Date: 4th November 2020 at 1:17pm
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Following on from Sunday’s hard-fought victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, Tottenham Hotspur’s eyes turned back to Europa League Group J action and Thursday’s clash with Ludogorets Razgrad.

With our slip up in the last Europa game, we are in second place in the group just three points behind Royal Antwerp but it’s very much all to play for with the ties that remain, and with no disrespect meant to Thursday’s opponents – they are pointless after two matches – so on paper, this should be a win for us, but not necessarily an easy one given they have scored one more goal during the Group stage so far.

With five fixtures to battle through this month, we can certainly expect manager Jose Mourinho to shuffle the pack up again, but unless any late injury changes things, I think Gareth Bale is guaranteed to start again to get more minutes under his belt and improve his form further.

All eyes to kick off…

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78 Replies to “Match Thread – Spurs Set For A Game Of Ludo As We Look To Get Back On Track”

  • It will be interesting to see how Jose handles the fallout of the Antwerp debacle. Will he pick his strongest team to try to light a fire under the players who under performed last Thursday, or will rotate heavily to preserve his best 11 for the PL?

    It will tell us a lot about his man management with the players involved.

    Lamela, Reguilon and Aurier are missing through illness/injury, so the full back question is sorted already.

    Will Hart play? Who will start at CB, CM, on the wings? Will Kane start?

    I’d go: Hart, Davies, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Doherty, Sissoko, Hojbjerg, Lo Celso, Bergwijn, Moura, Kane. I’d look to take Lo Celso and Kane off at half time, Hojbjerg off at the hour mark, and give Alli a lifeline by playing him 10-15 minutes at the end.

  • BelgianSpur – As you say it will be interesting to see what Jose does. He’s got a real problem because the performance against Antwerp was unacceptable but if he just reverts to playing his strongest team twice a week they won’t last the season. Somehow he needs to get the rest of his squad playing at the level they are capable of. I’m not so sure about the tactic of starting with the strongest team and taking players off. Firstly it means they need to travel (1,300miles in this case) when ideally you would leave them at home, not realistic at the moment of course. Secondly they will have to play at least part of the game, they won’t get a rest. Of course the assumption is they will kill the game off early and you can take them off, but what if that doesn’t happen ? do you leave them on ? In some ways its easier if you start with them on the bench. If you are lucky the squad players will get the job done, if you aren’t you know you can strengthen the team by making changes. If you start with your best players you can only weaken the team by making changes.

  • jod – Just because you play your best 11 once in the EL to drive a point doesn’t mean you have to do it every time. Jose could play his best 11 today and revert back to his habit of rotating players for the EL as from the next EL game. It’d be a way of sending a message without being stubborn about it in the future.

    The travel argument is a non factor in this case (as you mentioned), because between the ineligible players and the ones out with injuries/illness, a lot of our starters will travel anyways just to make up the numbers. Kane, Son, etc are already in Bulgaria anyways.

    The biggest problem with leaving your best players on the bench, and bringing them on if need be, is that you’re never sure that bringing on your better players during the game will be enough to turn the game around – the Antwerp game showed us that. Either way, there is always going to be a degree of unpredictability with any option.

    Of the 11 I suggested, only 5 started the game against Brighton. That’s still a lot of rotation, but perhaps a way to find middle ground between all options.

  • I think Jod’s argument makes more sense but think Jose should make no more than 3 or 4 changes to the starting eleven then use subs to provide rest for the others who started at the weekend. I think HK10 should be rested completely with Vinicius starting, I though he was unlucky to be pulled at half-time against Antwerp as he just didn’t get any service and had played well in his previous game.

    No disrespect but WBA aren’t pulling up any trees at the moment so might be a good opportunity to give Rodon a start which I would say might be better alongside the experience of Toby so I would play Sanchez and Dier in this game. I would give the rest another chance to prove themselves by starting Winks & Sissoko behind Bergwijn, Dele and Moura with Vinicius up top. That line-up should be good enough to get the job done but as Jod points out, we will have a strong bench if needed.

  • Well I don’t wanna come too arrogant but I do hope for a better performance tonight than in our last few games.

  • I think I just defeated my own argument by making more than 3 or 4 changes, who would be a football manager! lol

  • TQ
    Thats not a bad selection. Are you putting Hart or Hugo in goal?.
    Marky, as others have said you are as entitled to your opinion as anyone else m8.

  • Niall, I don’t think the goalie matters in respect of rotation to rest players, they aren’t exactly tested physically in games are they. I think you have to give backups a go in these games just to keep them match sharp and keep them happy and involved.

    • I have to disagree with you TQ. Goalkeepers are very much “tested physically” when they play. They are constantly moving and readjusting their positions. Twisting, turning, leaping, jumping… They see a lot of the ball in most games and take a good few knocks too. The concentration and focus levels can take it out of you as well… I used to ‘play’ every ball from my area. 🙂 I also got kicked a lot. Every time I played! I was always completely knackered at the end of every match

      It is of course different for a keeper than an outfield player. But outfield positions differ from each other as well. For example a CB will not cover as much ground as a wingback. But the physical challenges for a CB can also be just as taxing, albeit in a different way.

      Us Goalies may not cover as much ground as an outfield player will on average, but we certainly know we have been in a game of football when the final whistle blows… Not every single game is tough, but most are. 🙂

  • For me the problem was not so much with individual players last Thursday. Yes, they mostly were very poor versus Antwerp. But even with Jose using 5 Subs in the 2nd half, and with the big guns on the pitch, (Kane & Son) and the others, they were just as poor in the 2nd half… (Even so, the defence did okay but, it was our attacking players and midfield creators that didn’t click on the night)

    I think this is where Jose got it wrong, tactically. Not only do I think he rotated too many to start the match but he used players that are new to the squad mixed with 2 or 3 others that were not fully match-fit.

    Therefore, I’m thinking that it’s Jose that needs to have learned a lesson from last week, more so than any of his players…

  • Reading some very good comments/opinions regards team selection, I agree it is down to JM and I do believe he will have learnt a lesson from that game last Thursday, and I honestly believe the players will have also, but as always we will just have to wait and see. COYS

  • HT
    I think you nailed there re last week.
    I feel that as you say, I think, it was as a team we failed to gel last week.
    There were some decent individual performances there.
    Bale was OK as was Vinni, he could’ve done with more support and supply.
    I even think, bar the goal, that Davies wasn’t a bad option at LCB , but because of that he will probably not be selected there again.
    I think we played like strangers and as you say with some too many rotations and match fitness, plus the fact that we under estimated our opponents. And at times our build up was frustratingly slow sideways backwards etc. We didn’t seem to be able to help the front men.
    Then our top hitters came on, and, be it a hiatus from the Burnley game or their stout defending, we couldn’t get back into it.
    I do think many of last weeks players should feature but they should be filtered in as subs, provided we are in a comfortable position.
    BTW agreed re goal keepers. They put a shift in, and, considering the extra pressure of being captain.

  • Hi HT……..I think you took my comment to mean that goalies don’t exert themselves, I did of course mean in comparison to the amount of energy expended by outfield players and in particular wingers/wing backs and box to box midfielders. It’s good to see you standing up for the goalies union! 🙂

    Further to your comments regarding the Antwerp performance, I think we also underestimated the team we were facing, their home stats should have been a warning to us in that they hadn’t lost at home for well over a year, that takes some doing even in a mediocre league. I agree with you and also felt it was probably more a case of Jose getting it wrong rather than the players.

  • I just hope that regardless of team selection, the concentration levels are where they should be, and that tactically, we exploit what the opposition gives us.

    However, I suppose we’ll find out soon enough, but I suspect Jose will probably try to drive home his point from last Thursday. I’d be surprised if he slated the performance of the people who started last Thursday, saying “his selection had become easy”, and at the very next opportunity to rotate, he chose to do so with no regard for last week’s performance. It would be very un-Jose like, to say the least.

  • I got 8 out of 11 right -Jose has indeed gone for a stronger lineup on paper. It’s consistent with his words from last Thursday.

    Let’s hope for some quick goals so that Kane can be brought off as early as possible.

  • Will be watching on stream tonight having cancelled my BT TV Account …. Thieveing bastards! ….. £49 a month… yeah righto! …..bad enough paying for SKY and now they want pay per view … anyone who wants to see the match for free go to …… enjoy! you might get lucky and get the BT Version otherwise you’ll just have to put up with a Turkish Commentary or some totally indistinguishable language … ! Borat style!

  • If players can’t play 2 games in a week, something is wrong, some don’t even break a sweat, with all the breaks from corners, free kicks and subs, plenty of rest time.

  • 123, players can play 2 games a week. But man y will perform much better if they are rested regularly. It’s why they have large squads with plenty of good back-up… Theoretically. 😉

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