Date: 16th March 2017 at 12:48pm
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That’s it…season is over we are sunk without our Harry – Apparently!

The Punters on TV and the papers can’t hide their pleasure in stating Spurs are a busted flush this season now Harry is out until the end of April. We will go into ‘Free Fall’ it`s all over for Spurs!

Spurs have taken a Premier League-high 38 points at home this season, winning 14 and drawing two. We have conceded fewer home goals (seven) than any other Premier League team, while creating the most scoring chances (212). Away our overall record has improved since last season. Our clean sheet ratio (44%) has jumped by 10%, and our organisation is evident through being forced into nine fewer defensive actions per game (41). Spurs average more than two goals per league game this season with Harry that goes down to 1.2 when he was out for the ten weeks at the beginning of the season. No one takes into account that our back line has changed 3 times this season and yet we have still maintained the best defensive record in the Prem at home. Pochettino makes the valid point that one of the best performances by any side this season came during that period when Kane was out and Son led the line in the 2-0 defeat of Manchester City. ‘My job is to select only 11 players, but I was always happy with Sonny,’ said Pochettino. ‘He can play like a striker. One of our best performances was against City here and he was the striker when Harry was injured. We have different opportunities to play, use different formations. I’m sad about the Harry injury, but now it’s about trying to find a solution and seeing who is the best to replace him.’ During Harry’s ten-game injury absence from mid-September to early November 2016 we lost just twice in all competitions we remained unbeaten in the Prem beating Manchester City 2-0 along the way.

We can argue about the rights and wrongs of playing Harry for a game against Millwall and, in hindsight, he wasn’t really needed and that injury could have been avoided. But it is what it is, so now we have to face a tough defensive team in Southampton without the best striker in the Premiership. Someone who can score 19 goals from 22 Premier League appearances this season is going to be missed but as Poch says, ‘We have enough players to try to replace him and win games. It won’t be an excuse if we don’t win games or achieve our aims because Kane isn’t in the team.’
Son has had 23 games this season Janssen just 19. Son has 1,260 minutes under his belt whilst Janssen has just 663 minutes. Son’s shot accuracy is just 52% whilst Janssen is 44%. Son’s take on is just 45.00% whilst Janssen’s is just 16.00 %. Even without Harry Spurs share the most number of points gained from losing positions with Pool with 14 points taken by each team through comebacks.

Southampton too are missing their main striker, Charlie Austin faces a battle to get back into the Saints team. Austin is still the club’s top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions, despite having not played since he dislocated his shoulder against Hapoel Be’er Sheva in December. He had to have surgery for that one leaving him with an extended period of rehab and recovery to get through. We all know that Saints are the last team to inflict a home defeat on us which was back in May last year. It was Ronald Koeman’s men then that beat us 2-1 in the penultimate game of our season with two Steven Davis goals which led to Saints making their highest finish in 6th-place.

Saints think the odds have been evened out because Harry is not in the side which begs the question why everyone thinks we are a one-man team? Everyone is saying that our attack has been weakened through Kane’s absence and the Saints think they will be catching us just at the right time. There is no doubt that Saints have found some momentum. Claude Puel’s men are on a roll after back-to-back away league wins – in which they have scored four on both occasions. Last time out Saints defeated Watford 4-3 in a blinder of a game at Vicarage Road and prior to that they won 4-0 at Sunderland. While we have to make-do without our top marksman, Saints won’t have that issue because their latest goal machine, Manolo Gabbiadini, will turn up at the Lane having netted six goals in his first four Saints appearances. However, whilst we may be missing our goal machine at the front, our defence remains the same and with all due respect to Watford and Sunderland we will be a bit of a tougher test for Gabbiadini. Since the change back to the 4-2-3-1 formation at Sunderland, Saints have netted ten goals in three games, with Gabbiadini, Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse forming a formidable attack. That offensive spearhead will be hoping to make it an unlucky 13 for Spurs cos we have won 12 games in a row at the Lane. Cedric Soares knows the organisation of Spurs is formidable but insists Southampton are in confident mood ahead of their ‘very difficult’ away fixture. Dembele has an ankle injury and is rated at 75 per cent to be fit for this one so Winks may get the call. But Winksy could be in the midfield even if Dembele is fit putting Son up front as striker. Southampton must do without Alex McCarthy, Virgil van Dijk, Matt Targett, Jeremy Pied and Charlie Austin, while Jake Hesketh is a minor doubt.

We owe it to ourselves to get back into the CL. After watching Leicester’s performance you have to ask the question; why couldn’t we do that? We have the chance to continue our winning streak. Southampton won’t be easy but we need to keep winning until Danny and Harry are back so we can finish the job in April.


129 Replies to “Preview: Spurs v Southampton”

  • OyVeh – Southampton may be missing Austin, but they at least have credible alternatives at striker. Here’s to hoping Son will have his scoring boots on. As much as I don’t agree with the pundits who say our season is dead, it’s probably fair to say that we will miss Kane, and trying to make it sound as though we will barely notice he isn’t there is silly. Being unbeaten in Harry’s last absence is fine, but how many were draws? Best to win 2 and lose three than draw 5…

  • Gabbiadini looks much better than Charlie boy.He has such quick feet & a poacher’s instinct.He gets a shot off, even if he’s off balance ,before defenders can stop him.I’m a big fan because I love quick strikers.It will be a challenge for our defenders to stop him,especially Dier who moves with the speed of a turning supertanker.

  • The one thing Dier does have over him is strength. Dier just needs to put in one of his trademark
    tackles in and that should be more than enough to make Gabbiadini shiver! On a more serious note, Gabbiadini has started well, but I still want to see him do well over a prolonged period before I draw conclusions about him. The one thing you can say about Austin is that when he’s fit (rarely), he scores. He has done it over several seasons. There are numerous examples of strikers starting well and then disappearing once opponents discover their weaknesses. Whether that will happen with Gabbiadini remains to be seen, but I still think he falls under the category of “unproven”.

  • I still site Alderweirelds absence during Kane’s last injury as a big factor in our drop in goals stats and picking up draws instead of wins. Wanyama was also only bedding in and is in full on beast mode now for us. I believe that there was a bit of a greedy streak coming into Harry’s game as well where he opted to take speculative shots instead of passing to better placed team-mates ( his injury being a case in point, with Dele Ali free in the box he tried to blast it from an acute angle). If other teams want to write us off because Harry is missing I for one think it will make our job’s easier (we are not second because we’re a one player team). Son can score, Son has shown it repeatedly this season, he can score when there is no obvious chance on, he can run with the ball or run onto the ball! Dele Ali will still be getting into those glorious scoring positions he finds and Eriksen will still find him. Eriksen has scored in his last game and can do so again. Although my money is on Vertonghen to get us a goal this weekend, he has been bombing forward and cracking of thunderbolts of shots, he’s rattled bars, posts and stung keeper hands but his long wait for a spurs goal is coming to an end against the Saints – cue the Super Jan celebration

  • The question is how we line up given Kane & Rose’s injuries. Most would like to see Son replace Kane in a straight swap to maintain our 3 at the back formation. However it is worth considering reverting back to 4-2-3-1, dropping Dier, and playing Son in attack behind Janssen. Lots of changes there, but perhaps smoothing over the loss of our biggest goal threat and left wing back. Southampton have pace to attack us with, and have hit 4 goals in their last 2 away games, so we should not be expecting a clean sheet. In fact, they have scored 3 or more in an away match 4 times this season. As Eriksen, Alli, Son all clicked in Kane’s absence, perhaps we should stick to the back 3 and hope that it works again….

  • It is annoying that Southamption picked up Gabbiadini and we didn’t…. However it must be acknowledged that Gabbiadini goes straight into the starting lineup. If he had joined Spurs, he would have to do a Janssen and adjust from the bench. It is not so easy…. Impressive start, impressive signing thus far…. But as Belgian said, many a striker starts well and fades… If he keeps this up, it will be incredible.

  • Slurms – there is also a big reason why Alli can get into those glorious positions – because Kane is occupying the back 4 and getting into dangerous positions himself. The CBs have to defend against him, which opens up space for others like Alli. Alli still has a lot of work to do to get himself in the right place at the right time and I’m not taking anything away from him, but some of it is made possible by Kane getting himself in dangerous positions. Whether Son will be able to replicate that effectively remains to be seen; on previous evidence (last season + earlier this season), I would say no, but players can always improve. The majority of Son’s goals have been with him playing on the wing, with Kane on the pitch creating space for others. That is why Kane is so good. It’s not just his scoring, it’s the fact that he is such a threat that back 4’s focus on him and this in turn creates opportunities for teammates.

  • NO doubt Belgian, I absolutely accept that Ali doesn’t operate in isolation, but Sons speed and movement offers a different conundrum for CB’s then Kane who is our star striker and won’t be matched by anyone else in our squad. Jansen employs a more “traditional” approach to the striker role or centre forward – back to goal, hold up play, wait for runners, give and go, he won’t be running at players and he won’t be dropping deep to get involved in the play (I Hope). Son as the striker will make our attacking four much more fluid with Ali, Erisken, and I suppose Sissoko? able to drift wide or come central more often in the game. This extra movement should still open up space for Ali?

  • How many times this season have Tottenham ignored all the pre-match fears on VS and flogged the opposition? Thanks to a Janssen hat-trick …. Spur 3 – 0 Saints.

  • I feel the change needed is for Janssen for Kane. Son will still be playing eriksen for winks and dembele back and walker for trippier. We should be to much for Southampton, only blessing is the international break. We have lower placed teams to play let’s hope we can do well … I agree with Toby and jan at the back this time the Kane affect should be less of an impact.

  • Hope to see plan Z in action from Poch. Should give all the AM’s plenty opps to shine, if ever we needed goals from the AM trio + pretend striker. COYS!

  • Ok so it was only Milwall but both Son and Alli got themselves into great positions with Kane off the field. You just can’t defend against Trippier’s pass over the shoulder to Son and Son’s one time finish, no matter who you are. I think we will handle them enough to win and continue our chase.

  • Ghana – I think you are writing off Batshuayi too early though. When he has played, he has scored. May I remind you that Lukaku and De Bruyne were also both wasted at Chelsea once. They both left, and both of them aren’t doing too badly these days. It was probably an error for Michy to pick Chelsea, but I have no doubt that he can shine elsewhere.

  • Everyone is talking as if Son is a centre forward, he isn’t. His one stand out performance leading the line was against City when he played as a false nine and City came to take us on, leaving acres of space for him to run into from deep. Against teams who come to defend he’s been ineffective in that role. Losing Kane isn’t just the loss of a goalscorer, it disrupts the shape of the team. I’m not sure Poch has figured out how he solves that problem yet.

  • Well sad man that I am, I have to admit I couldn’t stay away, so have had to swallow my pride and return to VS, still smarting from the “moaner” comments. Firstly regarding Harry’s injury, in fairness I think MP had to play his strongest team v Millwall, we just had to win that game and reach the Semis, and continue our pursuit of a first major trophy since 2008, and there had been enough shocks in this years FA Cup to make you wary irrespective of the opposition, Millwall had already wreaked havoc amongst PL team. The injury he got was tragically unfortunate, but that’s football. What this situation may further highlight is the lack of credible depth up front, with no real “shoe in” deputy for Kane, to maintain our goal threat and allow us to carry on playing our proven system. Son is a good player, but is he an obvious Kane replacement, No. Jannson has got off the mark at last, long overdue, will this spark a scoring run, or was it a one off against a beaten demoralised side at the arse end of a big win, with no pressure on him. I fervently hope that the former is the case, but let’s see. When we see the likes of Gabbiadini fitting in straight away, scoring, and looking totally at home in the PL, it is disappointing to compare this to Jannson’s poor return, especially given the size of the fee we paid for him. Regarding the Southampton game, this is simply a “must win”, in order to maintain our top 3 position (no qualifying game for the CL next season), we need to continue to set the pace and fend off the chasers i.e. Liverpool, Arsenal, and Man Utd. It is simply the case that somebody has to step up to the plate and perform to minimise the effect of Kane’s absence. You can’t directly replace a world class striker, of course you can’t, but you can’t allow his absence to derail a successful season either.

  • What will be missed is Kane’s ability and his presence and movement which intimidates defenders and fully occupies them allowing space for the likes of Ali and Eriksen to exploit. In short his reputation proceeds him and ensures that CBs are obsessed with covering him, following him, and defending him, whether he has the ball or not, he has earned this level of respect. Son has his speed, quick feet, and control but does he frighten defenders, I doubt it.

  • Apologies to OyVeh I omitted to congratulate you on an excellent article, right up there to your usual standard.

  • Welcome back frank, whether you moan grown or excite, u always make accurate and valid opinions. No pride needs to be swallowed, just a sorry for leaving lol. Seriously welcome back. I don’t. Always agree but as said you do make valid points long may it continue sir.

  • I’ll ditto E17 Frank. Welcome back. Have always enjoyed your input and have referred to your posts a few times already. Hope others return too. COYS!

  • Good you’re back Frank, I always read your posts, not what some people want to read but you get your point across without insulting other posters. COYSS!!!!!!!!!!

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