Date: 1st January 2018 at 4:25pm
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After a nice weekend off, we re-engage in the battle for forth in earnest against Swansea. I watched their game against Watford as I suspect many of you would have as well, 85 minutes of being dominated and riding their luck and then they pulled off a remarkable turnaround.

It was the dreaded new coach bounce; we now have to make sure that their bounce doesn’t reoccur this time at their home. We have to face two matches in three days and both look potential banana skins, somewhat ridiculously our re-arranged game against West Ham follows this game on Thursday and we can be certain that against us they’ll be up for it.

Poch has to plan for this fixture congestion, as Football does, it now throws up the prospect of Llorente facing his old club as Harry tries to get over one of those winter debilitating bugs. I was told this morning that even if he declares himself ok to play, chances are he won’t start and we will try and given him a bit more recovery time for Thursday’s game.

So a game without Harry starting

Carlos Carvalhal was a surprise left-field appointment, and he’s started well with that 2-1 away win against Watford and against the odds.

Their confidence will have improved for that ‘I think this win is a step forward,’ Ayew told the club’s official website. ‘Now we have to keep going and push to get more results’ he continued:

‘Football is all about confidence. We know we can do better things with confidence. But, also, if you don’t work hard then you get punished. ‘

‘The new manager has only been here for two days, but he has had a positive impact. His ideas are clear and direct. He wants us to run more in the game and be more aggressive with our play. We delivered that and deserved the win.’

So we can expect them to try and match us for a high tempo and ground covered. But we have the quality and if we do start with Llorente and Lamela as I expect, perhaps along with Winks with Victor Wanyama possibly making his first appearance since August from the subs bench, we should have too much for them.

We’ve not lost against Swansea since the a league meeting in October ’82 and I don’t expect to see that change now what I do expect is them to sit deep again and try and play on the counter.

They exasperated us at Wembley as it finished a frustrating 0-0, despite us having 26 shots (just 8 on target) to Swansea’s four (0 on target).

With or without Harry, they won’t hold us at bay this time as at some point they’ll open up, and then we’ll take them apart and our march into the Top 4 will continue and jump ahead of that mob down the road.


99 Replies to “No Start for Harry – Match Preview”

  • We could really have done with Liverpool, in particular, and/or Man Utd dropping points yesterday. Liverpool made seven changes to the team that beat Leicester on Saturday and still beat Burnley. It’s very unlikely we could do that. Man Utd lose Lukaku and Ibrahimovich, yet simply move Martial to the central position and can still afford to rest Rashford. it just shows how important depth of squad is.

    Nonetheless, we do have a big advantage over Swansea tonight. We’ve had a weeks’ rest whilst they had a tough away game at Watford on Saturday. So long as we keep it tight and don’t concede in the first half, we should have too much for them in terms of skill and fitness as the game wears on.

  • If Harry is now well, has trained and is fully recovered, I’m sure he will start. I would also like to think that if he isn’t feeling top notch, he is to be rested.

    Spurs are back to some good form these past few games bar the one against City and have been playing some very good looking football. I see no reason for this not to continue. The only obstacle I can see to a top, top performance tonight is that Pochettino and the players must have one eye on the WHU match, knowing that we have no real recovery time in between. For this reason, I don’t expect the players to be over exerting themselves unless they really have to. I think we might need to be patient and measured in our play but should still be reasonably comfortable in getting the win. But, we never know. The Swans may play a blinder, with some all-out, no-nonsense attacking football and take us all by surprise. (I doubt it).

    Should I go for narrow but uncomplicated win or do I predict another hatful of Tottenham goals with another Harry hat trick? A hat trick of hat tricks?! Well, if he’s out then that won’t be happenning. But, as is my want, I’m still going for the Cockerels to blow the Swans clean out of the water.

    Swansea City 0-6 Tottenham Hotspur!

  • In view of the forthcoming game in just two days, for once, I’d be happy with the ‘1-0 will do’ mantra. Personally I wouldn’t want to see us start on a ‘measured’ approach as longer it goes with 0-0 the more confident Swans will get. Following their win v Watford, their tails may be up, so I’d rather try to put the game to bed in 1st half and control it in 2nd including early subs. Several managers are complaining about the schedule and the 2 games in 48 hours is just ludicrous. For once we DO have the advantage because of the high level of fitness regime we operate under. 2-0 Spurs. COYS!

  • Critical_Spur. My point about having a measured approach is of course dependent on how well the Swans set up and how well they play. But, it should pay off if we are sensible in how we approach the game, knowing that the team doesn’t have time to rest before the Hammers. We do generally go for the early goal from the kick-off but it may not come. We can’t be sure of this and so if it doesn’t, then a professional and patient approach may well be required. And, 1-0 will of course be acceptable and especially if the Swans make it particularly tough for us. They may not. But as I said, a measured approach is probably what we should expect. I didn’t say from the start. I’m looking at the full 90 minutes. I see no problem with this. They are not machines and we do need to be fighting fit for Wembley and the bubble-blowers. We just don’t know but MP’s tactics are rarely gung-ho and the players really shouldn’t need to over-work themselves to get a positive result if they are professional and patient.

    I don’t expect all supporters to be particularly patient themselves but that’s their problem. At least the Spurs away support at the grounds, tends to be loud and proud and they will do their utmost to encourage the players in a positive way.

  • You’d like to think that this would be a great opportunity to rotate. From the reports I’ve read, Swansea will be missing as many as 5 starting players. Given the schedule, we need to give some key players a rest. If our B team can’t beat Swansea’s B team, we have problems.

  • HT, the ‘measured’ comment was not directed at your post as I too have used it many a times in the past. I also hate the term a ‘must win’ game, but feel that this time round it is a valid one as there is a risk of a gap developing between the 4th and 5th place. I do think Swans will have a good go from the off rather than park the proverbial. The new manager has apparently asked for a more aggressive effort over 90 mins. Here’s hoping the longer rest for our lads doesn’t bring with it complacency and that we make our customary charge in the 2nd half of the season.

  • Critical_Spur. That’s okay I just wanted to make myself clearer. It could well be that we play some exhilarating football and really do blow them out of the water. I am just not getting my expectations up too high in advance. If all goes well I genuinely do think we will thrash them. But, I nearly always say this. 🙂

  • HT – every team has a B team. If you’re not starting more than 20 league games per season, you’re in the B team. That doesn’t mean the B team can’t be good.

  • It was a joke… But nonetheless a squad is a squad is a squad. But then again, if not being a regular 1st choice IS to be seen as a “B” rated player, then no wonder we haven’t got an amazing 20 odd goals a season striker on the bench. Who would want to come to Spurs to be considered a B team player if elsewhere, he’s considered good enough for the A-team?

  • I see there is a weather warning for Swansea this evening. Winds of over 50mph, torrential rain etc. The Swans might be ok. Not so sure about the Cockerels.

  • That’s a question you can ask of any player on the bench at a top 6 team. They’re all good enough to start for the other 70% of PL teams. I was watching Burnley v. Liverpool yesterday and it was Mane’s first start in a few weeks, with a front 3 of Firmino, Salah and Coutinho currently being first choice. When players like Mane and Lallana are in the B team, you know they’ve got wonderful attacking players and depth… They have other weaknesses however.

  • If the weather is as bad as that forecast then perhaps the match will be abandoned anyway. It hardly sounds conducive to good football. Or indeed, any kind of football. The Liberty stadium is a nice stadium but pretty exposed to the local elements.

  • There is no B team! There are squad players and of course some are better than others and they can’t all play every week. So, we can now see a scenario whereby Lamela could well be kept out by an on form Son, whereas before he was injured, Lamela was 1st choice over Son. Dele would not have been considered 1st choice when he arrived. Hugo had to wait a good few games before his debut and Kane had to play for the likes of Millwall, etc, before Tim came along. And even when MP arrived, he was 3rd choice behind Defoe and Ade. So, I insist, there is no B team but a whole squad of players competing for a start and hopefully being good enough to be a regular 1st choice. Albeit, no matter how good you are it will always be difficult to replace a top performing player or retain your position when covering for injury etc. What about Wanyama now? Will he return good enough to replace Dier. Or will it be Dembele that needs to step down. If Trippier plays better than ever for a couple of matches, is Aurier then to be considered second best. Or simply a very good alternative and, vice versa, of course…… Blah, blah.

  • HT – that would make sense if at the end of the year, every player featured in about the same amount of games, and players were rotated in and out of the 11 frequently, based on form. However, that is very rarely how this plays out in most squads, with usually a clear-cut 11 accounting for most of the starts, and squad players/B players (however you want to call them) occasionally coming in. The harsh reality is that a clear pecking order exists at most clubs, including ours. On form alone, Alli should have been dropped several times this year. Yet he kept his place. In theory, football is a meritocracy. In the harsh modern game when agents negotiate contracts with guarantees about playing time, it very often works out quite differently.

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