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”

  • When I watched Doherty at Wolves last season, he looked to be more in the oppositions box, than he was in his own. And he often looked more like an attacking midfielder, than even a typical wing-back.

    And, last season he scored more goals for them than some CF’s/Attackers scored. He scored 7. That’s 1 more than Josh King scored for the Cherries and the same amount that Benteke had scored for Palace in 3 seasons! Haha! (Maybe we should’ve bought him in to cover Kane and Son. And, he was a lot cheaper than Vinicius!) LOL!

    I’ve just read that Wolves might be interested in taking him back. True or not, they could probably do with his goals more than we do, his defending!

  • Niall. Maybe United get so many more penalties than say Spurs do, simply because they get into the oppositions penalty are much more often than Spurs do.

    You can’t get a pen, unless you’re in a position to! πŸ˜‰

  • HT – My point about hindsight is that it’s very easy to criticise how a team is set up once the game is over and the result is known.

    We have set up defensively quite a few times this year, which is not to everyone’s taste. I can understand that.

    But while those defensive tactics have backfired a few times, they have also worked quite well on other occasions – notably when we got the good results I listed earlier. And funnily, when we beat City, there was a lot less complaining about the negative tactics – in fact many on VS were praising the “pragmatic” set up on the day.

    Who knows what Jose will do tonight, and what the end result will be. But I just find it hugely hypocritial that some fans would wait to see if the tactics have worked, to either praise or criticise how we set up.

    For all ofthe negativity from you and other, we’re still in a cup final, pregressing nicely in the EL and within touching distance of top 4. Listening to this lot, you’d think we were in a relegation battle…

    I can understand the questions about JM, but for a Spurs fan to actually want the team to crash out of a competition, just so that he can be vindicated about sacking JM – that is personally a line I will never cross.

    It’s the definition of “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. I fail to see how any of that takes the club forward.

  • I agree about the defensive tactics working before. At the time, I even praised the team for it, along with Jose. Point is, its stopped working, as many on here predicted that it would.

    I am pissed off BS. I don’t actually want us to crash out tonight. (Although I meant it last night, when I wrote it). But the real sad thing for me, is that I get the feeling that we will get knocked out.. I’m losing faith in the team that looks like it has no faith in the manager…

    As for where we still stand in the 2 cup competitions etc. Once again you seem to miss the point that so many of us have made over and over again. It is not (for me) just about winning or losing. It’s all about the football I am watching. And when I don’t like the football, and can’t see the players showing any real passion in a game, and their boss not showing any class or tactical savvy., then I have little positivity to express right now…

  • Hey all the question regards Full Backs or Wing Backs, well when I played semi-pro football in the 70s/80s our Full Backs used to overlap then, to supply crosses to our forwards, thus Left or Right midfield/half backs covered them, so its not really a new thing as as far as I am concerned its being going on for ages in my life time.

    Now CB or CH, that’s a dam good query, I played CH, but when the changes of set up started to occur, ie from 2-3-5 to say 3-4-3/4-3-3, early 70s, a lot of CH’s become CB’s, others like me became known today as DM’s, so again nothing really new there.

    Now this evenings game, HT said earlier about us losing playing poorly, so if we went out of the comp he didn’t care, but I would guess he really would care, but I do understand what he is saying, but for me it would make no difference to Marmite, as he would only lay the blame on the players, not himself for the way he is so negative, dated and has-been in his thinking, so the only people to lose would be us fans, oh! and of course Tottenham Hotspur FC.

    Never the less please Spurs lets get through to the next round, for yours and our sakes and not Marmites, it really is the hands of the players. COYS

  • Someone mentioned they has seen teams play with a formation of; One GK, two full backs, three centre-halves, and five forwards? How on earth could you win anything with that formation?! Gotta love football.

    • Geofspurs, if your post is referring to my post as 2-3-5 lol! where did it say 3 centre-halves, you will remember that formation your old enough, midfield = Left Halt, Centre Half, Right Half, keep having the crack. COYS

      • PY …. Your post had nothing to do with my ‘stupid’ comment. I have no idea why I put 3 centre-halves! It was a throw away line about football in the past. You should have thrown it away, mate! lol

        • Goef like I said at the end keep having the crack! if you wonder what that means its keep joking, I obviously failed lol! COYS

  • BS….. So, we are in the Carabao cup final and progressing in the EL (well we hope we will be), before Jose arrived we had been CL regulars and had reached a CL final, this doesn’t look like progress to me. Yes we all know that we suffered a big dip following the final defeat but I believe this was just a cyclical event, similar to what Liverpool have experienced in the PL this season, brought about through physical and mental fatigue due to the punishing schedule the players had been through not just with their clubs but at international level also following the world cup.

    There is no question in my mind that a refresh of the squad was needed following our CL final defeat, I honestly believe that the backing given to Jose in terms of transfer funds was available to MP but wasn’t spent because he wouldn’t compromise on targets and when the specific players couldn’t be got he had no back up options. I do believe (given time) he would have turned our fortunes around while playing entertaining football, not the negative dour stuff we have to watch most weeks under Jose.

    Sometimes you have to make difficult calls to achieve something you believe is necessary for the long term good, considering how unlikely it is we are going to win the EL playing the way we are it could be argued that if by going out at this stage it causes the board to consider a change of manager (even if that’s at the end of the season) then some might consider that a good outcome.

    • Diffcult to say… The team stopped playing for MP and it just cannot be compared to Liverpool’s current plight. I believe MP would never have gotten sacked, had we been hovering in mid table. What got MP sacked was the fact that we were in a relegation battle.

  • To give an example of making difficult calls ……. Chelsea fans were in seventh heaven when their hero Frank was appointed, initially everything went well but they hit a bad patch which he didn’t seem able to pull them out of, it must have been a very difficult decision to admit they got it wrong and to replace him. Look how that is working out so far, they are unbeaten since Tuchel’s arrival and have conceded just 1 goal in about 8 games in all competitions I believe, all while playing entertaining attacking football!

  • BS …. I expect the board will be considering the manager’s future at the end of the season, no matter what happens for the rest of the season.

  • BelgianSpur – many people on this site were saying that it was not sustainable to play so defensively and still expect to win. In a handful of games we were scoring with virtually our only shots in the match – generally down to the brilliance of Kane or Son. anyone could see that was not going to last. We have fewer touches of the ball in opposition penalty areas than almost any other team in the league.
    HT in my opinion is correct – when I watch Spurs, of course I want them to win but I want to be entertained rather than browsing on my Ipad after 10 minutes when it is clear how the game is going or switching over to watch the golf which is generally far more exciting than watching Spurs at the moment.
    As usual with Jose the youngsters have been ditched – where is Tanganga or Rodon (Rodon I think is being punished for daring to bring the ball out of defence to start an attack). The sooner Jose leaves the better.

  • Re the wing back set up, I think Mourinho is of the opinion that if the wing back go forward, he then would expect the likes of Hoj to drop back and form a back 3.
    Re Doherty, if he is a wing back, surely there has to be a decent bit of speed and a cross at the end of it, but to date, I haven’t seen it.
    Re tactics, I think HT said something similar to this some months ago, I could live with negative tactics against the Man City’s of this world in away games but only if there is a positive outcome, but against those around us and below us, I do expect to see us going on the offensive, we are (on paper) a better team than Arsenal, W/Ham, Villa, so we should, with our strike force be putting them to bed.
    And as HT says, we can’t get any pens if we’re encamped in our own 18 yrd box.
    Re tonite hope to get 2 goals as early as possible, then work from there. COYS.

  • Regarding Doherty and his role….at Wolves his goals came mostly from ghosting into the box on the back post and heading in crosses from the opposite side, in our case that would come from either our left sided full/wing back or Sonny but of course crosses aren’t his style in the main, he is more cutting in and shooting.

    • TQ2S, you are a comedian, Son heading the ball! haha! esp at the far post haha! bet you can count on one hand how many times he has headed a ball, and that’s all over the pitch, for me that’s my real complaint of him having no bollox to put his head in, after all he is 6ft plus. COYS

  • TQ …. That made me think. Son is probably the most consistent corner-taker we’ve had for ages. He makes a good job of most of them. But, I agree that he’s not going to put too many crosses into the box in open play. He wants to score goals.

  • Hi Danny.

    If Jose parks his big lily-white bus tonight, in the hope of hanging on to the slim 2-0 lead., I can’t really see the point of Harry playing, if Jose does choose to start him. I think he could do with a rest.

    If we end up having to defend like we’re in a dog fight and we just end desperately pumping long balls up to no one in particular. Then that no one may as well be anyone. πŸ˜‰ Like Vinicius for example.

    We’ll see. maybe Harry will be needed sooner than later, if we manage to concede a couple of early goals.

    Jesus, My posts are becoming more miserable by the day! πŸ™

    • LOL, it comes to us all I think. Want to see us go for it again, so we head into Villa with great confidence – especially as judging by the England squad, Grealish will be out again this weekend.

  • Danny…reports suggested Grealish would be back in time to face us but may not be fit enough to play the whole 90 minutes. This could explain his absence from the England squad as he has been out for a while and will be short of match fitness.

    • Knowing our luck he will come back against us against all expectations and play a blinder! Jose will then get the blame for not setting us up more defensively.

    • Last I caught was after the international break, so assumed the lack of an England call was proof of it. Half a game is better than a full game given what he can do. Such a shame we didn’t get a deal done.

  • You were right the first time DH, our defensive organisation is dreadful but our play has been really bad all over the pitch. I believe we’ve had just the one shot on goal so far.

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