Date: 21st November 2018 at 7:30am
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It was a successful November international break in many ways for Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Kane helped England to victory over Croatia and some small measure of revenge whilst Juan Foyth picked up his maiden Argentina cap…this is what many were waiting for though, Saturday evening and Spurs v Chelsea.

We welcome Maurizio Sarri’s third-placed side to Wembley for a 5.30pm kickoff and there is only a point separating both sides with 12 games played in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, so as ever, it’s all to play for.

Form-wise, they come into the game with three wins and two draws, whilst we boast four wins and one defeat but their injury situation is more positive than our own as we continue to have Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez, Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Jansson (remember him) listed as being out injured by physioroom.

However, I’m not aware (unless I’ve missed something) of any additional issues from the recent internationals and I believe both facial injuries picked up by Foyth and Erik Lamela recently continue to not keep them out of contention.

So, subject to manager Mauricio Pochettino’s usual tinkering, it’s pretty much as we were before for this one.

 
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114 Replies to “Real Football Returns As We Host The Pensioners This Weekend – Match Thread”

  • melloSPUR – “It’s not a dangerous assumption that the younger players will improve over time.”

    This I agree with. But there is no way of knowing whether all players are going to progress at the same rhythm, whether it’s all going to come together at the same time to see us mount a serious title challenge in any one season, whether all of the players you list will still be at the club by the time they reach their prime, whether they are all eventually going to become the world class players you think they will (some may have already hit their ceiling), etc.

    And, if we have to wait for young players to reach their prime, this will likely coincide with other important squad members’ decline, which may not lead to progression overall.

    Football is all about windows of opportunity. Very few clubs can systematically challenge. For most clubs, they will go through phases of contention during which they are “all in”, followed by rebuilding cycles. The bigger the club, the shorter the rebuild, but most clubs face this. Yet, we never go all in. The “building”phase is constant but it never culminates into a complete squad ready to challenge for titles at any one moment.

    We’ve had good teams in the past, certainly platforms where you could say that we had a good core worth building on (Modric, Bale, VdV, Walker…). But we never invested and those teams were eventually dismantled. Why should we believe any different now?

    Your outlook assumes that things will all still be the same in a few years. Yet the PL is a fast-moving place and at any time, we are just one mega offer away from a star player (or worse, manager) having his head turned and leaving. Only 2 things keep most players at clubs: money and trophies. In our case, which one is it going to be?

    I don’t think it’s safe to plan much more than 12 to 18 months ahead. And I don’t think we can reliably expect all of our players to realise their potential in that time frame.

    “If you can tell me which of our younger players have not progressed year on year in a quantifiable way, I could see you may have a point, but this does appear to be the case for our squad.”

    Can you honestly say that Eric Dier is better than he was for us 2 years ago (and this is coming from someone who actually rates Dier)? Is Dele Alli hitting the heights of the 2016-2017 season when he scored 18 league goals? How about Danny Rose? That’s 3 examples already. And I still haven’t even mentioned Lamela or Son.

    And if you want to call Wanyama a player “at/near world class level”, we have a different definition of “world class”. World class means top 10 in the world at his position. I think I could name more than 10 DM’s in the world who are better than Victor Wanyama. He’s a solid PL player, but more than that is grossly exaggerating his talent.

    We have finished in the top 3 the last 3 seasons because of 2 big factors: we are solid defensively, and we have arguably the best striker in the world who is going to score 25+ goals for us every year. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our top 4 finishes coincide with Kane’s arrival in our team.

    A lot of mid table teams are solid defensively, but most PL managers will say that the hardest thing to come by in football is a reliable goal scorer. We have that, and we are lucky that he hasn’t had any significant injuries. But to me, our fortunes are very much tied with Kane’s. This year again, he accounts for 40% of our league goals. Whereas none of our top 6 rivals have any player that accounts for more than 27% of their league goals.

    As you said, each to their own, and you can talk up our squad’s evolution all you want, but I just see a huge correlation between our higher league finishes in recent years and Kane’s goals. In other words, we are very reliant on one player, which is always a huge risk.

  • HT….having just ploughed my way through the pro’s and against posts my answer to whats yours from your earlier post is….a treble neat Woods Rum mmmm!

    My isn’t there so many different opinions regards the mighty Spurs and how they are doing this season, me! I am with the “we are doing well crew” simple as that.

    Chavski tomorrow….2nil win for Spurs. COYS

  • BS …. Worrying about what other teams are doing is pointless and will only give you ulcers. It seems better to focus on what Spurs are doing. And Spurs are doing well.

  • BS …. Just out of interest, where did you get the definition for ‘World class means top 10 in the world at his position’? Is that some kind of ‘official rule’ or just your personal idea?

  • Stats are great aint they?

    But there are all kinds of stats to use in an argument. But when it comes to scoring goals, if you win the match, who cares who got the winner?

    Of course Harry gets most of our goals. He is our main striker. Even so, so far this season Spurs have scored 20 PL goals and won 9 from 12 matches. Harry has scored 6 but in 5 matches out of those 12. So in half of our PL wins someone other than Harry has scored and/or scored the winner…. Stat good or, is stat bad?

    We know that in past seasons Dele, Son and Eriksen have been near the top of thee PL goalscoring charts with other attacking midfielders from the top clubs and scoring more than most PL strikers did. With Dele and Christian also up there with the best as far as assists are concerned… Is Stat good?

    Eriksen Son and Dele have all played in half or less PL matches so far. Harry has played in all.

    Lamela has only started 4 PL matches but has scored 4 goals. That is a far better average than Harry. Good stat or bad stat?

  • This’ll probably seem pointless to a lot of you but I need to make a correction. Harry has scored 6 in 5 matches that we have won. So other scorers scored in the other 4 won matches, not quite in half of them…

    Like I said, our other usual, regular main scorers have not played in that many matches at all whereas Harry has played in them all. So pointing out to us that Harry’s percentage of goals is so much higher than the rest, really doesn’t say or mean that much at all. Which was my point.

    But seriously who cares? We are just one point behind Chelsea and could be above them and in 3rd place in just over 24 hours from now… I won’t give a damn if it’s Harry that scores all 6… (I mean 3)… Or if it’s Hugo that wins it with a lucky punt upfield that bounces off both posts and the crossbar onto the keepers arse and in! I don’t care if it’s a lucky deflection off the ref’s left elbow or in off a stray beachball or pigeon!

  • BS – All the players I mentioned have improved under Poch, whether it was 1, 2 or 3 seasons ago, which is my point – Wanyama prevented Dier from being in most starting XI a few seasons ago, while Dier also became an England player 2 years ago after being placed as a defensive mid. They showed their improvement and level they were capable of playing with form and fitness. Injuries appear to have since been the reason for any decline, which I don’t think is unreasonable to link together for Victor, while Dier has played a variety of different positions, which is likely to affect form.

    I’m a right footed attacking midfielder, currently playing left back for my club. Should I expect to play as good compared to my preferred position? Unlikely.

    Dele’s rise to starter and England player was unexpected for most, so I didn’t expect him to have the same exponential development as this would be quite unusual for a young player – management of expectations.

    If you believe that every player would reach a particular level then continue to play like that for 10 years I think you’re expecting the mask to come off and Messi to be revealed under it.

    I know you have no love for Lamela, but as pointed out, he’s got 4 goals in 4 games this season and was played a big part of our first CL qualifying season before a year long injury curtailed his development. That’s where context comes in – seeing what factors may have influenced said results.

    I do love hearing about trophies, and how it is the only other reason for players to want to stay.
    Maybe I’m going senile – could well be – but I’m sure many were stating that players wouldn’t stay unless we were in the CL, so that’d make it 3 reasons, not the 2 you have decided are the only factors.

    Are players more likely to stay at Spurs if they win a trophy or obtaining CL football? I think it’s the latter.

    Lastly, if we’re going to use stats, let’s at least be accurate – 6 league goals of the 20 scored is 33.3% not the 40% you gave.

    It’s inaccuracies like this which could lead you to the conclusions you do, so I’d suggest being mindful.

  • 3 questions:

    Are players likely to stay for a trophy or CL football?

    Why did Juande Ramos get sacked from Spurs, being our last manager to win a trophy? In addition, would you prefer him to Poch?

    If context is important, should we even be competing with Utd, Chelsea, City, Liverpool or, dare I say it, the Goons, given the gap between their trophy history and current finances, or does that not matter for some reason?

  • Ossie …. Of course I do. I think everyone who’s played for Grimsby is a World Class player but I suppose we all have our different opinions on that. : – )

  • We’re all aboard the ‘Spurs Train’ on a never ending journey with regular station stops as we go along. The stops are ‘trophy opportunities’ and if one doesn’t climb aboard at one stop there’s always the next one. Because it never ends optimism is eternal. Look out of the window between stops and enjoy the view. What a journey!

  • I’m miserable this morning… It feels wintery in London and it’s pouring with rain…

    This wouldn’t normally have dampened my spirits when going to WHL but, it’s Wembley!

    I’m not going though so that’s all right… I just feel sorry for all those Chelsea fans. Wembley in the rain and the pain of losing to Spurs!

    Seriously though, this will probably be a tough call. My head says at least a score draw. My heart, (which I trust more), says a well fought THFC win. So, I’m sticking with 3-1 to Tottenham.

    MP’s team today?

    Hugo Lloris
    Aurier Toby Jan/Foyth Davies
    Dier Winks
    Lucas Eriksen Dele
    Harry Kane

    Is Foyth rested enough since his late return from Argentina?
    Maybe it’s a little too soon for Jan? We’ll see… Dier with Toby? Wanyama or Sissoko with Winks? Llorente in for Harry?

    So, its Palace to mash Man U. Watford to win it v Liverpool. WHU to murder Man City!

    And… The Spurs go marching on…

    I feel better now.

  • its good to be back after that international tripe especially watching Ireland good god puke football thankfully we whipped the all blacks in rugby. 3 points tonight would go down lovely and I don’t mean the Guinness it won’t stop at 3 yum.we have to give massive credit to our squad they have got us to this position to this point but club record means nothing if we don’t push on from here starting tonight , arsenal game 6points from them two games really pushes us on.the team best equipped for Chelskie in my opinion and that’s available is loris,aurier,Toby,Jan,if fit,Davies, Three in middle of park to match Chelsea dier, winks,wanayma, attackers alli , Eriksen,harry subs gazz, foyth,kwp,lamela,sissoko,moura,son. Lots of pace to bring from bench.2-1 win harry with two goals

  • Chelsea have a stronger central midfield than us. Kante is a beast and Jorginho has completed 100 more passes than any other player in Europe, lets face it, we would happily have them both at Spurs in a heatbeart. Wanyama and Dier have been average, Dembele out of contract soon and injury prone. The positive is Winks has been very good since coming back. We 100% should focus our transfer targets on this position.

  • I wouls also like to add we are at our full quota (17) amount of overseas players and will need to make room for any other signings that are not classed as homegrown. Time to sell the likes of Llorente and Nkoudou who are really offering nothing and sign some players in the positions we need.

  • Today’s match is on national television in the U.S. Not cable, but over-the-air and cable. At 12:30 EST. NBC.

  • #THFC: Lloris (C), Aurier, Alderweireld, Foyth, Davies, Dier, Sissoko, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYS

    Subs: Gazza Vert KW-P Winks Lamela Lucas Llorente.

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