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Player Ratings: Spurs 0-0 Liverpool

After a 0-0 draw at home to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, Tom Scholes takes a look at some of the Tottenham players who played the best, and some who weren’t quite as good.

Hugo Lloris: 3.5/5

It was a type of game for Lloris where he had to keep his focus every minute, as the lack of action meant that Hugo was rarely called upon. But when the Frenchman was called upon, he reacted well, whether it be sweeping up at the back or stopping the shots.

Kyle Walker: 3/5

Still an unconvincing performance from Walker once again, but at least he didn’t make any game threatening errors. Clearly the quickest defender we have, his pace is an important asset when a ball over the top comes in.

Jan Vertonghen: 3.5/5

Another great display at the back for the Belgian, who is so good on the ball he could probably play in central midfield. A clean sheet once more is a great sign that our defense is one of the best we have had in years. His partnership with Toby Alderweireld is potentially one of the best in the Premier League

Toby Alderweireld: 3.5/5

Exactly same as Vertonghen, as these two are quite simply fantastic together at the back. Not much more to say than that, but he can be a great player in terms of passing and aerial threats.

Danny Rose: 3.5/5

It may be worth giving Rose a run on the left hand side of the attack rather than at the back, because his ability to go forward is astounding, and his pace is such a threat to the opposition. Not a bad game today, but he could maybe have been just a slither better.

Mousa Dembele: 4/5

What a player this lad can be! The way that he moved on the ball, and how he broke up play has probably given Mauricio Pochettino a huge selection headache for future games. It’s not often that I agree with Michael Owen, but it’s hard to argue with his Man of the Match award.

Dele Alli: 3/5-

An average performance today, but not in a bad sense, because the boy from Milton Keynes didn’t really do anything wrong. His passing is still on point, and he never looks intimidated by the opposition.

Nacer Chadli/ Clinton N’jie: 3/5

With Chadli going off early on, N’jie was given the task of attacking down the left hand side. Sadly, the opportunity seemed to just pass him by. I didn’t dislike the performance today, but you could clearly tell that he may be more comfortable and effective in a more central role.

Christian Eriksen: 3.5/5

Again, Eriksen didn’t do much in terms of changing the game, but he was always a threat. Coming off the back of two goals away to Swansea, a lot was expected from the Dane, but unfortunately, he couldn’t produce. Mind you, he still played better than Coutinho.

Erik Lamela: 3/5

I don’t know about you, but did Lamela seem to only give away fouls today? Very quiet, but he is looking a lot more confident when on the ball, and that is always a good thing to see. Put that down to Pochettino and his style of man management.

Harry Kane: 3.5/5

Not a spectacular performance, but there were encouraging signs. No goal, a couple of chances, overall a good outing. Not much to talk about with Kane, other than he is starting to be more than just goals for Tottenham.

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!

Player Ratings: Spurs 1-0 Crystal Palace

Tottenham made it three wins in three in all competitions ahead of the North London derby with Arsenal in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday. A solitary goal from Heung-Min Son was enough to see off Crystal Palace and here are our player ratings.

Lloris (4.5/5)- Composed, confident, and didn’t put a foot wrong. Made a good stop from a Sako free kick before denying Sako superbly in a key second half period. His fingertip stop would prove to be vital as we scored mere minutes later. Truly one of the best around.

Walker (3.5/5)- Did his job in defence and never really looked troubled. Dealt comfortably with Zaha but was lucky to get away with giving the ball away which eventually led to Palace hitting the post

Alderweireld (4/5)- Himself and Jan look to be building an incredibly strong partnership at the back. Confident on the ball, hitting some superb diagonals, and dealt with whatever was thrown at him with ease.

Vertonghen (4/5)- Barely put a foot wrong. One marauding run forward summed up his confidence and with Toby alongside him, he finally looks to be returning to the form we saw in his first season at the club.

Davies (3.5/5)- Good on the ball and untroubled. Kept his place above Rose who was poor midweek and was unlucky to see what would have been his first goal for the club ruled out for offside.

Dier (4/5)- Pochettino appears to have pulled of a master stroke with Dier’s positional change. Dealt with Puncheon with ease and provided exceptional defensive cover.

Alli (4/5)- Looks like he’s been playing in the Premier League for years. Always looking for the ball and always looking to do something positive with it. Has dealt with the step up with ease. He and Dier won the midfield battle with Cabaye and McArthur.

Lamela (3.5/5)- Justified his start. Tested the goalkeeper several times with a decent shot in the first half and a well struck free kick in the second. Some lapses in concentration but he was superb in the build up to the goal, outmuscling Cabaye with ease on the edge of our box and setting Eriksen away.

Son (4.5/5)- Has made a superb start to life in North London. Followed up his European double in midweek with the winning goal in the 68th minute. Was energetic and dangerous all day long , running himself into the ground for his new team. Deserved his ovation

Chadli (3/5)- Better than last week from the Belgian. Some good moments on the ball and some good passes to set up chances for others.

Kane (3/5)- You get the sense that he’s trying to hard. Needs to go back to acting on instinct and the goals will come flowing back. Missed a presentable first half header but as always worked hard.

Substitutes

Eriksen (4/5)- Oh how we’ve missed him. Provided the immediate assist within minutes of coming on and added a new level of class to the attack. He and Son in the same team is a very dangerous proposition indeed.

N’jie (N/A)- Got a ten minute run out and buzzed around without much impact.

Three Players That Have Underperformed For Spurs This Season

Tottenham can finally celebrate a Premier League victory after labouring to a 0-1 victory against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last Sunday. Ryan Mason bagged the winner, and Eric Dier got Man of the Match from Sky Sports, but there was very little to get excited about, and unfortunately that has been a trend in the opening games of the season for Spurs. Some players haven’t been performing to the best of their ability so far this season, whilst some are just having a bad run of form (case and point, Harry Kane). Let us take a quick look at three players, who haven’t hit top form just yet for Spurs, at least in my humble opinion anyway!

1) Kyle Walker:

I’ve said it for a few years now, and that is Kyle Walker would make a great right midfielder, simply because he can’t defend well enough to be a right-back, and at the start of the season, his frailties have been exploited. The modern day full back has to be quick, strong, a good attacker, and a great defender.

The problem for Walker, however, is that he makes silly mistakes at the back, and makes problems for himself, and luckily gets out of danger. Many thought, including myself, that the signing of Trippier would keep Walker on his toes, and would force him to work harder, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as Walker hasn’t changed, and Trippier is warming the bench every week. I just hope Walker smartens up with his defending.

Player Ratings: Sunderland 0-1 Spurs

Finally Tottenham can celebrate their first win of the season just over a month since the season began. A late, but great Ryan Mason goal gave us a much-needed win after a loss and three draws. Here are the player ratings.

Hugo Lloris (3.5/5)- Massively untroubled. Dealt with whatever came his way and kept a second consecutive clean sheet.

Kyle Walker (3.5/5)- Had a battle on his hands vs Lens at times but held his own and grew into the game as an attacking force.

Jan Vertonghen (4/5)- Incredibly solid. Despite picking up a yellow card he was commanding and kept his cool well when Lens broke through in the second half.

Toby Alderwiereld (3/5)-Not quite as impressive as his centre back partner. Never looked comfortable dealing with an incredible lively Defoe.

Ben Davies (3.5/5)- As we usually see from the Welshman, solid and dependable on the ball but not a massive attacking threat. The pace of Rose is missed.

Eric Dier (4.5)- Superb performance from the man who’s had a great week, having signed a new contract in the week. Passed the ball well and was convincing and impressive in his tackling. Growing into the CDM role.

Ryan Mason (4/5)- Also very impressive. Played some incisive passes and worked hard. Superb finish for our much needed winning goal, chipping the ball delicately into the net.

Nacer Chadli (1.5/5)- Quite simply a terrible performance from the Belgian. Invisible in the first half and when he did get involved, it certainly wasn’t positive, as he blazed several chances from good positions over. Needs to up his performance level.

Dele Alli (3.5/5)- Started the game off with a neat nutmeg which is becoming something of a trait. Good on the ball and put himself about. A solid performance on his first ever premier league start.

Son (3/5)- Some neat touches and decent set piece delivery, but on the whole is was a quiet afternoon for our new man. Much more to come from him.

Harry Kane (2/5)- A real struggle for last seasons main man. His touch was poor along with his dribbling, and his mishit of a decent second half chance summed his afternoon up. Needs a goal in a spurs shirt sooner rather than later.

Subs

Andros Townsend (4/5)- Changed the game, injecting pace and energy into our attack. Found joy on the right flank as he raced past his marker time and again.

Erik Lamela (4/5)- The Argentine needed this. Added some urgency to a lacklustre attack and played the incisive through ball for our winner. With many close to giving up on him, he took his chance today. But he still needs to do so much more.

Who Should Be Tottenham’s Third Attacking Midfielder?

In one of the more attractive vacancies in the footballing world, Spurs are on the look out for an attacking midfielder. Following the closure of the transfer window, Spurs will be looking in-house to fill the position.

Wanted: Attacking midfielder with proven ability to play on right side of a three.

Attributes required: The ideal candidate must show a willingness to run behind, press high up the pitch and provide cover for a marauding fullback when required. The ability to create chances, run with the ball and use possession efficiently are essential. Pace and shooting ability preferred.

Christian Eriksen, knee injury permitting, is the main creative force in the centre and was sorely missed against Everton, despite Ryan Mason’s sterling effort at filling in. One presumes Son Heung-Min has been signed as an upgrade over Nacer Chadli for the Jay Rodriguez role on the left-side, cutting in and supporting Harry Kane with goals.

But that leaves one space up for grabs. A third amigo, a third musketeer, a third banana.

In the season so far, Mousa Dembele has occupied the position, to limited effect. The Belgian has his supporters, but I’m not one of them. For all the talent and touch and seeming class, there is little-to-no end product. He presumably had some traumatic experience with long-range shooting as a child, such is his unwillingness to have a go at goal. He also has developed an aversion to carrying the ball forwards in recent seasons, preferring instead to take a step forward, stop, retreat, and then pass the ball sideways like some latter day Ray Wilkins.

His slow plays gums up Spurs attacking flow and makes it too easy for the opposition to get into formation, and is a frequent contributor to the tedious play we see at White Hart Lane with its tight pitch. As I’ve mentioned previously, I actually would like to see him up front — I’m going to keep banging on about this until either a) someone agrees with me or b) Pochettino tries it and he is rubbish.

So, let’s take a look at the other candidates:

Nacer Chadli: Once Son settles in, it will be at the expense of Chadli. Chadli had all the makings of a transfer bust in his first season, but then turned it around splendidly once Pochettino arrived. He scored 11 goals in 35 appearances last season, and already is off the mark this term. He looks like he has everything — pace, power, technique, goal-scoring ability and height. But the whole doesn’t quite add up the sum of the parts — he is a very good player, but not a great player. There are times when he drifts out of the game, or appears to settle for a 7/10 performance when a greedier player would be sniffing around for the extra goal or assist. You’ve got to want to dominate. But, to me, I’d rank Chadli as the primary option to fill the vacant spot due to his ability to score goals. Bar his first season at Spurs, he has been a consistent scorer throughout his career. He should be able to operate on the right rather than his preferred left flank.

Andros Townsend: Sorry, England international Andros Townsend. I thought Spurs would move Townsend on this summer while his stock remains high after his excellent international outings. But, they kept hold of him — it now feels like the last chance saloon. Last season, Pochettino gave Townsend and Lamela extended runs and neither excelled. In 17 league appearances last season, Townsend had two goals (one was a penalty) and two assists. This is pretty pathetic when you have your mate Harry Kane up front and breathing fire. To me, Townsend is best coming off the bench as an impact guy who runs at tired defences. When he starts, he gives the ball away too much, doesn’t track back and contributes little. He may improve, and he certainly needs to.

Erik Lamela: The record signing and official club enigma. I thought he was out the door this summer, but various transfers collapsed and he is stuck at Spurs. He is never going to be a £30 million player, but there is undoubtedly talent there. First of all, Lamela makes things happen. Last season in 25 league appearances he had two goals and seven assists (Eriksen had just 2 assists in 37 games). He obviously has a wand of a left foot, as that rabona and the game winner against Burnley showed. His problem is that he gives the ball away constantly, and fouls whenever he tries to make a tackle, especially during League games when it appears the pace is too high. This must drive Pochettino mad. But, as a creative option, I’m glad Lamela is still kicking around — the squad feels a bit samey and predictable without someone like him. I’m not sure how much time he will see in the League, but I expect Lamela to light up the Europa League this season — even if only in a bid to secure his move away from the Lane.

Dele Alli: In his few appearances so far, Alli has looked seriously exciting. He scored what should have been the winner against Leicester, and against Everton he was immediately into the action and could have been involved in two goals. He looks an extraordinary athlete, with great technical ability and a willingness to make runs and get involved. It would be no surprise if Alli had made this position his own by the end of the season.

Alex Pritchard: His injury at the U21 Euros was seriously unfortunate as it cost him a rare chance to impress Pochettino in preseason. But, he is fit now and has an opportunity with the Europa League and Capital One Cup kicking in. I think it is easy to downplay what he did last season with Brentford — he was sensational. Twelve goals and seven assists in 45 matches is some performance. I watched a couple of the games as I was starting to get excited — it wasn’t that he was technically good, what caught the eye was that he was dominating and leading the team. In his brief England performances in the summer, he was one of the few players to make an impact and was sorely missed once he was injured. In style and physique, he seems a lot like Eriksen, but a lot of his play for Brentford was from the wide positions.

Josh Onomah: From what I know about him, he primarily plays through the centre. But many a fine player has shifted wide in search of playing time early in their careers. I’ve only seen glimpses — but they are so tantalizing! What touch and vision he shows. I’m sure it is a year or two too early for him — but who knows? The fact that he is still there, rather than out on loan, means he has a chance.

Clinton N’Jie: Can he play on the right-side of a three? Can he play up front? Can he play at all? Is he the next Samuel Eto’o? Is he the next Helder Postiga? Can he walk in a straight line without falling over? I really have no clue, and suspect no-one else does either.

Those are the main contenders. Ryan Mason, at a push could play out on the right, but this would be a defensive choice. Harry Winks plays centrally. I’d like to nominate Tom Carroll as the official “forgotten man” of the Spurs squad — I’m amazed he is still here. Though, with the lack of central midfield options, we may be seeing him in the Europa League. But anyway, he isn’t a wide man.

So, there are options. In fact, there are plenty of options — it’s just not entirely clear if any of them are good options. Some are intriguing, some are an exercise in optimism, some have already flattered to deceive.

But I like the fact there is clear competition for a spot in a good Premier League team, and that it will come down to who is the hungriest and who takes their chance when offered.

Charles Richards blogs at The Spurs Report. Follow him on Twitter (@crg_yeah), and Fresh Spurs (@Fresh_Spurs_)

Transfer Review: What If Harry Kane Were To Pull A Hamstring?

Deadline day came and went on Tuesday in a flurry of lurid yellow ties, desperate negotiations and angry tweets from Spurs fans and West Brom players alike.

Like most fans, I went through the seven stages of grief – well, at least anger, denial and bargaining – at 6pm. The day after, I’m now into acceptance. The squad is what it is, nothing can be done about it now.

On balance, I’d say Spurs achieved about half of what we needed to do this summer. We got rid of most of the deadwood, but are stuck with Emmanuel Adebayor and, less problematically, Federico Fazio. We moved quickly to shore up the defence with signings of Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer, and added new attacking options in Son Heung-min and Clinton N’Jie. We also kept Hugo Lloris. But, the club failed to bring in the experienced central midfielder the callow squad surely needed, and no second striker arrived to support Harry Kane.

The central midfield question I’ll leave for another day, but the failure to sign a striker was at the heart of many a Twitter meltdown.

The Saido Berahino debacle was puzzling. In what was an insane market for strikers – where inflationary pressures of all the TV money sloshing around combined with a shortage in quality front men – £25m seemed a reasonable amount of money to spend on a young striker who has already shown he can score Premier League goals in a team that creates few chances. Us fans will be left to draw our own conclusions about what the failure to meet this price says about Daniel Levy’s strategy, nerve, or the club’s financial state.

The big fear Spurs fans will have, as we enter the dog days of long Europa League trips and early Sunday kick-offs, is that something happens to Harry Kane. Let’s say he suffers an injury on England duty this fortnight, what do Spurs then do up front? Mauricio Pochettino will dutifully say he is happy with his attacking options. But what are they? Let’s have a look at them.

First of all, about Poch’s system. When Southampton played their best under the Argentine in 2013-2014 season they didn’t actually score that many goals. Rickie Lambert had 13 in 37 League matches. Jay Rodriguez had 15 in 33. Adam Lallana had 9 in 38. No one else chipped in significantly. I loved watching the Saints that season, but it wasn’t because they were running up the goals or were particularly thrilling. They were just an ultra-efficient, fast, well-drilled, hard-working team that knew how to get ahead and stay ahead.

They key to the attacking system was that Rickie Lambert intelligently created space and worked defenders, leaving room for Lallana to operate and creating opportunities for Rodriguez to get in behind. Kane, Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen basically replicated that last season. The striker in Poch’s system is as much as anything a worker – moving intelligently, holding up the ball and drawing defenders. He is expected to share the goalscoring burden, not shoulder it alone. Pochettino never had
to cope with a Lambert injury, so we are slightly in the dark as to his thinking.

So what are the options?

Son Heung-Min: Our new Korean is presumably the first option should Kane go down. I was under the impression that he plays mostly off the front man in very much the Rodriguez mold, and was as much an upgrade on the left over Chadli. But, he has played up front before, and he is actually quite similar to Kane physically – over 6ft and strong, with more pace. The drama over his position on the club’s website suggests someone at Hotspur Way sees him as a striker. Presumably at this stage, Son is the
official “Plan B”.

Clinton N’Jie: The man of mystery. Stuck behind Alexandre Lacazette at Lyon, most of his minutes came out wide. But for Cameroon, he has played up front, and the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas (no doubt eyeing a future sale) made the comparison with Samuel Eto’o. A totally different player from Kane, from what little we know about N’Jie he is someone who carries the ball and arrives in the box at pace, not someone who plays across the line or with his back to goal. But frankly, we await eagerly
to see what he is like once he emerges from Poch’s lab.

Nacer Chadli: Played up front on some of our pre-season adventures. Chadli is big, strong and quick – one of those guys who manages to look like he has everything, score a ton of goals, but still feel a bit uninvolved and disappointing. He failed conspicuously to hold the ball up against Stoke when Harry Kane went off, and Spurs paid a heavy price. I really don’t like this option, or the fact that it appears to be so high up the list.

Mousa Dembele: The Belgian enigma has been a bit of an obsession of mine of late. Not because I am waiting to see if, age 28, he suddenly breaks out and becomes that world-class midfielder we’ve been waiting to emerge, but because I think he could be a sneaky answer to the forward conundrum. Dembele has dropped deeper through his career, but he was signed by Fulham as a forward player. What Dembele brings is movement across the line, ability to draw defenders into contact, and the strength and technique to hold the ball. What drives us nuts about him is his refusal to shoot from range, pass forward or make runs from deep – none of which would matter if he was playing as a striker in Poch’s system. I just don’t think this is as crazy as it sounds – call him a False Nine and suddenly we’ve got all sorts of hipster potential.

Erik Lamela: This may get floated about, as much out of desperation to find a role for him as anything. But I wouldn’t risk it as Lamela gives the ball away too much.

Emmanuel Adebayor: Is it possible to feel sympathy and anger at someone? Someone who refuses to move unless he gets his contract paid in full and then can sign a new one on top is shameless. Someone who refuses to move because they are waiting for a sign from God and a word from their pastor is in need of help. I don’t think we can talk about Adebayor as a footballer any more. Judging by the reports of his personal situation, he sounds in a very troubled place and needs help. I feel, even after all the money he has been paid and the anguish he has caused, the club still has a duty of care to him and should take whatever steps it can to get him out of the clutches of whatever quacks or shamans or liggers he is in hock to. There could be serious mental health issues in play at this point, if this talk about him requiring signs from God in professional decision making are accurate. This is a sad situation for anyone. Not the belief in god of course, but the fact that he appears to have lost control of himself. Even for a rich footballer this is sad.

In summary, the options aren’t great and if Kane does pull a hamstring we have problems. Surely, Berahino would have been a great addition both as an alternative to Kane, an impact player off the bench, or an alternative playing in the Rodriguez role. But nevertheless, there are options, and I have confidence that Poch is a smart enough coach to muddle through.

Be sure to follow The Spurs Report on Twitter @crg_yeah, and also make sure you give us a follow @Fresh_Spurs_

Player Ratings: Leicester 1-1 Tottenham

Sunday, Tottenham and Leicester faced off at the King Power Stadium, and played out a 1-1 draw, with Dele Alli opening his account for, before immediately conceding to an in form Riyhad Mahrez. Some may say that it was a typical “spursy” performance, but some may see the positives. Nevertheless, many agree that Spurs need new signings, and fast.
In the 3rd game of the season, the team looks to be taking shape, and now is where we as fans start to look at, and essentially judge, the squad. This week, Joe Whitehead takes a look at the squad, and sees where we did well, and not so well this weekend against Leicester.
Lloris (3.5/5)- Had next to nothing to do in a dour first half. Pulled off a great stop to deny Morgan in the second half but could do nothing to deny Mahrez’s well struck equaliser.
http://gty.im/484116812
Walker (3/5)- A familiar story to many of his performances in recent times, as he got forward to good effect and offered an outlet, but struggled to cope defensively with the threat of Shlupp and Albrighton a constant thorn in his side.
http://gty.im/484854088
Alderwiereld (3.5/5)- Probably our most convincing defender. Strong in the air and as ever calm on the ball,dealt relatively easily with the threat of Okazaki.
http://gty.im/484876598
Vertonghen (2.5/5)- Not his day. Looked a tad of the pace from the beginning as he sliced a routine clearance towards his own goal, giving Lloris an unexpected problem. Was beaten with far to much ease by Mahrez straight for Leicester’s immediate leveller.
http://gty.im/484853310
Davies (3/5)- Mahrez caused him a problem with his direct and tricky style in the first half, but Davies grew as the game went on. A solid performance but he isn’t the outlet that Spurs fans are used to seeing flying down the wing in Rose.
http://gty.im/484895164
Dier (2.5/5)- Still doesn’t look entirely convincing in the DM position. Effective at breaking up Leicester attacks as you may expect but poor in possession, struggling when surrounded and under pressure. By no means a bad performance but doesn’t seem to posses the cool head his position often requires.
http://gty.im/484872726
Mason (3/5)- Energetic as usual, picking out Kane on several occasions and putting in his usual hardworking midfield performance.
http://gty.im/484872670
Lamela (2/5)- A poor display from the Argentine. Didn’t offer a threat going forward and despite some decent corner deliveries his passing was inaccurate and he couldn’t find a way past Leicester’s defence. Needs a performance and soon to give Spurs fans hope he can still come good.
http://gty.im/484853404
Dembele (3.5/5)- Our best player in the first half, getting in some shots on goal and keeping hold of the ball well. As the game went on he faded however and was replaced by Carroll. Seems to be very much in Pochettino’s plans however.
http://gty.im/484848058
Chadli (2.5/5)- Was having quite a poor day until our opening goal. Created very little and sliced a guilt edged chance wide soon after half time. However his excellent chipped pass that found its way to Alli meant he left a mark on proceedings.
http://gty.im/484895502
Kane (3/5)- Couldent get into the game in the first half as he was extremely isolated up top on his own. Hardly easy away from home and when we were missing our main creator Christian Eriksen. Played a part in our goal but will still feel frustrated at his inability to have a real impact on the game.
http://gty.im/484872208
Substitutes
Alli (4/5)- Massively impressive after coming on to replace the ineffective Lamela. It was great to see him get his first Tottenham goal and he may have given Pochettino something to think about in regards to his starting line up next week.
http://gty.im/484872172
Carrol (3/5)- An average performance with no real time to make an impact.
http://gty.im/482567358
Bentaleb (NA)- Came on with a few minutes to go.
http://gty.im/483402900

Why Spurs Should Stick With Erik Lamela For One More Season

Tottenham fans on Twitter have suggested that they want Erik Lamela through that White Hart Lane exit door as soon as possible after his first few performances of the season.

This will be Lamela’s third season at Tottenham Hotspur since his record move to North London for £30m from Roma in 2013, and hasn’t lived up to his price tag in the first two seasons.

However, his first season development was hindered by injury, that kept him out for long periods of time in the 2013/14 season, effectively making the 2014/15 season his first proper campaign.

Lamela certainly developed as a player last season, and his performances improved noticeably in his first season without long-term injury and under Mauricio Pochettino. We compared his stats PER GAME in the 2013/14 season to his stats in certain areas.

Stat: 13/14 season/ 14/15 season

Successful Passes: 15.89/28.21
Pass Completion: 80%/83%
Key Passes: 0.56/1.61
Chances Created: 0.67/1.82
Tackles Won: 0.89/1.97
Tackles Lost: 2.11/2.21
Assists (Whole Season): 1/7

As you can see there, Lamela’s performances and stats have improved dramatically from one season to the next, but you then ask the question, how do these stats compare to the best midfielders at our club? Well, in fact they compare quite well to left winger Nacer Chadli, who was probably the third or fourth best player on the pitch for Tottenham last campaign. Here are their stats per game.

Stat: Erik Lamela 14/15/ Nacer Chadli 14/15

Successful Passes: 28.21/25.37
Pass Completion: 83%/83%
Key Passes: 1.61/1.03
Chances Created: 1.82/1.17
Tackles Won: 1.97/0.66
Tackles Lost: 2.21/0.71
Assists (Whole Season): 7/5

As you can see from the stats above that Lamela has outperformed Nacer Chadli in most of those areas, and one thing you could say it that the Argentine could be a little stronger going into tackles, and that is all. The only thing that the Belgian runs away with is his goals tally, Chadli scoring 11 league goals compared to Lamela’s two.

I have mentioned before that Lamela’s first season at Spurs was somewhat injury hit, with the winger being out for the majority of the season after Christmas with a back injury, so discounting that season, the 14/15 campaign was his first real chance to adapt to Premier League football. Now he has a second full season ahead of him, and he should excel more.

Should Tottenham keep Lamela for at least one more season? Yes, I think they should.

Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Spurs

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.

Substitutes

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.