Date: 12th April 2018 at 11:04am
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On paper, our game against Manchester City is the toughest one of our remaining fixtures. How’s that for a no-brainer? It’s the toughest game even without the paper! A win would do nicely. But how do we go about it and who should be in the starting eleven? I have no idea so I’ll leave that up to Mr Pochettino and the experts on VS to sort out.

What I do know is that both teams have match winners across the forward line and in midfield. Both teams have sound defences. Both teams like to press. Both are the in-form PL teams. That’s a pretty mouth watering prospect for supporters to start with and has all the hallmarks of a cracking game for any football enthusiast. I’m sure neither team will take the other lightly and there will be respect on the park. But, how much respect will both teams show?

I’d be very surprised if we did not try to play our normal game from the start. City were put completely off their game in the first half when they played Liverpool in the first CL leg. Pool were all over them and they could not find any kind of rhythm. All the damage, by way of the goals, was done in the first half. Pool tired (unsurprisingly) in the second half, which was played at a more even pace, with the result that the score-line remained unchanged.

Like Spurs, I imagine City will try to play their normal game, which is very much on the front foot. I think it’s vital for Spurs that we control the midfield. If that happens City will be restricted to attacking down the wings; which they are bound to do in any case. Our defence can deal with that if we control the middle.

Pool showed that, by getting in their faces and not allowing them time on the ball, their main players are far less effective. Spurs pressing game is equal to any team in the PL and would, hopefully, have the same effect. But that intensity needs to happen from the kick-off. The danger will always be on the counter-attack but if our defence maintains concentration for the full ninety minutes we can deal with this.

City, of course, have their own problem in working out how to play Spurs. There’s no easy answer to that at the moment. Let’s face it; we’re not too bad on the counter-attack either. We can attack down both wings and we can attack through the middle with our runners latching on to diagonal, defence splitting passes. Maybe Mr Walker will be asked for his views on the matter by his manager!

Spurs have the advantage of playing at home (?!) and will have the vocal support of the crowd. The supporters will have a huge part to play in this match. There is another advantage; City have just played three games against Pool, United, and then Pool again. Playing three such intense games in just a matter of days has to affect the energy levels of the players. In the same period, we have played Stoke. City, of course, only require one more point to confirm that the title is theirs but this is not a defining game for them as they are bound to pick up more points in their remaining games.

We know Spurs are super fit and will play out the full ninety minutes. Our fitness level is such that, time and again this season, our opponents have tired and we have maintained our pace. And, as we’ve seen, this team never gives up. Therefore, unless there is a total blow-out in the first half we will be in the mix. It would be nice to have a half-time lead but if we found ourselves with just a goal down when the second half starts I would fancy our chances to win or at least get a point. Two goals would obviously, make it difficult …. but United managed it!

I’m certain that MP and all of the squad members think they can win this game …. and so do I. And, of course, if we beat City we can still win the League!


177 Replies to “How Do Spurs Play The City Slickers?”

  • We have to play our normal game… And then some.

    It’s a great match article Geof. (At long last.) Probably the best I’ve yet to read here, on VS.

  • Thanks, HT. I thought I’d just do this one because match threads seem to have gone missing and this is an interesting game. I was going to say ‘big game’ but it’s probably not a defining game for either team … just a confidence builder. I doubt I’ll do any more though.

  • I think it can be seen as a “big game” Geof.

    It’s still the top of the PL, it’s two great teams and the wide-world will be watching and no doubt expecting some great action along with the odd piece of footballing magic.

    Cue the 0-0 scoreline.

  • Logically you would say that the way to get at City is through their left back area. Sane isn’t the keenest at tracking back whilst Delph is playing out of position. That’s also the pocket where our best player, Eriksen, operates in a lot of the time. We also know that Walker has been good for a mistake or three in the last few games. We need to get Son running into that space between him and their centre halves.

    City’s strength is the combo of Fernandinho, Silva and De Bruyne. When they are on song, City are tough to constrain. We have to match them up and that means that Dele might need to be more aware than normal. Him and Eriksen need to help out Dier and Dembele who could get overrun. I’m less worried about that though as our guys do that so naturally nowadays.

    No surprises for me in the line-up – Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Verts, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Son, Dele, Eriksen; Kane

  • BTW, don’t care about Utd’s win and current league position or Pool’s CL exploits. This game is about the 2 best sides in England going head to head at Wembley.

  • Good point, HT. I meant it’s not ‘big’ in terms of vital to our league position, although 3 points would make life easier. But it’s certainly going to be a spectacle and something to look forward to. I’ll be on a self-imposed news black-out again after I get the team-sheet because I can’t watch it until Sunday afternoon, my time.

    I agree with you, muttley.

  • muttley …. Re your second comment. I think City’s results against Pool and United would be quite meaningful to our boys. Knowing City are beatable and have lost their last three games will be on the minds of all Spurs players. That’s a good thing.

  • Imagine it. What if City were to collapse, implode, blow it? The title, I mean.

    Probably not but, if the Foxes can win the PL in the fashion they did, is itat all possible that City could fail in an even more spectacular fashion?

    Now that would be something special.

    Spurs can do their bit to aid in such a fantastical fall from grace, along with the Swans, the Eagles and the Saints, Huddersfield and even West Ham too! 🙂

  • That’s some question HT, could it happen? imagine other than how fans will react, how will Sky Sports and their “experts” react, especially if we the upstarts do our bit and beat MC, which I think we will.

    As for the game it is the 2 informs of 2018 and 2 best sides of the Prem verses each other, minor bragging rights here, and without a doubt the game is a BIG one. I cannot wait. COYS

  • Off topic here, did any of you lads n lasses watch RM v Juve last night, another come back by Juve only to be cocked up by our own Michael Oliver, met him once what a @+!<, slow motion after slow motion, never a pen in mop, any way all he did was prove why no Prem refs are at the World Cup this year. I think a certain poster called FRANK will agree with me here, Prem refs are poor to it put nicely. By the way n tears

  • Isn’t Fernandinho suspended for this match? Don’t think it will necessarily weaken them though.

    Having the 10 point gap to 5th means there isn’t the pressure on us to get a result to keep up our push for a top 4 place, hopefully this will allow our players to play with a bit more freedom than might otherwise have been the case.

    A win would be nice but wouldn’t be too disappointed or worried if we don’t get it.

  • Thanks for the article Geof. I don’t think we should play Trippier as he was torn apar by Sane in December. Much prefer if we go with Aurier and Rose as the WBs as that will give us some speed out wide and also keep Walker tied to the half line and back. Aurier had a good game last time out and adds a better offensive punch than Trippier who will never cross the half line if Sane plays. I would like to see us play Lamela instead of Dier alongside Dembele just to add some speed and movement to that area. However that may mean playing 3 at the back with Sanchez moving to the middle and Toby at the right. Also means that Son sits and we play 3 up top. So I’m not sure about starting Lamela. Damn I’m glad I’m not Poch! Whatever happens I’m expecting a mature, professional performance to result in a win. And that every player is UP for the game.

  • I think it’s time for MP to be a bit more innovative in the way he sets up the team. I’d suggest a formation of: Gk, two full-backs, three across the middle, and five across the forward line. It’s worked before and, you never know, we might even win the Double!!

  • Or …. Play a ‘high-line’ formation to pin the opposition in their own half; GK, Sweeper, one CB, 8 forwards. And have the subs sitting behind the opposition goal. Okay …. so I’m still trying to understand the intricacies of the game.

  • Yes, Geof. We could play our very own version of the parking of the bus tactic. Only we park it in their half of the pitch…

    Seriously, I would go for muttley’s team choice with the exception of starting Lamela in place of Son. Son has not performed that well in the last couple of matches and I think Lamela is probably better equipped to deal with defensive duties… I also like the way that he and Eriksen have recently been combining as a double playmaker combo, with Erik linking very up well with Christian whilst being more the forward runner of the two, with the Dane often dropping quite deep to instigate this forward movement.

    And, although I thought that Trippier was poor in our loss to City in December, I feel he has been more consistent, steady and reliable overall than Aurier has been, likewise with Davies on the left.

    It will obviously depend on what MP has seen and been working on in training this week. I’ll not be disappointed if I see Rose and/or Aurier as long as they can do a good job on the day. Of course, the same goes for all of them.

    I hope Harry has trained well and is more ready for this than he was for the Stoke match. We could do with him firing on all cylinders again. And given that Dele and Eriksen have both been supplying the goods of late, we could then prove to be just as sharp in attack as City have so far been for the best part of the season.

    I’m going for a score draw for a change. 3-3 to Spurs. 🙂

  • The Lamela and Son thing is difficult. I like them both but I’d prefer Son to start and Lamela to replace him later on. I agree with you that it will depend on how the training went this week. MP seems to have very definite ideas about the outcome of training sessions. It’s a nice problem to have. I’ll have to go for a 3-0 draw!

    The comments are much better now that paragraphs are easier.

  • Geof… Good article. I’m sure poch has reviewed the city games were they have won & lost, and put together a tactical game plan A & B. Poch, coaches, players too have to be up to speed and consentrate 90 mins +. Perhaps Toby will be at RCB and givee us more solid back 3, and in support of Tripps / Aurier. Sonny on as sub, as i would start Lucas in place of sonny, or in reverse order :-). The rest of the team as usual starters. We cannot let them rip us apart like they did last time, by targetting Trippier. So I would like to see spurs players on a high pressing game get in their faces and go for it….COYS

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