. Did his defensive job well but seemed to take the safe option when going forward too many times, A solid option but Davies certainly lacks the attacking prowess that Rose does.
Nabil Bentaleb (2/5)- A day to forget for Nabil. Constantly misplaced passes in the middle of the park, including one that led to the only goal of the game. A performance unlike him and he was substituted soon into the second half.
Eric Dier (3.5/5)- The young player coped well enough in an unfamiliar modified role. Tidied up and played some nice passes, and although he failed to deal with the lively Depay at times it was still a solid performance. Solid enough to convince Poch we don’t need another midfielder? Time will tell.
Nacer Chadli (2/5)- Nacer struggled massively yesterday. Failed to create a meaningful impact on the game and on the one instance he did get in behind Smalling stopped him all to easy. Disappointing but hopefully another season to remember for the Belgian come May.
Christian Eriksen (3.5/5)- Was at the heart of all we did right in the opening twenty minutes. Missed a difficult chance after a glorious first time headed touch and played some lovely passes, one of which nearly led to a Kyle Walker goal in the right end. After the United goal he struggled for the majority of the game, but came alive again late on only to be denied twice by Romero.
Mousa Dembele (3/5)- Was willing to get stuck in and involved but never managed to get a firm grip on the game. Some nice touches didn’t contribute to a great end product. His whipped cross was unlucky not to find an unmarked Chadli midway through the second half.
Harry Kane (3.5/5)- Had some great moments in our best spell during the opening twenty minutes. Played a lovely scooped ball for Eriksen and also showed his workouts by refusing to give up on a ball he had lost which led to a corner. His decision making wasn’t always up to scratch and he was largely isolated after United scored.
Ryan Mason (3.5/5)- Came on for Bentaleb and was efficient with his passing and energetic in the middle of the park, without being able to create the breakthrough Spurs needed.
Erik Lamela (3/5) -Buzzed around with intent but didn’t have long enough to make a significant impact.
Dele Alli (3.5/5)- It was a great moment for the youngster to make his Premier League debut and he didn’t look overawed by the occasion, as he was tidy and accurate in his passing play.
As the Premier League season starts yet again, there will be a lot of key battles between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, in the very first game of the new season.
With David De Gea out of the game, it raises a lot of questions of how Sergio Romero will react in the United goal. Likewise, a lot of questions on how the new United midfield will cope together, and how Harry Kane will react after his stunning goal scoring record last year.
Harry Kane Vs. Chris Smalling:
Chris Smalling looked risky at the back on occasion last season, but in some games he did look like he was improving, especially towards the end of the season. Harry Kane, on the other hand, looked outstanding for a large majority of the season. How these two match up offers a fantastic competition. Smalling could outplay Kane and keep him quiet, or Kane could take him to the cleaners and run him ragged.
Either way, it offers up and exciting prospect, and also allows fans to take a look at potentially the future of English football in their positions. I think it’s hard to predict how this one will go, as it depends on how both teams line up on the day. Kane may be on fire, with Smalling feeling a bit leggy. Or, it could be the other way round. You just never know.
Nabil Bentaleb Vs. Bastian Schweinsteiger:
I have a feeling this season that Nabil Bentaleb will be our version of Andrea Pirlo, just not as stylish or hairy. He is likely to run the park in most of our game, turning defense into attack with the flick of a switch. He probably would do that, if it wasn’t for the fact that a German legend would be in the opposite sides midfield. Yes, Bastian Schweinsteiger against Nabil Bentaleb will basically be the battle of who passes the ball the most.
However, if Bentaleb puts in a good, commanding performance, then we could be seeing the start of a great midfielder. But Bastian Schweinsteiger is a great player, and I don’t really know what else to say. It will certainly be an interesting battle.
Wayne Rooney Vs. Toby Alderweireld:
Now this could be a game changer. New signing Alderweireld could show his worth to us with a good showing against United captain Rooney in his very first game for Tottenham. Rooney will be keen to show how he can still be a top goal scorer in the Premier League and for Manchester United.
Similarly to Smalling and Kane, this could change depending on the game and the way it flows, but it will be a big one nonetheless. If Rooney plays well, then it will be up to Alderweireld to keep him quiet, and maybe he will need a helping hand from his best friend “Super” Jan Vertonghen.
The standout fixture in the Premier League on the opening weekend of the new season has to be Manchester United v Spurs, a tussle that we have all been looking forward to since the fixture were released on 17th June a couple of months ago.
Both sides will have new talent to showcase in the curtain raiser at Old Trafford, and while United have heavily invested in the attacking areas of the pitch and the midfield, Spurs have focussed on bolstering their defensive options so far in this summer window.
Memphis Depay could start for United, and we could see a new midfield partnership deployed by manager Louis van Gaal, Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick. One of United’s other midfielders could be included, but after Carrick’s outstanding performances last term, you would think he will start on Saturday.
A new partnership could be displayed at the heart of the Tottenham defence on Saturday after the purchase of Toby Alderweireld from Spanish club Atletico Madrid. He could line-up alongside Jan Vertonghen, a partnership we have previously seen in two player’s times at Ajax.
It is a little unpredictable to tell whether Kieran Trippier or Kyle Walker will start at right-back with DeAndre Yedlin seemingly out of the frame due to reports linking him with a loan move away in England.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marcos Rojo will miss out for the Red Devils as they both lack match fitness and David de Gea will be left out of the matchday squad after Louis van Gaal said that the goalkeeper has been affected by speculation linking with a move to Real Madrid affecting him.
For Spurs, Hugo Lloris, Roberto Soldado and Ryan Mason will all face late fitness tests to see if they are fit to play in the season opener at Old Trafford.
Last season, the contest was over in twenty minutes at Old Trafford as Spurs were penned into their own half for the most part of the game. United raced to a 3-0 lead early on and stunned Spurs, who never recovered from the early blow. However, take last season’s defeat out of the equation, and Spurs have had good memories of visiting Old Trafford in the last few years.
It will be interesting to see how strong the defensive partnership of Toby Alderweirled and Jan Vertonghen will be should they start together, and they face one of the toughest tests in the league on the first day of the season. I think this will be a tight game, that will end in a draw.
Tottenham Hotspurs fixtures were released alongside the Premier League sides in full. It’s one of the most exciting parts of the season as fans can pick out games they want to go and watch, the derby games, and the final game of the season, and seeing whether that game is at home or if they will have to wake up in the early hours to support the team.
But for Tottenham, we open our Premier League season with what is easily the biggest game on the first week of the season, with an away trip to Manchester United. Hopefully, we wont repeat our abysmal defeat from last season, and more like we have been in the previous years and snatch all 3 points. In the first month of the season, we have 2 home and 2 away games, with Everton and Leicester being the first 2 home games, which will be one for the fans to look out for.
However, the games that fans will be looking for will be the games against Arsenal, West Ham and Chelsea, and we play all 3 in the month of November, with Arsenal away being November 7th, West Ham at home on November 21st and Chelsea at home on November 28th. The reverse fixtures of these games will be Arsenal at home on 5th March, West Ham away on March 1st and a trip to Stamford Bridge on April 30th. Fans will also look to games against Liverpool, Man City and Man United. Man United will obviously be the opening game, with the home fixture being on April 9th. Manchester City home and away will be September 19th and February 13th, and Liverpool will be October 17th and April 2nd.
Our last game of the season will be against Newcastle at St. James’ Park, where we have won in the past 2 seasons, and will look to carry on this trend for a 3rd straight season.
We ended our up and down season with a solid 1-0 win over Everton and our first win at Goodison since 2007. This win combined with Liverpool’s mauling at Stoke means that we finish in 5th position.
Hugo Lloris (4/5) Had to make a few decent saves in the game, getting down to a low Mirallas shot and then denying Galloway from close range. Good to see one of our best players end the season with a clean sheet.
Eric Dier (4.5/5)- Looks to be real young talent and played extremely well at RB today, has shown his underrated crossing ability in recent weeks and further reminded fans of it today, swinging in a wonderful cross for Harry Kane to nod home. Solid all game.
Jan Vertonghen (4.5/5)- Solid and reliable all game. Made some crucial blocks and was commanding at the back all game. With a proper partner next season he could be back to his best under Poch in time.
Federico Fazio (4/5)- One of his easier games as he didn’t get the challenge he may have expected from Lukaku but anything that did come his way he dealt with comfortably
Nabil Bentaleb (4.5/5)- Left back? No problem. Nabil was superb at full back and despite playing in a different position his awareness and composure remained as high as ever as he nullified the threat of Coleman and when he got the chance was an outlet going forward.
Ryan Mason (4.5/5)- A tireless and committed performance from the man who earned another England call up this week. Kept things ticking over and set up many an attack after winning the ball back. A good reminder of the season he has had after a below average few months.
Mousa Dembele (3.5/5)- His first start for a while and it may be his last ever game for the club. Decent on the ball but probably not quite the impact he was hoping for in order to keep himself in the managers plans for next season.
Christian Eriksen (4/5)- Anonymous in the last few weeks so it was good to see Christian more involved in our attacking play once again. Neat and tidy and was at the centre of all we did well second half. Good end to a good if a tad inconsistent season for the Dane.
Erik Lamela (4/5)- His performances last few weeks have shown he has a future at the club. Played some neat passes to keep us going in attack and was unlucky to be denied by a brilliant save from Howard in the first half. Next season is key for him.
Nacer Chadli (3/5)- Fairly anonymous game for the Belgian, put himself about but failed to make a sufficient impact. A great season none the less
Harry Kane (4/5)- After a mild goal drought, Kane must have been wondering if he would get another goal to cap off his superb breakthrough season. It duly arrived as he displayed his killer instinct yet again to nod home the only goal of the game. Held the ball up well aswell. Incredible season.
Benjamin Stambouli (3.5/5)- Came on for Dembele to shore things up, and did a decent job stopping Everton gain any momentum in their search for an equaliser.
Roberto Soldado/ Andros Townsend (NA)- Both brought in to eat up the clock with barely any time left, neither could make an impact.
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Venue: Goodison Park
Date: Sunday 24th May 2015
Kick Off: 15:00 BST
Everton could finally pick out of contract Sylain Distin for his Goodison farewell, but that all depends on whether he has fully recovered from his illness. Aaron Lennon is ineligible against his parent club, whilst Alcaraz, Hibbert, Pienaar, Baines, Oviedo and Gibson on the sidelines.
Spurs will be without Emannuel Adebayor as the striker have been given a compassionate leave, which I don’t think will bother anyone to be honest. Vale Chriches remains suspended (again, no one really thinks that’s a bad thing), Walker and Davies both remain injured (foot and shoulder). Vorm could miss out, after coming down with an illness, meaning Brad Freidal could have a place on the bench.
Predicted line ups:
Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Garbutt; McCarthy, Barry; Miralles, Osman, Barkley; Lukaku
Lloris; Rose, Vertonghen, Fazio, Dier; Mason, Bentaleb; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Kane
Predicted Score: 2-2 (Going for a Desmond!)
After a season filled with extraordinary highs and very downbeat lows, Spurs 2014/15 PL season draws to it’s conclusion as we travel one final time this season. Up to Goodison Park to face Everton. After breaking our barren run of form with victory in our last match against Hull City, Mauricio Pochettino will be aiming to end his first season in charge of the Lilywhites with victory, but he’ll need the influence of key players to achieve that.
Danny Rose – Someone who we couldn’t wait to tear into for his poor performances is no a player who we laud seemingly every week for his continued improvements. Easily our most consistent defender in the home stretch of games this season. His impressive MOTM display vs Hull cemented his status as No.1 LB at Spurs and the quality of his goal is very impressive for someone of his position. He’ll need to be at attacking and defensive best against the Toffees who possess great counter-attacks.
Nabil Bentaleb – The Algerian midfield engine has time and again bossed our midfield throughout this season. His maturity has been amazing as he has shown the presence to win tackles and break-up play, but he’s also proven he has qualities to contribute to the forwards and influence games. He’ll need to be at his best to hold off the likes of Mirallas and Lukaku on Sunday.
Erik Lamela – When all the others around him are mentally on holiday, it’s been the record signing who’s so struggled to impress, who has stepped up his game. His assist and overall display last week vs Hull was one of his best in a Spurs shirt and may have given him hope of maybe staying at White Hart Lane beyond the end of this season. He’ll have to keep up his improvement if we’re to collect all 3 points on Sunday.
In what can only be described as a very dull and lifeless game of football. Nevertheless, Spurs managed to beat Hull 2-0 to further condemn the tigers to relegation, and allowed Spurs to go back up to 6th position, and back into the highly coveted and much wanted by everyone around them, Europa League places.
Hugo Lloris: 6
Lloris had a solid game in goal today, in what could be his last home game as Spurs goalkeeper. He even kept a clean sheet, which in itself is an achievement. He kept Hull at bay many times, which has become a constant throughout the season. If Hugo does leave, then it will be horrible to see him in another shirt, but I assume many Tottenham fans will want him to succeed wherever he ma go. Except to that other team in North London of course.
Eric Dier: 5
A solid showing from Dier today, which was an improvement from last week, but anything would have been an improvement on last week. I feel that he needs to play more at Center Back rather than Full Back, as his confidence could be wrecked if he keeps getting burnt down that side, but luckily he played fairly well today. I also feel that Dier is one of the key players for Pochettino’s future squad at Tottenham.
Federico Fazio: 5
Another one who was better than last week, but I cant help but feel like Fazio is basically a poorer version of Mertersacker, which is a horrible thing to say to anyone who has had to painfully witness either man run. One of those summer signings who shouldn’t be there in any way shape or form next season. Sorry Fazio, but to put it simply, you are rubbish.
Jan Vertonghen: 5
I said last week that Vertonghen was on ‘holiday mode’ last week, and I think he was just about to land his plane on his holiday today. Not that he played poorly, but knowing what he is capable of, it is frustrating to see him lollop about aimlessly, looking as if he doesn’t have a care in the world. Hopefully, next season he can be the player we all want him to be.
Danny Rose: 7
Despite the fact he had red hair and looked like a smaller version on NBA legend Dennis Rodman, Rose played superbly this week, even adding a goal to his tally, which is 4 for the season. A great performance, topped off by a great goal is further evidence as to why he should be our first choice Left Back for a while, provided we don’t sell him of course.
Ryan Mason: 5
You know, sometimes I sit there and think ‘maybe I am a bit harsh on little old Ryan’ but then I see games like today and feel justified. He is an okay football, but for a club as ambitious as Tottenham, who demand such a high level, it is hard to see him starting regularly next season. It’s a shame really, as it was nice to see a youth product in the starting eleven, but quality beats everything in football today.
Nabil Bentaleb: 5
I think that Bentaleb may have joined Vertonghen on his holiday lately, as he put in a shift today that was very systematic of a midfielder. Very mundane, very boring quite frankly, but he seems to have a place in Spurs fans hearts, and I expect to see him as a first team regular for years to come, again, providing we don’t cash in on him.
Erik Lamela: 6
A pretty good game today by Lamela that saw him get an assist for the Chadli goal, but it was frustrating to see him like that today. I know that may sound weird, but when you see what he can do, and then realize that you could count the amount of games he’s stood out in on one hand and it frustrates you that he cant do it more often. Some still have faith, others don’t, but if he kicks on next season then he could be a great player.
Nacer Chadli: 6
Grabbed himself a goal today, but this game was the epitome of what Chadli is about. Scores a goal then does nothing for the rest of the game, showing that he can change consistency levels half way through matches now, which takes some talent (however unusual that talent may be). Would be great to see him reduce the consistency issues and play brilliantly from start to end.
Christian Eriksen: 4
I saw Twitter explode when Eriksen was taken off. Not out of joy, but out of anger that he hadn’t played well today, and that he wasn’t tough enough. He didn’t really look all that bothered to be honest, and on occasion, dodged out of a few tackles, but what do you expect at this time of the season? I, for one, felt he could have played better, but he has done enough for one season.
Harry Kane: 5
A player who is clearly tired out, yet doesn’t get dropped? Strange, but he won the Player of the Year from the club and junior supporters club, so it was nice to see the local hero get such a large award. Hold up play is actually pretty good, and reminds me of a younger Alan Shearer. Lets just hope he turns down Man United just as Shearer himself did.
Mousa Demeble: 5
Possibly his last game at the Lane, Dembele feels like a hidden gem that will remain hidden for a very long time, which is a shame really because he has all the potential to be a superb player.
Benjamin Stambouli: 5
I’m going to hold my hands up and admit that I actually forgot Stambouli played for us until he came on today. If it wasn’t for the Cup Final song (don’t kid yourself, you know what one I mean), I don’t think he would have any legacy at Spurs whatsoever.
Roberto Soldado: N/A
Our striker, who we paid £26Million for was subbed on for the last 3 minutes of the second last game of the season at home to relegation threatened Hull. Says it all really, doesn’t it?