Match Review, Tottenham vs Newcastle.

Match: Wednesday 17th December 2014.

Competition: Capital One Cup Quarter Final.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 4-0 Newcastle.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Bentaleb 18′, Chadli 46′, Kane 65 & Soldado 70′.

What a win! An extraordinary result and fantastic performance that has left a beautiful taste in Tottenham fans’ mouths. We have progressed to the Capital One Cup Semi Finals, and will face Sheffield United over two legs for a place at Wembley, which is what dreams are made of! Throughout the game, we were composed on the ball, efficient in our passing and clinical in our finishing. Benjamin Stambouli has hailed it as the perfect performance, and it really was. We were just as good off the ball as we were on the ball, though, and we tackled well, kept compact and were set up magnificently to nullify the Newcastle threat – especially form Moussa Sissoko. It was a performance that shows we are learning from mistakes, growing as a side, and also showed even without all of our best players out on the field, if we are set up correctly, limit our mistakes and introduce the kind of energy & enthusiasm we had then we can be quite successful. The opportunity to win a trophy is massive, now, Sheffield United are a League 1 side, and with the team we have we should be picking them off, especially after two legs. We avoided Chelsea and Liverpool and it really is the perfect draw – a day out at Wembley is brilliant in itself, and would give the club and the fans a real boost which is what we need at this moment in time. It’s a massive opportunity!

Focusing back on the game; in the first half, we started brightly, passed the ball well, and created some decent chances which could have easily been our first goal in the first 15 minutes. Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen all looking very lively. In the end though, the deadlock was broken by one Nabil Bentaleb, who poached his first ever goal for Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to a Christian Eriksen corner which was fumbled by the Newcastle ‘keeper Jak Alnwick, and Bentaleb was alert to pounce on his mistake and set Tottenham on the path to victory. Newcastle weren’t bad in the first half, they went close themselves to breaking even, but their finishing wasn’t crisp enough. Bursting runs from Moussa Sissoko were the main threat, and he forced Michel Vorm into a good save from outside the box. The Geordies were threatening, and it was obvious that another goal for Tottenham had to come to have any sense of comfort. 1-0 at the break, and very content with the performance, but last time Newcastle visited the Lane, that was the case, and they ran away 2-1 victors, so the fans, Pochettino and the players knew that an equally as fast start in the second half was necessary or history had the possibility of repeating itself.

And as the second half kicked off, we got what we wanted. We kept the ball, drowned out Newcastle’s early threat and looked comfortable and most importantly, focussed! And then our second goal was procured; Christian Eriksen being forced wide, and looking like the chance was dead, before he brilliantly found a reverse pass into the path of Nacer Chadli who controlled it, moved into a better shooting position and then picked his spot expertly form outside the box to double Tottenham’s lead and make it a much more comfortable scoreline. We were cruising into the semi-finals, and Newcastle didn’t seem to have the spark, clinical edge or collective quality to influence the game in the way they wanted. As time moved on, we got more comfortable and comfortable, on the ball and off of it. We were creating chances, finding space, passing the ball crisply and switching play very easily with both full backs high and Christian Eriksen involved in almost everything in the middle of the park. It was lovely to watch. The third goal was thanks to good play on the left hand side from Mousa Dembele, who held off a challenge and released the ball to Andros Townsend who’s quick, one touch pass found Harry Kane who got the better of the defender before expertly sliding the ball into the far right hand corner to put the game beyond doubt. 3-0, 65 minutes in. That was Kane’s final contribution to a wonderful performance as he was replaced by Roberto Soldado – who then quickly made his mark, as Christian Eriksen drove at the Newcastle back four and got his shot away which was poorly parried by Jak Alnwick, and fell into the path of Roberto Soldado, who adjusted his feet and easily poked the ball into the back of the net, in true poachers fashion. After that goal on the 70 minute mark, the game’s pace fizzled out and we had most of the ball, and looked relaxed in our position, even to the point where showboating was being cheered by the fans as Andros Townsend produced his latest back heel. Full time – and a fantastic victory which keeps the dream of silverware very much alive.

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There were great performances all over the field in this game. It was not our strongest team – but it shows the quality of the squad we have when we can bring in the likes of Michel Vorm, Vlad Chiriches, Andros Townsend and Benjamin Stambouli and they can perform like they did in this game. While first 11 players such as Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Nabil Bentaleb producing their best and it was great to see a team performance, and not relying on individual quality to pull us through. For me, Christian Eriksen was our stand out performer, in the centre of midfield he pulled the strings, kept the ball expertly, and was extremely effective on the ball, being involved in 3 of the 4 goals and moving the ball quickly in midfield. Christian seems to have once again found his top form, after an admittedly slow start to the season, he has found not only his goalscoring form, but his creative side is starting to come through and that’s incredibly important to the team. He’s a player that can win you games single handedly and I can’t wait to see him develop even further, as Jan Vertonghen says, he has the potential to become a Tottenham great. In the centre of midfield, I was incredibly impressed with the performances of Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Stambouli; they were energetic, enthusiastic and composed; which was exactly what we needed to nullify the threat of Moussa Sissoko, who in all honesty couldn’t get any rhythm to his game due to always being surrounded by Stambouli and Bentaleb. This partnership has to be given an opportunity to flourish in the Premier League, in my opinion. It has balance, and both players have potential to become very important for the future. In defence, we were solid throughout. And the partnership between Fazio and Vertonghen is starting to grow and grow, and they are starting to understand each other’s games and I think it looks the makings of a good combination. There’s also a need to mention the performance of Danny Rose, who I thought had a really good game, and is definitely rising to the task of winning his Premier League place back from Ben Davies, who has been equally as good.

A massive result! In arguably our biggest game of the season so far, we came out on top in emphatic style and booked a place in the Capital One Cup Semi-Finals, where we will face Sheffield United, and a chance to go to Wembley is on the horizon! Our next game is against Burnley at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Saturday, which is another big home game, which we need all three points! Join me on Twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs. Up the Spurs! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Newcastle at the Lane:
Vorm – 8.5
Chiriches – 7
Fazio – 7.5
Vertonghen – 8
Rose – 8
Stambouli – 8.5
Bentaleb – 8.5 (Capoue 81′ – 6)
Chadli – 8 (Dembele 61′ – 7)
Eriksen – 9 – Man of the Match.
Townsend – 7.5
Kane – 8.5. (Soldado 68′ – 7)

Mauricio Pochettino reacts to our 4-0 win over Newcastle:

Match highlights from our 4-0 win:

Match Review, Swansea City vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 14th December 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Liberty Stadium.

Result: Swansea 1-2 Tottenham.

Swansea goalscorer: Wilfried Bony 48′.

Tottenham goalscorers: Harry Kane 4′, Christian Eriksen 89′.

We’ve done it again! A last minute winner, away from home, and it feels brilliant every single time. After a disappointing performance overall, our individual quality has pulled us through and we have got a fantastic three points that was desperately needed after three poor results on the bounce. Now, we got a good win against Everton and couldn’t find consistency, and now we’ve got another win, another supposed confidence boost and the win that changes our fortune and our season. It’s up to the players to take this win and turn it in to a much needed run of form, because one result isn’t enough, we need to turn it into a run of 6 or 7 good results. But, every win is nice, and it’s important that we are keeping up with the teams ahead of us and now sit in a respectable 7th place, daring to look ahead of us at the top four. This gives us some nice momentum ahead of a massive game at White Hart Lane on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup quarter final against Newcastle.

In the first half, we started extremely well, scoring almost instantly from a corner in the 4th minute. Christian Eriksen whipping in a beautiful ball from the right hand side and Harry Kane leaped like the superhero he is, ahead of Angel Rangel and powered the ball past Tremmel to give us the perfect start. We then controlled the game in possession for around 20 minutes, before Swansea, who were slow to come out of the blocks, finally got their foot in the door and started to get more and more possession, and as a result, more chances fell to the Swans and the pressure grew and grew in the first half. Wilfried Bony’s killer touch was evading him, though, and despite looking lackadaisical in defence, we managed to hang on until the half time whistle, to the amazement of many. Our defending was incredibly poor, and the ball was so difficult to tame in midfield, and with the tackles flying in and the bookings flying out, it looked like the tide was turning in favour of the hosts.

The second half was a complete reverse of the first, Swansea were the team who came out fighting and quickly, and deservedly made the score even. Wayne Routledge spinning in a ball that was met by Wilfried Bony, who got a massive slice of luck as he made contact with the ball which then hit an unassuming Federico Fazio, and then fell straight back to the Ivorian, who composed himself and then slotted the ball into the net for 1-1. At this moment, it looked as though Swansea would take the initiative, and complete the come back. They had most of the possession, most of the chances, but we were still there, hanging in, digging in. We were lucky not to concede too many clear cut chances, and as time ticked on, it was still anyone’s game. Mauricio Pochettino freshened up the game, and brought in Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Benjamin Stambouli, and I think they all made a big difference. It was Stambouli’s tenacity that won the ball closing into the winning goal. Eriksen took a shot from quite a way out, which was parried by Tremmel, and then the ball wasn’t proberlu cleared after pressure from Harry Kane, and it fell into former Swansea player Ben Davies’ path, and he sped a ball into Christian Eriksen’s path, who had found an ounce of space, and had time to sort out his feet, shift the ball onto his right leg and then slashing the ball into the bottom of the net on the 89th minute to give us a much needed win, despite it most probably not being completely deserved! The finish was exquisite and an important three points was in the bag. Despite it not being the most remarkable performances of the season, it’s a remarkable result.

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There was one stand out performance from this game – Harry Kane, once again. It’s not just his goals, and he got another critical one, but it’s his general work rate, enthusiasm and ability on the ball, he is a driving force in our side and is without a doubt one of our most important for the rest of the season if he can continue to get the goals at important times in important matches. He’s becoming a force of nature! Harry Kane’s first goal was assisted by the match winner, Christian Eriksen, who has been improving and improving as the season goes on, and he’s produced another match winning, crucial goal that has saved our bacon. Not only is he creative, skillful and efficient on the ball, he is absolutely effective with his goals and finally an assist this Premier League season. His performance today over the 90 minutes wasn’t phenomenal, but he pops up in key areas at key times and can win you games – and that is priceless. Young Nabil Bentaleb has been fantastic since his return from injury, he seems to have such a mature head on his shoulders for someone who is only 20 years of age and in this game, I thought he was so composed, but also showed grit and determination when needed – he was certainly one of our better performers. On his return to Premier League action, Kyle Walker did look a little rusty as expected, but his performance overall against a lively Jefferson Montero was running at him was good, and hopefully he can push on and continue to improve and get sharpness towards his game. He’s a crucial player in our system who we need to be on form and fit.

What a good three points! Major room for improvement in the performance, but heading into a massive game against Newcastle on Wednesday, we have the perfect platform to try and create a run of results. To make it to the Semi-Final of the Capital One Cup would be brilliant. Our next Premier League game is on Saturday the 20th December at the Lane against a growing Burnley side. Another big game, coming thick and fast! Follow me on Twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Swansea at the Liberty:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7.5
Fazio – 5
Vertonghen – 6
Davies – 8
Mason – 6 (Stambouli 70′ – 7)
Bentaleb – 8.5
Lamela – 6 (Chadli 83′ – 6)
Eriksen – 9
Kane – 9 – Man of the Match.
Soldado – 5. (Dembele 56′ – 7)

Mauricio Pochettino’s press conference post Swansea win:

The goals from our 2-1 win over Swansea:

Kane & Eriksen post match interview:

Match Review, Chelsea vs Tottenham.

Match: Wednesday 3rd December 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Stamford Bridge.

Result: Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham.

Chelsea goalscorers: Hazard 19′, Drogba 22′ & Remy 73′.

It’s disappointing. We didn’t play badly, but we were expertly picked off by an exquisite Chelsea side. Probably the best we have faced in recent times. Even though they are quite brilliant, which is hard to admit, we should never lose three goals to nil to any side. There are always ways to stop goals, and we made mistakes leading to Chelsea’s 3 goals, but a top team take any half chances that come their way and Chelsea punished us and in 4 minutes, with one lapse in concentration from Aaron Lennon and Vlad Chiriches, and then a poor Hugo Lloris clearance and then a lack of strength from Jan Vertonghen and again we were punished. Ruthless stuff from what we have to admit is a superior team. I thought the performance was decent – but it wasn’t enough to break down Chelsea, and the energy that we had in the Everton game wasn’t quite replicated after the first Chelsea goal, as it was there before their goal. Weirdly we didn’t react at all well, which we did against Everton. It just wasn’t the same. Very tough to take.

In the first half, we started on flames – we pressed high, got the ball at our feet, found spaces, forced mistakes from the Chelsea team and it was great to watch. We created good chances, which on another day may have crept in, but we didn’t break the deadlock, which might have been the game plan; hit Chelsea early with a goal, then basically hold onto what you’ve got. But, we didn’t get that goal, and that was the difference between the teams. We couldn’t finish the half chances, whereas Chelsea finished everything off. It was Harry Kane who got those chances, and was very unfortunate not to score, first hitting the bar after a great Aaron Lennon dinked cross, and then Harry Kane created a chance for himself before sliding the ball past the post, instead of inside the post. Frustrating, as after those chances, Eden Hazard picked up the ball, played it softly into the path of the strong Didier Drogba, who saw Hazard continue his run, and picked him out before the Belgian fired the ball into the near post, to Hugo Lloris’ disappointment. It was against the run of play, and it looked as though Tottenham were a little shellshocked, and then Hugo Lloris made a poor clearance, and the ball was pinged straight into Didier Drogba’s path, who held off Jan Vertonghen with relative ease before guiding the ball into the back of the net on the 22nd minute. The half slightly fizzled out after that, with the game seemingly gone from Tottenham’s grasp, Chelsea looked rather comfortable.

In the second half, it was obvious that Tottenham were going to give it a good go. There wasn’t much to lose, and we had a lot of ball possession, but we did lack penetration and that clinical edge. We weren’t strong enough on the front foot and the Chelsea defensive structure was simply too good for us, I have watched a lot of teams, and a lot of football, but I haven’t seen such a compact, solid and well organised team for a long, long time, if not ever. I think credit has to go to Chelsea, as they are the best side in the League, both defensively and offensively. All of Tottenham’s probing, we didn’t find enough clear cut chances and that is disappointing, and then Chelsea kicked dust over the dead body when Loic Remy took advantage of another piece of poor Jan Vertonghen defending and slid the ball into the back of the net. After the third goal, the game faded even more and both teams were comfortable with their fate – Tottenham were going to lose and Chelsea were going to win, and that was that really. Unfortunate, but the better side win.

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I don’t want to focus on the negatives from this game. I think we played really well against Everton, and coming into this game is was a free shot. Not a lot was expected of Tottenham, even though we all wanted it to be a different, this Chelsea side is the finished product and we are a working progress. For me, Harry Kane played another incredibly good game, and he continues to get better and better each game, showing qualities that I had no idea he possessed. Committing defenders, barging past players and linking play really well as the leading striker. His energy, enthusiasm and work rate are phenomenal, all that was lacking was a goal from the man, and he was unlucky not to get what he deserved. It was another youth product that also impressed me; Nabil Bentaleb showed his composure, class and potential in this game. I thought he was great, and I can’t wait to see more of him in this side, he can get this side moving, find passes, uses his energy and positive mentality to win the ball back and at only 20 years old he has massive potential, and I predict him to become an ever present in the Tottenham side in years to come, starting now! Other mentions can be for Federico Fazio, who was very composed at the back and is now he has started to settle, looks a very solid centre back, but it was disappointing to see Jan Vertonghen let him down alongside him in the key moments. It would be harsh to pick out Vlad Chiriches and criticise him, because he isn’t playing in his position, and was up against the best winger in the League in Eden Hazard, so it’s hard to say he should have done better as the odds were up against him from the start.

Always difficult to take, losing heavily to one of our biggest rivals, but I think the scoreline does represent the gap between the two sides, unfortunately. We are at the start of a project, and Chelsea, with the financial backing and pure quality in the squad, have all the ability to win any trophy this season. You have to give them credit, they are a force to be reckoned with, not just in the Premier League, but in Europe as well. Spurs will have to take the positives from the game and move on very quickly, onto what is a must win game against Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on Saturday 6th December. Those games are where you get most of your points, against the team’s below you at home. Hopefully we can put in a good performance and put this result to the back of our minds. Everyone, stick together, a loss to Chelsea doesn’t define our season. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Chelsea at the Bridge:
Lloris – 4.5
Chiriches – 4
Fazio – 6.5
Vertonghen – 4.5
Davies – 6
Lennon – 6 (Chadli 58′ – 6)
Mason – 5 (Paulinho 58′ – 6)
Bentaleb – 7
Eriksen – 6
Lamela – 4.5 (Soldado 74′ – 5)
Kane – 8 – Man of the Match.

Mauricio Pochettino reacts to the 3-0 loss to Chelsea:

The 3 Chelsea goals, for you cynics out there:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Everton.

Match: Sunday 30th November 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane,

Result: Tottenham 2-1 Everton.

Tottenham goalscorers: Eriksen 21′, Soldado 45′.

Everton goalscorer: Mirallas 15′.

Well – in my Match Preview, I touched upon my desire for the team to show intensity and drive throughout the match. What was delivered was far more impressive – as a team, we were magnificent, we worked, pressed, defended and attacked as a team, which is a breath of fresh air for Tottenham this season. I’m incredibly pleased with how the team was set out; we didn’t have a hell of a lot of the ball, but our performance off the ball is what was so pleasing, we didn’t give away many chances, and we fought hard to win the ball back while maintaining a good shape in defence and midfield. Pochettino set out the team in the right way, with loads of energy and enthusiasm in midfield with Bentaleb, Mason, Lennon & Kane, to work, fight and drive with and without the ball, while having the quality of Eriksen, Soldado, Lennon & Kane to push hard on the counter attack. It was truly fantastic to watch from the stands, and I thought every player on the pitch did their duty brilliantly. Overall, our best performance of the season by far. Hopefully, this is only the start of what can be a great season if we fight like we did in the game for every match this season. We’ve shown that we have got that fight in our team, but what we need now is consistency and a run of results!

In the first half, we started well, we pressed high, harried Everton and looked fairly threatening on the counter attack, but we did concede the first goal on 15 minutes – we struggled to clear the ball, and it fell to Kevin Mirallas, who i signalled out before the game as a big threat in front of goal, and he proved me right as he perfectly curled a beauty into the top corner that Hugo Lloris had absolutely no chance of getting to. Sometimes you just have to accept an opponents goal as unstoppable and pure quality, and that it was. When you concede the first goal, the reaction is important, making sure you not only stop the opponent from scoring again, but taking the initiative, going onto the front foot and attempting to get straight back in terms, and that’s exactly what we did, we pushed hard and it was Harry Kane who showed that initiative and ran hard at the Evertonian defence, burst through their midfield and got his shot away, which was parried by Tim Howard, but Christian Eriksen was running in and with a delightful chipped finish, put Spurs back on level terms and that really sparked the team into action on 21 minutes, and the pressure was more intense, the attack was quicker and and chances were more frequent. It was our best spell in the match by a long way, and on the stroke of half time, it was Harry Kane again who’s determination was key in winning the ball back from Gareth Barry, and Aaron Lennon picked it up and drove hard at Silvan Distin, before laying it off to delightfully to Roberto Soldado – and in that moment, the stadium was silent, a gasp of air was taken, and then probably the biggest cheer of the season was heard as Soldado smashed the ball past Tim Howard to give Tottenham the 2-1 lead. Relief, delight and absolute elation swept through the stadium. Chants for Roberto Soldado were ringing out at half time, and it was an incredible moment – one of the most heart warming moments of the season. Hopefully Roberto can push on from this. It’s his platform to transform his Tottenham career; I think he’s got what it takes, if he can drag this confidence and relief into more and more goals.

The second half was all about managing the game, seeing it out and getting the crucial three points, and we were able to do that brilliantly. We took our chances in the first half, and now we fought to preserve our hard work with even more, even harder work off of the ball with grit, determination and drive. In some ways the way we worked in the second half was more pleasing than how we scored and created in the first half. The game plan was to stay compact, press as a team, and when we did have a chance to get on the ball, we pushed forward at pace, but didn’t commit ourselves too much, and were able to stay solid in defence. The team was working properly, and in a system that was working, we were able to see the best of our players and that was the winning formula in this game. Late on, we had a few good chances to extend our lead, but it wasn’t to be, and despite it being quite nervy at the end, our fantastic team performance was rewarded with three points. Three, glorious, points.

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The team performed very, very well together. I can’t single anyone out as playing badly, but I can name a fair few that played brilliantly! For me, Jan Vertonghen was immense at the back, showing the quality we know he possesses; he dominated Everton’s Romelu Lukaku when he got the ball, timed his challenges to perfection, and was able to set the team into attack very well with his composed passing. Alongside the very solid Federico Fazio, he looked back to his, in my opinion, World Class self. We’re going to need a similar performance from Super Jan against Chelsea on Wednesday. Ben Davies at left back put in his best performance in a Spurs shirt so far on his full Premier League home debut, he was tough in the challenge, focused in his defensive duties and produced some very threatening crosses from the left flank. He’s made the left back spot his own since taking over from Danny Rose. In attack – it was Harry Kane that grabbed the imagination of the fans; every time got the ball he looked to drive at the Everton defence, the buzz came through the crowd and expectation and excitement swept the arena. He worked so, so hard for the team – he gave every ounce of his being during the game and the fans appreciated that – I certainly did. The moment of the game was Roberto Soldado’s goal; it was great, and a fantastic finish from a man that has stuggled in front of goal. His performance was very pleasing, he worked hard, moved the ball well and got his goal – which is all we can ask from him. A match winner! In midfield, the partnership between Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb was one that I thought could be a little bit exposed, especially if Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas and Samuel Eto’o could get in behind them – but my concerns were unfounded, and the performances of both were brilliant. Energy, enthusiasm, fight and composure – it proved to be a very balanced midfield pivot, and one that could prove to be very fruitful in the future. Other shouts go to Christian Eriksen and Aaron Lennon, who on the flanks, worked hard in defence to combat Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman, while in attack were very effective, with Eriksen getting the first goal, and Aaron Lennon got the winning assist.

What a great win. We have built on our away win against Hull City with a fantastic, much needed home win. Now, we have to build on it again, bring this confidence, momentum and team work into our next fixtures and really build a good run of results. This starts with the easy task of the Premier League’s unbeaten leaders, Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge on Wedneday evening. Hurrah. Let’s do the impossible and defeat the undefeatable! Follow me on Twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Everton at the Lane:
Lloris – 8
Chiriches – 6.5 (Dier 70′ – 6.5)
Fazio – 8
Vertonghen – 9 – Man of the match.
Davies – 8.5
Lennon – 8 (Lamela 61′ – 6)
Mason – 8
Bentaleb – 8.5
Eriksen – 8.5
Kane – 9
Soldado – 8.5. (Paulinho 81′ – 6)

Mauricio Pochettino reacts to our 2-1 win over Everton:

Match highlights from our 2-1 win over Everton:

Match Review, Hull City vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 23rd November 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: KC Stadium.

Result: Hull City 1-2 Tottenham.

Hull goalscorer: Livermore 8′.

Tottenham goalscorers: Kane 61′, Eriksen 90′.

We’ve scraped it. We’ve nicked it. We didn’t play well, we didn’t find the rhythm, but we’ve got the three points. A really important three points that shoots us out of the bottom half of the Premier League table and into 10th, but level on points with both Arsenal and Everton, and only 2 points off of 4th placed Manchester United. It’s important, despite the manner of the win, to get the win at this moment in time. Some will say it papers over the cracks, while others will say it shows a bit of character in the team to come back from behind and win; it depends on the mind set of the person. What is important now is to build on the three points, take the win and develop it into a better performance and more wins, to change our fortune and go on a bit of a good run. We have to learn from the last away win to Aston Villa and then disappointing home defeat to Stoke, our performance level simply has to rise, as we can’t rely on refereeing decisions to go our way every game, we need to take the games, especially at White Hart Lane, by the scruff of the neck and attempt to dominate games, because the way we are playing at this moment in time, we will lose out on too many points. Enjoy the victory in this game, but happiness will be if we can build on it and disappointment will be if we can’t.

In the first half we were all over the place, a lack of defensive organisation, our retention of the football was terrible and it looked bleak. Hull did everything right to try and stop us gaining rhythm; they pushed us hard, created openings, pressed high & kept compact in defence which made our task to create clear cut openings, dominate the game and score goals in the first half near impossible. Hull early on got their reward for their hard work; on 8 minutes, former Spur Jake Livermore thundered an effort past Hugo Lloris from 25 yards, a great strike and goal and a nice touch that the man who grew up supporting Spurs, came through the ranks at Spurs & played for Spurs muted his celebration in respect for his former club. But I thought it was obvious that a goal was coming from either Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone or Jakey! After that goal, we did have more of the ball, but it didn’t stop Hull from creating more chances, that could have easily been goals if it weren’t for Hugo Lloris and Lady Luck, which is frightening, because against a better side, with no disrespect to Hull City, we would have been punished for our poor defending and lack of communication and togetherness. The first half is one that doesn’t fill you with a lot of confidence, but as Spurs showed, it’s not how you start but how you finish, but maybe we could get both one day, pretty please Tottenham?

The second half was an improvement. Of course it couldn’t have got much worse from the first half, but we passed the ball better, were much more composed in defence and added a heap of width to our game which then in turn, made it much easier to create openings and clear cut chances. We did get a big slice of luck when Hull City’s Gaston Ramirez, a former player under Pochettino at Southampton, lost his cool and lashed out with his foot at Jan Vertonghen for next to no reason other than the fact the referee didn’t award him a free kick, and when you kick out like Ramirez did, you risk your part in the match and on this occasion, the referee and linesman interpreted this kick out as a red card offence, and personally, with a non-bias view I promise, I agree with the officials, you can’t do that in the modern game under the modern rules. The complexity of the game changed with the red card; Hull City dropped even deeper, our midfielders saw much more of the ball in much more threatening areas, and the introduction of Vlad Chiriches at right back and Aaron Lennon at right wing offered us much more width to stretch 10 man Hull and create the openings to get back into the game, and push to win it. It took only 11 minutes after the red card for us to pull the score level; Roberto Soldado cleverly won a free kick around 30 yards away from goal, and Chrisitan Eriksen stepped up, curled it beautifully, but onto the post, which then fortuitously landed at Harry Kane’s feet to make it 1-1 in the 61st minute, and give us the platform to go on and win. One of the easier goals that Harry Kane will score this season. We then continued to create openings, good opportunities that weren’t being put away, including a Harry Kane header from an exquisite Aaron Lennon cross, and a two Roberto Soldado miss-kicks after beautiful balls in from Ryan Mason and Vlad Chiriches. We were hoping that as long as we were creating chances, we could put one away sooner or later. It turned out to be very late on that we did take our chance, Aaron Lennon found Christian Eriksen on the edge of the box, and he took a touch before guiding the ball delightfully into the bottom corner on the stroke of full time to make it 2-1, and score the winning goal on his 50th appearance for Tottenham. Delight.

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Focusing on the individual performances of the players, it was Christian Eriksen’s pure quality that dragged us through a tricky and uninspiring performance, he took the free kick for the first goal, scored the second and in between created good chances for his team mates. I was very impressed with his second half display, but there are still things that he can improve on, especially his ball retention in the first half and his general strength, but, he’s a creative player who scores goals and he did exactly what was asked of him today, hopefully he can build on that second half performance. He bags the Addicted To Spurs man of the match for me. It was Pochettino’s second half substitutions that proved very effective, though, Vlad Chiriches at right back in place of Eric Dier, who struggled to get forward and get crosses into the box in the first half, and Aaron Lennon, who replaced the ineffective Mousa Dembele, and Azza provided crucial pace, width and grabbed the assist for the winner and could have got a couple more assists if the finishing was on point. Another mention for Ryan Mason as well, who once again shone in the centre of the park, and showed the tenacity and spark we needed in the first and second half. A first start for Ben Davies at left back, and I don’t think he will be losing that starting berth any time soon after a very solid afternoon both in defence, and when needed in attack, I thought he did very well and I hope he can sustain this level of performance and improve upon it.

Well, it’s three points and something to build on! But, we need to improve the level of performance if we want to go on a good run. That run will hopefully start in the Europa League this Thursday, as Partizan Belgrade travel to White Hart Lane in the game that will hopefully see us secure qualification to the knock out stages. We return to Premier League action on Sunday 30th November, facing Everton at the Lane in a big, big game for everyone at the club. Join me for it all on Twitter, here: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Hull at the KC:
Lloris – 6.5
Dier – 5 (Chiriches 45′ – 7)
Fazio – 5.5
Vertonghen – 6.5
Davies – 7
Mason – 7.5
Dembele – 5.5 (Lennon 59′ – 7.5)
Lamela – 6
Eriksen – 8 – Man of the Match.
Soldado – 6.5 (Paulinho 79′ – 5)
Kane – 7.5.

Match highlights from our 2-1 win over Hull:

Mauricio Pochettino’s post match thoughts:

Christian Eriksen & Harry Kane speak to the press:

Match Review, Asteras Tripolis vs Tottenham.

Match: Thursday 6th November 2014.

Competition: Europa League Group C.

Venue: Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium.

Result: Asteras Tripolis 1-2 Tottenham.

Asteras GoalScorer: Berrales pen 90′.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Townsend pen 37′, Kane 42′.

Tottenham red card: Federico Fazio 90′.

It’s a win. The win we needed to put us in a comfortable position in Group C of the Europa League. As I mentioned in my match preview, it was always going to be a different game and result to the home game in which we won 5-1. Away from home, on a ‘so-so’ pitch and against a team that know how to be solid and counter at pace. It’s the result that is important and we have got that and now we can come home to London and concentrate on a big home game against Stoke on Sunday. The performance, especially defensively, is a little bit worrying, with not enough protection coming from the midfield and a flat back four, with a high line made it easier for Asteras to get in-behind and that’s where they got their penalty, our red-card and their goal, which left a little bit of a sour taste in the mouth of the fans and I’m sure, Mauricio Pochettino. Three points, though, away from home in Europe is always a good result and hopefully we can finish off the job and secure qualification against Partizan at home in the next game in the Europa League.

The first half was good from Spurs’ point of view; we kept the ball for what felt like 90% of the first period and Asteras didn’t really threaten us defensively, but sat deep and made it difficult for our more creative and powerful attacking players. But, our individual quality prevailed and after a lot of probing, thinking and what seemed to be the players figuring out a little bit more about the weaknesses of Asteras, Andros Townsend marauded down the left flank and Asteras’ Sankare, who dived in at Townsend and gave away the penalty, which Townsend finished with aplomb to make it 1-0 on 37 minutes. This opened the game up a bit more for us; Townsend, who had been switched to the right hand side was very effective and continued to be a thorn in the Asteras defence. And it was Townsend who turned creator and produced a delightfully weighted and lofted cross for the in-form Harry Kane to prod home with his head on 42 minutes, which looked like it was game over. Not Harry’s most beautiful goal ever, but he seems to be doing everything right in his goalscoring game. Half time fell and we looked comfortable for the three points.

In the second period, though, we started badly; reminiscent of the game against Newcastle, in which we looked comfortable but became complacent and lacked focus. It was exactly the same and at the back we were at six’s and seven’s, not able to regain the ball and the control of the game and this was the story throughout the second half, where Asteras showed their game plan to much better effect in this half, counter attacking well and creating chances, while still keeping their shape and remaining compact. The chances they were creating were clear cut enough, working the keeper and missing by small margins. We were lucky for our lead not to be cut until so late on, but it was poor, poor finishing from a side that looked unable to stick the ball in the back of the net. From what looked like a comfortable position at 2-0, was now looking hard to hold onto which is disappointing from our point of view, but it was a credit to Asteras who are a decent side and showed it in the second half. Despite all of the chances in the second period for Asteras, it was a penalty that they needed to get a goal back, and it came too late for them in the end to snatch a point. Federico Fazio getting caught out, and Jerónimo Berrales going down after minimal contact from the big Argentine, and he was fortunate to get the call, as I’d say it was a very soft penalty. Federico, being the last man and the foul being given, had to be shown a red card, which was unfortunate.

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The team did the job in the end which they were set out to do. It wasn’t pretty at times, we didn’t pass the ball as well as we would have liked and we didn’t create the chances that you’d expect, but we got two goals and that was enough to dismantle a wasteful Asteras side. For me, Andros Townsend has to be given the man of the match award, but it’s a difficult one as there weren’t too many stand out performances. So, Townsend has to be given the honour of the Addicted To Spurs man of the match after scoring and assisting the two goals that eventually got us the win! I’ve said it for a long while now, but Andros Townsend needs to be given a sustained run at the left midfield role; he has the pace and directness to play there, and also, as shown in the second goal with his cross for Harry Kane, he has the delivery also and with a Harry Kane, or Emmanuel Adebayor in the box, we will get goals from those crosses. For me, Townsend is so much more effective and less wasteful on the left than on the right. Michel Vorm in goal deserves a mention; he made a lot of good saves and his distribution was very good, hopefully he can continue to perform for us in the Cup competitions, but I don’t think playing well in these games would be enough to replace Hugo Lloris, and I think he knows that! Harry Kane scores again and it’s his 10th goal for Spurs this season, and 13th for both club and country. That’s an incredible tally for a 21 year old and now, he has to be given the opportunity to start in the Premier League, he has earned it. But, it’s also correct of Mauricio Pochettino to protect him and not introduce him too early. Kane is young, and his career is a marathon, not a sprint.

The result we wanted. Whether we did it in the fashion we wanted is besides the point, it’s 3 points and we are in a commanding position to go through to the Knockout stages. Now, the attention turns back to the Premier League, and win against Stoke is desperately needed after a poor run of form at White Hart Lane in the League. Sunday 9th November is the date, and you can follow it all with my at my Twitter account, @AddictedToSpurs.. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Asteras in Greece:
Vorm – 7.5
Dier – 6
Fazio – 5
Vertonghen – 6.5
Davies – 6.5
Stambouli – 6
Dembele – 7
Lamela – 6 (Sub 46′: Soldado – 6)
Townsend – 8 – Man of the Match.
Eriksen – 6 (Sub 63′: Mason – 5.5)
Kane – 7.5. (Sub 76′: Paulinho – 5)

Pochettino post match interview:

Match Review, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 2nd November 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Villa Park.

Result: Aston Villa 1-2 Tottenham.

Aston Villa GoalScorer: Weimann 16′.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Chadli 84′, Kane 90′.

What a win! An incredibly important win for Tottenham Hotspur, Tottenham players and Mauricio Pochettino. After a very difficult performance, with a lack of pace and direction in our play it’s fantastic that we have still grabbed the three fantastic points. But, in all honesty, it doesn’t really matter now! We’ve won the game, maybe getting a bit lucky, but it’s three crucial points that ends a bad run of results in the Premier League. Two late goals that have won us the game and it’s shown the belief and fight in the team that was in doubt, especially after the first half performance. It was a difficult afternoon, but we’ve come out the other side and now hopefully we can push on, with Harry Kane up top!

In the first half, we started well, we looked threatening on the counter attack and we had a plan in place to attack with pace. But, defensively, my God, we were all over the place. We didn’t look able to compete with the power and height of Christian Benteke and the pace of Charles N’Zogbia. It was difficult to get a rhythm into our play, our passing was sloppy and Aston Villa were able to take advantage. In the 16th minute, a bit of sloppy defending from Danny Rose allowed Aston Villa to get in behind Tottenham and slip a ball into the box where Andreas Weimann was there to poke the ball into the back of the net for 1-0. Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose at fault, and Aston Villa then dropped back and closed up in defence to make it difficult for us to make chances and score goals! The best chance falling to Emmanuel Adebayor, who got in behind the Villa defence after a beautifully weighted ball from Roberto Soldado, Adebayor did everything right, got his body in the right position and onto his favourite foot and then didn’t get enough power on the effort and Brad Guzan made a decent save. Half time came, and Villa were ahead.

In the second half, we looked to push hard for the equaliser and then push for the win. We still found it very difficult to find a rhythm, the ball wasn’t sticking to our feet and it looked like we were pushing but it would come to no prevail. Erik Lamela made a slight impact onto the pace of our game and the intensity, but it wasn’t looking like it was going to be enough, and at times we looked a little defeated, like the form book was flicking through their heads every time a chance was squandered. In the 58th minute, Harry Kane came on to every Spurs fans delight and he made the difference. You could see the confidence in his ability, he knew he would get a chance and he was confident he could take it. He came into the side and his confidence made a big difference. He created 2 chances in 30 seconds and gave the side a big lift. We continued to push and then we got a little bit of luck after Christian Benteke lost his head and lifted his hand into Ryan Mason, who did well to rile Benteke up from a Spurs point of view. A red card and now, we had a chance to fight back and at least get the point. The equaliser came from a corner, Erik Lamela whipping it in and Nacer Chadli came in from the back post and knocked the ball into the net for 1-1. Breakthrough, late on, but we had the momentum now and three points was in sight. 90 minutes in, Harry Kane stepped up to a free kick and we got that bit of luck you need in football when his free kick was deflected into the goal. 3 points! Huzzah!

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The team didn’t play well, we didn’t find a rhythm in our play and were overall disappointing. But, it’s an important three points and we can’t complain too much! The man of the match was either Ryan Mason, who showed passion, fight, desire and quality in midfield with his passing, tackling and offensive runs. A big mention for Harry Kane though, who has made impact in the Premier League and now surely needs to have a prolonged run in the team. In form, lots of confidence and goals, what’s not to love! I thought there were a lot of poor performances though, which was disappointing. Etienne Capoue, Younes Kaboul, Danny Rose & Emmanuel Adebayor really having games to forget. Roberto Soldado was lively, he worked hard and showed some great touches but it was unfortunate he didn’t get into those Goalscoring pockets a bit more which has been the story throughout his Tottenham career. Nacer Chadli did well, ran at defenders, found pockets and took his chance when it popped up – impressive.

A great win! An unfortunate performance, but it’s three points and I find it hard to be upset after winning! We now need to build and improve on this win, starting with a win in Greece against Asteras Tripolis on Thursday. Then, we return to Premier League action with a home tie against Stoke on Sunday 9th November. Let’s go! COYS!! Remember to follow me on Twitter: @AddictedToSpurs.

My player ratings for the team that defeated Aston Villa:
Lloris – 7
Naughton – 6
Kaboul – 5
Vertonghen – 6
Rose – 5.5
Capoue – 5
Mason – 8 – Man of the Match.
Eriksen – 5
Chadli – 7
Soldado – 6.5
Adebayor – 5.

Subs:
Lamela – 6.5
Kane – 8
Townsend – 6.

Match highlights of our 2-1 win over Aston Villa:

Mauricio Pochettino’s post match reaction:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Brighton.

Match: Wednesday 29th October 2014.

Competition: Capital One Cup Round 4.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 2-0 Brighton.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Erik Lamela 54′, Harry Kane 74′.

Tottenham progress to the Quarter Finals of the Capital One Cup! Just three games away from Wembley and the thought of winning it is just about dropping into Tottenham fan’s dreams. We have been drawn to face Newcastle United at White Hart Lane in the quarter finals, a team that has just beaten us, and Manchester City away from home, so not easy but it could have been a lot worse with Liverpool and Chelsea still in the competition, despite Newcastle beating us before hand, we still remain clear favourites to progress to the Semi-Finals. Now, to look more closely at our highly contested victory over Brighton at the Lane:

In the first period, we dominated the ball, Brighton were confined to their half for 90% of the time and we were probing and poking away at their defence. The ball was played into the box numerous amount of times but we couldn’t get the breakthrough; Roberto Soldado, Harry Kane and Aaron Lennon going closest. A frustrating first half, but one in which the Seagulls didn’t threaten us and we looked comfortable in possession of the football. The problem is, although we look comfortable in possession, we don’t look threatening enough. It’s important to take advantage of that pressure and find the killer pass, or go in behind the Brighton defence. We didn’t do that enough, but it was a solid first half and you can’t complain too much when you are creating chances, and there were a few clear cut opportunities which should and could have been goals.

In the second half, we introduced Erik Lamela for Aaron Lennon who was playing well, but had a slight hamstring problem. Lamela changed the game from the outset, and we looked much more threatening and creative with the ball at our feet. And, that’s where our goal came from. The understanding between Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado is very impressive; they are two very intelligent and creative players when the ball is at their feet and when two intelligent players combine, you will create chances and in this instance, that chance was a goal. Erik Lamela on 54 minutes played the ball into the feet of Roberto Soldado, who headed it up slightly before playing a delightful pass into the path of Erik Lamela, who slid the ball into the net with his right foot for 1-0. A much needed breakthrough that put us in firm control of the game, with Brighton not offering a lot offensively. Despite being 1-0 down, Brighton didn’t try to attack us in the way that was expected – they still sat fairly deep, let us have possession of the football and tried to play a counter attacking game, even though Tottenham had men back and were not pushing all out to get a second goal. I’m sure Sami Hypia will be disappointed with his team’s attacking performance, but pleased with how they shut Tottenham out for the most part. The game continued to be a little scrappy, without the real quality of the players shining through, and that is how our second goal came about, in a scrappy fashion. Andros Townsend for what must have been the first time in the game, got to the byline and whipped in a good ball for Roberto Soldado, which hit his leg and then the keeper parried into the path of Harry Kane, who wanted it more than any other defender on the pitch to stick the ball home to make it 2-0. Job done.

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There were some very good performances from the Spurs players in this game, we passed the ball well, created a good amount of chances, scored two goals and kept a clean sheet and that is all we can really ask from the team. We’re in a bit of a sticky patch of form but you could see that the players really put a shift in and worked until the result went our way and that is pleasing. Hopefully we can get the three points at Villa Park on Sunday, too. The man of the match for me was Benjamin Stambouli, I think in the middle of the park he worked really hard, he went into every challenge committed and passed the ball well. In the cup games he’s played, Stambouli has really impressed me and I think it’s only a matter of time, if he continues with these performances, that he will be pushing for a Premier League start. Another player that deserved man of the match probably equally as much as Stambouli was Kyle Naughton, he has been very good all season and coming back from injury, he was stellar once again. He put in some fantastic crosses and defended well when Brighton attacked with pace on the counter attack. In the absence of Kyle Walker, Naughton has really stepped his game up and as a right back is showing why he’s still a Tottenham player. Erik Lamela changed the game when he was entered into proceedings; he was direct, full of energy and had the finishing touch as well for his goal. He also isn’t afraid to chase back, make a tackle and work for the team and that’s always a good trait to have. Harry Kane scored again, another decent performance, but when he is scoring like this he simply must start in the Premier League, he is on fire! His strike partner Roberto Soldado also did really well, with two assists (sort of) and a very fine performance but his goal that he did deserve didn’t come, but he’s getting closer and you can see how hard he’s working and how much he wants it.

A good win, and into the quarter finals. Cup runs are always fun and hopefully, we can continue to win when we face Newcastle. A trip to Wembley would be fantastic. Not looking too far ahead, this Sunday we travel to Villa Park for an away Premier League tie against Aston Villa. A tough game but it’s crucial we return to winning ways in the Premier League. Remember to follow me on Twitter: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Brighton at the Lane:
Vorm – 7
Naughton – 8.5
Fazio – 8
Vertonghen – 7.5
Davies – 7.5
Stambouli – 8.5 – Man of the Match.
Dembele – 7
Lennon – 7.5
Townsend – 6.5
Kane – 8
Soldado – 8.

Subs:
Lamela – 8
Chadli – 6
Paulinho – 5.

Match highlights from our 2-0 win over Brighton:

Pochettino speaks to the press following our 2-0 win:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Asteras Tripolis.

Match: Thursday 23rd October 2014.

Competition: Europa League Group C.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 5-1 Asteras Tripolis.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Harry Kane x3 13′, 75′, 81′, Erik Lamela x2 29′, 66′.

Asteras GoalScorer: Barrales 89′.

An incredible game of football. Incredible goals, a red card, Harry Kane in goal, and a Tottenham win. It had the lot. Looking past all of the madness, we got a really, really important three points in the Europa League that gets us our first win and gives us a good foundation to get through to the knockout stages. We played well, but were not fantastic, our passing was a little sloppy and in defence we got caught out a few times by a well drilled, technically sound side who have shown quality in their Europa League fixtures so far, and to be fair to them, they didn’t deserve to be thrashed 5-1, this score doesn’t reflect the effort and quality that they put into the game, they made it very even and well matched, but it was Tottenham’s individual quality that pulled us through so emphatically. Focusing on the negatives is for Mauricio Pochettino, though, I like to focus on the positives and for me there were many. Our ability to be clinical and kill the game was very refreshing and very pleasing; we have lacked that in recent times, and now hopefully we can translate that ability into the Premier League, starting on Sunday against Newcastle.

In the first half, we started well, we attacked at pace and passed the ball relatively well. Defensively at times we were a little shaky, which is a little worrying as we were playing a very strong back 5, with a lot of leaders in there including Fazio, Lloris & Vertonghen. At times I expected more from the back 4. A little more communication and organisation, but as we didn’t concede in the first half I can’t complain too much. We scored through Harry Kane, Etienne Capoue laying him off and Kane hit the ball sweetly and it skidded into the ball far corner of the goal for 1-0 after 13 minutes, a flying start which was just what we needed. Then, we created a few more chances, Etienne Capoue going close and Harry Kane once again. But, it was Erik Lamela who got the second goal on 29 minutes, what can I say about a goal like that? It is a masterpiece, a piece of art on the football pitch. The best goal I have seen from a Tottenham player in a good few years and I’m so glad that it was Erik Lamela who got it, a ‘Rabona’ goal from outside the box is almost unheard of in the game and even to attempt it is audacious, but to score from it is insane. An incredible goal from an incredibly gifted player. It’s his best moment in a Tottenham shirt so far. ‘So far’ being the key words.

In the second half we ran away with the game, we controlled the ball well and found space in between the Asteras midfield and defence. Etienne Capoue and Mousa Dembele took charge of the midfield more and more as time went on and were very effectual to the pace and tempo we played at, u was very impressed with them, especially Etienne Capoue. We didn’t score the third goal until 66 minutes in, though, that man Erik Lamela got his second of the game, twisting and turning in the box and getting a shot away which was blocked, which then popped up and it was an instinctive volley that was too powerful for the Asteras goalkeeper and the game was dead and buried. On a hat-trick, Lamela was replaced, unsurprising with the Premier League just around the corner. Only 9 minutes later we got the 4th goal, 76 minutes in Harry Kane got his second of the night, Mousa Dembele’s shot parried by the Asteras ‘keeper only for the quick thinking Harry Kane to tap in. Then, only 5 minutes later, he completed his hat-trick, turning the defender before seeing his shot blocked, rebounded into Federico Fazio’s path, then he composed himself before lifting up the ball onto Harry Kane’s head for him to tap in. His fantastic night was topped when Hugo Lloris was unfortunately sent off after his sweeper ‘keeping backfired after the offside trap was broken, with all three substitutions used, it was Harry Kane who stepped up and took the goalkeeping gloves. The first shot he had to face was a free kick from Jorónimo Berrales, who smartly decided to smack the ball straight at the make shift goalkeeper, and it produced their only goal as Kane spilt the ball and it squirmed passed the line. 5-1, no clean sheet, but a good win and a good three points.

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The team played well, it wasn’t perfect, and Asteras caused us problems at times but individually I think there were a lot of very promising performances. Erik Lamela played a very good game and scored two goals of extraordinary quality, but for me, Harry Kane took the man of the match award. A hat trick, but also his work off of the ball, ability to hold it up and play in his team mates. Harry is a much more well rounded player, who scores so many different types of goals than he is given credit for at times. It’s time for Kane to be given the chance to perform in the Premier League, he has earned the right; much more so both Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor, his goal rate is much better and I think his all round game is also better and probably more developed. His hunger for goals and for games impresses me immensely. Etienne Capoue was impressive once again, he’s developed so much so far this season, he has the ability to dictate games and dominate a midfield and he needs to do that more often in bigger games, he has all the tools to be a massive player for Tottenham. Ben Davies put in arguably his best performance so far in a Spurs shirt, he worked hard down the left flank, was involved heavily in crossing and creating but also assured on the ball and when under pressure defending, coped well. I hope he can continue to improve and push forward.

A good win! Three points and back to winning ways in empathic style. Now, we have to translate this winning formula into the Premier League and beat Newcastle at White Hart Lane this coming Sunday, 26th October. Our next Europa League game will be against Asteras once again, this time we travel to Greece, on Thursday 6th November, where we need a result! Follow @AddictedToSpurs for it all! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Asteras Triplos:
Lloris – 8
Dier – 7
Fazio – 6.5
Vertonghen – 6.5
Davies – 7.5
Capoue – 8.5
Dembele – 7
Lamela – 8.5
Townsend – 6
Kane – 9 – Man of the Match.
Adebayor – 5.

Subs:
Eriksen – 5
Chadli – 6.5
Lennon – 5.

Match highlights from our 5-1 win:

Pochettino’s post match press conference:

Match Review, Manchester City vs Tottenham.

Match: Saturday 18th October 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Etihad Stadium.

Result: Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham.

Manchester City GoalScorers: Sergio Aguero x4. 13′, 20′, 68′, 75′.

Tottenham GoalScorer: Christian Eriksen 15′.

Well, an absolutely mental game that didn’t go our way whatsoever. The effort from Tottenham was there, we were looking sharp in attack, fairly solid in defence and were more-or-less matching Manchester City stride for stride, but when push came to shove, Manchester City had a World Class finisher and we didn’t. It’s been the story far too often for Tottenham in recent years. We seem to get the chances but the ball doesn’t seem to just fall in the net like it does for the teams who face us. It’s difficult to take, but we have to look at the positives here. We didn’t deserve to lose 4-1. Far from it. The game is full of ifs and buts, and if things had taken a different path in the key moments, I think we would have come away with a point at least. Penalties were those key moments, and the referee didn’t have a good game, at all. In the big moments he let us down. 3 penalties given to Manchester City, when does that ever happen?! But, if we don’t look at those decisions, I have to be relatively happy with our general performance.

There were four penalties given in this game, which was madness. In my opinion, only 2 should have been given, and if the others hadn’t have occurred then maybe other penalties aren’t given. It’s frustrating. A game of ifs and buts, though. The reality is we have come out losing 4-1 and that is very disappointing, even if the performance didn’t deserve that kind of trouncing. We need to be more clinical when we get the chances, whether that is Roberto Soldado or Emmanuel Adebayor, but we can’t just completely blame Soldado who did play relatively well. For me, in the next game Harry Kane must play, he is the only striker that at the moment can find the back of the net, work hard, and hold the ball up. It’s a must, and I hope Pochettino can see this sooner rather than later. I believe that we can have a good season and when we play the top teams we do need to get points. A win in the next fixture against the ‘big 4’ would be great!

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There were quite a few good performances out on the pitch for Tottenham. Especially up until the 68th minute, because we were right in the game until Aguero’s third goal. Christian Eriksen played probably his best game of the season, getting a goal and he probably could have scored more and assisted another couple! I think these goals that he is scoring will give him a lot of confidence to improve even further this season and become our most important outfield player once again. Ryan Mason has only played a few Premier League games in his career but he has looked like an ever present so far this season, he is calm in possession, but also effective in his work, runs and passing. He always looks forward and is a typical Tottenham youth product who knows the values of the club and the way we like to play, he has a massive future with Tottenham and played very, very well in this game. Hugo Lloris was also great, but I’m sure even if you didn’t watch the game, you already could have guessed that! As well as there were good performances, there were also disappointing ones. I expected more from Erik Lamela, he will know he hasn’t been as effective as he can be and he doesn’t need to be sugar coated or abused, he needs constructive criticism. When he is on the ball, he needs to work it quicker, and find more defence splitting passes – sometimes, the easy ball is the best option, though, and running aimlessly won’t help. When the opportunity to shoot arises, take the opportunity! There is an extremely talented player in Lamela’s body but it is struggling to reach the surface. That first Premier League goal, whether a tap in, a deflection or an absolute stunner will help him though, he needs that soon now.

Difficult to take this result when we didn’t play terribly. Now, we have a good run of fixtures coming up and we need to take loads of points from them, including our games in the Europa League, and getting through to the next round in the Capital One Cup. I’m optimistic at our chances of having a good season; I believe in the squad we have and the manager. Next up, it’s Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League on Thursday 23rd October at White Hart Lane. Then, a return to Premier League action at home to Newcastle United on Sunday 26th October at the Lane. Let’s take positives from a loss and go and get some points in our next fixtures! COYS!!

Player ratings for the team that faced Manchester City:
Lloris – 8.5
Dier – 6
Kaboul – 5.5
Fazio – 5
Rose – 6
Mason – 8 – Man of the Match.
Capoue – 6.5
Lamela – 5.5
Eriksen – 8
Chadli – 6
Soldado – 6.

Subs:
Dembele – 5
Townsend – 5
Vertonghen – 5.

Mauricio Pochettino post match interview: