The Ins and Outs at Tottenham in the Summer Transfer Window 2014.

The season is over, we’ve got a new manager and the World Cup is about to start. Time to relax, right? Far from it. The transfer window is fast approaching, with the window officially opening on July 1st, but all throughout June deals will be rumoured, proposed & some will be done all ready for pre-season. It’s a long window in the summer. July 1st until August 31st, so plenty of time for Tottenham Hotspur to get their squad sorted all ready for a massive Premier League season for the club. In this article I’ll be discussing the ins, outs & what I think the club has to do during what will be a busy summer for Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini & Mauricio Pochettino.

Firstly, I believe that during this summer window it’s crucial that we keep the core of the squad we have. That includes most of the 7 new signings and our longer serving players, this is because I have a lot of faith in the individuals we have and think the road to success is making the current squad click, not change it all up and starting again. Before last season, I was extremely excited with the signings and the structure of the squad we had, with a lot of depth, experience and young flair, but it didn’t work out as we wanted, the team failed to gel and in the end it cost Andre Villas-Boas his job. But, after having this first season in the Premier League, they are much more experienced and have learnt a lot, ready for them to hopefully, make the impact that we first hoped they would, especially with the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino who has a long history of getting the best out of his players. But, there are definite weaknesses in the squad that we have to address as to push on next season.

INS.
As I said; I don’t want an overhaul of the club and another 7-8 signings, we have extremely strong foundations of a World Class squad, but, in specific places we have to be aware of getting new players to possibly replace some fringe players & some that could unfortunately be sold to raise funds.

Centre Back – We currently have 4 senior centre backs, 5 if you include the promising Zeki Fryers, but Michael Dawson is now 30 and did not have a good season in my view, along with Younes Kaboul is the wrong side of 25 and is extremely unpredictable in both performances and injuries, so I think adding one could really be good for the team & add a bit of youth to the position.

There are a lot of options for centre back, but my favourite would be Southampton’s Dejan Lovren, who had a very good season for the Saints and has the connection with Mauricio Pochettino who brought him into the Premier League. A partnership between Lovren and Vertonghen would be great, wouldn’t it? Lovren is just 24 years old, the same age as Vlad Chiriches, so he also has a big future. In terms of price, I think he’d be worth around £12 million – £15 million, a reasonable price for a player of his age and level after Southampton paid £8 million for his services. I’d also be very happy if we could bring Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld to the Lane, the 25 year old ex-Ajax defender knows Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen well & we have been heavily linked, both last summer & this year, after he has expressed his disappointment with his game time in Madrid. I think he’d be a stellar option at the back, with his ability to bring the ball out of defence and with his pace. He can also play at right back, so has versatility too.

Other options could include free agent Joleon Lescott, who would be a much less exciting signing, but he has Premier League experience and it’s always a bonus that he would be free, although I’m sure his wages would be quite high. Another, would be Ezequiel Garay, but he would be a much more difficult signing because of the interest he already has from Champions League clubs, but he’s a 27 year old with incredible pedigree, but unlikely I think. Some would suggest Steven Caulker, but personally, I do not think he is at our level and is only being suggested because he’s a product of our academy, plus, I don’t think he’d be willing to play second fiddle again.

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Left Back – Probably the most important position that we strengthen this summer. Danny Rose had a torrid season and although he is only 23 years old, it’s difficult to believe that he will improve to the level that we need him to. So, I believe we should turn to either Swansea City’s Ben Davies, who is just 21 years old & now has 2 years of Premier League experience, performing extremely well & showing incredible promise, & I believe he’d be a brilliant addition, but difficult to obtain because of his personal connection to Swansea City, but it’s certainly someone we should enquire about, I’d speculate that his worth would be around £10million – £15 million.; the other is Ricardo Rodriguez of Wolfsburg, a 21 year old Swiss left back who has been incredible in the Bundesliga, but has a lot of admirers around Europe, so if we could get in early and show strong interest you never know what could happen, he’s an incredible player with a lot of potential, his value would be higher than Davies’, and I’d say the investment would be around £15 million – £20 million.

Other options could be Ajax’s Daley Blind, who is a 24 year old Dutch left back/midfielder who currently plays for Ajax, and his versatility and quality could be a really good addition to the club, but, is again, unlikely because of admirers from clubs in the Champions League. Finally, one other player who maybe, just maybe be possible is Luke Shaw, who although looking highly unlikely, his connection with Mauricio Pochettino could sway the deal in some way, at just 18 years old it would be a fantastic addition but he would be extremely expensive, with Manchester United rumoured to be offering £27 million for his services. As you can see, there are definitely players out there that could fill a gap in our team, & they are young players too who could grow under the leadership of Mauricio Pochettino.

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Left Midfield – We do have quite a few options on the left, Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Christian Eriksen & Andros Townsend can all play there, but we lack someone who is an out-and-out left winger who can bring pace and a crossing ability to the team. Eriksen and Sigurdsson both prefer central positions, with Townsend growing into a right midfielder, this leaves Nacer Chadli, who at times last season also looked more comfortable in the centre or the right, but I think over time on the left is where he’ll play. There is a gap. This gap can be filled by quite a few really talented players who I’d like to see at the Lane.

My first & realistic choice would be 24 year old Dnipro & Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, who has consistently been linked with a move to Tottenham and has a confirmed buy out clause for foreign clubs such as ourselves of £12 million, which in this market is an absolute bargain for a player who has a high pedigree of talent. Konoplyanka is known for his pace and ability to score a goal, as we saw when we faced Dnipro in last season’s Europa League, he was Dnipro’s outstanding player both home and away, giving our full-backs a torrid time. Of course, there are other options if this deal were to go pear-shaped or Liverpool decide to move for his services, & one of the options could be another Southampton player, Jay Rodriguez who was transformed by our new Head Coach into a goal scoring left forward last season, bagging 17 goals. Jay is 24 years of age, so has plenty of time ahead of him to improve, but the thing that obviously holds back this deal is his injury, in which he will be out until October because of a torn ACL. Surely this would put the deal into jeopardy, as paying big money for a player that’s return is unpredictable is something Daniel Levy normally wouldn’t do, although maybe this injury could force Southampton to sell at a lower price, I’d say he’d be worth around £10 million.

Other players that could tempt Baldini or Pochettino’s fancy could be Mauricio’s former captain at Southampton, Adam Lallana, who has been heavily tipped with a move away from the Saints, & of course speculation is rife that his relationship with Pochettino could sway Lallana’s decision to leave Southampton for Tottenham, instead of Liverpool. The 26 year old midfielder can play on the left, the right and through the middle and is rumoured to have an asking price of £20 million and rising, possibly close to £30 million depending on his performance for England at the World Cup. Last summer, we were heavily linked with Brazil winger Bernard, who eventually moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine for for £21.5 million, but recent quotes suggest it’s not exactly his dream to play in Ukraine and would be interested in a move to the Premier League, possibly sparking our interest.

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Striker – In January, we agreed to sell Jermain Defoe to Toronto, and he left the club in March, so we decided not to buy a replacement at the time, and stuck with Roberto Soldado, Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane. Now, with rumours and speculation of the sales of Emmanuel Adebayor possibly to Monaco, & Roberto Soldado a possibility to leave for Atletico Madrid, it seems we’re going to be in the hunt for a new striker once again. Personally, I’d like to keep hold of both Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado, but if we want to sign a new striker funds may need to be amassed, and that could mean their sales, or one of their sales.

My number one target for the striker position is Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony, the 25 year old Ivorian scored 25 goals last season in all competitions for the Swans, cementing himself as one of the best signings of last summer, & I believe he could be the striker we’ve been missing for a long time, with his link up play being exceptional and having that clinical touch which is now proven in the Premier League after being outstanding in Holland. A right handful for any defender and can grow at just 25 years of age, it’s said Bony has an expensive price tag on his head, though, with some reports saying only £25 million would prise him away from the Welsh club. Another option, although seemingly unlikely has to be Chelsea and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who has had a good season with Everton on loan, it could be time someone took him off Chelsea’s hands and he can have a permanent club who love him very much. At just 21 years of age, Lukaku has a massive future ahead of him, being Belgium’s number 1 striker and scoring 35 goals in 2 Premier League seasons, proving his suitability to the Premier League, the question is, after proving himself, do Chelsea want to let him go? It seems after the expected signing of Diego Costa, Romelu Lukaku could be up for grabs, & I reckon we could, just could have a shot for around £20 million.

Other options up front include 20 year old Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, who plays at Standard Liege, with comparisons between himself at Lukaku, & a reported £8 million fee wanted from Standard Liege, he could be a striker that could grow eventually into our first striker, & is someone I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to taking an ever so slight gamble on, plus he has a definite resale price, which is right up Daniel Levy’s street. Another player who has been constantly linked with Tottenham over the years is Loic Remy, the 27 year old QPR striker had a very good season with Newcastle on loan and I know some would be very happy to see the Frenchman who’s going to the World Cup this summer, grace the Lane next season. I am unsure on Remy, but if we could get a deal at around £8 million, I wouldn’t have many qualms.

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There is a lot of talent up for grabs, & without a doubt Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Mauricio Pochettino will be searching throughout the market for the players to improve the Tottenham squad, so if you’re reading Franco, have a little look at the players I’ve mentioned, eh?

OUTS.
In every transfer window, especially for a big club like Tottenham, players need to be let go. The reasons are differ but the fact is it’s ruthless, because you have to make difficult decisions for the best of the whole squad, which may mean getting rid of fan favourites, good quality players & those that could have a big future. In other cases, it’s the fact the players just aren’t good enough, or don’t fit into the way you want your squad to look. In this transfer window, I hope that we won’t be too ruthless, & I hope we keep what I have already said is the core of a World Class squad, but there are some players that can be let go, to help the team improve, not in depth, but in quality.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto – I think time is up on Benny’s adventure with Tottenham. He’s had great years at the club, but now, he’s not at the level we need him to be, to be our number 1 left back, or even a back up at the age of 30. I’m sure a Premier League club would be willing to buy him permanently, and for £5 million or so I would say goodbye and thank you without hesitation.

Danny Rose – It’s been a difficult season for Danny Rose, after a good loan move with Sunderland he’s found it difficult to adapt to the level we would have wanted him at. A new left back is in order, & some may say, getting rid of Assou-Ekotto and Danny Rose leaves us dry, but I believe Zeki Fryers could well be a very good back up for a new left back at the age of 21, and with Mauricio Pochettino’s emphasis on youth he could well turn to Zeki Fryers. I’m sure Rose would have a host of buyers, at a Premier League level, and I’d let go happily for around £6 million – £8 million.

Jake Livermore – It’s more of when than if with Jake Livermore leaving Tottenham. He’s had a great year at Hull City and deserves to play regular first team football, and it’s a simple fact that he won’t get that at Tottenham. Hull City could well buy him after his loan spell there, & he has said he would be more than willing to make his move to the KC Stadium a permanent one. Reports suggest Tottenham will ask for around £8 million for the 24 year olds services.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – I say this with a heavy heart. I like Sigurdsson a lot and believe he has tremendous ability, technique and mental attitude, but it hasn’t really clicked at Tottenham, as he hasn’t been given a sustained place in the starting line up in his favoured central role. It could be possible that we loan Sigurdsson, to se how he does playing regular football at a Premier League team, but at 24, I think Tottenham could look for a permanent sale, and I’m definite he’d have a host of teams interested in his signature. I like Gylfi a lot, but it is a choice between him, Holtby & Chadli on who goes and I think I’d prefer Sigurdsson to go than the previous two.

Roberto Soldado – I’m undecided on this one. Part of me says, get rid, get the funds and buy a striker that seems to suit us better, but another side of me thinks that we should keep him, as with all our new 7 signings, & let him have another season in the Premier League to prove himself. Although, he is 29 and I can’t see him improving too much. I’d put Soldado down as a possibility of leaving, with Atletico rumoured to be interested in his services, and I’d probably let him go at the £15 million – £18 million mark.

Other players I’d let go include Jonathan Obika, Iago Falque, Ryan Mason & Grant Hall after their loan spells last season – read about our loan player’s last season HERE. Players that I don’t want to leave who you may think aren’t good enough, or it’s time to get rid include Kyle Naughton, who I think being on the bench is fine as a good back up to Walker and at left back, Michael Dawson, our captain who I think deserves more respect from our fan base, and I’m sure he’d be happy to stay and sit on the bench too, playing in the cup games; Aaron Lennon who I believe still has something to offer Tottenham, and again, is a good back up player for the squad & Lewis Holtby who I think deserves a season with Tottenham to prove his worth to the fans and the new manager.

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It’s simply crucial that Tottenham hang on to their best players this summer. It is paramount to any sort of success that the club want to get this coming season and it will make Mauricio Pochettino’s job ever so easier.

Hugo Lloris – Our best player. World Class and my player of the year last season. It’s so important that Mauricio gets Hugo on side in his project and pushes on with him as an integral part of the squad and dressing room. We have to do everything to keep hold of Lloris, as in my opinion he is our only irreplaceable player and earns the team at least 10 points a season, he’s that good. Thankfully, it seems Lloris is happy to stay and doesn’t want a move back to France, so that holds us in good stead ahead of this summer. Part of me doesn’t want him to do well in the World Cup, just so the interest dies down! I truly believe Hugo will stay.

Jan Vertonghen – Thankfully, Jan has confirmed that he will ‘definitely’ be staying at Tottenham, which is fantastic news for the club. Jan is a leader & a wonderfully gifted player who brings so much to the team. He didn’t have a good season last season, but I truly believe without injuries he’ll further improve, & he can become a crucial part of the team once more. Get him a new contract.

Christian Eriksen – Along with Vertonghen, Eriksen has confirmed he doesn’t want to leave Tottenham after just 1 season, which is excellent news for us, although I never doubted that he would leave as he’s not the type from my eyes to just give up at the first hurdle. Obviously, Eriksen is going to only improve next season and I can’t wait to see him in Pochettino’s team. Hopefully, we will build the team around him for years to come.

Erik Lamela – An injury hit season for our record signing. At just 22 years of age, Lamela has a massive future at White Hart Lane and it’s of paramount importance that we don’t let him go after one disrupted season. Under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino I really believe Lamela could be one of our most important players next season on the right hand side. It’s important Lamela has a good pre-season and goes into next season fit and raring to go.

Others who are going to be crucial that I really want the club to keep are most of our summer signings last season, including Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue & Nacer Chadli. I believe all have big roles to play at the club.

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Conclusions.
It’s going to be busy, unpredictable and extremely exciting. It always is with Tottenham in transfer windows, but I hope we can get our business done swiftly and have an undisrupted pre-season in which Pochettino can implement his ideas on the team and we can start the season ready with a team that compete with the top. It will always be the aim to get top four, but, this season, all I want is for the team to play with dignity, passion & good football, & if they could win something that would be fantastic.

What are your thoughts? Who should we sign, who should we sell and who should we keep? Leave a comment below, subscribe and follow me on twitter – @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

Match Preview, Manchester City vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 24th November 2013.

Premier League

Finally we return to action, for what has felt like an age after our abysmal defeat to Newcastle at the Lane, we have the chance to redeem ourselves; and what better way to do it with a win at the Etihad? It’s not been the easiest start to the season, with a struggle for goals and three dreadful defeats to Arsenal, West Ham and Newcastle, but there has been a shimmer of light, with some good performances, so it’s not all bad, especially away from home where we have been exceptional in most matches. Defensively we are solid, so now we just have to find a way of getting that round thing in that rectangular thing, it can’t be that hard… No easy games in the Premier League, we figured that out the hard way, twice, but this is an extremely big challenge for us, to try to beat Manchester City on their own turf is something that hasn’t been done at all this season, and that’s the same with getting a draw, it’s normally a foregone conclusion Manchester City win, but, that’s what they said about Manchester United last season, and we went there, did the impossible and got the win. Anything is possible as the old saying goes, so let’s, in the words of Sandro ‘Win, win, win.’

Manchester City have not had a very convincing start to the season, sitting in a disappointing 8th position in the league, 1 point behind Spurs in 7th, scoring 19 more goals… While having a 100% record at the Etihad so far this season, their away form has let them down only winning 17% of their 6 games, losing 67%. But we visit the Etihad, so their away form really doesn’t matter to us, but neither should their home form, because we have an outstanding away record, winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 1, conceding only 1 goal in the process, the best in Europe. So we go there without fear, but with confidence. Manchester City are missing some important players for Sunday’s clash; Vincent Kompany their captain is out through injury, along with David Silva another key player and talented striker Stefan Jovetic, so that’s a plus, even though the players to replace them are world class too! Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Alvaro Negredo have been in scintillating form this season, and will the players we need to contain if we want any chance of winning the game.

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Erik Lamela. Sandro. Lloris. All must start against Man City on Sunday in my view, Lamela is high on confidence and we need the creativity to score more goals and break down a resolute Manchester City defence at the Etihad, while we need Sandro to break up the play and contain the threat of the brilliant Yaya Toure, Sandro has become one of our most important players in my opinion, and Lloris speaks for himself, we missed him so much against Newcastle and now he’s fit there is no doubt he’ll be in the starting 11. The team news is positive, with the whole squad available for the game on Sunday except for Christian Eriksen (4 weeks) and Danny Rose (2-3 weeks), which means Vlad Chiriches, Nacer Chadli, Ezequiel Fryers, Hugo Lloris and Emmanuel Adebayor are fit and in contention for a start. With Danny Rose still out with injury, I expect to see Jan Vertonghen continue his job at left back, with Vlad Chiriches and Michael Dawson continuing to build their partnership at centre back. As Christian Eriksen is out with an ankle injury, Lewis Holtby is expected to start and I feel that’s the right decision, Lewis has been good for us so far this season and we need that to continue, with an even bigger performance on Sunday. I would like to see Andros Townsend switch to the left hand side, with Erik Lamela fitting in on the right, I think that’s what we will see in the future, so with Lamela high on confidence I believe it’s the right time to see how it could work.

Match Stats ahead of our game with Man City provided by FourFourTwo

– No Barclays Premier League ground has seen more goals scored this season so far than the Etihad Stadium (22).

– The last time that Tottenham failed to score in three successive Barclays Premier League matches was back in January 2009.

– Of the 114 different players to have scored at least 40 Premier League goals, only Thierry Henry (122) has a better minutes per goal average than Sergio Aguero (123) in the competition.

– Man City have lost seven of the 26 Premier League games that Vincent Kompany hasn’t started since the start of 2011-12 (27%), compared to just 13% (8 of 61) when he’s started.

– No side has seen fewer players score a Premier League goal this season than Tottenham (4).

– Eden Dzeko has scored more goals against Tottenham Hotspur than any other side in the Premier League (5). Four of these came in a single game; Manchester City’s 5-1 defeat of Spurs at White Hart Lane in August 2011.

– 14 of the 18 goals scored in the last four Premier League meetings between these two sides have been netted in the second half.

– Tottenham have won the same number of points away from home this season as they have at White Hart Lane (10), this despite playing one game less away.

– Spurs have attempted the most shots a goal this season (157 – excluding blocked), but have the worst shot conversion rate (5.7%).

– Tottenham Hotspur have made the most long throws in the Premier League this season (120) – at least 45 more than any other side.

My preferred team to face Manchester City at the Etihad:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chriches – Vertonghen
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Townsend
Soldado

AVB talks to the press ahead of Sunday’s clash with City:

This is just the beginning for Erik Lamela..

When we signed Erik Lamela, the expectation from Spurs fans was through the roof, with the departure of Gareth Bale, comparisons and the tag of the ‘new Bale’ were a forgone conclusion, he even did the heart celebration once or twice! Expectation is something that comes with every signing at a new club, making an impact, changing the team for the better, so when you’re brought in for £30 million, and being tagged the new Messi in Argentina, it’s going to be extraordinary. Rightly so, too.

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Lamela has had a difficult start to the season, with the media giving him a lot of attention and stick partially because of his huge fee, then fans get impatient with what they’ve seen, after being used to seeing Gareth Bale destroy teams, most wanted a quick and harmless transition for Bale to Lamela, when this doesn’t happen, it is going to frustrate and worry some fans, normal, although definitely harsh. He’s only 21 years of age, doesn’t speak English, and has all this pressure on him to become the ‘main man’ at Spurs after a huge fee paid for him, plus the emergence of Andros Townsend, which nobody could have foreseen, probably not even Townsend. All these ingredients don’t add up to an all guns blazing world class player, that’s for sure.

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What we saw against FC Sheriff, was Erik Lamela making his mark. Yes, it’s only against a small Moldovan team in a game which we were more than expected to win, but it’s a start, a great one. Confidence is what has been really missing in Lamela, so this is exactly what he needed. You could see from the first minute he wanted to make an impact, he was all over the pitch, making tackles and always wanting the ball, even in the tightest of situations. His goal was really well taken, low into the corner and his celebration was of jubilation and relief, that was the reaction of all the fans and players as well, the crowd pulled that ball in just as much as Erik did. His run to win the penalty was just as satisfying, his ‘no fear’ approach to run at defenders and pull off some lovely skill that dazzled the opposition was something Spurs fans were waiting for, he’s here ladies and gentleman!

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Now it’s time for ‘Coco’ to push on, fight his way into AVB’s starting 11 and show the form he did in his Roma days. Scoring goals and creating chances, something we haven’t been able to grasp just yet. He could be the man to spark our attack into life, he’s got the goals, he’s got the skill, he’s the man. His best position is on the right, so a switch for Townsend to the left is something I’m all for, I believe that is the remedy to success, Andros can get to the byline, get crosses for Soldado to thrive on, with Lamela coming inside and creating things in the middle, also freeing Walker to attack from right back, having a bit more width could also free up some space for the number 10. Well, on paper it looks great! Time to see it in action, please Andre!

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This is just the beginning for Erik Lamela and his Spurs career, now let’s push on.

Erik Lamela vs Sheriff:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Hull City.

Match: Wednesday 30th October 2013.

Capital One Cup

Feels like just the other day we faced Hull City at Home! Our unconvincing 1-0 win over the Tigers on Sunday was a very frustrating game in the Premier League, but we got the three points and a clean sheet. Now to repeat the process in the League Cup, but hopefully in an easier and less stressful way, a convincing win would fit the bill for this game. Cup competitions split opinion of the fans, some want us to go all out and win a trophy, some want us to play our youth team in the cups and focus 100% on the Premier League. With the squad we have, I believe we have a good chance of winning a trophy this season, whether that’s the League Cup, FA Cup, or dare I say the Premier League I don’t know but I’d love to win one of them. Winning a trophy is what football is all about; emphasised by this quote: ‘The Game is About Glory’. The top four and the Champions League is without a doubt our main aim, but we should certainly be trying very hard to put some more silverware into our trophy cabinet.

Hull City showed us on Sunday that they are a good side that can press very well and make it difficult for their opposition, they are well organised and have players that can create opportunities. They lack a goalscorer, that’s for sure, but their midfield is very solid. In the Capital One Cup I expect Hull to play a weakened side, their main aim is to stay in the Premier League and any other competition could well distract from that, although I have no doubt that they will try very hard to win with the side they put out, they wouldn’t be devastated with a loss I wouldn’t think.

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Rotation is very much expected from Andre Villas Boas. This seems the perfect game to rest his key players ahead of a very testing game against Everton at Goodison Park that will be one of our biggest challenges of the season. AVB should rest as many first teamers as possible for this clash with Hull, and when he does this we will still have a strong team to put out. The joys of a deep squad. Erik Lamela hasn’t sprung into life yet, as he is finding it difficult to settle, although now his family have arrived in England this should help. Our record signing has undoubted ability, but as AVB said, he isn’t showing ‘half’ of what he can do, hopefully he gives us a little taste of what he can do at White Hart Lane on Wednesday should he start. Emmanuel Adebayor is back training and in the squad for this game; I’d expect Manu to start, and hopefully show some of the form he has been capable of pre last season. Adebayor is a player that, if he hits form, could be a great asset to the team. Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are all very close to coming back into the squad, but this game could have come too early for them as they continue their recovery. It’d be great to see at least one in the squad. Ezequiel Fryers is a doubt, but Andros Townsend should be fit for the game, but Townsend is very likely to be rested after his nasty fall on Sunday which sprained his wrist.

A game we want to win to continue in the cup! Wembley is always a great occasion, so let’s strive for it! Sadly, the game is not televised, but I’ll be sure to find a stream for you all and I’ll post it on my twitter account (@AddictedtoSpurs). Make sure you follow me there for team news, match updates, pictures and video updates. COYS!!

Match Facts provided by BBC Sport.

– This is the first meeting in the League Cup for Spurs and Hull.

– Hull have only won once at White Hart Lane – a 1-0 victory in their first-ever season in the Premier League in October 2008.
Tottenham

– Spurs have not lost in 90 minutes at home in the League Cup since losing 3-1 to Birmingham City in October 2000 – a run of 18 matches.

– Before beating Aston Villa in the last round, Tottenham were knocked out in their preceding four League Cup matches against top-flight opposition.

– Spurs have won the competition four times in 1971, 1973 , 1999 and 2008.

– Hull have reached the fourth round of the League Cup for the first time since 1977-78, when they lost 5-1 at Arsenal.

– The Tigers have been eliminated on six of the last seven occasions that they have faced Premier League opposition in this competition.

– That win came at Wigan Athletic in August 2008, the only occasion they have won over 90 minutes away from home against top flight opposition in 20 League Cup matches.

My predicted/preferred team to face Hull City at White Hart Lane in the Capital One Cup:
4-4-2
Friedel
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Naughton
Lamela – Paulinho – Dembele – Chadli
Adebayor – Defoe

What is Tottenham’s best 11?

Tottenham’s squad is undoubtedly one of the strongest and deepest in the Premier League, the amount of international regulars we have throughout the entire squad is staggering and holds us in good stead for the rest of this season and beyond, but what is the best starting 11 that can be put out in our biggest and most important games? It’s a difficult choice that will most likely differ in choice from one person to the next, but here is my choice and my reasons for picking them in my 11:

Formation

Early on in pre season it looked as though a change of style could occur, and we could go to a 4-3-3 formation, similar to Porto when AVB was in charge, but the addition of Eriksen who plays in the hole and also Lewis Holtby, means that we have stuck with the 4-2-3-1 formation, which adds more guile and creativity to the team than the 4-3-3. An easy choice. 4-2-3-1.

GK – Hugo Lloris

Most likely the easiest choice I have to make in the line-up. One of the best ‘keepers the Premier League has to offer. Fits our style of play with the high-line perfectly with his pace, agility and sharpness. Saved us numerous times so far this season, our nailed on number 1.

RB – Kyle Walker

Kyle certainly has his critics. Defensively he can be vulnerable, and his positioning is quite poor for a right back, but he is the best we have in the position and is still learning the game at 23. He will continue to improve defensively. Offensively, I think Walker is a real asset to the team, given the freedom to attack the right flank he can create for the team and cause threat to the opposition. Hopefully he improves more as the season continues.

RCB – Younes Kaboul

I think Younes is a quality centre back, who fits in with the way AVB plays. Pace, power and defensive composure. Two seasons ago he was arguably our best player, a rock at the back. Sadly, Kaboul really struggles with injuries, wether he can recover fully from these injuries is a definite question mark. I really hope he can, because if he becomes fit again, he will in my opinion start alongside Jan Vertonghen. While Younes isn’t fit, club captain Michael Dawson should get the nod.

LCB – Jan Vertonghen

Another easy decision. Vertonghen has cemented his place in our starting 11 from more-or-less day one. Commonly known as ‘Super Jan’, he performs consistently as one of the best centre backs in the league. On the ball he plays like a midfielder, off the ball, he plays like a world class defender, certainly one of our best players. Sometimes can be caught a little flat footed, but that’d be a very harsh judgement from myself.

LB – Danny Rose

Danny Rose proved himself in the Premier League with Sunderland on loan last season, being awarded player of the year. He’s come back, and he’s been very solid. An unsung hero so far this season. Offensively he has been good, but I’ve been disappointed with his final ball, hopefully it improves as he continues the season. Where I’ve been very impressed with Danny is defensively. Some picked him out as a ‘defensive liability’, but I don’t think this is the case at all. Sometimes he can be caught out while pushing up the pitch, but not too often as Jan Vertonghen is usually there to cover. When he is in defensive situations, he deals with them very well, he’s also made some extremely important blocks so far! Hopefully he continues his good form when he comes back into the team.

RCM – Paulinho

I’ve been very impressed with how Paulinho has settled into life at Spurs, he’s been one of the stand out players. Defensively he is strong and offensively, he’s even better! A true box to box midfielder that adds another goal threat to the team, but also a player who can pick a pass when needed. I believe he has to start, even with the fierce, and I mean FIERCE competition he is getting for his position from players like Capoue and Sandro.

LCM – Mousa Dembélé

My toughest decision in the team. Dembele, Sandro or Capoue. I was really tempted to put Sandro or Capoue in there, as they can add the defensive toughness to the team that Paulinho and Dembele possibly don’t have, certainly not like Capoue or Sandro do. Dembele makes us tick, I rate him very highly, his ability to glide past players and bring the ball out from defence to start attacks. To take him out could be a big mistake, but to leave him in could be a mistake in itself. Capoue has been phenomenal since coming in, and Sandro has been a rock for a while now. The toughest decision AVB will have to make is this one, in my opinion.

CAM – Christian Eriksen

Eriksen has been a great signing so far, bringing a creative touch to our powerful midfield. Controlled the game on his debut against Norwich and has already scored a beauty for us in the Europa League against Tromsø. It is still a tough decision to decide between Eriksen and Lewis Holtby. Both have been excellent so far this season, but Eriksen just tips it at the moment. Good competition for places in this area, with Erik Lamela able to play here as well.

RW – Erik Lamela

Erik hasn’t set the Premier League, or the Europa League by storm so far this season, and some may doubt his £30 million price tag, but I can assure you he will come good. 15 goals last season for AS Roma in Serie A, and at only 21, I truly believe he’ll be a star in the future. He hasn’t adapted to the physicality and pace of the Premier League just yet, and he also doesn’t speak English, but in time, when he does settle and maybe beef up a little, I believe he will gain his place in the Spurs side. The competition on the right flank is high, with the Premier League experienced Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend both fighting for the spot, but I think Erik will take it after he settles properly into the team.

LW – Andros Townsend

Having played right wing this season for both Spurs and England, it may be a bit of a surprise that I’ve placed him on the left. This would be my choice, to fit in two very very good wingers into the Spurs team, Lamela and Andros. Andros has lots of experience on the left, having started his career in the position, so I’d give him the left wing slot over Lamela. Townsend has shown he is very capable with both feet, he can come inside and shoot with his right, or have more of the option to go to the by-line and get a dangerous cross in. I believe this would get even more out of Townsend. He’s has a great start, hopefully he starts banging the goals in for Spurs like he has for England!

ST – Roberto Soldado

There is no doubt that Soldado has struggled to adapt to the Premier League’s pace and physicality, a bit like Erik Lamela. With only 2 goals in 7 games, which were from the penalty spot, it hasn’t been a great start for the Spaniard. It takes time, and I have faith in him to score the goals to help us reach the Champions League. His 24 goals last season in La Liga for Valencia show that he’s more than got it in his locker. His conversion rate in Spain was extraordinary, and when he finds his feet and gets the confidence back, I’m sure he’ll be banging them in for fun. His link up play has been excellent, despite not scoring, he’s made 11 chances for others in 7 games, which shows he helps us out in more ways than just goals.

Conclusion

It is very difficult to pick just 11 players, when the squad is so vast. Leaving out players like Sandro, Capoue, Sigurdsson, Chadli and Defoe is difficult, but it shows you the quality we have. I could name a second team quite easily, so the cup competitions should be quite an experience this season! It’s going to be a long season, and I think our squad will be right up there this season. Blips like against West Ham happen to the best teams, it’s how you respond that makes you a top team. COYS!!

Thanks for reading! What team would you play? Comment and SHARE!

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Match Preview, Tottenham vs West Ham.

Match: Sunday, 6th October 2013. Kick off, 4:00pm.

Premier League

Another London derby awaits us this weekend, our East London rivals West Ham visit the Lane. Every game in the Premier League is challenging and difficult, but this is a game we are more than expected to win, with the form we are in and the lack of form West Ham are in. We had to travel to Russia in the week, and got a relatively comfortable 2-0 win over Anzhi. A European hang over has been suggested, but with the squad depth we have, and the fitness levels of the players in the modern era being so high, I don’t see that as a possibility, hopefully we can get back to winning ways after our draw in another London derby against Chelsea. Getting a big win has to be the agenda, we haven’t scored three goals + in a Premier League game so far this season, hopefully we can get it against West Ham, would be extra sweet in a London derby.

West Ham do have good players, but scoring goals has been their downfall. With Andy Carroll a long time absentee, they don’t have that big threat in the air, and a goal scorer. Madibo Maiga has started up front for the Hammers, and he hasn’t impressed, having failed to score a goal this Premier League season so far, with our defensive record it appears this could be another game where he fails to hit the net. Mo Diame is a great player, a similar player to Mousa Dembele in midfield with his strength and ability on the ball, he could cause problems going forward, but the midfield battle can only be won by one team, surely that team is Spurs. Kevin Nolan is West Ham’s biggest goal threat, the attacking midfielder has shown that in his goalscoring record throughout his career, hopefully we can nullify his threat.

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Roberto Soldado has taken time to settle, he’s been in my opinion brilliant in his link up play, but he has lacked chances to show his finishing ability, against West Ham at White Hart Lane is a game in which I expect him to get chances, and I expect him to put them away. Pressure from Defoe has been big, so Roberto needs to step up and prove to the people who doubt him and prove me right that he is the man to lead the line for Spurs, and will score goals. I would start Soldado, and I think AVB would agree with me. Christian Eriksen has been great since coming in from Ajax, and this is a game I expect him to shine in again, hopefully he can create a profitable partnership with Soldado sooner rather than later. Gylfi Sigurdsson has been in great scoring form, his play from the left has been more than impressive, hopefully he can continue this form and help us to get the win at the Lane. I’d start Erik Lamela against West Ham, but Andros Townsend doesn’t deserve to be dropped after his impressive performance against Chelsea, I’m happy for Andros to be playing, but the time will come when Erik takes his place. Danny Rose, Etienne Capoue, Aaron Lennon, Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor are not available, they should return to action after the international break (October 16th).

Match stats provided by Opta from tottenhamhotspur.com

– Spurs have won 15 and lost just two of their last 25 London derbies at home in the Barclays Premier League (D8).

– West Ham have fired in just 14 shots on target in the league this season. Spurs surpassed this tally in their third game of 2013-14.

– Tottenham have attempted more shots from open play than any other side in the Barclays Premier League this term (69).

– Only Roma’s Morgan De Sanctis (91%) has a better saves-to-shots ratio than Hugo Lloris (89%) of all regular goalkeepers in the top five European Leagues so far in 2013-14.

– Spurs’ players have touched the ball 159 times in the opposition box this season; more often than any other side.

– Tottenham have lost only one of their last 16 Premier League games at White Hart Lane (W11 D4).

– West Ham have won just 10 points in their last 10 Premier League London derbies (W3 D1 L6), losing the last four in a row.

My preferred/predicted team to face West Ham at White Hart Lane:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Paulinho – Dembele
Townsend – Eriksen – Sigurdsson
Soldado

Match Preview, Anzhi Makhachkala vs Tottenham.

Match: Thursday, 3rd October 2013. Kick off 5:00pm GMT.

Europa League

We continue our Europa League campaign with a tough trip to Russia to face a team who are facing a lot of troubles, Anzhi Makhachkala. The match will be tough as the conditions in Russia do not exactly suit the way we like to play football. The pitch may not be in the most glamorous state for the attractive passing football that we like to play, therefore we will have to adapt to the conditions quickly to get the three points that we need. We have been playing well, we still need time to gel as a team, and the thing that helps most with the development of the squad is matches, at the moment, with matches coming thick and fast, we are gelling as a team and becoming better and better. The Europa League is a trophy that we are striving to win, we tried last season and failed, but we showed a good attitude towards the competition with a weaker squad than we have now. Hopefully, with what is now a much stronger squad, we can create European glory once again.

Anzhi have been in terrible form, they lie bottom of the Russian League without a win in 16 attempts in all competitions. They had a fire sale in the summer window losing their star players Samuel Eto’o and Willian to Chelsea. Their owner ordered a ‘restructure’ of the club, and has now gone into HIDING after being placed on a most wanted list for corruption charges. It really is a shambles in Russia. They do hold a threat going forward, with their 6’8 Ivorian striker Lacina Traoré, but he is said to be out of the game with a shoulder injury. Jucile in midfield is an ever present and can be said to be their most creative of players, with, in the absence of Traoré, Burmistrov their man to lead the line, but has only grabbed one goal in seven apperances.

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AVB has always expressed his full commitment to the Europa League and sees it as a trophy that we can win, so strong teams will be played in the competition. We have extremely good squad depth, so the team we field *should* always be capable of getting the result we need. We take one star out, and replace them with another, something we have never had before. Jermain Defoe has been scoring goals for fun in the cup competitions, he is expected to start once again, so let’s hope he continues his good run. A safe bet for first goal scorer I’d say! Lewis Holtby is another to have shined in the Europa League, his ability to find a pass has been needed, he has fed Defoe extremely well so far, he should replace Christian Eriksen in the team for the game against Anzhi. Erik Lamela hasn’t been starting in the Premier League as he continues to settle in at the club, this is a perfect opportunity to show what he can do, and why he has to start ahead of an in-form Andros Townsend and when he returns, the long time starter on the right, Aaron Lennon. Danny Rose should be fit to return, but I’d like to see him rested so he is fully fit to return on Sunday for our clash with West Ham. Emmanuel Adebayor returned to first team training at the start of the week, but didn’t travel as he continues to regain his fitness, a good asset to have once he’s back.

A game we should be winning, if we do grab the three points it puts us in a great position to progress from the group. Anzhi, while they are a difficult task, shouldn’t be good enough to overcome a team full of confidence like we are. The game is being shown live in the UK on ITV 4 with coverage starting at 4:45pm. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred line up to face Anzhi at the Saturn Stadium:
Friedel
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Fryers
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Chadli
Defoe

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Chelsea.

Match: Saturday, 28th September 2013

Premier League

What a game we have in prospect here. A London derby between two sides who are expected to be challenging for the coveted Champions League spots, and maybe even the Premier League. The game is being built up as ‘The Master vs The Apprentice’, in other words Jose Mourinho vs Andre Villas Boas. They both go back a long time with similarities in their approach to the game being made constantly. They are phenomenal coaches, but there is a sense of a rift between the two, it doesn’t seem that they are friends anymore, for us fans it’s great to see rivalry and for the coaches it’ll add a little tension into the game, if you can fit any more in to a game of this magnitude that is! We’ve had a great start to the season and a win against our fierce rivals would make it even better. I’m very much looking forward to the task ahead.

Chelsea are a very solid team with exceptional players. Their start hasn’t been great, with criticism coming from the media about Jose Mourinho’s style of play and decisions to leave out quality players like Juan Mata and David Luiz. Despite all the critical views, they sit in fourth place with ten points out of a possible fifteen, two points behind ourselves in second. The threats they have to try and hurt us are strong. Eden Hazard hasn’t impressed this season so far, but he’s a gifted player who can cause defences lots of problems with his skill and trickery, how Kyle Walker deals with him on our right hand side could be crucial. Juan Mata, if he plays, is another player who in the whole can create chances and be a nuisance to defenders. Our defensive midfielders are key to stopping him, or Oscar if he gets the nod. Defensively I feel we have the quality to contain them, but we need to be fully concentrated. Great team, but their striker situation will be a worry as no striker has scored for them this season.

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Midfielder Paulinho has been in sensational form, scoring two goals in the last two games against Cardiff in the Premier League and Aston Villa in the League Cup. He’s shown so far that he’s certainly worth the £17 million price tag, hopefully he can continue his scoring form and general domination of the midfield against Chelsea. There are a few selection headaches that AVB will have for this one. Jermain Defoe and Lewis Holtby have been in scintillating form, scoring goals and creating chances for others. Lewis Holtby gained three assists against Aston Villa and has shown why we brought him in last January window, the way he can spot a pass is great to watch and his passion something all the fans love him for, it’s hard to fit him in though with Eriksen one of the first names on the team sheet at the moment. Hopefully André can find a place for him. Jermain Defoe is unlikely to start, with Soldado ahead of him in the ranking, he’s in good goalscoring form but I do prefer Soldado as he helps the team out more with his link up play, it will be hard to keep Defoe out if Soldado doesn’t hit goal scoring form soon though… I think Sandro has been very good in the games he has played this season, whether to play Dembele or Sandro is yet another decision to make for Villas Boas, both give so much to the team, I fancy Sandro as he gives us more defensive security. Erik Lamela should get his first Premier League start this weekend, this will bring us a lot of creative talent and he scored last time he faced them in a pre season friendly, hopefully he can do the same at the Lane! Danny Rose has a 90% chance of making the game as he recovers from his injury, would be a big boost to have him back.

An exciting game awaits. I’m sure the Lane will be absolutely rocking. The match is being shown live on BT Sport 1, with kick off at 12:45pm. Let’s get this win that would mean so much to everyone involved to the club. COYS!!

Match Facts provided by Opta from tottenhamhotspur.com

Chelsea have not failed to score in three successive Premier League away games since April 2002.

The last three competitive meetings between Tottenham and Chelsea have produced a total of 16 goals in total (an average of 5.3 per game).

Tottenham have conceded more Barclays Premier League home goals to Chelsea (38) than any other team.

Chelsea have only conceded 22 goals in 21 Premier League outings at White Hart Lane.

Five of Tottenham’s last six Barclays Premier League games have ended 1-0 (W4 L1).

No team in Europe’s top five leagues has conceded fewer goals than Spurs this season (1).

Spurs have fashioned more goal attempts from open play (60) than any other team this season but have scored only three of them.

None of Chelsea’s strikers have scored a Barclays Premier League goal yet this season.

If this game is a draw then Chelsea will have made the same start as they did in 2007-08 when Jose Mourinho departed after six Premier League matches.

Chelsea haven’t scored more than two goals in any of their last 11 Premier League games.

My predicted/preferred team to face Chelsea at White Hart Lane:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Sandro
Lamela – Eriksen – Holtby
Soldado

Match Review, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Tuesday 24th September 2013

Capital One Cup

Aston Villa 0-4 Tottenham. Defoe 45′, Paulinho 49′, Chadli 86′ and Defoe 92′.

Great performance, great win and another great clean sheet. We progress to the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, and we did so in style. We controlled the game from start to finish, in the first half it was harder to break Villa down and they continued to press well, but our possession game was very good and as they tried to push us back, we pushed them back with powerful play. A piece of Lewis Holtby magic put in Defoe to make it 1-0 on the stroke of half time. The turning point. We came out of the blocks quickly in the second half and Paulinho grabbed our second of the match and his second in two games from a Holtby corner, a well taken ‘Kung fu kick’ goal to add to his back heel at the weekend! We continued to dominate possession, seeing 60% of it all game, which is always nice. Nacer Chadli took his first goal for Spurs very well, and made it 3-0. Lewis Holtby got his third assist of the game and gave Jermain Defoe his second of the night, and finish it off, 4-0. We were very good, but Aston Villa were not good and made it easy for us in places.

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Lewis Holtby was outstanding, all over the park making tackles, passes and key interceptions. He made three of the four goals and is showing AVB he deserves to start! It’s hard to fit him in to the side, but I think we really need to find a way to fit him and Eriksen into the team. Decisions that AVB will want to have! Sandro dominated in the defensive midfield role, another player pushing hard to regain his place in the side, very good on and off the ball, tackling as always top notch. Paulinho was incredible again, he’s showing that he really is a world class box to box midfielder that can chip in with goals and be a total boss of the midfield area. Long May it continue! Vlad Chiriches made his debut, and impressed in the second half. He was nervy at first, which is expected, but he settled down and started to play his football, coming out with the ball, with sharp passing and making some key tackles at the back. Is Brad Friedel human? The 42 year old goalkeeper still flies to make brilliant saves in his old age, it’s like he’s in his 20’s! Awesome back up.

Great win, and we progress to the fourth round. A good draw would be appreciated, and a home draw! 9 Games, 20 Goals Scored, 1 Goal Conceded, 8 Different Scorers, 8 Wins, 1 Loss. A very good start to the season! Our next game is against Chelsea at the Lane on Saturday 28th September, kick off at 12:45pm, live on BT Sports! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup:
Friedel – 8 – The old man’s still got it! What a great back up keeper to have, surely the best back up in the Premier League.
Walker – 7 – Very solid, good going forward, even better clearing up at the back. Looks back to his best dare I say it.
Chiriches – 7 – Shaky start with a few mistakes, but grew into the game and showed his quality.
Vertonghen – 8 – Rolls Royce in defence. So good, so consistent. Little bit of a pants down moment for him though!
Fryers – 7 – I thought Zeki was very solid. Made some superb tackles, and a good back up for Danny Rose I think!
Paulinho – 9 – Outstanding again, got his goal, but his passing and general game was incredible I thought.
Sandro – 8 – Both Sandro and Paulinho make a great pairing, Sandro the enforcer was brilliant!
Lamela – 8 – First half he was borderline mesmerising. We needed to get him the ball more in advanced areas, drifted in second half.
Holtby – 10 – Can’t find a fault with his game today. Man of the match. Three assists says it all!
Kane – 6 – Was good in parts, a little slow but he contributed quite a bit, should have scored first half!
Defoe – 9 – Another brace for Jermain. Finished them both very well, competition for Soldado!

Subs:
Chadli – 7 – His first goal for Spurs, a great finish. Nice impact after coming back from injury.
Dawson – N/A
Dembele – N/A

Match Preview, Aston Villa vs Tottenham.

Match: Tuesday, 24th September 2013, kick off 7:45pm at Villa Park.

Capital One Cup

We face a tough trip to Villa Park in the third round of the Capital One Cup, our journey in the competition starts here. Andre Villas Boas has stated tad stated that the League Cup is not top priority, and I agree fully. The Premier League is our main focus, getting into the top four is a must and anything else is sadly a distraction. AVB likes the Europa League and thinks we should also have a significant amount of focus on that and I agree again. Winning the Europa League would be a brilliant achievement and one certainly plausible with the side of our squad. I’d love to win the League Cup. It’d be great to get a trophy in the bag for AVB and the boys, but I just can’t see a cup run in the Capital One Cup not affecting our performances in the Premier League and the competition AVB favours, the Europa League. I want to win every game though, so if a suspected weaker team can do the job, hooray!

Villa Park is a really tough place to go and get a result, they have a good team and I suspect they’ll want a cup run so I can see a strong team being put out against us, but it’s hard to call as I can’t read Paul Lambert’s mind on his thoughts on the Capital One Cup and I don’t know if he wants to give the youngsters a turn! Going into a cup game, anything can happen and form means nothing. It’s a totally different game to a Premier League encounter. Aston Villa’s main threat Christian Benteke is out of the game with a thigh injury, which is good news for us, but not them! Andreas Weimann is a great player and has proved his quality for a couple of years now. Good on the ball and grabs Villa goals! Gabriel Agbonlahor can hurt even the best opposition with his pace. He can hit you in behind or run at you with his good dribbling technique. Weimann and Agbonlahor are Villa’s main threats. Brad Guzan in goal is going to be tough to get past. Top class goalkeeper.

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It’s hard to predict a line up. It really could be anything, but, AVB has said that players involved in the Cardiff match will not take part in the game as they don’t have enough time to recover in just two days for the game against Aston Villa, or very few will anyway. With this in mind, I expect all the ‘fringe’ players to get a chance to show what they can do. We have a big squad, but even with this squad we have quite a few injuries. Nacer Chadli, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defore, Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are all doubts for the game and the calibre of the players is immense, so it takes it’s toll on the squad. Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela only had short spells against Cardiff, so I do expect them to start and get some much needed game time under their belts, they will provide a great amount of creativity and I think their performances will affect hugely the outcome of the match. Harry Kane is the striker I expect to start, with Jermain Defoe a doubt with a groin strain and Roberto Soldado extremely unlikely to be risked, it seems he is the only option to start with. Brad Friedel should be number 1 against the club we signed him from, and it’ll be a nice evening for him to go back to Villa Park, although not as nice if we don’t win.

Difficult game as I said, and a weaker team expected to play, but I’m sure it’ll be an intriguing match. The game sadly is not televised, and I’m unsure if there will be streams available, follow our twitter, @AddictedtoSpurs for video’s of the goals and if there are streams, we’ll be sure to post one!

My predicted/preferred team to face Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup:
4-2-3-1
Friedel
Naughton – Kaboul – Chiriches – Fryers
Sandro – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Sigurdsson
Kane