Spurs | Fresh Spurs - Part 20

Spurs

Spurs Set To Face Competition For Premier League Striker

Tottenham are interested in signing Watford striker Troy Deeney reports from The Sun last week claimed, but The Telegraph suggest that they will have to fight off competition from the Premier League champions Leicester City if they are to sign their summer target.

The Telegraph claim that Leicester are lining up a bid for the Tottenham target in order to bolster their attacking options ahead of their Premier League title defence, which begins in August.

Leicester could be about to lose their star man Jamie Vardy to Spurs’ North London rivals Arsenal, who reportedly have offered the Englishman a contract that will see him earn in excess of £100,000 per week. However, The Telegraph suggest that Leicester will make a move for Deeney, regardless of whether Vardy moves to Arsenal or not.

Mauricio Pochettino on the other hand will be looking to strengthen his options this summer to provide support for Harry Kane up front, with Clinton N’Jie far from providing anywhere near enough goals in an injury-hit season for the Cameroon international.

Spurs of course will be looking to improve squad depth as they be playing in the Champions League after a third placed finish last term.

It is thought that it will take a bid of £15m upwards to tempt Watford into accepting an offer for the striker who struck thirteen times last season for the Hornets.

The striker, standing at six-feet tall, would be a big asset for Spurs, should they be successful in their pursuit for the 27-year-old. Not only does he having a good goal scoring record at Watford and at Walsall, his previous club, but he also has experience of the Premier League on his side. This means that splashing out £15m upwards on the striker would not be as bigger risk as it would be splashing the cash on somebody from overseas, who is not going to be a guaranteed hit in the Premier League, which previous signings have suggested.

Spurs will be looking to challenge once again for the Premier League title, after falling short last season, and Troy Deeney would give Mauricio Pochettino a much needed alternative to Harry Kane if the Golden Boot winner was to come off the boil or be hit with injury.

Spurs Tipped To Sign Former Arsenal Fans Favourite Ahead Of Newcastle

Tottenham have today been linked with a shock move for former Arsenal striker Niklas Bendtner. The 28-year-old looks set to move back to England this month, with Crystal Palace and Newcastle also linked.

But what would it be like if Bendtner did actually join Tottenham? He was hardly an Arsenal legend, but he did become a bit of a fans favourite in his later years – more due to comedic value than anything else. In his 10 years at Tottenham’s arch rivals; he played in over 100 games, scoring 24 times. If you try and put the Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons to one side, though, you can see some quality in Bendtner, who has scored 29 times in 72 caps for Denmark.

The reality is Spurs could sign a player of a much higher calibre and they should probably concentrate their efforts on that. Whilst it would be hilarious to see Bendtner score against his former club and celebrate in Adebayor-esque style, it all honesty he is unlikely to be worth his wages.

Bendtner’s lethargic attitude on the pitch couldn’t be further away from Mauricio Pochettino’s perfect striker. The Argentinian is demanding energy from every player on the pitch, and it’s hard to see someone of Bendtner’s age and ego to adjust his game so drastically.

This rumour seems ridiculous to be honest, so there isn’t too much to worry about. The original claims come from BWIN, who may be looking to drum up some interest on the Bendtner betting market.

Saido Berahino and others continue to be linked, but it does look as if the transfer window will come to a very quiet end at White Hart Lane. What would you like to happen in the final week of the window? Tweet us at @FreshFootball with your ideas.

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Player Ratings: Spurs 4-1 West Ham

You could argue that this game was one of our finest performances of the season so far, as two goals from Harry Kane helped Spurs thrash rivals West Ham at White Hart Lane. It was a fantastic, all round team performance from our boys, putting us a point behind Arsenal in fourth, and four points off Leicester at the summit of the Premier League. Who were our star performers? Well, let’s take a look at the Tottenham player ratings against West Ham.

Hugo Lloris: 6

It’s been a tough week for our captain, but he played well today, doing his duty when called upon, which in all fairness was a rarity. Lloris will be disappointed to not have kept a clean sheet, but for the other 88 minutes of the game, he was rarely tested.

Kyle Walker: 7

A relatively good outing from Walker, who managed to get on the score sheet on his 100th appearance for Spurs. The only thing of note, apart from the goal, was his mistake for the West Ham goal. Sure, it was 4-0 with a few minutes left, but he will still be kicking himself nonetheless.

Toby Alderweireld: 8

Find me another man in football who can head the ball so often in a game, and his hair remain perfect from the first minute to the last? Toby Alderweireld had a great game at the back today, as well as getting a goal for himself, and it honestly seems like whenever a ball is played into the box, he can read the future, as he is always there to clear the danger. Easily one of the buys of the summer in the Premier League.

Jan Vertonghen: 7

Once more, Jan and Toby’s love story at the back adds another chapter, with the two Belgians having stellar games for Spurs. Vertonghen was out of the limelight a bit in this game, but he still managed to keep his composure, and deal with any danger thrown at them.

Danny Rose: 7

Solid once more from Rose, who has grown into an integral part of our side, with his attacking threat and defensive work. Not much else to comment on, other than he is one of our most consistent players every week, including today.

Eric Dier: 7

His transformation to a holding midfielder was showcased to its max today, as Dier showed that he is more than capable in the middle of the park. He can break up play, start attacks, he plays the ball with poise and finesse, and he gives both attackers and defenders a safety net.

Dele Alli: 7

A great attacking threat who should have gotten a goal today, but thundered his header against the bar. A quiet game considering his recent performances, but the most important part of the game for him is that he will miss the game against Chelsea through suspension.

Christian Eriksen: 8

A great game from the Great Dane, who seems to effortlessly and silently change and dictate the game. Assisting Alderweireld, Eriksen floated around, allowing others to flourish, in a great performance once again.

Mousa Dembele: 8

Now this is the Dembele we all wanted to see for about 3 years. He bullied the West Ham players off the ball, and at one point, I thought he had glue on his boot. The man is a genius! Today, he was just magnificent to watch.

Heung-Min Son: 7

Such a bundle of energy in this game that he pressed every one at least once. Son has been a great addition to the team, and while he didn’t really have sights on goal, he certainly helped the team.

Harry Kane: 9

Two goals from the England striker, and they were goals that really showed that Kane is back to his best. Goals feel better when Kane scores them, and there is no stopping this man when he’s in this kind of form. His work off the ball is superb, and his hold up play, as well as his link up play, are amongst the best that I have ever seen in the Premier League.Kane is slowly showing he is an all round striker, topped off with the fact that he’s one of our own!

Do Eric Dier And Dele Alli Deserve Their England Call-Ups?

On Tuesday evening, when the whole of Wembley Stadium arises for the entrance of England v France, the world will have their eyes fixated on the game. Speculation of the French line-up has been circling Social Media, whilst the England team has been kept under wraps. Roy Hodgson may want to rotate the squad slightly, and cast an eye on those who are usually on the bench for the national side, in particular Eric Dier and Dele Alli, two Tottenham Hotspur boys, amongst those pushing for a start.

On the back of the comments made by Danny Murphy in midweek about Dier and Alli “not being ready” for the senior side, it got me thinking about some players and their readiness for the national squad, and how you can actually tell when they’re ready to represent their nation.

As Spurs have shown this season, if you put faith in top young stars, they can repay you and many will agree that youth is the way forward for England. With Terry, Cole, Ferdinand, Lampard and Gerrard all gone, England will need to replace those players with youth, and I can’t help but look at Dier and Alli for the centre of the park. Two young, hungry and incredibly talented players, who have played for the Under-21’s and not just leapfrogged that stage and jumped straight into the senior squad, yet that isn’t good enough for some? For some, they are the epitome of how “easy” is it to get a call-up.

This season is Dier’s first in midfield, and Alli’s first season in the Premier League, after spending his whole career in League One with the Milton Keynes Dons. The boys clearly have talent, but with the mentality of “their too young”, they will probably have their international career hampered.

Imagine what would have happened to Manchester United if they were criticized for fielding the Class of ’92? They were good enough for the first team, and age never mattered to Sir Alex Ferguson, so what makes Roy Hodgson above that? If someone is good enough for the England squad, then why can’t they start in the first team?

Michael Carrick is a great player, but as he showed against Spain, he just isn’t up to the pace of top international teams. With James Milner injured, and no one really in line to step up into the team, why not play Dier and Alli? It’s worth seeing how the guys can do on the international stage.

I’m sure every Tottenham fan will want to see our boys in the England squad, and I know that we all believe that Dele Alli and Eric Dier can make it at the highest level. Besides, on a personal level, I want a boy from Milton Keynes become a key player for the England team!

Player Ratings: Spurs 2-1 Anderlecht

It wasn’t exactly a pretty victory, but we very rarely win well in the Europa League, but a 2-1 win gives the boys a good boost ahead of the always important North London Derby this coming Sunday.

Let’s talk about the player ratings, shall we?

Hugo Lloris: 7

A solid performance once more from the Frenchman, who is looking so good between the sticks as of late. Rarely troubled in this game except for the goal, but there was hardly anything Hugo could have done to stop it.

Kieran Tripper: 6

Again, a solid performance, which wasn’t entirely spectacular. Most of the team tonight just put in a good shift, and at the end of the day, these lads got the victory for us to send us top of the group.

Toby Alderweireld: 7

I said it the other day, but what a signing this boy is turning into! Every time he steps onto the pitch, he just oozes class, and his partnership with Jan Vertonghen is looking like one of the best in the Premier League. I’m sure Jermaine Jenas agrees me.

Jan Vertonghen: 7

I would love to comment more, but if you want to know how Super Jan played, see Toby Alderweireld.

Ben Davies: 7

A solid performance yet again from the Welshman, who played well, with one exception. If only he was alert on the Anderlecht goal, Ezekiel wouldn’t have snuck in around the back. With that one exception, Davies had a good game, but he will probably be back on the bench for Sunday.

Eric Dier: 6

Quiet is the word I’d use to describe Dier this evening. Not in a bad sense, but he just didn’t really do anything of note. We all know of the big news about Dier, so congratulations on a well deserved call up to the England squad.

Dele Alli: 6

Sloppy passes were littered all out for the Milton Keynes boy, but at 19, I think you can allow games like this, especially considering how good he has started his Tottenham career.

Erik Lamela: 6

He could have had a much better game and rating, but Lamela didn’t really connect with the flow this evening. I think he changed boots twice, but that didn’t work, and after having a decent looking penalty shout turned down, Lamela looked down and out.

Christian Eriksen: 6

A quiet game from the Great Dane by his standards. Not much to discuss for this one, except for the fact he subbed off early to give him some rest ahead of the North London Derby.

Ryan Mason: 6

Again, not much to talk about except that his return to fitness has put him back in contention for a spot against Arsenal this Sunday.

Harry Kane: 8

Scoring once more can only mean good things for Tottenham. If there was ever a time for Kane to come back to form, it would be before our three toughest games so far of the season. If we can feed Kane like we did against Bournemouth, then we could see the return of the HurriKane.

Subs:

Mousa Dembele: 8

My Man of the Match for this game, as his impact on the game, as well as the goal, won this match for Spurs. His thunderbolt was an absolute dream to see fly into the top corner, and if we can keep Dembele going in this vain of form, we could be finally seeing the complete attacking midfielder we all know he has the potential to be.

Josh Onomah: N/A

Heung Min Son: N/A

Player Ratings: Spurs 3-1 Aston Villa

I think we can all admit that this wasn’t the best of games, but at least we got the job done in the end. Goals from Moussa Dembele, Dele Alli and Harry Kane gave Spurs the 3-1 victory to stretch our unbeaten run to 10. It is quite hard to believe, but we are second in the form table, only to Arsenal, who we face next week. You could probably describe this result as efficient rather than amazing, fast flowing football, and you know what, I loved it. Who was the best player, though? Let’s take a look at the ratings.

Hugo Lloris: 6

Not a bad performance, but not one of his best, to be perfectly honest. We may have got the victory, but Lloris had his fair share of unusual mistakes, for instance the missed punch against Gestede. At least we got the 3 points.

Kyle Walker: 7

A safe performance up until that shaky 10-minute period at the end. Slowly, but surely, Walker is getting better, and making myself eat my words. He has improved a lot defensively, and his pace will always be a threat going forward. I just want consistency!

Toby Alderweireld: 6

A simple, safe game from the Belgian, who is slowly showing his class in defence and on the ball. Just quality again from Toby. This guy is the kick up the backside that Jan Vertonghen needed to push himself just a bit further.

Jan Vertonghen: 6

At the risk of sounding lazy, Vertonghen and Alderweireld are actually having the exact same games now. I really wish there was more to say about him other than well done. I’m seriously enjoying this defensive partnership now.

Danny Rose: 7

Another great game on the left side from Danny Rose, who is slowly becoming one of our better attackers. Time and time again, on the left, he is running non-stop up and down, causing threats all the time. Maybe, just maybe, an England call up is on the cards?

Eric Dier: 7

Another class performance from the transformer of the side. Why is he called the transformer? Well, the fact that he transformed his position to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, and also, because he transforms defence into attack. Like it? I had all game to come up with that one!

Dele Alli: 8

I do like to see a boy from Milton Keynes do well, especially for my Tottenham Hotspur, and this lad has a big future ahead of him. Along with his goal, he put in an accomplished performance, and some good touches. Big, big things expected from this lad now.

Erik Lamela: 8

I’m about to admit that I am wrong. Erik Lamela is a good player, and his season has been superb so far. Now, I don’t want to jinx anything, but he could become a key part of our eleven.

Mousa Dembele: 8

Opening the game with a goal after two minutes, Dembele played a great game, something we have all been waiting for, but similarly to Walker, all I ask for is some consistency!

Christian Eriksen: 8

A quieter game than usual, but Eriksen still managed to have a good game on the left, and in the first half, allowed Rose to go forward at will. One of our best players this season, and I can imagine him playing a huge role this campaign.

Harry Kane: 8

Following on from his hat-trick from last week, Kane scored once more at the Lane, and simply put, goals feel better when Kane bangs them in!

Is Achieving A Top Four Finish Finally A Realistic Target?

It’s something that we didn’t really expect this season, as many fans will probably admit. We all felt like we didn’t do enough business in the transfer window, and the players weren’t strong enough for the challenge, but my have these boys proved us (slightly) wrong already.

At the time of writing, Spurs are sitting in 6th position, three points off of the 4th place, which we have been coveting for so long. Manchester United are the side that occupies the 4th position, and they haven’t exactly been amazing but they have certainly been efficient. When you look at the next few fixtures for us, it is a huge month, probably the biggest of the season, and if we come out of the period with maximum points, then we cannot be ignored in the top four race.

Let’s start with Monday evening, when Aston Villa pays a visit to White Hart Lane, possibly with a new manager in charge. Let’s say that manager is Reme Garde, and the players want to make an impact, but Spurs grab the three points. That could possibly place us 4th in the league if things go our way, right before three massive London derbies.

Arsenal, West Ham and Chelsea make up our November fixtures, and let’s say, hypothetically, we win all three games. Nine points against two of the top form teams in the league would make teams stand up and take notice. Chelsea’s blip shows no signs of stopping, whilst Leicester and West Ham may lose their momentum soon, meaning there will be spaces in the table open to the teams around the top.

Most will expect that Manchester United and Manchester City, along with Arsenal to be at the top of the tree, but once West Ham and Leicester fall away, and if Chelsea don’t improve, it will be between ourselves and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to fight out for the final Champions League spot, and from what we’ve seen so far, we have to be favourites.

Liverpool are still to pick up a league victory under the German, whilst Spurs thrashed and simply outclassed Bournemouth 1-5 at Dean Court, with our boy Harry Kane grabbing a hat trick, and Cristian Eriksen being faultless on the ball. It was amazing to see how easily we scored five goals, and how we took the game by the scruff of the neck and controlled it after falling behind.

If we keep this up, and if we manage to keep our fitness levels going all season, I have every reason to believe that we may strike gold come May.

Player Ratings: Bournemouth 1-1 Spurs

Despite going 1-0 behind less than a minute into the match, Spurs were still able to put on a show for the travelling fans that made the trip to Bournemouth. Harry Kane bagged a hat-trick in an impressive 5-1 win. Here are our player ratings.

Hugo Lloris (3.5/5)- Had a nervy moment in the first half but got away with it under pressure. Delt with whatever came his way comfortably.

Kyle Walker- (4/5)- Good, solid performance. Defended well and finally looks to be upping his game to a consistently high level.

Toby Alderweireld (4/5)- One of the best signings we’ve made in recent years. Composed as ever and led the defence’s recovery from the early setback.

Jan Vertonghen (4/5)- His partnership with Toby is a defensive force to behold. Untroubled for the majority and picked his teammates out well.

Danny Rose (3/5)- Never had full control over Ritchie and picked up a booking. A decent outlet at the other end though.

Eric Dier (4/5)- Class. Again. Protected the defence well and his ability and calmness on the ball was there for all to see.

Dele Alli (4/5)- Alli continues to look like he’s been in this league for years. Pressed high and worked as hard as anyone, but had the calmness and class on the ball to go with it. His nutmeg count continues to rise.

Mousa Dembele (4/5)- There is no doubting the Belgians talent, and for the second league match in a row he was one of the best on the pitch. A performance full of clever passing and strength on the ball. Tidy finish for his goal.

Erik Lamela (3.5/5)- Oh so slowly, but oh so surely. The Argentine is improving. Not quite as good as his teammates but still showed some delightful touches and was in the right place to get his goal. His Spurs career was on the brink this summer, and he’s responded.

Christian Eriksen (4.5/5)- A joy to watch at times. The passing, the vision, the workrate, it was all there. His pass led to the penalty and his stunning cross led to Kane’s second. Denied a superb goal of his own by the post. In this mood, in this form, there are few better in the league. Back to his best.

Harry Kane (5/5)- Is he back? Maybe a little too early to say Harry Kane has hit the heights of last season but he’s well on his way based on this performance. Added a killer instinct to his usual hard work and his hatrick will be as much a relief to him as it is to the fans. Showed his calmness from the spot, and his predatory instinct for the following goals.

Subs

Ryan Mason (3.5/5)- Good to see him back. Settled into the game quickly and kept the ball ticking over nicely

N’jie and Trippier N/A

Harry Kane- Is It Just A Case Of Lack Of Confidence?

The weight of expectation can often be a heavy load to carry on a young man’s shoulders and it can weigh a tonne when you are suffering from a touch of second-season syndrome, as Harry Kane is currently enduring.

Harry Kane stamped his authority on the Tottenham first-team following a string of top quality performances in cup competitions such as the Europa League throughout the months of August, September and October before Mauricio Pochettino gave him his Premier League chance in late October and November of last season.

Since given his chance in that period, Harry Kane has stunned Spurs fans as to how well he has played, but has failed to live up to his expectations this term, and has netted just once in the league this season in a 4-1 win over Manchester City.

He took his goal well, but when presented with other chances throughout this season, Kane has come up with uncharacteristic and unexpected misses, take his miss in the first half against Everton at home as a prime example.

An own goal at Swansea has clearly harmed the 22 year-old’s confidence, and watching Harry Kane at Wembley against Estonia on Friday night was an underwhelming and disappointing experience, seeing one of your favourite players in that England squad perform so poorly.

Even the simplest things such as a ten-yard layoff seemed to be a mammoth task for Kane. Okay, I am exaggerating a little, but I think you get the idea. He looked like a man with no confidence at all, and although he lasted the full ninety minutes, he should have been substituted by Roy Hodgson in all fairness.

His night was summed up when a cross from the right presented the youngster with a great chance from inside the penalty area on the volley to send England 2-0 up, but it was a swing and a miss for the striker, the ball hitting his standing left leg and rebounded away. All of those things I have mentioned above have had an effect on Kane’s confidence.

I will be closely observing the performance of Harry Kane on Monday should he get a run out against Lithuania in England’s final Euro 2016 qualifier, but at the moment, it seems that the striker’s confidence is critically low.

The New Tottenham Way Of Playing

In recent weeks, Tottenham have been playing a new brand of football that not many of us would have seen before. We’ve been fit, strong, and out run our opponents in the majority of games this season. We may have started the season slower than we would have liked, but the fact of the matter is, we have improved dramatically in terms of fitness and skill, and it all comes down to the training methods of Mauricio Pochettino, his coaching staff and the willingness of the players.

What made me realise how important this new method was to our side when I was reading “Das Reboot” by German journalist and BT Sport European pundit Raphael Honigstein, and it describes how German football had to revolutionise itself to get back to the heights of what they were years before. Now, I’m not for one second comparing Dele Alli to Bastian Schweinsteiger, or even Kevin Wimmer to Mats Hummels, but Tottenham are showing signs that they are following suit.

Our defensive midfielder has to be one who can defend and then turn into a ball player in a blink of an eye (Eric Dier), whilst the attackers are given license to attack, but have a defensive responsibility. The Bundesliga allowed the clubs to have their own youth league, and new state-of-the-art training set ups, which look like they should belong to NASA rather than a mid-table Bundesliga side. But the fact of the matter is, the Bundesliga set up is what Spurs are starting to do as we speak.

We all knew that the new training ground, which opened a few years ago, would benefit us one way or another, and it seems to be working. Our players looked very good technically and physically, and it showed when we managed to defeat Manchester City a lot more comfortably than we expected, and on Sunday when Tottenham and Swansea played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Mauricio Pochettino has openly claimed that a lot of his methods have been based upon Marcelo Bielsa and his incredible fitness regime. Unfortunately for Bielsa last season, his Marseille side couldn’t keep up with his fitness demands, and fell away at the final stretch of Ligue 1. But Pochettino has shown that his sides don’t seem to falter at any point. The regime isn’t harrowing enough to ruin a season, but it is tough enough to keep the players going from first minute to last.

Of course, what the Germans did may never be replicated ever again, because 21 of the 23 in the World Cup squad benefitted from the unique training, but with the help of Adidas MiCoach, they developed their individual skills. Imagine if Tottenham Hotspur invested in that kind of technology where the players were training themselves under a structure set about from top to bottom, where every player, fan and coach believed in the same cause? The players we already have, including the youth we all love to watch on social media including Josh Onomah and Nathan Oduwa, who is currently on Loan at Glasgow Rangers.

The fact of the matter is, with Tottenham increasingly getting better in the fitness aspect, and potentially even the mental state which we all know we need, the club is slowly making it’s way to developing players for our future. The future, the style, and even the culture of the club, is drastically changing.

For the next few games, keep an eye on the midfielders and how they play, how they run and how they control their fitness levels during the game. Short bursts here and there. That’s the Pochettino way, and it seems like the important players in the team are picking up his strategy very, very quickly.