Thoughts from Tottenham’s Premier League Victory over Everton

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Tottenham is definitely the best of the rest after their win against Everton. They are way behind of Chelsea to deny them the title but Tottenham are evolving as one of the best team out of the rest. They are seven points behind their London rivals after the 3-2 victory against Everton at White Hart Lane. The difference will be the same until Antonio Conte’s squad face West Ham on Monday.
This was not their complete performance and they have made it more difficult for themselves than it should have been in the closing stages. It took a difficult turn after Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia pulled goals back for Everton but an amazing brace from Harry Kane along with a delicious late flick from Dele Alli was enough to seal the points for Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
Kane scored his 19th goal of the season which made him the Premier League top goal scorer. He ascended to the top leaving behind Alexis Sanchez and Lukaku and he scored his 15th goal in the last 13 games that he played. It is impossible to deny the fact the Kane is one of the best strikers in the world.
Tottenham took the lead after 20 minutes of the match when Kane was given time and space around 25 yards from goal. He was not allowed to shoot much in the Everton defence but he accepted to shoot low with power. Everton goalkeeper couldn’t save it and Spurs took the lead.
For the next 10 minutes Spurs dominated possession and they could have scored another goal but they did not and Everton were slightly better in the next half without threatening Hugo Lloris’ goal excessively.
Tottenham showed a different side after the break and asserted themselves effectively. They doubled their lead after 55 minutes when Everton was on the slumbering side. Robles passed the ball to Morgan who must not have been warned about Dembele and Alli shaped danger. The combination of two resulted into a careless pass from Scheiderlin. The ball then fell to Kane and he placed it to the bottom corner effortlessly.
Everton was back into the game in the last 10 minutes. But Spurs got a free kick on the left of the area. Harry Winks dinked into the area before Alli slipped in between some absent minded defenders and flicked boldly into the corner of the net. Valencia’s score for Everton was not enough to snatch a draw.
Eriksen is an underrated player but he is smart and not lazy. He is a curious player and a key cog in Tottenham’s side. He has 10 assists this season and nobody has more in the Premier League. He has scored five goals which is a respectable number for a midfielder from 26 games. It is not easy to become a key member of Mauricio Pochettino’s team by being lazy. Eriksen does all that but in a slightly less obvious manner.
Eriksen just chooses his moments to be aggressive unlike other more obvious all-action midfielders. He told in his interview last year that you don’t need to run if you are smart enough and that’s how he is- Never lazy, always smart.

Pochettino questions the Readiness of Tottenham to win Title

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Mauricio Pochettion thinks that Tottenham is not ready to win a title and they need to build themselves in the summer. In the beginning of the month they were hunting three fronts this season but they slipped up in the Premier League. After the defeat against Gent in Europa League, the Spurs are now down to one.

The FA Cup is also full of hurdles. If they overcome Millwall in the quarter finals, Tottenham still have to defeat two of the league’s top six in order to put an end to their wait for the silverware. Pochettino’s squad may have to chase for a place in the top four that will resume on Sunday at home to the ninth placed Stoke.

Pochettino and his players need to work a lot more in order to achieve something that Tottenham never did before. Pochettino believes that the expectations have been pushed higher this season as they had finished second, third in the league last season. But he thinks that the Spurs are not ready for a win yet. They need to build a strong foundation first.

The most important thing for him is the club and he also said that their chairman has built the foundation. They have new facilities on the ground and new stadium in order to build a better and stronger and bigger club.

They need patience to work hard and to build a stronger team with addition of players that can achieve the goals. Tottenham cannot compete with the clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City in the transfer market as they have restricted spending power due to the construction of new stadium.

Pochettino has maintained the same set of players this season and Victor Wanyama was the only new addition from last summer to have made a positive impression, whereas, Vincent Janssent, Moussa Sissoko and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou were all seen struggling.

Pochettino believes that football is more about quality and being clever. He said that they need to add quality to the team in order to improve. This is not the right time to talk and Tottenham needs to find quality players with the right profile to play for the club. Tottenham will be without Danny Rose and Erik Lamela due to their injuries.

Mark Hughes said that he cannot rule out Stoke being thumped by Tottenham once again. But the Potters boss is confident about his players and he thinks that his players are in a better shape now than the last time both the teams met in terms of their chances to score a positive result against Tottenham.

Stoke have been defeated by 4-0 by the Spurs in their last two meetings. The recent one was in September during a sequence in which Hughes’ team failed to win any of their opening premier league games of the season.

They bagged three victories in this weekend’s clash at White Hart Lane. Hughes said that his team has improved a lot after the game in September. He is hoping for a positive result for his side this time. He said that his team his ready to shine bright and sharp. Xherdan Shaqiri is all set to come back to Stoke’s matchday squad after missing the last three matches due to calf injury.

 

Pochettino says the team selections are not to blame for dip in form

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Mauricio Pochettino said that the team selections are no to blame for the slouch in Tottenham’s performance. But he said that Vincent Janssen needs to perform better in the trainings if he wants to grab a place in the squad.

Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Belgian side KAA Gent on Thursday was the fourth match for the team without any goal or win from open play. Pochettino resisted the temptation of rotating his squad for the Europa League round-of-32 first leg in Belgium. Only two changes were made in the team after the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool in the league but the outcome was alike.

The Spurs manager needs to address the fall ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round match at Fulham and also the return leg with Gent at Wembley on Thursday. But Pochettino believes in restoring the spirit of the team rather than making any changes in the team.

After Thursday’s match Pochettino said that it is time to try and bring back the spirit of the team and the same feeling as before Liverpool. He said that he is not happy and he is not upset either. Things go up and down at times and this is the time for everyone to come together and make the changes required for the squad.

He believes that it is not about changing the lineup of the team but it is about the spirit of the team. They have been a different team against Liverpool and a different one in their last match but at the end it was a defeat for Tottenham in both the games.

Rotating the squad does not change the end results and the players are to be blamed for it. It affects the entire team if the result is not in their favour. Pochettino mentioned that it is really difficult in England as the competition is very tough. There is Premier League, Champions League and the Europa League so he thinks that it will be a risk to play them on Sunday as the players are not fresh at the moment.

He said that the intension is to give opportunity to all the players. When you play for three matches it becomes difficult to maintain the fitness level. Striker Janssen along with Son Heung-Min and George Kevin-Nkoudou were left out of the matchday squad in Gent.

Janssen is yet to score for Tottenham from open play. Pochettino said that he needs to show more for the team. He may have the opportunity to be on the bench or play from Sunday. Their performance is based on the quality and belief they show in the training grounds. The Spurs manager said that the selection of the starting XI and the bench needs to be fair and Janssen is yet to show his skills completely.

Pochettino talked about Moussa Sissoko last November and said that he needs to work harder to be in the team. Janssen is the second summer signing with the same remarks. Danny Rose and Erik Lamela would not be included in Pochettino’s squad against Fulham due to their injuries. Jan Vertonghen started his full training on Friday and is expected to play some role for the team soon.

Liverpool returns to winning with Sadio Mane at the Forefront

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Liverpool returns to form with a 2-0 win against Tottenham on Saturday. They reignited their top-four challenge with a victorious score of 2-0 at Anfield. In the first half of the game Sadio scored twice which showed amazing pace and movement from Klopp’s side.

The Spurs were unable to find a foothold in the match and Liverpool’s defence was difficult to be troubled by Pochettino’s team. The title dream for Tottenham ended at Merseyside night. Dele Alli and Harry Kane were seen struggling to make an impact in the Saturday’s match.

Liverpool had a terrible start to the year but with this win they showed their 2016 form of playing. They approached the game with a pace starting from the kickoff which was difficult for the opposition to live with. The Spurs defence seemed confused and breathless after the opening exchanges and within the 20th minute the game was efficiently over.

Mane scored his opening goal after 16 minutes and it was already a warning for the Spurs. They knew where it was coming from and should have dropped their midfield deeper to recompense. The front four of Liverpool were across the centre of the park and Mane took the advantage.

Tottenham was not yet out of the shock when the lead was doubled and Eric was robbed by Mane. By that time there were red shirts everywhere. Within the next few minutes Mane could have made it a hat trick as Wijnaldum set him free again. But the shot went wide and then the 24 year old put forward an effort wide from the corner of the box.

Liverpool seemed to have more scope in the match and Pochettino looked powerless to find a solution for his team’s miseries. Tottenham manager changed the shape of the team after half-time but the Spurs were unable to trouble the hosts. Klopp’s team were less perceptive in the second half but they were still more dangerous.

Five yellow cards were awarded to Tottenham and Liverpool was back in their form. Spurs reflected a poor performance. Liverpool had a bad start due to Mane’s absence and his return was eagerly anticipated. He proved in the match against Tottenham that why he was missed so much.

It is not about the number of goals but Mane’s movement creates a space that allows the forward line to play in dangerous places. Mane’s presence helps Coutinho to get higher up the pitch. Klopp’s side was full of energy right from the beginning which was missing in the past few weeks. They created dangerous situation in the first 10 minutes of the game, even before the first goal by Mane.

Liverpool have struggled with the teams that stack their defence. But it was unbelievable that Tottenham would provide so much opportunity to their opponent. Dier was not in his most effective role and Jan Vertonghen’s presence was missed.

Pochettino changed the shape of the team into a diamond in the second half but there was little consistency for Tottenham in the centre of the park. Pochettino need three or four more players for a serious title challenge. He also needs to build a clear vision about dealing with teams such as Liverpool. The players and Manager are still on a steep learning curve at White Hart Lane.

 

Tottenham’s best need not leave the club for title glory

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London.

If there were any suggestions made that the Hotspur’s best players need not to leave the club in search of glory in the Premier League era and the period back to the departure of Bill Nicholson in 1974, it would have been considered as unintelligent.

Spurs have been at a loss in the last 10 years as they have lost the likes of Gareth Bale, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Carrick and Luka Modric both at home and outside the country.

But with the transfer window being shut, their major asset has made an announcement this January saying that anyone who wants to leave the White Heart now will be stupid to do so and it’s hard to disagree.

Harry kane said that he would be surprised to see any of his team mates leave right now as something is happening in the club currently. They just need to take the final step of winning trophies.

They have got one of the best coaches in the world. They are also going to have a new stadium soon and the future looks bright. The stadium will give a lift to Tottenham and boost their confidence like the English Clubs to start every season with the belief that they can win the title.

The prices of the corporate and VIP facilities will make the ordinary season tickets look like pocket money treats. But money is not the most important thing. It is all about having a good team and Tottenham have one. Most of them have signed new contracts. Europe’s best goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris along with Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Christian Eriksen, all of them are staying in the team. The jewel in the crown, Harry Kane is signed up until 2022.

They have Mauricio Pochettino as their manager. Pochettino gave chance to Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Emmanuel Adebayor to prove themselves and when they failed to meet his standards, he gave chance to the youngsters.  It took a lot of courage but now he has built a team that understands their responsibilities as players. Their hard work paid off against Manchester City earlier in the season and they were breathtaking against West Bromwich Albion a fortnight ago.

They have a considerable distance to cover and it was seen in their Champions league exit and the run of one win in 10 alongside Kane’s absence due to his injury. Arsenal can flip between Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud up front and Manchester City have Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. For Chelsea there are Diego Costa and Eden Hazard while Zlatan and Marcus Rashford are there for Manchester United. But the Spurs are beholden to Kane as Vincent Janssen has been disappointing in the up front.

There are fears that Pochettino might leave the club and he might be lured back to Spain by Barcelona or Real Madrid. But he declared last week that he could stay in England for another 20 years. He might be able to build the club in his own image like Arsene Wenger did.

Pochettino has the chance to follow those achievements. It is not going to be easy and there is a huge gap between potential and reality but the obstacles are not there anymore which were holding back his predecessors. The team is strong and the facilities are good. The stadium will generate huge revenues and their most important player has declared that if you are looking for success then there is no need to leave Tottenham.