Date: 8th July 2020 at 7:00am
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Whilst Tottenham Hotspur’s victory over Everton at the beginning of the week was hardly a classic or the kind of performance that fans wanted to see, it at least returned three points and if nothing else, manager Jose Mourinho has to end the season with more positives than negatives to give us some momentum going into the 2020/21 campaign.

Thursday’s clash with Bournemouth at Dean Court won’t be any easier, despite their lowly league position as we simply can’t trust our own performances levels and forms in the way we had become accustomed.

Europe feels like a pipe dream now with so many points to make up for, but our recent defeat left most thinking that way.

Bournemouth...

Win

Win

Draw

Draw

Lose

Lose

Get the win, put in a performance with improvement and the vast majority of fans would no doubt take that at this stage of the year with so few games left. Next year has its own questions to be answered – but that’s for a later date.

Some momentum, some continuity and then some big decisions need to be made.

This squad hasn’t turned bad overnight…but something needs to change. if our aims haven’t.

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63 Replies to “Match Thread – Howe Will Spurs Take Bournemouth’s Cherries”

  • It’s going to be difficult to end the season with more positives than negatives from where we stand now.

    Normally I would turn the following into an article but what’s the point when every comment takes so long to appear.

    I am extremely grateful to Pochettino for giving me the opportunity to watch three or four seasons of the best football I have seen a Spurs team play since 1960-64. We did not win any trophies but I will never forget the sublime football and consistently amazing performances both at home and in Europe. It’s ironic that, despite a lack of silverware, Pochettino took Spurs further in the CL than the Double team managed in the European Cup. Pochettino played football the Spurs way …. and football does not get any better than that!

    It’s worth considering that the only complaints on VS during those seasons were not about the football but about not winning a trophy. The football was lauded. Currently …. well read the comments on all VS articles now!! I said at the time that this could be as good as it gets. Top football teams rarely stay together for more than four years …. the trick is to refresh the squad in a timely manner, which we have not done successfully.

    But, for now, I would swap a trophy for the chance of watching four seasons of sublime football any day. Just my opinion, of course.

    Meanwhile …. Spurs 3 – 0 Cherries.

  • “This squad hasn’t turned bad overnight…but something needs to change. if our aims haven’t.”

    You’re right. It hasn’t happened overnight. It just happened over the course of 2 or 3 seasons. Between the departures of hugely talented players, the failure to identify, or the unwillingness to spend what it takes to bring in adequate replacements, the ageing of some key performers and the over reliance on other players, we’ve let what once was a very promising core of players turn into a merely “above average” squad.

    A few years ago, we were one of the better squads in the PL. What we lacked in depth, we made up for in quality. Unfortunately we can just no longer say that. I think we’ve got a decent squad, but is it really one of the top 4 or 5 squads in the league? That’s difficult case to make right now. I think where we are right now (in the mix for an EL spot) is about right, if we’re all perfectly honest with ourselves.

    It should still be enough to beat Bournemouth, but I think the days when we could expect to go most places and turn the opposition over are gone, sadly (and Sheffield has just provided a timely reminder).

  • Geof – a very good post and one I can get behind 100%. The football under MP was brilliant at times, and we’ll always have those memories.

    On a personal level, I will always regret not being able to get over the line despite being so close on several occasions. Whether that was down to MP’s inability to get it done at the highest level, or Levy’s failure to back him, we’ll never know – probably a bit of both. This being said, I remember you saying that this was as good as it gets at the time. For me, on a personal level, entertaining football with no trophies will only keep me going for so long, and it’s also why, as much as I am thankful for MP’s service to the club, I saw his departure as an opportunity to reach another level. Time will tell, of course.

    What I do know is that, on a personal level, I would gladly accept a lesser brand of football if it means trophies. I won’t accept bad football and no trophies for very long (but I am willing to give Jose a free pass this year, given the situation he inherited). But that will also only last so long.

    Since we’re reminiscing about this said under MP, I also remember saying that under ENIC, because Levy was unwilling to spend what it takes to build a consistent winner, we were always going to go through cycles of contention followed by darker periods. It’s just inevitable when you’re trying to build through the academy and young players.

    We’d seen it in 2012 when the football was also very good, but that period was followed by the dismantling of a promising core, and 3 seasons of regression after that. History often repeats itself, especially when we’re dealing with stubborn people like Daniel Levy.

    A lot of fans were hoping that the stadium would be a game changer, and I have always had my doubts. We’ve now seen how vulnerable Levy’s strategy is in case of a major downturn of the economy, and we also know that match day/hospitality revenues are a relatively small part of the pie for a PL club today (sponsors and TV rights weigh far more). With all of that being aid, we were supposedly the 8th richest club in the world last year, but we have never behaved like it.

    I also know that I won’t let a shiny stadium detract from what is happening on the pitch.

  • BS …. I can’t disagree with you. It’s a bit sad that we didn’t get at least one trophy under Pochettino. The lads deserved it. But, that’s football …. we’ll just have to wait for the next chapter in the THFC storybook to begin. Hopefully that will be next season.

  • The comment that ‘this squad has not turned bad over night’ is very true. We have a number of very capable players in the squad that could well be the foundation for a huge resurgence in our fortunes. It remains to be seen if Jose can exploit this to our advantage.

  • Hate to agree with you BS – but the way Chelski are investing and Utd likely to do the same and with Liverpool and Man City miles ahead of everyone at the moment – can’t really see us challenging for top 4 anytime soon unless we invest in good defensive players ASAP. It’s a massive shame as most of our attacking players like Lo Celso, Dele, Sonny and HK10 should be challenging for top 4 no problem even trophies.

  • 1900/01, 1920/21, 1950/51, 1960/61, 1970/71, 1980/81, 1990/91……….2020/21?????? COYS

  • My biggest concern is that the “promising core” at the club today has a sell-by date as well.

    Lloris is still a capable keeper (although he already has his critics), but at 33, how many good seasons does he have left in him, before we are forced to look for a replacement? I have my doubts about Gazzaniga ever becoming a top keeper, so that’s an area of concern beyond next season.

    Toby is 31 – how long before time catches up to him like it did with Jan? Again, I am relatively confident about next season, but beyond that?

    Moussa Sissoko will be 31 when next season starts, and his game is based on his ability to dominate people physically. That sort of game doesn’t tend to age well.

    That’s already 3 important players who will likely have to be replaced in the short to medium term, just because of age.

    Add to that the areas which need to be strengthened not because of players getting older, but because there is either a lack of quality, or depth, at the position, and we could be in the market for as many as 7 new players within the next 18 months.

    The squad is going to require massive investment if we want to freshen things and AND remain competitive.

    And the issue is that if we again buy “potential” (ie young, talented but raw/unproven players), it will take them 2 or 3 seasons to develop and turn into good players. By that time, players like Lamela, Aurier, Son, Gazzaniga, Davies, and Moura will all be 30 or older, if they’re still at the club.

    There will again be a problem with the peak years of different, important squad members not matching.

    If we want to take advantage of the peak years of players like Son and Kane, the time to invest in quality players is… now. Which seems improbable given what Levy has recently said about the next transfer windows.

    I think we just need to accept the reality that unless we drastically change our ways, there ‘s a risk that we’ll always be a “nearly” team under Levy, always 2 or 3 players away.

  • BelgianSpur – “We’ve now seen how vulnerable Levy’s strategy is in case of a major downturn of the economy”. You think this is just tough trading conditions ? People are dying, whole sectors of the economy are shut down, many normal activities have ceased. This is about as close to a normal downturn as a tsunami is to a high tide. There’s no telling just how deep the damage will be or how long it will go on for but hopefully we will never see anything like it again.

  • A “nearly team” that bores or, a “nearly team” that excites?

    To bore or not to bore? That is my question…

    To lose without a fight or, to go down fighting? To stand proud in defeat or to leave the pitch in shame, not having given it your all? …….

    You know, it is perfectly possible to be defensively strong and still excite. It is possible to beat poor teams more easily by 3-0 or more, than it is to just hold on to a fragile 1 goal lead.

    I don’t know… Will a dull 3 points really make a difference to our season right now? More so than the team playing great football but losing or drawing?

    I don’t like losing so I may well have to settle again for the 3 points any old way we get it. But our players don’t wanna play to bore us do they? Surely they will start to enjoy their football more by showing us some attacking flair as well as some steely defensive organisation.

    This is Bournemouth that we are playing tomorrow. They have had a very poor season. And they need the win more than we do… Will they go for it or will they park the bus? Do we go for it, take the lead and then also park the bus? … Is the World round? Is the Pope Catholic? And what does it sound like when doves cry?

    Right now I’m thinking that a rip-roaring 5-4 will be better than a dull 0-1…….. But I don’t wanna see Spurs lose. But, I also don’t wanna waste yet another 90+ minutes of my life watching paint dry whilst seeing Jose have another barney with the 4th official because the VAR is blind… Harry giving Serge a whack on the chin for yet another wayward cross might be fun… Son scoring an own goal from the centre circle just to piss Hugo off may bring a smile to my face…..

    Cherries 5-6 Cockerels!

    Sorry for talking such random nonsense……. I’ll say no more….

  • Absolutely agree with all but the last part of your first post Geoff, so true!! Great points. Personally I can’t take this football, but if it delivers a trophy fair enough, but I doubt it. And if will definitely not be fun watching it.
    As for the Bournemouth game, they in real trouble, so 3 points we will get, but it will be another boring 90 minutes.

  • I actually think that because the Cherries are so desperate for a win, that they will go for it in an attacking sense. It is the Howe way. And if this is the case, we’ll probably get to see the Spurs sitting deep and to hit them on the counter, that is so often the Jose way. Which, ironically could mean we are in for some actual, real life excitement. But only if we aim to knock a few goals in, just as much as we work hard to keep them out…

    Thing is, do our attackers have the legs for it? We’ll see… I hope for the best and leave the cynicism and pessimism of my earlier post, alone for now… I’ll save it for after the game…..

    Up the Spurs!

  • jod – Obviously my intention wasn’t to downplay anything going on in the world. I have huge amounts of respect for the situation and all those affected.

    All I was saying is that no matter how solid a plan seemed to be as recently as 6 months ago, things can change quickly and there is no sure thing.

    Yet people were very definitive about how bulletproof Levy’s strategy was. No plan is perfect – I hope this has served as a timely reminder of that.

    In the long term, it will probably work out, but we’ve put all of our eggs in one giant, stadium-shaped basket.

    As I have questioned previously, I just don’t know if we really needed to build the Taj Mahal of stadiums, when a more moderately priced, functional alternative may have been a smarter choice. 60,000 seat stadiums come in all varieties. Lyon built one for 480 million euros in 2016. Wouldn’t something like that have done the trick?

    Hindsight is always 20/20 so I will save the “I told you so’s”, but I think that from the get go, there were valid reasons to question the path chosen, and here we are.

  • Well….that’s Dier effectively out for the rest of the season, 4 game ban and £40k fine!

  • Thanks for the article DW.

    Just read all the posts, all very good.

    Geofspurs….a very good 1st post so as to get the bit between the teeth.

    TQ2S….how dare you bring us all down lol! yes thats Dier’s season over with, looks like JM has to really sort out the defense even more now.

    Will we beat the Cherries tomorrow night, I think we will, though am with HT’s theory/opinion they have nout to lose so will come at us, but I am still up for a win. COYS

  • BelgianSpur – Back when the great John White was killed the club didn’t want to set a precedent by giving him a testimonial. to which Blanchflower’s response was “how many players do you expect to get killed by lightening ?”. On the same lines how often do you expect the club to have to live through a pandemic ? fairly often if you really believe this was foreseeable.

  • jod – possible and probable are different words.

    Just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean it will never happen. Case in point.

  • Well I’m expecting Spurs to start quickly tomorrow with lots of high tempo attacking football, also aggressive in the tackle denying Bournemouth a chance to play. Bournemouth are in a desperate rut at the moment. surely a high tempo approach is the right one.
    Back in the real world though, I presume we will try to suck the life out of the game and nick a one: nil. Bournemouth will likely grow in confidence as they will realise that we have virtually zero threat going forward, therefore it could go either way.
    If you are suffering from insomnia tune in. This game should solve your problem well before the ref blows for half time.
    COYS

  • First, this season, we had boring, boring (losing) Tottenham. Under Poch and now Jose. Then we have the C-19 pandemic followed by lockdown and with the season postponed. Then we have the restart. With more of the same boring, boring Tottenham but without the crowds. What next?

    World War Three! Football is once again abandoned. The THFC stadium is bombed out and Harry Kane et al, are now fighting on the front line. No, not for the NHS but as soldiers… And, they can’t even fight to save their own lives, let alone ours. It’s a disaster! … With China, winners of the world. And Spurs, as with the stadium, are no more…

    Well, you never know… It might just happen. Just like we might beat the Gooners 6-0!

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