Date: 16th March 2021 at 12:00pm
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After a deeply disappointing North London derby against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, Tottenham Hotspur have another quick turnaround in the fixture list as we face Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday evening in the second leg of our Europa League Round of 16 clash.

Thanks to a brace of goals from Harry Kane in the White Hart Lane leg of the affair, to put it bluntly, we will have to be at our pragmatic and defensive best under manager Jose Mourinho to not increase the margin of victory and comfortably put ourselves through to the net round.

Jose...

In

In

Decide End Of Season

Decide End Of Season

Out

Out

The problem there being of course, just as we thought maybe the tide had turned and we would get our Premier League form back on a proper track, we continue to prove that we can be so inconsistent that I can’t be alone in fearing that home soil Dinamo will make up for their very unimpressive showing in the first clash.

Mourinho will again rotate for this one, but our pool of players shrinks as Eric Lamela serves the first of his two game ban, Giovani Lo Celso is still rated as doubtful for this one and even if Son Heung-Min does recover quite quickly from his muscle injury, you can’t see him even playing a part on the bench in midweek.

We’ll have to see if Mourinho has some unexpected good news when he gives his press conference later in the week.

Dinamo Zagreb

Win

Win

Draw - Progress On Aggregate

Draw - Progress On Aggregate

Lose - Progress On Aggregate

Lose - Progress On Aggregate

Lose Outright

Lose Outright
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191 Replies to “Match Thread – Will Spurs Get Back To Their Dinamo-ic Best For Zagreb”

  • I have this fear that JM’s strategy will be to go on the pitch with the sole intention of protecting our two goal lead. I hope not as I doubt we would be successful. It’s a bit radical I know, but let’s make it a three goal lead and take it from there.

    • That’s what I suggested on the previous game thread Geof, you can easily see Jose sitting on the two goal lead in the hope of adding to it with a counter attacking move, only problem with that is we have now lost our main man for this tactic.

      • Geof….I guess you watched the Continental league cup win by Chelsea? Bit of a stroll wasn’t it but City were a big surprise making the final.

        I watched our WSL game at Reading also and was so disappointed despite getting an away point in the 0-0 draw. We started really well under our new manager winning the first three games but we are winless since with just the point at the weekend from the last 5 games I think. There is no doubt we badly need and upgrade to assist Kennedy in midfield and a whole front line as we don’t currently have any decent attacking mids or strikers at all.

        I have to say…..it’s looking very much like the mens squad at the moment in that we have 3 or 4 decent players and the rest are very mediocre or poor.

  • Whey hey Geof you got first post again.
    This (for me) is where the “luck” thing comes in for us, yet again we were on the wrong side of an obvious penalty in the last Zagreb game, N’Dombers was brought down in the area, defo pen, but funnily enough not given by ref or VAR.
    Then again its always us.
    That would’ve seen us coasting into the next round, as it is we’ll now have to play a strong 11 to try to ensure qualification.
    Where as we could’ve rested Harry et Al.
    Mind you the way some have been playing, what is our strongest 11.

    • TQ …. I did watch both of those games. Chelsea were at their brilliant best and I really enjoy the way they play. I’m hoping Kerr wins the ‘golden boot’! Kerr and Kirby play like son and Kane (you know what I mean). Chelsea have world class players in every position which allows them to play with confidence. I think that was the first somersault celebration Kerr has performed since going to England. She used to do it on a regular basis in Oz and the US.

      I was disappointed with the Spurs result but I don’t think we can expect too much until they have a bit more experience in the league or splash the cash. Not sure what kind of support the club will provide but it’s pretty obvious that woman’s sport is on the rise and gaining popularity at every level.

      By the way, I saw your comment to Danny on the last thread. I haven’t put any articles up for a while because I’ve been too busy, or writing other things. The amount of comments on an article does not concern me as I mainly write them to clarify thoughts in my own head, as well as getting other points of view. I do try to look at different aspects of the game such as my previous articles about Kane playing deeper (before he did) and women’s football.

      I had an argument with my son on the phone after the NLD. I said that I was so frustrated with the game and didn’t enjoy it at all …. but at least I had just watched some brilliant football in the women’s final. He said he didn’t watch any WSL games because he wanted to watch the best football. I told him that the game was the best team effort I’d seen all season. But his attitude, without watching any games, was that it’s just women so it can’t be any good.

      After living to a fair age, and working beside men and woman for most of it, I could get all philosophical here and go on about the rise of women in all areas of life. Seems to me that women have been subjugated since day one and watched as men have continually attempted to destroy each other or the planet. I’ve come to the conclusion that women are generally more mentally strong and far more nurturing than men and so the planet and mankind would be much safer if they had more to do with running it. I’d better leave it here! lol : – )

  • The best thing for us on Thursday is get 1 goal maybe 2, its as bloody simple as that, do not defend holding on to a lead, as one mistake, error, ref cockup we will then be in panic stations, take the game to them in their own back yard, after all they will have to drop their impression of a “Parking the bus Prem side” thus giving us way more openings than we got at home.

    Thanks again Danny you are doing a marvelous job! COYS

  • As dinamo have lost their manager amid various financial misconduct at the club, will this affect them ?? Possible, so we can’t take any chances, or defensive errors and give away penalties or free kicks just outside the box. A strong team again is necessary, and players who were “missing” at arsenal to redeem themselves in thursday game.

  • This season has had one consistency: the JM strategy of protecting a one or two goal lead has been disastrous. We go into Zagreb with a two goal lead. This sets up a potential disaster if JM continues in such situations to instruct the lads to sit back and protect. An early goal by Dinamo might be all they need to beat us into submission. we need to play with HOT Spurs, not luke warm pony spurs.

  • I don’t care how we do it, as long as we progress.

    In the quarters, there are no more country restrictions so we could face any team that qualifies. Based on the results of the first leg, I’d say the teams in the driving seat are:

    Arsenal
    Granada
    Roma
    Villarreal
    Rangers
    AC Milan
    Ajax

    Some big historical names, but to be honest I think any team in that list is beatable, with AC Milan probably the toughest test. Of course, Man U or Slavia Prague may yet have something to say about this list (but all of the other ties seem out of reach).

    I think the important thing is just to soldier on and with a bit of luck the draw may yet open up nicely for us.

  • BS On the display vs the perceived bigger clubs we have recently gone missing . The performancd on Sunday was woeful and a repeat of that type of performance against better opposition than Zargreb will not see us progress . If their performance is repeated then I feel that ( dare I say it ! ) Arsenal must be favourites for this cup .

  • BelgianSpur – I agree that any of the teams left in the competition are beatable – unfortunately in Jose’s mind they are all capable of posing us all sorts of problems therefore the only option appears to be to play ultra-negative football which will inevitably lead to us going out of the competition with barely a wimper.
    Talking of luck, we only seem to remember the bad luck we get – we forget how lucky we are sometimes – Dele’s deflected goal against Fulham, Fulham being denied a penalty, the incredibly lucky cup draws we have had this season, Lamela not getting sent off against Man U, a lucky penalty against Brighton, the lack of serious injuries we have suffered this season.
    One area where we have been unlucky is Daniel Levy’s blind spot with Jose.
    COYS

  • Allan – It was only a few months ago that we were beating Man U at Old Trafford, beating City, knocking out Chelsea in the League Cup… We have risen to the occasion a few times this season, I don’t see why we couldn’t do it again. Especially in the cups, where our performance has been soldi enough.

    We beat Arsenal quite convincingly at home, and we lost to them by one goal this weekend, a contentious penalty proving to be the winner. No reason to believe that if we play them again twice, we can’t get the best of them over 2 legs. Any team can suffer a bad day at the office but I am convinced that we are currently a better team than Arsenal on the whole, and the better team tends to win over 2 games. If that’s the best team left in the competition, it’s all the more winnable, to me.

    Niall – we certainly have been fortunate enough in the draws for the EFL Cup. With the exception of Chelsea, we have had a relatively easy run to the final. And the EL hasn’t exactly been very tough, opponent-wise, so far either. Let us hope it continues.

    DH -JM’s track record is solid enough in the EL (played twice, won twice, last time in 2017 which isn’t ages ago). As I have said, ultimatly I will judge JM on results. Let’s see how far he can take us this year, but remember, hindsight is always 20/20. It’s always easy to be right after the fact, once the game has been played.

  • Re luck guys, I’m not talking about our draws in the various competitions, you can only play who your drwan against.
    I’m talking about actual decisions on the pitch, why don’t the opposition seem to make a howler against us, like Liverpool /Leicester. Why does the opposition keeper always have a brilliant display against us, why does the DODGEY pen decision go against us,or the obvious foul in build play for W/Hams goal isn’t given to us.
    DH I seem to remember in that same Man U game that they were given a DODGEY Pen to give them the lead.Re injuries m8 you are right (this season) but if you remember the tail end of last season. I think you’ll find we had more than our fair share.
    I just don’t think in the balance of play that we get a fair bounce of the ball.
    Re Sundays game BS I would agree that you are perhaps right, it was a bad day at the office, and several players didn’t step up, but still almost came away with something, but for a DODGEY pen.

  • Niall D – all good points but I believe the overwhelming reason for our poor performances this season have been down to poor set up of the team, negative tactics and poor performances rather than luck. It cannot be bad luck that in every game against a top half team since mid December we have performed woefully and have gone down with a whimper.
    To sum up, what I am really trying to say is – Jose out, sooner rather than later!! COYS

    • Seems to me DH that your mind’s made up and that you do not wish to be confused by any facts.

      • Stan, I think you are wrong there, not 100% mind, yes DH has made his mind up, its been the same all season, he is sticking by his guns.

        What are the facts that he is confused by, he says we have played woefully v top half teams, come on man he is so right there, ok a couple of times in the last 20mins we have played well, but lets be honest its to bloody late by then, surely it can be seen you just cannot turn on, turn off then turn on again.

        The tactics we have been playing v the top half teams are in my mind, as many others think the same, simply crap! for us I believe its the old adage….the best form of defence is attack, which we all know we are very good at, even you score 1 we score 2 etc.

        Tomorrow we attack DZ, we will beat them, they being at home will have to come out at us, drop their impersonation of a “Bus parking Prem Side” thus leaving space for us to play in, its as simple as that.

        Cheers all COYS

  • Agreed DH in a lot of cases, we were the architects of our own downfall.
    But when we get 22 pens a season like Man U, I say our luck has changed. 🙂

  • Stan, yes I have made up my mind on Jose largely due to what I see in the pitch. Believe me , I would be happy to be proved wrong and for Spurs to play attacking, exciting winning football. Unfortunately I honestly don’t see it happening.

    • DH, in case you haven’t noticed it we’ve been playing attractive, attacking football in the last few games before Sunday’s one . We came unstuck then for the reasons I have given but with N’Dombele, Lucas , Bale, Kane and Son in the starting lineup we were still set up more to attack than defend.

  • To be brutally honest, I hope that we are poor on the night and exit the comp because of it…

    I’ve had enough of this shit with Jose… I don’t want to have to see us get any further in this comp for when he inevitably starts reverting to his bullshit negativity, let’s-not-bother-playing-football bollocks! …. And he will do sooner or later… And I will not take any joy from it at all… Win or lose!

    We look like a team incapable of sustained improvements under Jose. Clueless! We certainly do not look like potential cup winners to me…

    BS, why do you refer to hindsight as far as peoples comments are concerning what we have seen with Jose… So many of us were predicting this crap before he was even named as the new Spurs boss….

    Even so, hindsight tells me that i was right about Jose. And from this hindsight comes foresight. And that that is, I’ll still want him gone, even if we do win a trophy…

    I honestly can’t understand anyone attempting to be fair toward him when it’s going so wrong……… He ain’t reading this!

    We may improve again and climb the PL table again. And meanwhile, even thrash Zagreb… and we can all say hey Jose, well done! But, not before!

  • Forgive me for this, but I just read Glenn Hoddle in football.london saying that Doherty’s problems stem from his playing RB in place of the wingback that has been more familiar to him before moving to Spurs. When I write the same thing a few days ago someone wanted to know what I meant by “wingback,” lol. I then went on a long ramble about my understanding of what it was and why football has all these odd names for positions. (Why is a CB often called a center half?) Anyway, I stubbled through absolute dumb luck into Glenn Hoddle’s diagnosis of the problem. I call it sheer dumb luck because I stumble through life trying to understand this impossible game.

  • TK that was me, not asking what you meant by Wing back, but I was trying to get in my mind what Doherty was actually good at, as I said in an earlier post that I thought Regs was a left sided wing back, beating defenders throwing in crosses and defending, on occasion, I don’t see either decent forward thinking play or defending from Doherty. His crosses are poor, he has virtually nil shots on goal and it seems he “gives up the ghost” when defending. Hence my question m8. It was, sort of rhetorical tho’
    :-). I just don’t think Doherty is a good fit for us currently, just like Mourinho.

  • Something has to give. I don’t know what that something is, but I’ll wait patiently until it does. Meanwhile, let’s all hope for some entertainment today!

  • I haven’t seen anything positive from Doherty, and when I heard he was a wingback at Wolves I thought there’s a ray of hope. today I say a story where Hoddle said he hadn’t adjusted to the new position. I’ve decided to renew my hope that he’ll finally adjust. My new theory: he’ll do just fine when JM is replaced, and he will be able to play RB or wingback at a level that will put him in our hearts forever.

    • The wing back position is most commonly associated with a system of playing 3 at the back.

      When you play 4 at the back, you rely on your full backs to track opposition wingers and contribute defensively. Anything they can offer going forward is the cherry on top, but their main job is to defend.

      By going 3 at the back, you are bringing in an extra body in defense, which in turn allows you to push your full backs into more forward positions. Because there is a extra man sitting back, the so called wing back becomes a hybrid between the traditional roles of full back and winger in a 442 (hence the name). A wing back should really be seen as a midfielder more than a defender.

      Wolves played a 352 formation last season, in which Doherty was very efficient (occupying that right wing). What you expect from a wing back is some defensive help to track opposing wingers, and some extra attacking width to provide crosses into the box. The attributes of a good wing back are pace, stamina (as they’ll be going up and down the pitch all game), and decent crossing ability.

      I think Doherty has all those traits, but he’s just not a very good defender – which is probably why he was pushed up the pitch at Wolves in the first place.

      I think buying Doherty is a recruitment error more than anything. Unless JM intended to play with 3 at the back more often than not, there was no good reason to buy a player whose qualities are so specific to one role.

      JM could go, if the new manager comes in and insists that Doherty play in a back 4, the same issues will appear again.

  • that diversion into wingbacks was fun in a strange way. center halves as CBs when the name is about the midfield. love that crazy historical stuff that makes some sense out of what seems to make no sense.

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