Date: 10th March 2021 at 8:00am
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Although the Fulham clash proved to be a bit tight and tricky for Tottenham Hotspur, there is little doubting we have better found our attacking groove again with 13 goals coming in our last four games.

The latest awesome foursome being the 4-1 demolition of Crystal Palace last Sunday, but Thursday evening’s Europa League test will be a different story as we face Dinamo Zagreb on home soil in our first leg of the Round of 16 tie.

The players should certainly continue to be in good spirits after our return to winning ways lately, but we can undoubtedly expect manager Jose Mourinho to again make changes. The only question is how many changes as plenty of fans would like to see him continue with our forward line as they are now really developing a better understanding with Gareth Bale, and it’s no surprise to see our upturn in form linked with his own personal improvements.

So do we go strong and hope to establish a lead and then use our substitutes to the full in the second period to rest people, or do we rest people now and think longer term and for example, get decent minutes into Giovani Lo Celso who may return for this one following his spell on the sidelines.

With confidence and optimism boosted recently, it’s all to play for again and let’s just hope, regardless of any changes, we see a continuation of our attacking threat.

Apologies for the headline, I’m in one of those moods.

Dinamo Zagreb

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97 Replies to “Match Thread – Can Dinamo Harry Upset Zagreb’s Firm Or Will A Sonny Gareth Moura Bale Out Spurs”

  • Hi EJ
    Good to see hear you back chum, my god when you come back you come back. You’ve probably written more in one post than I’ve written the whole season. Certainly agreed re Aaron’s, pity we didn’t get both him and Godfrey last season. Good to see ya m8

  • jod – morning first of all+hope you’re keeping well!

    I’ve got high hopes for Skipp – always had but from what I’ve read (limited I’ll admit) it seems he’s not been purely used as a DM at Norwich and is getting forwards also and helping link play, etc – similar to Winks in many ways. I very much look forward to his long-term future with us especially given he’s 1 of us and thus HG and also that he is a CM for sure – defo could replace Siss within 12/24 months in the squad at a minimum. If he turns out to be a Hoj style type for me probably all the better as would be perfect as you say to have someone similar in the squad ideally – let’s wait and see. As TQ suggested earlier, nothing stopping JM from putting Dier in there again if Hoj needs a rest in the meantime though, not as if Dier has been covering himself in great glory at CB so far!

    Andersen for me could actually be quite easily Toby’s 1st team replacement again within 12/24 months (likely 12 months max if I’m honest) with the added bonus of quite possibly being comfortable on the left side if needed also and then there’s the proven long passing range/distribution as has been already clearly proved from his time at Sampdoria – meaning absolutely ideal in this regard to replace Toby indeed already!
    Another thing is he’s 6ft4,strong and solid in the air and I know 1 of TQ’s gripes all season has been our defending long balls, crosses, etc and this guy could mop all that up as well!

    English proper left-footed LCB’s = Mings and O’Connell only of any decent note. Mings is going to be near impossible to buy as he signed a new improved contract at Villa only in September if memory serves and O’Connell needs to recover from his major knee injury/surgery and then make a solid comeback and prove he’s back to anywhere near his best, etc and that’s probably meaning 2022/23 at the earliest if it’s to be a safe signing in such regard and will then be 28.5 at least going on 29 I believe also, etc.

    Fulham don’t own Andersen luckily and only have him on loan with no buy clause as far as I can see, so if we come in – he’s our’s for sure IMHO – similar to what we did with Toby in 2015 after his Southampton loan! Lyon will very likely need money on top (I think Depay may be leaving on a free, Dembele is already on loan at Atletico, etc and in total going for only around 35m Euros or so and apart from Aouar – Andersen will be the most saleable and valuable asset as far as I can tell), thus just makes all sorts of sense to me this signing for all the reasons already given and I reckon we might even be able to push it through for less than the 40m Euros apparently demanded last summer – perhaps 35m Euros tops, etc similar to Dembele (perhaps promising add-ons if really required, etc as I think is also the case with Dembele as per goals scored in that deal).

    Norwich – I do tend to agree with you – the thing is though £25m up front plus an extra £5m in add-ons and the super bonus of having Skipp for at least 1 more season (which I’ve read they’ve apparently already asked for) means we’ve got the most going for us in terms of any club having a chance of getting him already this summer! £30/35m I’ve read is the supposed asking price and for that he pretty much goes – thus I think what I’ve put down here is certainly a decent compromise especially in current times with the pandemic and on top offering them the services of Skipp for another season on top!

    If all goes well loans wise – that’s/there’s plenty of English talent to start returning within 12 months: Skipp, Sess, Tanganga for sure already but also special mentions for: Austin, Cirkin, Fagan-Walcott, White, etc and then the likes of Devine and Scarlett who should be staying and look like they will be going all the way to the top as well!

    My suggestions let Aurier go and thus Andersen takes his foreign spot, with Tanganga going out on loan and Aarons taking his HG spot.

    Within 12 months – Tanganga and Skipp could be taking over from Toby and Sissoko in terms of squad membership and then there’s also Sess to fit back in also.

    There’s always question marks regarding the likes of Davies and Lamela and you can add Doherty also to that list already and all 3 are considered foreign so if necessary may become expendable and thus sellable – all depends really – swings and roundabouts – see how it goes but for next season that’s my 25 above and juts a shame about Rodon probably having to miss out on Europe again, but it would be hard to drop any of the other defender’s and I can’t see the other place where we are well stocked on the wings – Lamela eg being dropped out of European football if he stays (which surely means the signing of a new contract as I suggested earlier)!

    Furthermore, as regards left-footed LCB’s – there aren’t many and the good 1’s are being coveted left, right and centre – just like Pau Torres, etc and even though we have Foyth at Villareal doubt we’d be able to work a deal even with that advantage unfortunately, so will be even harder for any other who is note worthy. Thus for me Andersen is the perfect CB signing for us this season – in my very humble opinion of course and looking forward to what we do and what happens and if we can finish this season strongly and then move even stronger into next – here’s hoping anyway for sure!

  • ND – “brother” – loving that welcome back and very humorous as well as usual – had to drop in with tonight’s all important EL game (but surely we’ve got the QF’s in the bag already though and even maybe the whole thing also – we’ve dealt with Utd and the super Scum b4 already this season and I hold no fear from Spain/Italy in the main and now Bale is starting to fire on top – making THAT trident finally as expected DREAMY and HEAVEN sent quite frankly – thus very high hopes indeed for sure ATM and they’re actually pretty decently backed up especially most recently) but even more so the NLD on Sunday and away on top – just had to be done again like in December LOL!

    Will try to keep reading and posting more in general especially in the coming days at least, etc!!!!!!!!

    Keep well matey and we’ll chat some more 4 sure later on and going onto Sunday, etc …………….!

  • It is going to be a very interesting summer. Not only do we have to deal with the home grown issue, we also have to take into account the fact that we have no money. Without Champions League football next season (the recent victories against teams near the bottom of the league have done nothing to convince me that we have much chance of qualifying) we will have to have a negative net spend this summer. The Bank of England loan is not for player recruitment, it is to compensate for the loss of earnings in the last year and it will need to be repaid – from memory it was a one year loan with the possibility to extend in special circumstances.
    Regarding Skipp, I suspect the plan is to integrate him into the first team squad next season.
    COYS

  • I thought the covid business interruption scheme was for 1 yr very low interest, 2d yr pay back or extend at slightly higher interest. So as EJ says we have funding to cover stadium payments and wages etc. Which gives us next yr to get back to stadium cashflow, and Levy can balance the books.

    We will have to sell before buying this yrs summer transfers… nothing we haven’t seen over last 6 years or so.

  • El Jefe – Skipp is like Holberg or West Ham’s Declan Rice, a DM who is also a decent footballer so comfortable maintaining position while playing progressive passes forward. Winks simply doesn’t have the same kind of defensive ability, to my mind his game has suffered as Pochettino and Southgate tried to turn him into something he never was. We don’t really need a replacement for Toby, we need a replacement for Vertonghen. Hence I’m not interested in yet another right footed central defender. The problem with buying a player who isn’t really what you want is once the money has gone its gone. So when a player who really does fit what you want becomes available you may not have the cash to buy him. With regards to finance we need to realise that every club has been hit by lockdown so its anyone’s guess what we, or anyone else , will have to spend and whether fire sales will be part of the picture.

  • If necessary we could obviously sell the likes of Toby, Sissoko, Lamela, etc but hoping it won’t come to that yet – I think Toby and Sissoko could easily offer a good extra year of service based on this season and Lamela has been impressing every time he’s played for a while now – only in extreme circumstances would I be OK with them leaving to be honest ATM. Bale needs to come back on a similar re-loan plan almost certainly given latest displays. We need HK10 cover and Vinny is actually a very good player in his own right and I don’t think paying 42m Euros is excessive even with the current pandemic, although looking at Atletico getting Dembele for 10m Euros less in total (although there’s an extra goals clause to be taken into acct to be fair) may well show just how desperate Lyon may well be indeed (and not necessarily that 45m Euros total for Vinny is such a bad deal) – hence go and get that Andersen fella while we can LOL!

    We could shift Tanganga to RB and intermit with Doherty (and maybe the likes of Lavinier, Okedina and the highly rated but very young Lusala – JM’s call) after selling Aurier (which finally means Tan thus getting a decent chance to prove himself without needing a loan to do so) – but I think we’ll regret missing out on Aarons if we do go down this route (Doherty not likely to last many years for example even if starts picking up performances, etc)!

    So on a budget move Tanganga to RB to replace a sold Aurier, sell Toby and bring in Andersen, use Davies for cover at CB and bring back in Sess to help fully cover at LB and allow Davies to be more utilised at CB if necessary and at least he’s properly left-footed and obviously there’s Reguilon as 1st choice LB (assuming of course Real don’t stiff us – GULP LOL) – sell Sissoko and put Skippy in there and then sell Lamela (Sess maybe also covering here if needs be and JM is wanting to use Scarlett from the wing next season where possible a la Rashford at Man U also co all doable) and finally pay up for Vinny (hopefully?!).

    That would certainly solve the foreigner issue hands down for sure!

    Toby, Siss and Lamela should also bring in another 50m Euros OK, along with the 35/40m Euros that Aurier, Foyth and Gazza, etc should collect.

    If we could get Andersen for around 35m and Vinny for the 42m then that’s only 77m and there’s a surplus of several M’s of Euros there most probably. Still think we’ll regret not getting Aarons but hey ho – if that’s what needs dictate – so be it.

    Even just for my own interest on writing all this:

    Lloris, Hart, Whitey – Doh, Tan – Andersen, Dier, Davy, Rodon, Davies – Reg, Sess – Hoj, N’Dom, Winks, Skipp – Gio, Dele – Bale, Moura, Son, Bergs – HK10 and Vinny!

    That’s actually only 24 but at least 9=HG and only 15 would thus be FGN!

    It’s doable and most probably much more likely so anyway let’s see what happens but yes very interesting summer ahead for sure! Hopefully the next 2.5 months with on field regular success will it make it a much easier 1 – let’s wait and see – we need the CL for sure if we are to get a decent plan together for next season to mount a decent challenge and serve correctly the likes of JM 1st of all but also: HK10, Sonny, Bale (on assumption he returns which should be the case given way performing and the love between both camps – him and US, etc), Lloris, N’Dom, Hoj, etc, etc, etc!

  • Welcome back EJ…….the men in white coats let you out then? Comes as a surprise to me, you must be as daft as a brush if you think Vinicius is worth paying £42m for as a back up for HK10! lol

  • As DH points out, there isn’t going to be a lot of money for transfers in the summer, it’s probably going to be at least the following summer before the transfer market recovers from the effects of the pandemic, that is of course with the exception of those clubs whose benefactors get round the FFP rules and pump their own fortunes into the club.

    Any money we do have as a result of sales, the value of which will also be reduced, needs to be targeted at our defence which is the area most letting us down now. There is no way we can afford such an expensive backup for Kane.

  • HT…..I will be disappointed to see Kane start, if he is used I’d rather he plays the last 15-20 minutes if needed.

  • Jod – very reasoned argument and like you I wanted a replacement for Vert’s already last summer and even was interested in keeping Vert’s also – to give the new guy a full 12 mths to settle! Problem is where do you get a left footed LCB who will make the difference to a club like our’s who want to go serious places who isn’t also super coveted by all the best and thus going for indeed a King’s full on ransom as you described earlier – I for 1 said Ake should have been top of our agenda last summer (and even baring in mind the gripe of being only 5ft11) – problem is £40m+, yet for City that’s peanuts LOL!

    As for Toby come the summer he’ll be 32.5 and it’s not the 1st time recently he’s been roasted, etc so even though overall still a very good player – anywhere near his best Prem wise is only 12 more mths thus for me Andersen makes all kinds of sense especially for around 35m Euros which is only around £30m which for me
    again is sticking out as a bargain and ideal as Toby’s certainly at a minimum long term potential replacement. Look to Fulham’s tight defence – indeed almost a top 6 one based on number’s, their actual real problem is scoring, not conceding, because in a very good part minimum this Andersen fella is clearly doing a fine job already – so I for 1 am taking very close note of such already for sure!

    Skippy loving what I’m hearing from you – just hope the boy can back it up if he does come back in – bloody well hope so – 1 of our own, HG, etc, etc, etc – but quite a bit of pressure to step up and step into – hopefully he can live upto it and I guess you don’t know until tried, etc – VIVA SKIPPY hopefully!

    I think there was already a lot of problems last season in France towards the end with CV19 restrictions and some clubs even threatening law suits on the back of the season being cancelled if memory serves, etc – so a year on and all the financial problems that have obviously grown all over the world and actually Lyon made some biggish buys in the summer somehow on top and now with likely losing Depay for free also – then I can see the likes of Aouar for sure going finally (granted for a large sum no doubt) but also with Dembele and Andersen most probably having to turn those loans into permanent deals, etc!

    As regards our finances – defo going to be bad reading for this season and indeed much worse than last for sure but hopefully it can be cushioned with some regular on field success for the next 2.5 months (hopefully so with the trident now starting to finally fire and N’Dom and Hoj hopefully forging a super link in the double pivot with the defense somehow continuing to hold out as best possible) meaning CL footy for next season and then the stadium bursting to the seams from day 1, etc and if we could finally get that elusive naming deal – then it would all start boding well for a solid even great recovery, etc!

  • HI TQ – it could actually work out at around £37.5m or so in total – £35m+£2.7m initial loan fee – for a very good STR IMHO – who would start at many a team even in the PREM – it’s a good solid deal – now whether we can afford it or not – is another question. Like Aarons I don’t want to miss out on him and LFV (Benfica president) at 1 point said he wanted 100m Euros for him after rejecting apparently 60m Euros already – so for 45m total when you’ve already paid 3m off seems a decent deal to me and he’s got 9 goals and 3 assists in pretty limited game-time (all be it in easier cup games) – so suggests to me at least the more he plays I think the more he adapts and the better he becomes but yes if push comes to shove I’m with you as I’ve already had all these thoughts and defence has to come 1st and worst case use Sonny and now Bale as cover for HK10 and for now HK10 not even needed that much cover this season – hence why Vinny so limited on minutes, etc!

    There was a lot of finance questioning last summer yet somehow we got the likes of Hoj, Reg, Bale back, etc – so let’s wait and see what wonders might be worked this summer and also let’s see what position we put ourselves in for next season in the next 2.5 mths also is the best and most concrete I can suggest if really pushed!

  • EJ…..your valuation of Vinicius doesn’t make any sense. What club sends a player that they value at 60 or 100m euros or whatever out on loan? Surely if they are good enough to have that value you would want to play them yourselves, unless of course you also have another striker that’s worth 150m euros, like Kane for example. :- )

  • Unfortunately for Vinicius we have not seen a great deal from him as he has had limited playing time and so perhaps find it difficult to put a delyable figure on a possible purchase .
    I also feel that the team has not played to his strengths which are mainly opportunities inside the box . Even when Kane was injured Mourinho didn’t appear to have the confidence to give him much game time . I really don’t understand why we borrowed him ?
    Incidentally how much longer to see Lo Celso up and running ? Another injury prone player ?

  • El Jefe – You have to distinguish what type of player someone is and how good they are. Skipp is the same type of player as Holberg, but we won’t know how good he is until we actually play him. I see no value in delaying that beyond the end of the season. The problem I have with the “Toby replacement” argument is we have plenty of right footed defenders at the club. It only takes one of them to make the grade and the problem is solved. At the moment Sanchez seems the preferred choice and given his extra pace and the upturn in his form that seems sensible. Meanwhile on the left side is a yawning chasm. When Liverpool identified Van Dyke as the player they needed he wasn’t available. They didn’t compromise and burn through their cash, they kept the money in the bank until the player they needed was available. Unless you have an unlimited supply of oil money that seems to me the only way for a club to succeed. Maybe it will be difficult to obtain the left sided defender we need, but if it takes patience it’s still the right way to go.

  • Hi TQ – Jorge Jesus did similar to what you say and threw a spanner in the works by demanding I believe Darwin Nunez (although Benfica wanted Cavani most of the summer first of all LOL) and got his target and subsequently Vinny was yesterday’s forgotten man all of a sudden! Indeed JJ backed it up by saying that Benfica would sell him for more than Joao Felix even and that it would happen soon enough on top – he would be too good to hold onto for much time/long term – bold bloody words – but this might help explain Vinny’s sudden falling from grace at Benfica and being allowed to leave on loan and ultimately and quite possibly also “on the cheap”!

    Suffices to say read A Bola and fans comments at the time and many rumblings along your lines – what are we doing loaning this guy out and for that kind of price – hiding to nothing – if he performs – we’ve let him go for peanuts, if he doesn’t – we’ll struggle to get decent money for him if still wanting to sell, etc, etc, etc – very fair points but I’m not complaining at having him and he’s done pretty OK so far on limited time and relatively limited service also as others have been suggesting/agreeing above I see also!

    Keeping the faith on this 1 myself and JM obviously just feels he needs more time and adaptation to the Prem – no way was this not a JM signing – impossible that Levy went and plucked this 1 out of thin air – so has my full backing for sure and would like it going the full way hopefully – money permitting, etc!

    Even read comments from Harry Redknapp that people within the club that he knows value the guy and speak very highly of him, etc – hopefully something to this also!

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