Date: 13th April 2017 at 9:17pm
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It`s too late Wilshere?..you ain`t going to be able to do your Gooner mates a favour! They’re Toast!

Steve Cook has informed Tottenham that he and his Bournemouth teammates will be scrupulously analysing Spurs` strengths and weaknesses. Speaking to Bournemouth`s official website, defender Cook revealed he thrives on playing against the Premier League`s top sides after going up against Chelsea on Saturday. Cook told fans that the Cherries will be going through ways in which they can capitalise on Spurs weaknesses. ‘This is why we`re playing football,’ Cook said. ‘To play against these top-quality sides. It is tough physically and mentally but this is what we`re paid to do. The good thing is that the next game`s just around the corner and hopefully we can put this right and move back up the table. We`ll be working through Spurs` strengths and weaknesses next week but before that we`ll recover after playing against a very tough side.’

Spurs have found a way to win well without Kane but Kane`s first injury is being highlighted as to the reason why we are playing catch up with Chelski. Harry says; ‘When you look at the eight league games I`ve missed this season due to injury, we`ve won five and drawn three. So we`re still scoring goals and still winning games, which shows the strength in our squad.’ Actually, when Harry suffered ligament damage against Sunderland in September we won our next two league games and then we drew four times in a row, against West Brom, Bournemouth, Leicester City and Arsenal, scoring once from open play. Kane was a sub in the NLD scoring an equaliser from the penalty spot, but he was not fully fit. That 10 game spell without Kane is regarded as ending Spurs’ hopes in the League Cup and the Champions League. Alders also went missing with a nerve injury suffered at West Brom in Oct and Spurs managed just two wins in 11 games without him, losing to Monaco and Chelsea, even after Kane’s return. Mousa and Rose also struggled for fitness in the autumn, missing five and seven games respectively, and Erik Lamela has not played since the end of October. By January we looked to have overcome our injuries and we were able to put out a full XI and beat Chelski. Poch stuck with the same team against West Brom in the next game and we looked to be in the groove and then Verts rolled his ankle ruling him out for the next four league games, and then Rose suffered a knee injury and in the following match, we scraped a 2-2 draw at City.

Whilst we remain consistent up front it`s at the back that is really giving us the platform to winning games. Our PL record when Alders and Verts start is W14 D3 L1 – Win Ratio of 78%. When either Alders or Vert are absent its W6 D5 L2 – Win Ratio of 46%. In the six league games without Alders late 2016, Spurs’ record read as W2 D3 L1, nine points from a possible 18. Almost the gap that now exists between us and Chelski. With first-choice trio: Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen as a team we have scored 64, as a Trio 37 goals, a goal percentage of 57.81%. It was the Champions League, however, where we imploded and ultimately crashed out because Alders was on the sidelines – losing twice and drawing once in his absence. And ditto Verts, four games without Vertonghen (ankle injury) earlier this year was equally under par (W1 D2 L1).

Without our two main defenders, Poch is then forced to ditch his favoured 3-4-2-1 formation, and Spurs lost at Liverpool and then drew at Sunderland, either side of a narrow win over Boro. The sequence was another example of injuries disrupting our shape and rhythm. Chelski have not had to contend with the amount of injuries we have had. We have suffered 27 separate injuries this season, resulting in a total of 829 days missed (Lamela for 201 of those days), Chelsea have suffered just 17 injuries and a total of 396 missed days. The Blues’ only significant absentees have been Kurt Zouma, injured last season, John Terry, awol for 99 days with various ailments and Cesc Fabregas, who missed over a month with a thigh strain. But none of these three feature in Antonio Conte’s best XI anyway! Conte has had his preferred XI players available for 19 out of 25 league games. Thibaut Courtois, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta have started every league game, while David Luiz hasn`t missed a game since re-joining from Paris Saint-Germain. Poch meanwhile, has been able to use his strongest XI players just twice this season, the Blues and West Brom, and yet, we are still second.

In total, only 17 players have started for Chelsea in the league since their 3-0 defeat at the Woolwich. A core of nine players have more or less played every match. Their lack of European football and Conte’s manic attention to detail have factored in their season. Lloris, Kyle Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Rose have started just five league games together this season. Chelsea’s back six Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses have started 22 league games in a row before Moses suffered a strain. N’Golo Kante has been absent once, Eden Hazard twice and Diego Costa twice through suspension and following a bust-up with Conte.

So, Bournemouth have to stop our winning run of 11 on the bounce at the Lane. We can`t be complacent, just remember that Eddie Howe`s side have taken points off Liverpool, Arsenal and Man United this season and we could only get a draw earlier this season at the Vitality Stadium back in October. As Eddie Howe said after the Chelsea game; ‘I have to compliment Chelsea, they’re an outstanding team and their system works very well for them. But I compliment my boys as well because they played very well. In the end Chelsea were too strong.’ Steve Cook goes on to say, ‘Having faced Diego Costa on Saturday and kept him largely quiet they feel sure they can do the same to Harry.’ True! despite losing, Cook did keep Costa off the score sheet but Bournemouth also have to keep Son, Alli and Eriksen quiet, so I think Eddie Howe will find us as equally strong as Chelski!

 

121 Replies to “Premier League Preview – Spurs v Bournemouth”

  • “Cook told fans that the Cherries will be going through ways in which they can capitalise on Spurs weaknesses”..

    May be someone should remind him that the defenders from 11 other teams thought the same before arriving at WHL and being sent home with their tails between their legs! Another goal difference of 3 coming up! COYS!

  • Oyveh, just an observation mate… Too many stats and little re team selection, tactics and formations….most unlike you!. Wanyama and Harry back, Trippier or Walker? Save Demebele for the Cup?…

  • Hmm, strange! This article hasn’t appeared on the front page yet, I only found it via a link from the Forum. I might end up talking to myself! Note the time stamp on post to confirm when others may see this. Tino?..

  • Be good to score a few today …. GD could decide the title! Looks like the squad have turned a huge corner to survive two periods of massive injury concerns this season. Let?s hope everyone stays fit for the run-in. Parking the bus no longer seems such a problem for our squad. They just keep to a steady game plan and have the belief that they will win. Is that a winning mentality?

  • OyVeh …. Thanks for the article but I have to agree with Critical. Your recent previews seem to lose the focus on the match and wander into areas that could be covered by a separate article. No disrespect intended (obviously) … and just my opinion.

  • With regard to Kane’s injuries, if he’d played every game he missed through injury would he now be where he ended up last season ? running on empty with nothing left for the run in.

  • Being partial to stats myself, I actually welcome this article and I found it quite insightful! Thanks OyVeh. Maybe it isn’t related to this specific match and the stats would have indeed been better presented in a separate article, but I found them fascinating. There is definitely a case to be made for injuries explaining the gap between us and Chelsea. The win percentage when Toby is absent, and even more importantly when Jan is absent, is quite telling. I have also been saying that Kane’s absence has cost us more than a lot of fans want to admit – yes we didn’t lose much without him, but that 4 game sequence OyVeh points to (“Actually, when Harry suffered ligament damage against Sunderland in September we won our next two league games and then we drew four times in a row, against West Brom, Bournemouth, Leicester City and Arsenal, scoring once from open play”) is probably the biggest explanation of the gap between us and Chelsea. Had we won just 2 of those matches, we’d be within striking distance of Chelsea now. I also was interested by Chelsea’s squad policy – definitely a case for quality over quantity. Regarding the game, I respect Eddie Howe and I think he’s doing very well, but I believe we’ll be too strong for Bournemouth tomorrow. Let’s hope we take care of business at home, and that Mourinho does us a favour on Sunday (using all of his dirty tricks against Chelsea, I don’t care ;-)). I was actually at the game between Anderlecht and Man U in Brussels last night – hopefully the draw will have fired Man U up and they will want to take out their frustration on Chelsea!

  • Hey Geofspurs, I know you live in the future, but the match is on tomorrow! :0) Clocks must have gone forward by a day in Aus!

  • Critical …. Hope I haven’t spoiled the game for you by giving the result away. That’s the trouble with living in the future! By the way …. when you’re watching it don’t be downhearted if it’s 0-0 on 90 minutes. We were just warming up until then.

  • Sorry Geof, 0-0 at full time, 3-0 at the end. Don’t think I can handle the stress any more! But our saviour is back itching to get his hands on that shiny boot!… BTW, bitterly disappointed with Alli not included on the PotY short list. COYS!

  • I really enjoyed reading the stats and their inferences. I take Geoff and Critical’s points, but the articles have a habit of delving into different areas anyway and I’m sure there will still be a discussion about tactics, team selection etc.

    On Chelsea’s injuries record, this goes back much further than Conte’s reign. I remember reading some stats a couple of seasons that analysed all the EPL clubs’ injury records going back to Mourinho’s initial spell at the club and Chelsea had by far the best record (i.e. the least amount of injuries) of all the clubs. And Mourinho used to operate with a relatively small squad. Arsenal had nearly the worst record, something like three times the amount of lost days compared to Chelsea. Our record at that time wasn’t too good either although I can’t remember the exact stats.

  • If Chelsea had been in Europe and had the same injury problems as us …. what then, one wonders.

  • Lol Dele-Arri, so true! But seriously though, I originally pointed out during Kanes’s 1st injury that those draws could come back to bite us at the end of the season, yet that point was fought vociferously by some at the time suggesting that with Harry missing, we were doing great. My response at the time was that out of the top 6 teams we probably had the best continuity (squad wisefrom last season) and you look at those draws v Leicester (who were imploding), B’mouth (numbers makers in the PL), WBA and apart from Arsenal, we really should’ve done better. Let down by some of our other players failing to turn up. Any way, water under the bridge, let’s consolidate 2nd and see what happens. COYS!

  • Gary – your post got me thinking – how much does that play into a team’s recruitment policy? Wenger is known to have a soft spot for talented, flair players, and seems willing to overlook those players’ injury histories if he rates them. Cazorla, Rosicky, Walcott, Wilshere, AOC, Welbeck, signing an injured Kallstrom, it just seems that he has been willing to take the good with the bad. To some extent, we have been guilty of it in the past, with Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, and others. Chelsea, on the other hand, have moved on from/given up on some very good players just because they didn’t seem to be able to cope with the physical side of the PL. Does it come down to being willing to take gambles on talented players, or have a very risk-averse approach with injury history? Food for thought.

  • Indeed BS, there has to be some substance in that, regarding both Chelsea and Arsenal. It’s a criticism that has been levelled at Wenger for many years now – Arsenal’s recruitment policy and internal fitness regime. It’s quite ironic really given how Wenger revolutionised the English game’s attitude to fitness in the first few years after his arrival.

  • BelgianSpur – “Chelsea’s squad policy – definitely a case for quality over quantity”. Actually more about having no European football to worry about and so less players needed for less matches and seven days to prepare for most games while the opposition have three or four. In other words just like Leicester the previous season they have used the advantage they have been given.

  • jod …. I agree. Whoever misses out on Europe will have quite an advantages next season. Ironical. really.

  • Jod, Liverpool haven’t had European football either yet they are trailing us by five points having played a game more. If it’s such a simple cause and effect, how do you explain that?

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