Tottenham Hotspur 20/21: WE SIGNED A STRIKER! (I mean, besides Alex Morgan)

Zososoxfan

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I don't buy that. Last year, the Athletic was pumping articles out about how OGS was a genius for figuring out a system that accommodated Rashford, Martial, Bruno, etc. I agree with that--once Bruno arrived, United hit another level and they couldn't stop scoring. the D still needed some work, but Bissaka had a terrific year, Maguire looked worth the fee, etc. So that only leaves a couple of major players on the pitch yesterday who represent a big difference--Bailly and Pogba.

As for Spurs, yesterday was fantastic, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Sanchez still gave away a bad pen, Aurier still wasn't hitting good crosses in, and most of the 2nd half should be taken with a red card's worth of salt. Spurs struggled to unlock 2 UEL prelim sides, couldn't bury Newcastle, and got run off the pitch by an admittedly resurgent Everton side before this. All the more recent results and performances are obviously encouraging, but let's not swing wildly from despair to elation, at least not this early. I'm as bullish as anyone on this team and I will absolutely give them credit for crushing United while they're down a man and down in form generally, but I'm also trying not to get carried away in October.
 

DJnVa

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I will absolutely give them credit for crushing United while they're down a man and down in form generally, but I'm also trying not to get carried away in October.
I think the difference is now the Spurs have pretty good depth, we should not get worn down. They can run out 22 different starters. You can quibble a bit with who is in each squad, but still:

3471534714
 

PedroSpecialK

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And that depth chart is missing Sissoko - assuming there are no outgoings today that's up there as likely the deepest overall squad in the prem.

With that in mind, having picked Doherty & Bergwijn somewhat early in FPL draft seems really dumb in hindsight
 

DJnVa

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Yeah, the person that posted the charts later admitted he forgot Sissoko.

There's a lot of mixing and matching we can do there.
 

DJnVa

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Gotta love deadline day:

--Gazzaniga possibly on loan to Everton.
--Eriksen offered back to Spurs, with Inter willing to pay 50% of wages.
--Rudiger still a possibility.
--Porto may want Rose to replaces Telles.
 

DJnVa

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Late talk about Joe Rodon, CB, from Swansea. They have until 10/16 to sign him though as he's an EFL player.
 

Kliq

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I dare to allow myself to feel some optimism. I'm still not sold on Jose show, and the wheels could come off at any moment, but right now there is a lot to like about how this season has gone.

Everton probably won the transfer window, but Spurs can be a close second. They upgraded both fullback spots with attack-minded players that have had success playing at the highest level. They got the elusive backup striker. They got a steady holding midfielder that has been very good so far (that Hojbjerg assist to Aurier yesterday was tremendous). Oh yeah, they also brought in a potentially world class winger on a sweetheart deal. The depth of the squad is so much better than last year, and while players like Davies, Winks, Aurier, Lamela, etc. have their faults, they are useful to have when you are playing in four different competitions throughout the season.

Perhaps more importantly than any of the new signings has been that it appears Ndombele has worked himself back into the first team and looks more like the player Tottenham thought they were going to get when they signed him to a record free. Ndombele is the theoretical player that could solve most of their problems if he can just stay fit and on Jose's good side.

The thing that does appear to be breaking for Spurs is that the league is more open than most people imagined. Liverpool may not be as good as they were last year; Man City are definitely not. Manchester United and Chelsea still have huge question marks and are off to slow starts. The larger mid-table clubs (Everton, Villa, West Ham) look better but probably won't keep up this pace. Finishing in the Top 4 felt like a pipedream at the start of the season but seems like a real outcome right now. With this kind of depth they also appear to be a favorite to win Europa League (Oddschecker as them below Arsenal and tied with AC Milan for the second-best odds) which would be huge for the club.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I was full-on ready to go Erik Lamela "My friend, we can win the league!" yesterday before Villa beat Liverpool even more severely than Spurs beat United.

I have since retreated to the saner, safer ground of "Spurs look like a more complete squad than I've seen them in a half decade and also it is going to be a very weird season".

I do look at every team in the preseason consensus pick Top-4 and, depending on whether Liverpool have blipped or fallen off, which of them has a defense that is much better than mediocre? Spurs are not drastically better, but I dunno whose CB situation I'd swap Spurs for apart from Liverpool assuming VVD recovers form.
 

DJnVa

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Spurs still after Rodon. To be eligible for Europa League, they need him by close of business today, but have until next Friday to bring him in for other competitions.
 

Kliq

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I feel like one American player out there would look like prime Michael Jordan.
IDK, some of those jumpers were pretty suspect but considering they were fucking around with the a basketball on a turf field, I was impressed by the Bale/CCV team. Having no basis for this except for that video and knowing his background, I'd imagine CCV might be the best basketball player in the EPL. I believe David De Gea is quite good, though.

I'm fascinated by watching professional athletes play others sports and will watch almost any YouTube video featuring that.
 

DJnVa

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Lo Celso gets day off, no Dier, Dele, or Lamela either.

Bale on bench, along with the new striker Vinicius. Bergwijn gets the start out wide.
 

Kliq

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Not sure how many people caught the Europa game this week, but Vinicius started and made some really nice plays. He set up the first goal with a well-timed pass to Lucas that made it look like they have been playing together for years. On the second goal, it was his run into the box that Bale was looking for that would have been a tap in if the LASK defender didn't turn it into his own net. On the third goal he picked up his second assist, a really savvy header on a ball from Doherty to set up Son 1 v 1 with the goalkeeper.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Saw the whole match. Son clinical again with the second goal but Vinicius was the MoM for me.

Mo has a great second wave of subs now, with Vinicius, Moura, Bergwijn, etc. The depth on this team is pretty impressive.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Ugly 3 points. Kane saved us at both ends.
Along with Dele not making the squad, neither did Davinson, Serge, Bergwijn or Gedson (meh).
 

Gunfighter 09

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I’d like to report an alien abduction:

View: https://twitter.com/footballdaily/status/1320853367535665153?s=21


It’s a link to José starting his answer to the question “how do you explain Son & Kane’s great play together?" with “ to start you have to credit Mauricio”
That was ugly, and the step down from Regulion /Aurier to Davies / Doherty seems really steep, but nice to get a crappy 1-0 road win for a change.
 
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DJnVa

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Doherty seemed fine to me, but Reguilon to Davies is like Formula One racecar to Yugo.

The rest just seemed like one of those games that you take the points and get out of town. Spurs now have best GD in the league.
 

Zososoxfan

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Yeah I mean if this team is really going to challenge for the title, they just needs points week in and week out. It's not always going to be a 6-2 drubbing of a top 6 side--3 points @Tuf Moor after a Thursday UEL game is fine by me no matter what.
 

DJnVa

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And now a Thursday Europa game where Reguilon, Aurier, Vinicius, Sanchez, Bale, and Bergwijn etc. didn't have to play and Lo Celso only went 20 minutes.

EDIT: I don't think Moura was all that good today.
 

coremiller

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A dud of a game, but Spurs snatch 3 points at Burnley by nicking a goal off a corner. Very few chances either way. Burnley's only real chance was a header from a corner that Kane cleared off the line.

The victory takes Spurs into 5th on 11 points, only two points out of 1st. The four dropped points at home to Newcastle and West Ham loom large. After losing the first game of the season against Everton, Spurs have a 10-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, with 8 wins and the two home draws where they blew leads in injury time in bizarre circumstances.

The next two league fixtures are Brighton and West Brom. Six points are a must, because after that is the hardest stretch of the season: City. Chelesa, Arsenal, Palace, Liverpool, Leicester, Wolves

And now a Thursday Europa game where Reguilon, Aurier, Vinicius, Sanchez, Bale, and Bergwijn etc. didn't have to play and Lo Celso only went 20 minutes.

EDIT: I don't think Moura was all that good today.
Moura was awful. I don't think he should have played, this was a game that where they needed more vision and technical ability and Moura doesn't offer those things. The attack looked significantly more fluid after Lamela came on (and Lamela is hardly KDB, but he's better than Moura).
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I’d like to report an alien abduction:
The chemistry between Kane and Son has been unreal, obviously. This clip went viral a bit yesterday:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH3JnlOUk0o


Son is just as happy for Kane to get an assist as he was for his own goal. With the rumors of a new contract for Son, hope these two play together for a long, long time. They're certainly on a pace to break the Premier League record for most combined goals between two teammates:

View: https://twitter.com/OptaJoe/status/1320842902025752576
 

coremiller

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A dull but effective performance against Brighton. They looked good early but sat on the lead after going 1-0 up. This was influenced by Brighton's tactics, which were to play a lot of midfielders but no strikers. That meant Brighton always had numbers to effectively press Spurs in midfield and then to keep possession but no real way to convert that possession into attacking chances -- which is basically what happened. Brighton had 57% possession but only six shots and only .3 xG, and that includes their goal which obviously should not have counted.

Spurs did well to get back on the front foot once Brighton equalized, and it was great to see Bale score. They then effectively killed the game off at 2-1, Brighton never really looked like equalizing, which was a nice change of pace from the Newcastle and West Ham debacles.

Second place in the table after 7 games, only two points off 1st but only 4 points ahead of 13th and still with a lot of room to improve. I'm still hoping that one of these days Mou will play Ndombele and Lo Celso at the same time. A front 3 of Son/Kane/Bale with Ndombele/Lo Celso in front of Hojbjerg cleaning up the mess could be a ton of fun.
 

Merkle's Boner

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A dull but effective performance against Brighton. They looked good early but sat on the lead after going 1-0 up. This was influenced by Brighton's tactics, which were to play a lot of midfielders but no strikers. That meant Brighton always had numbers to effectively press Spurs in midfield and then to keep possession but no real way to convert that possession into attacking chances -- which is basically what happened. Brighton had 57% possession but only six shots and only .3 xG, and that includes their goal which obviously should not have counted.

Spurs did well to get back on the front foot once Brighton equalized, and it was great to see Bale score. They then effectively killed the game off at 2-1, Brighton never really looked like equalizing, which was a nice change of pace from the Newcastle and West Ham debacles.

Second place in the table after 7 games, only two points off 1st but only 4 points ahead of 13th and still with a lot of room to improve. I'm still hoping that one of these days Mou will play Ndombele and Lo Celso at the same time. A front 3 of Son/Kane/Bale with Ndombele/Lo Celso in front of Hojbjerg cleaning up the mess could be a ton of fun.
Agree with this. I'm sick of seeing Sissoko and Hojbjerg on the pitch together, especially against inferior teams. It felt like Spurs had no one to control midfield once they gained possession yesterday.
 

Kliq

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Spurs are now third following Leicester's win over Leeds, but they remain first in goal differential. At this point, there is no reason to think that this team cannot qualify for Champions League next season, if not compete for the league. The league still feels wide-open, especially with City looking pretty rough (10th with a game in hand, a goal differential of +1). The key thing about Tottenham right now is their depth. They have been lucky so far injury-wise, and they seem to have a great array of attacking talent to plug in, as well as plenty of midfielders that can play in multiple spots. The play at CB remains a concern, although I must admit Dier has held up better than I expected this season.

They lead the league in goals and I think we can attribute that to two things:

1. Improved play from the fullback positions, particularly with Reguilon. As we saw in the Europa League set back to Antwerp, the team struggles to score with Aurier and Davies as the main fullbacks, even with first team talent sharing the field. Teams are comfortable vacating the wings at the back and daring Aurier/Davies to hit a good ball into the box. That can't happen with Doherty and Reguilon, and Reguilon has already shown his class a number of teams creating chances from the wing that were not there previously. That kind of threat also opens up the rest of the field for further efforts coming from central midfield.

2. The use of Kane; having him drop back further. Logically, this makes perfect sense. He doesn't have the speed to terrify defenses the way some strikers do, so he isn't as much use standing at the top of the pyramid and waiting for service. Due to his strength and craftiness, he can win contested balls in the midfield, and that combined with his underrated vision and his chemistry with Son, has opened up this new form of counter attack for Tottenham that has been devastating so far. I'm interested to see what kind of chemistry he can develop with Bale, as putting Bale on the wing opposite Son, with Kane in the middle, is the stuff of fantasies. I also think this has helped keep Son engaged. In the past, Son would go through hot streaks of phenomenal play, but also go through cold streaks where he would fail to score for six or seven games in a row. I think moving Kane further back has encouraged him to make more runs into different parts of the field, and he has been rewarded tremendously for his effort.
 

DJnVa

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...this was a devastating counter-attacking display. The sort of performance Mourinho’s first Chelsea team used to produce, where they would invite pressure and then suddenly spring into life on the break. That Chelsea team won back-to-back Premier League titles, incidentally.

A decade and a half on, Mourinho’s Spurs side look to be on a comparable journey — top of the table post-match and with a genuine chance of still being there in May.