Date: 27th November 2018 at 8:52am
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When Tottenham signed Sissoko there were very conflicting opinions about the transfer among supporters. There were conflicting opinions between Newcastle supporters about him leaving, and there were conflicting opinions between Tottenham supporters about him arriving.

Sissoko arrived at Tottenham for the start of the 16-17 season. He came with a fairly useful reputation having previously played for his national team at all levels. His attributes were his strength, speed, and ability to play as a box-to-box midfielder in both a holding and attacking capacity. He has never been a prolific goal scorer.

Moussa Sissoko is now in his third season at Tottenham and it’s fair to say that things have not gone well for him. By the start of the current season the conflicting opinions among Tottenham supporters in terms of Sissoko’s usefulness to the playing squad was no longer ‘conflicting’. The majority of supporters felt that he had nothing to offer the club.

Sissoko’s performances during his first two seasons were generally ‘poor’ at best, and ‘woeful’ at worst. There were few signs of the football skills that elevated him to international level. His ball control was erratic, as was his passing. His decision making was also poor. It was common for supporters to comment that, when he was on the park, Spurs were playing with ten men. There was little sign of a dynamic ‘box-to-box’ midfielder and little sign that he was particularly interested in exerting himself in the manner desired by his manager. Quite simply, the consensus was …. he had to go!

But he stayed. Not only that, but he was given greater time on the park. Pochettino was criticised for playing him. What was he thinking? But as this season has progressed so has Sissoko’s game. He was starting to play well, to contribute in a positive way. He was catching the eye. His energy level increased, as did his work-rate. He was useful! After thirteen games (a significant amount on which to base a players performance) there are no longer groans from supporters when his name is announced on the team-sheet.

Perhaps he never felt part of the Tottenham set-up. Perhaps he felt unloved and unwanted …. especially if he’d read any comments on VS, some of them coming from me. But suddenly there seemed to be a spark to his game. The spark has become brighter as the games have come along. This season, Sissoko has not looked out of place in the Spurs team.

During the 3-1 win over Chelsea, Sissoko displayed all of his strengths and showed exactly what he is capable of. And the fact is, he was absolutely brilliant and a major factor in the team’s spectacular performance. Now we are all left with the question mark in terms of Moussa’s future worth as a Tottenham player. Has the ‘conflict’ of opinions returned? Has he earned more trust from supporters and does he deserve more time to demonstrate he can perform consistently at the required level?

The answer to this will be indicated by VS comments appearing on this thread. I believe he should stay.

 

38 Replies to “Tottenham: The Demise, Rise, And Surprise Of Sissoko!”

  • Not only sissoko must stay but Toby and dembele.these three players are great.rather than letting go,spurs need not any new faces because I bielieve the squad is perfect.the rise of academy players alone will help.no new faces please just make sure no one leaves even Fernando

  • I was one of the few Spurs fans who was excited at Sissoko’s arrival at first. I thought we were getting a talented, albeit difficult to motivate player. I thought moving to a bigger club would get him going, with MP’s help. The CL, the big games, etc. were going to work wonders.

    What I saw in the next 2-3 years is in fact the exact opposite of what I though we were getting: a player who seemed to work hard enough in games, but who seemed to lack basic footballing skills. Poor touch, poor control, poor passing, poor vision – in fact only his undoubted strength and stamina were on display consistently.

    Over that time, I grew disillusioned to the point of concluding that Sissoko was in fact not good enough for a top 6 club. And then this happens.

    He’s finally impacting games.

    It’s very hard to know what to think. Is this him finally turning a corner, or is this just a small purple patch before him regressing back to what he has shown during most of his Spurs career?

    As someone who likes to look at the bigger picture, I have to conclude that his Spurs career as a whole has been far from successful, and if I had to decide now, I’d still probably conclude that we should move on. However, I suppose it’s healthy to keep an open mind, and at least consider the possibility that he might be a good player for us consistently, going forward.

    What I will say is this: it took me several months to “give up” on the possibility that he’d come good for us, and similarly, he’ll have to keep this up for a while longer before he convinces me that’s he’s worthy of a squad place. 6 good games don’t erase several seasons of mediocrity.

    But at the very least, I suppose he has to be praised for the last few games, so credit where it is due.

  • At the moment its not really a question. Dembele’s body is falling apart, you aren’t going to get much more from him. That leaves Sissoko and Winks, players with very different attributes, to fill that progressive part of the midfield pivot with Dier and Wanyama (if he ever gets fully fit) filling the defensive slot. Its up to Poch to try and use the right player in the right game. As long as we are playing twice a week he’ll certainly need both of them. So far Sissoko’s like a player reborn and we would have a major problem without him.

  • jod….”we would have a major problem without him” never a truer word sad in jest.

    To be honest I love the way he roams/marauds around the pitch like a predator looking for his next victim who he can attack now, lol. COYS

  • I stuck by Sissoko all of this time. Not because I thought he was an outstanding player but because I could see him as being a very useful player for Pochettino to rely upon when needed. And he was, albeit, nothing special. But also nowhere near as bad as some folks were making out.

    Pochettino must have had good reason to stick by him and must have been okay with him and his overall contribution to the squad with his team ethic and obvious hard work. Otherwise he simply wouldn’t have played him as often as he did. In fact he would have been out of the club asap…

    Now Pochettino’s faith in him is really paying off. And I don’t think this is by luck or by chance…

  • I always thought his criticism was way over the top and was always been made as the scapegoat, and no doubt he will again when we next lose a game regardless if he plays. I think he should move on after this season, cant be easy playing for fans who really dont like or rate you.

  • Ossie …. I think football supporters are a fairly unforgiving mob everywhere. If he keeps performing like he did against Chelsea (and other games this season) he will find himself suddenly much-loved and start to feel he belongs here. He seems to get on pretty well with the rest of the squad, which much help him.

  • In the past few games the Spurs supporters have been singing his name loud and proud. And more loud than before v Chelsea… It’s the same tune as for Dembele. And that is always sung for him even when not playing. It means a lot that it is also now being sung out for Sissoko too…

  • I think it’s right to uphold players to a certain level of performance. Where I draw the line is when the abuse gets personal. Sadly that has been the case with Sissoko and everyone should condemn that. This being said, saying his performances were poor, and holding him accountable , is fair. Sometimes it’s a fine line.

    This being said, I thin the “in Poch we trust” has its limits. Poch has also had his say in players like Stambouli, N’Koudou and others coming in. I think MP deserves credit for getting it right most of the time, but nothing is fool proof.

  • True BS but he got rid of Stambouli and others quick enough. N’Koudou may still be around but has barely played… Maybe he will still get his chance, maybe not…

    But Sissoko has been a regular, for whatever reason… And I can honestly see why. Otherwise I would not have stuck by him for so long… I doubt that MP would have also if he was so incredibly poor… As the insults and downright hatred from a minority, (not necessarily the criticism, I’ll add), would suggest.

  • HT – You could also talk about the likes of Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente… Llorente still plays in the odd game, not necessarily because he has earned the right through great performances, but probably more because there is a massive shortage of alternatives at the position.

    I probably think there has been some of that with Sissoko. At certain times he’s been picked not because he really deserved it, but because he was available at a time when we were struggling with injuries (Wanyama, Demblé and Winks have all missed significant time). He hasn’t always grasped those chances when they came, but he has done so recently.

    He is now in contention for minutes not by lack of a proper alternative, but because he is actually deserving of those minutes. That is a welcome development and long may it last.

  • BS….I guess you could be right in your last post but at the same time I am with HT and his post regards Sissoko, though I do remember reading Poch saying how hard he trained everyday.

    Just keep putting your strength and size about Sissoko, most love ya! COYS

  • Moussa Sissoko is not a traditional Tottenham player. He is the footballing opposite of Glenn Hoddle. However it’s 2018 and he has the attributes required to play a significant role in this spurs team. He is a Pochettino player, and has been excellent, yes excellent, this season. I don’t see any reason why his performances should drop significantly now, as he knows his job and Poch has obviously made it as simple as possible for him. His positional play is very good now and he is playing within his capabilities (ie not shooting). Sissoko has demonstrated a lot of heart to become a spurs player, hasn’t been complaining or looking for a move. I think he should be revered for his attitude and resolve. Pochettino deserves our trust at this point, which is why while I don’t rate Eric Dier much I figure there must be a reason Pochettino likes him and that’s good enough for me. I’m sure Pochettino will get dier playing better like he did against Chelsea. While Sissoko has risen, I think it’s unlikely he will improve much more as he doesn’t have the technical skills to get a lot better. But he can do the graft and donkey work that someone has to do for this team, and I don’t know if we have anyone better at doing so. We loved steffen freund, now we should love the Mousse for the same reasons.

  • Yes sissoko has done very well this season. It all down to confidence in him from poch and moussa’s own self esteem getting stronger as a result of poch playing him in matches, and having he has the confidence to try some skills which were hidden from our views ! Now I hope we see why poch and levy paid £30m for him.

  • I’ve never understood why Sissoko played so poorly at Spurs. I remember watching him in the Euros with France playing so well–why couldn’t he play well with Spurs. Now he’s playing well with Spurs and I’m left wondering, why did it take so long for him to look good on the pitch wearing the Spurs kit? Still can’t make sense out of it.

  • One point reading some of these emails, Sissoko is not competing with Wanyama or Dier for a starting position. We play two distinct positions in our midfield pivot. One to cover the defence (Dier, Wanyama) and one to start the attacks (Dembele, Winks, Sissoko). So while Dembele and Winks were both out last season Sissoko had no competition, he was pretty much an automatic starter.

  • TK – “I’ve never understood why Sissoko played so poorly at Spurs. I remember watching him in the Euros with France playing so well–why couldn’t he play well with Spurs. Now he’s playing well with Spurs and I’m left wondering, why did it take so long for him to look good on the pitch wearing the Spurs kit? Still can’t make sense out of it.”

    You have pretty much summed up what most Spurs fans were thinking. I’ll even add the few imperial games he played for Newcastle too – I remember a game that he bossed against Man U, which I believed finished 3-3, in which he scored 2 great goals. You cannot do that and be totally worthless.

    Why it has taken this long to see good performance I will never know. And given the truly horrible games he has played, I am still reluctant to trust him fully just yet. But he’s finding some form at a good time. He has a knack for timing, I will give him that.

  • Of course for those fans who need someone to hate its going to be a problem not being able to throw abuse at Sissoko anymore, they’ll need a replacement. So expect Ben Davies to come in for plenty of unjustified criticism over the next few months.

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