Date: 31st July 2017 at 1:01pm
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After the City game, some of Poch’s quotes…

‘It’s true the squads are completely different but we are building the squad. Maybe today they have a little bit of an advantage, they are ahead of us because they have signed and kept the players that they want.’

‘We are a little bit behind but working hard to sign some players who can help us and bring some energy, and make us more competitive.’

‘It’s not trying to justify, for me they were better, but our main players 14 days ago started training and it’s very difficult to get fit if you only focus on playing games.’

‘We pushed a lot to train to train and develop our physical condition. Yesterday it was a tough training session and we knew it would be difficult to compete with City, who have a lot of quality.’

It raises the following questions for me:

Players started training 14 days ago!…

What’s the norm for return to work after summer break? Most didn’t have any international games to contend with. Did City players return to training a month ago?

Behind on signings…

Did our scouting team not identify suitable players? Were we relying on academy promotions? Or did we think that we had made it and there was no need to add? Is it really a cost/salary issue?

So, 14 days is obviously not enough to train and build fitness which means any signings will certainly not be ready for the start of the season.

We were only ‘calm’ about the TW just one week ago. Now we are ‘behind’. Are we likely to hit a ‘desperation’ mode? We know what we did last summer! Sounds like a horror movie!

Questions, questions….?COYS

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98 Replies to “We Are A Bit Behind”

  • Well there certainly is enough drama in the article to make it a horror movie… I joke, I joke. Poch drills his players harder than anyone else and works them harder than anyone other team through the season so he probably gave them a longer brake to fully recuperate. I said on the previous that fitness is our aim at the moment and slick passing football will be Pep’s. It is why City will start strong (in good playing conditions) and suffer through the winter months (when fitness and resolve are more important than tiki taka)… as they did last season. Regarding the transfer window, the only players that go early (and is the case every window) are the players that command high fee’s (Morata, Lukaku etc.). Yes we are a little behind, but that is only because Chelsea, City and Man U pay what ever in both fees and wages. I understand the frustration. However, we have an exceptional starting 11. I would very much like to see us add Barkley and Mahrez in this window.

  • Chelsea – Losing Costa, how will that impact upon the team? Man United – Woefully boring and poor last season, have they really improved that much… Is Lukaku actually going to be better than Ibra? A lot of their attacking players regressed under Mourinho? Arsenal – Signed a very good player in Lacazzete, they still need a lot more in midfield and defence. Everton – Losing their two best players… they can spend all they want, I will be surprised if they make top 10. Man City – a whirl wind of change and can Pep crack the premier league? There are far more questions surrounding our rivals than us…

  • And i forgot Liverpool – Amazing against the top 5, clueless in breaking down well organised teams who sit deep. Has Klop figured out a way yet? Will they improve their defence?

  • I am very much in agreement with your thoughts. Saying we’re behind in both training and transfers is an excuse as MCity started their season at the same time.

    What’s worrying to me is that without Walker’s speed, the right side has looked much more susceptible to counters and looks easily exploitable. Neither Trippier nor Walkers Peters are going to be able to lock that side down against the stronger teams. If Toby plays right, we look better but he can’t play every single game and we’d also have a weaker middle.

    Even more troubling is that by getting into the transfer window late, you battle for scraps and run the risk of getting Sissoko’ed. Levy/Poch may pull a rabbit or two out of the hat, but are they going to be game changers?

    Overall, I know I’m sort of claiming “the sky is falling”, but after 3 games I have enough to support that Spurs have several holes. They need another seasoned defender, either central or outside (Ben Gibson is my choice). They also need another strong playmaker who can be strong under pressure. N’Koudou may be part of the solution but adding Kovacic is my choice as I think Eriksen isn’t consistent enough in big games. Spurs don’t add anyone worthwhile, I’m almost certain we’re battling for 4th not the title.

  • I can’t believe anyone takes pre season results seriously. Over the years I’ve known brilliant pre seasons followed by dreadful starts to the season proper. Conversely I’ve seen us all over the place pre season yet come out of the blocks flying. Until you have had half a dozen competitive games you can’t draw any conclusions. Training regimes are different at different clubs. At one time Juventus used to deliberately have a light pre season and come into the league games slightly under cooked. The theory was that it was impossible to maintain maximum fitness for the whole season and they preferred to finish strong than start strong.

  • Pochettino must be Shillock Levy’s dream manager. He seems to share his “why spend a penny, when a halfpenny might do;” philosophy, he doesn’t rock the boat, even if deep down he must realise that we are passing up yet another opportunity to push on to the next level, as we did after our CL QF under HR. The only difference is that we haven’t sold the heart of this team, as we did then, not yet anyway, although there is still time. A blind man on a galloping horse can see we need a second striker ( if Jannson is the answer, it was a bloody silly question), an impact wide player, a competitor or selection option for Eriksen and/or Ali, and following the sale of Walker, a right back to compete with Trippier. You cant realistically compete on all 4 fronts I.e. PL, FA and LC, and the CL with only a quality first XI and a lack of bench quality in several positions in the side. Yes we have a few promising youngsters, the key word being promising, but are they really ready for the cut and thrust of trying to win trophies at top level. As is obvious if only some would admit it, this season will be even harder than last, with the Wembley factor, and the fact that rivals have used the window to deepen and improve their squads, whilst we have seen fit to stick rather than twist so far, with the season start imminent, although the window still has to the month end to go. We just might still sign one or two, but they won’t slot straight into the team or the system, taking at least a month to acclimatise, hopefully we won’t live to regret the lack of timely transfer activity.

  • As I remember City were on fire at the start of the last two seasons …. but they couldn’t sustain it. We started quite slowly both seasons but grew stronger as the seasons progressed. Different focus on pre-season? Different training methods? I don’t know. But the resulting positions in the table suggests we got something right. We won’t have an idea how this season will develop until we’re at least 10 games into the season. So many questions about every club will start to be answered by then. We can’t even make an accurate assessment on out TW business until it closes in another 4 weeks or so. The Barkley saga won’t go away. I’m starting to get the impression that Levy will take in down to the wire … but will get him in the end. I forecast three signings. Wishfull thinking?

  • I noticed that that woefully boring and poor Man Utd team of last season actually won 3 trophies, whilst we won none, just an observation.

  • No matter what some of you keept pouting like levy .our bench is weak and needs sorting… End of. All year to scout…
    Too many excuses.
    Do it and be done… Simples

  • jod, the article has not mentioned anything about taking pre-season results seriously. I am merely pointing out Poch’s comments and what they mean in the context of the transfer window and fitness in general.

  • Geof, I am trying to switch off from how well City played, how they started last two seasons, etc as I am only interested in what we are doing and may do. Purely taking Poch’s word in the interviews (and he chooses his words carefully), why are we behind?….and will it be resolved to Poch’s satisfaction or will be desperation time?

  • Why haven’t we signed anyone?
    BECAUSE WE HAVE A STADIUM TO PAY FOR. Levy said that this would not impact on our transfer business. If that is the case, then how exactly is the stadium being paid for? Loans have to be repaid and naming rights (which will only cover part of the cost) will not commence until the stadium is being built.
    Tony Pulis said last week that West Brom have to wait for the scraps before signing anyone. Daniel Levy has initiated that very same policy at Spurs (is that because of the stadium or is this just Levy being Levy) even though we have brought in £80m in transfer fees since we last brought a player. Small club mentality.
    We sold one of a small number of players with pace (Walker) to a direct rival strengthening the weakest position in their squad. If Walker really wanted to leave we should have said – you either go abroad or you stay. You don’t sell him to a rival.
    Hoping that our first eleven are even better than last year following a another year together is not a great strategy. The counter argument is that they may get complacent with no one to challenge them for a first team spot. Similarly, hoping that our rivals struggle because they have so many new players to settle in is wishful thinking. What if they all hit the ground running?
    We did have a great season last season, I accept that but there were still many weaknesses in the squad. We got three points from the other top seven teams away from home, we should be looking at ways to improve that, we clearly struggle against teams that press us – we need to find a way to counter this – we lack pace throughout the team and the squad is clearly not deep enough.
    IMO we need a pacy right back, some creativity in midfield to supplement Eriksen and a pacy attacking player. We may also need a centre half if Wimmer leaves.
    Last season was memorable but the complacency of the owners/manager is worrying. There is a lot of unrest on this site – I suspect this is nothing compared to how things will look on 1st September 2017.
    There is some good news though – Marcus Edwards new contract. LEt’s see if he gets game time this season.

  • DA – yes I have noticed that the stadium is half built. I just wish Levy would acknowledge that the stadium is impacting on our transfer business. Then at least we w0uld know where we stand.

  • Strange that Poch says ‘ they are ahead of us because they have signed and kept the players that they want. …

    Does that mean that Poch / Spurs have not ?

    We have only let one player go, perhaps seeing Walker outperform Trippier he sees a mistake.

  • Sissoko for right back? After all Antonio Valencia was shifted to right back by Alec Ferguson maybe its an option for Pochettino. Our previous £30000000 signings have not improved the team a lot. So I see no need to blow our money and wage structure to match Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea spending. They have deeper pockets anyway, until our new stadium is creating a sustainable income. I support Spurs, Pochettino and Levy come what may next season

  • At this time we have Wanyama not featuring because of his summer minor op. Son had a fracture in his arm whilst Rose has been a long term absentee and still hasn’t featured in pre-season. Then we have Lamela who is apparently training but nowhere near a return. We have lost Walker and also have confirmation that Pao Lopez will not be joining us and are therefore down to 2 senior keepers. Rather than worry about fitness and form, I think he’ll be more worried about keeping the ones he has available fit right now as the squad is looking threadbare.

    As for transfers, we are so late now that it doesn’t matter. No new signing would be available for the Juve game which means they won’t be walking out at St James Park in 2 weeks time. They’ve missed pre-season and some time to learn Poch’s philosophy so let’s use the whole of August to get the right ones in.

  • That’s not as daft as it sounds camper.Moses was brilliant for the Chavs last season at right back.so why not give Sissoko a go there? We may have to anyway if Trippier gets injured.I’m also expecting N’koudou to deputise at left back & Jannsen to take over in goal if Loris loses the will to live watching the defence fall apart.

  • Frank I genuinely don’t take your opinion all that seriously but to claim the charity shield as a trophy is up there mate! Stay positive 🙂

  • Critical, I read Poch’s comments as we are behind in football terms as we are focusing on conditioning and he absolutely hammered the squad the day before the City game.

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