Etienne Capoue, the French Tank.

Yet another signing in what has been a brilliant window so far. Etienne Capoue has joined Spurs from Toulouse in a reported £9 million deal and a 4 year contract. The 25 year old French international known as the ‘French Tank’ back in his homeland is a centre defensive midfielder, but can also dip into the centre back position when required.

Competion.

Etienne will have to work hard to gain a place in the first team, with the quality we have in this area, but he will give our starters a run for their money, and this is always good. Squad depth and competition for places is needed when you build a squad trying to challenge for top honours. Capoue plays in the same position as Sandro, and it is now a battle between them for the starting spot.

Needed?

Personally, I think Capoue was needed. With Huddlestone leaving to Hull, Livermore to Hull on loan, and Scott Parker looking to be out the door, there is a definite space for Capoue. He is a better player than those three, and a France international, so it is good business to offload them and bring in Etienne in my opinion. We already had a very strong competition for places in the midfield with Holtby, Sigurdsson and Carroll, but they are much more attacking players. We lacked a back up for Sandro, and I’m very glad we now have it.

Attributes.

Capoue is a tank. He is so strong, with and without the ball. He can sit in front of the defence and make key tackles and interceptions. He made more successful interceptions than Mousa Dembele, Frank Lampard and Tom Cleverley combined last year in France, which shows you how important he is defensively. He scored 7 goals last season for Toulouse, and for a defensive midfielder/centre back, this is very impressive. A definite threat from set pieces. Experts on the game in France say he was the best player in the league last year apart from PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is massive praise indeed. Also, the Toulouse president explained Capoue as the best player Toulouse have produced in 20 years.

Summary.

This signing could turn out as a shrewd move from Daniel Levy and AVB, as he is highly rated in France, and with the World Cup coming up for Capoue he will want to show what he can do, and be starting regularly. A hard task, but it seems as though he has the ability to really push Sandro, Paulinho and Dembele for their starting berth.

Another signing, and more to come. Looking good for the new season. COYS!

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The Outgoings at White Hart Lane.

Ahh, the transfer window beckons once again, always a busy time at White Hart Lane, but not always the best of times. In the past we’ve had players going out that we wanted to stay, and players coming in who nobody wants! But this Transfer Window has to be perfect for us, we’ve got expectations as Spurs fans that need meeting, and if they aren’t, serious questions will be asked about the Tottenham board, it’s time to get rid of the deadwood and spend some money!

The Outgoing players.

A clear out is definitely needed for us this summer, we have players who are sitting around not contributing that will never reach the heights that we need them to. Our back up players simply aren’t as good as the teams around us, and it hurt us last season, and it needs to be rectified. The players below are the main outgoings, I think they are the most likely, but I wouldn’t be surprised at many others being shifted out of North London.

Jake Livermore – A definite outgoing this summer, hasn’t got the quality that we need and there are better back ups around him, it’s surely the end of his Tottenham career. I think a lot of mid-table teams could be in for him.

Price tag – £3million – £5million.

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Heureleho Gomes – Gomes is a player that has been on the way out for a long time, and this summer has to be the time he leaves, he is a player taking money from the club that we need in other areas and it’s time to ship him out.

Price tag – £500,000 – £2million

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Emmanuel Adebayor – Adebayor has had a poor season, and with the club reportedly paying him £100,000 a week, he has to go, this money has to be used in other areas of the squad, and Adebayor just isn’t the man we need to be paying the big bucks.

Price tag – £5million – £8million

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William Gallas – It’s being reported that we haven’t offered the veteran centre back a new deal and that he will leave the club, great news, more money freed up for other areas of the squad, and well, I think we can all agree we are happy he’s leaving.

Price tag – Free (Released)

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David Bentley – Again, it’s being reported that the misfit midfielder will be let go and that we have released Bentley, it’s sad that he didn’t really make anything of what was a promising career, but it’s time for him to move on. I hope he can maybe regain some old form at another club.

Price tag – Free (Released)

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto – I think a new left back is key in this summer, and this opens the door for Assou-Ekotto to leave, a good player throughout the years, but it seems he is not in the plans of AVB, and AS Monaco could be his destination.

Price tag – £4million – £5million

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Tom Huddlestone – I think Tom has been very unlucky with injuries, he was in a rich vain of form when injury halted his progress, he has never regained his old form, and it looks as though he has lost that little bit of class that used to make him a great player.

Price tag – £5million – £6million

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Jermain Defoe – Jermain will only leave if we sign at least 2 other strikers, Defoe is only good enough for the bench, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t like the idea, and wanted to leave. I like Jermain, but at 31, it could be time for him to move on.

Price tag – £7million – £8million

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Scott Parker – I would say Scott is a good back up player, he is a very hard worker and he only wants the team to do well, but I’m not sure if he’s at the level we need him to be, with Sandro coming back, he won’t have a first team place.

Price tag – £3million – £4million

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I think this clear out is needed, and it will happen to free up wages for incoming players, and a new deal for Gareth Bale. It’s inevitable that some younger players will be let go as well, with Dean Parrett already on the way out of the club, but we’ve got to hope that we keep some of our most talented youngsters as well, and integrate them with the first team.

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Everton

Big game, two teams fighting for Champions League football, both have good squads and it looks like it’s going to be a tough game. Both teams have injuries or suspensions so it’s going to be a scrappy game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were very little goals. Pienaar and Fellaini are out for Everton, also Baines and Mirallas are both doubts. This is good news for us as Everton don’t have a lot of strength in depth, they will struggle at the Lane. Bale, Lennon and Defoe are all out for us, but we have a good squad, and I think although it’s a massive blow that they are out, we have good, hungry players to replace them. Younes Kaboul could be back on the bench for us, but I wouldn’t expect to see him play a part at all yet.

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Lewis Holtby is facing his boyhood club, and has said it’s a dream to play against Everton, I expect him to start, and I wouldn’t be surprised to say he was Man of the Match after the game, he is going to be right up for it. Clint Dempsey could also start, can play on the left, and he can score us goals, something we are lacking at the moment, he’s got the talent, just needs to put in the performance. Scott Parker needs to up his performance from Thursday, he was poor, but now needs to show the same sort of form he is capable. Adebayor scored on Thursday and looked like he was trying to recreate his old form, and lets hope he can bang in another goal against Everton! It’s a big game, and a big opportunity to stay in third place. We can do it! The game is televised, it is on ESPN, kick off at 2:05pm. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Everton at White Hart Lane:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Sigurdsson – Parker – Dembele – Dempsey
Holtby
Adebayor

Match Review, Liverpool vs Tottenham

Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham
Suarez 21′ Vertonghen 45′, 53′
Downing 66′
Gerrard 82′

Very disappointing to lose this game, after a good performance, we deserved much more, but this is the Premier League, and frustrating defeats are very common for most teams. We went 1-0 down, Luis Suarez with a goal, and it looked like it was going to be their day, but then just before half time, Jan Vertonghen headed home and we started to really threaten. Second half, we played very well, and went ahead with another goal from Super Jan, this time with his feet, this made it look as though we could get an extraordinary win. Then a Kyle Walker mistake led to Downing getting the equaliser at a moment where we were comfortable. Then disaster struck, another mistake, this time from Jermain Defoe, led to Luis Suarez gaining a debatable penalty, Gerrard dispatched, unfortunately.

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Mousa Dembele was absolutely brilliant, he played an unbelievable game, in a position where he isn’t comfortable, worked hard and pushed us forward really well, massive player for us. Jan Vertonghen was almost the hero, two really well taken goals, and he defended well all day, great performance. Scott Parker had a good game, tackled well, and when he had the opportunity to push forward, he did so effectively. It’s disappointing, but we still have third, and in a good place, a loss to a good Liverpool team isn’t that bad, we push forward and look to the next game. Our next game is against Inter Milan at the San Siro on Thursday 14th March, have to get through that. Then our next Premier League game is against Fulham at the Lane on Sunday, 17th March. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Liverpool at Anfield:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 6
Dawson – 8
Vertonghen – 9
Assou-Ekotto – 5
Dembele – 9
Parker – 8
Livermore – 6
Sigurdsson – 8
Bale – 8
Defoe – 6

Subs:
Holtby – 6
Carroll – 7

Match Review, Tottenham vs Inter Milan

Tottenham 3-0 Inter Milan
Bale 6′
Sigursson 18′
Vertonghen 52′

A brilliant team performnce, an extremely good result to take into the next leg, we can now be confident of getting into the quarter finals of the Europa League. We attacked well, and defended even better, Inter couldn’t get a hold on the game and it made it easy, in the end, to get a convincing victory. A lot of people thought it would be a very hard test, and Inter would be a big threat to our hopes of winning the Europa League, but we were just too powerful for them, and in very good form. The tie is not over yet, we still have to go to the San Siro and perform, but it has just got significantly easier, the pressure is off us, and on them. They don’t seem to have much of a threat going forward, and their defence is all over the place, looking back at it now, we were always going to get a result unless something extraordinary happened.

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Gylfi Sigurdsson was awesome, he has finally settled into life at White Hart Lane and could be one of our most important players leading into the end of the season, it’s really good to see him having some joy in our starting 11. Jan Vertonghen had a great game in the heart of our defence, he was a leader on the pitch, and he lead by example. Jan’s tackling, interceptions and clearances have been superb all season, but in the last 5-6 games, they have been saving us points, a class act. Scott Parker has had his critics since coming back from injury, but he showed us what he was capable of, and put in a captain’s performance, he showed off some of the abilities we haven’t seen much of since he has been with us, he showed he is capable of driving runs and ensisive passes, hopefully he can continue with this until the end of the season because having Sandro out is a massive loss. Gareth Bale will make all of the headlines again, he didn’t play his best, and he still scored, that is the sign of a world class player, but to be honest, and probably harsh on him, he needs to up his performance for the coming games. Gareth is now out of the next leg with Inter because of a yellow he picked up for diving, a scandalous decision. Our next game is in the Premier League, away to Liverpool at Anfield, the game is televised, it will be shown on Sky Sports with coverage starting at 3:00pm. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Inter Milan at the Lane:
Friedel – 8
Walker – 8
Gallas – 8
Vertonghen – 9
Assou-Ekotto – 8
Lennon – 8 1/2
Parker – 9
Dembele – 9
Sigurdsson – 9 Man of the Match
Bale – 8
Defoe – 7

Subs:
Livermore – 7
Holtby – 7
Naughton – N/A

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Newcastle United

I feel like this could be an exciting game, both teams are very good in attacking positions, and both midfields are of the highest quality. I expect lots of chances, and an ‘end to end’ sort of match. Newcastle are coming into this match high in confidence after beating Chelsea 3-2 so they will try to get at us, and make it very difficult for our defence. Their main player at the moment is Moussa Sissoko, he’s been brilliant, a quality signing for the Toon. When Sissoko gets the ball he will be dangerous, Parker will have to be at his best to stop him. Yohan Cabaye is a player that will cause us problems, looks threatening every time he is on the attack, and he can help out defensively as well. Great player.

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Gareth Bale is in top form, world class form in fact, he’s been scoring goals for fun for Spurs and for his national side, Wales. He may be used as a striker for this game, and I think that’s a brilliant idea, he’s got pace, power, and at the moment he’s scoring goals! With Jermain Defoe out, and Adebayor likely to only be on the bench, Bale is, in my opinion, the best option. Lewis Holtby could get his first start on what would be his home debut, he’s been brilliant and the best thing is that he can only improve more! Clint Dempsey will probably start on the left, like he did against West Brom, this was effective, he knows the position very well. Hopefully we can get all three points, and move up to third, even if it is only for a couple of hours. The game is live on Sky Sports, with coverage starting at Midday, kick off at 12:45pm. COYS!!

My preferred line up to face Newcastle at the Lane:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembele – Dempsey
Holtby
Bale

Match Review, Leeds United vs Tottenham

Leeds United 2-1 Tottenham

What a dreadful result and performance. Extremely disappointed to be out of the FA cup, it’s a cup that we wanted to win as it is a cup that we have a lot of history in and to be out is devastating. Leeds were average at best, but they worked extremely hard and deserved the win. It was the fact that we were so poor, makes it such a hard defeat to take. There were some brilliant performances from the Leeds players, Luke Varney and Ross McCormack gave our defence hell, which is hard to believe seeing as our centre backs deal with some of the best attacking forces in the world and don’t have that many problems, very disappointing.

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Clint Dempsey, got a lot of stick today, but it was very unneeded because he was playing in a role that he shouldn’t have, we lack a striker, so this window must bring the arrival of a world class finisher. Our centre back pairing of Caulker and Vertonghen was absolutely shocking, for brilliant centre backs they looked scared of an average Leeds attack. Assou-Ekotto looked quite solid today, a bright light in an awful display. Parker was very good as well, he gave it his all, a true leader he deserved to be captain today. An awful result, but we have to move on and get our form back on the right track. Our next game is in the Premier League against Norwich on Wednesday at 7:45pm. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Leeds United:
Friedel – 7
Naughton – 5
Caulker – 5
Vertonghen – 5
Assou-Ekotto – 7
Lennon – 7
Parker – 8
Huddlestone – 5
Bale – 7
Sigurdsson – 5
Dempsey – 6

Subs:
Dembele – 7 1/2
Obika – 7
Walker – 6

Match Review, Tottenham vs Manchester United

Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United

What a result. After going behind, we held on and didn’t concede again and this gave us a massive chance for us to nick a point. We dominated the match from start to finish which is something that you don’t say very often against Manchester United, but we never got the goal early enough to push on and try and win it. We were brilliant, we showed maturity and a calmness that I haven’t seen before from Tottenham in a big game like this. This maturity could be the thing that could push a title challenge in these coming years, this game may be the beginning of something big at the Lane.

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Clint Dempsey showed his quality in the box, his goal was brilliantly taken, all day he worked hard and at the end it payed off for him. Aaron Lennon was, no doubt our best player, he worked extremely hard, defensively he was brilliant and in attack he was even better, everything we did came through him, our player of the season so far in my opinion. Scott Parker was superb, he had a very tough job dealing with Van Persie, Cleverley and Kagawa, but deal with them he did, his tackling was spot on. We may not have won the match, but it really helps us in our race for the top four, or the race for third. Our next game is in the FA Cup against Leeds at Elland Road, the game is live on ESPN. Our next Premier League game is against Norwich City at Carrow Road. COYS!!

My player ratings for the game against Manchester United:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Dawson – 7
Caulker – 8
Naughton – 7
Lennon – 10 Man of the Match
Parker – 9
Dembele – 8
Bale – 8
Dempsey – 9
Defoe – 7

Subs:
Assou-Ekotto – 8
Huddlestone – 7

Match Review, QPR vs Tottenham

QPR 0-0 Tottenham

This was a frustrating game for us, we had all the possession and all the chances, but we didn’t have enough firepower to break QPR’s brick wall down. We looked like we didn’t have enough width, Bale and Lennon were bystanders during the game, and when we don’t have width we find it hard to score. Credit goes to QPR, they showed a lot of passion and desire to keep us out, and Julio Cesar was world class. Adebayor is off to the African Cup of Nations, and so the cry for a striker intensifies.

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Scott Parker had to come on early on as Sandro picked up what looked to be a knee injury, and Scott was brilliant, he was calm on the ball and he dealt with Adel Taarabt well. Mousa Dembele was out of sorts, he didn’t control the game like he usually does, but every one has an off day once in a while. Defoe had a couple of chances, but Cesar kept him out well, so you can’t blame Defoe. It’s a point that goes towards the cause. It’s a better point for QPR than us, but I’m sure we will bounce back well against Manchester United at the Lane. COYS!!

My player ratings for the game against QPR:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Dawson – 8
Vertonghen – 8
Naughton – 8
Lennon – 7
Sandro – N/A
Dembele – 6
Bale – 7
Adebayor – 5
Defoe – 8

Subs:
Parker – 9 Man of the Match
Dempsey – 7
Sigurdsson – 7

Match Review, Tottenham vs Coventry

Tottenham 3-0 Coventry

A very comfortable win as many expected, we came out of the blocks early and got the first goal and it looked at that point like it was going to be 5 or 6-0. In the second half the pace was slowed and we saw out a comfortable win. Coventry gave it their all, and despite being 52 places below us they showed a good standard of football. Coventry’s fans were very good as well, but nobody can get near our quality support.

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Gareth Bale was a surprise inclusion to the starting line up, but he did his job extremely well and got a poachers goal before departing early on in the second half. Scott Parker started his first game after injury and performed majestically, his tackling was superb and his passion was flowing through every player, a natural leader. Clint Dempsey looks to have hit his goalscoring heights of his Fulham days bagging two goals today, he looked confident for the first time in a while. Gylfi Sigurdsson put in a good performance, his cross set up our first goal, he’s getting better and better every game. This was a very professional performance and it puts us into the 4th round of the FA cup, lets go and win it! Our next game is in the Premier League against QPR on Saturday at 12:45, the game will be shown live on Sky Sports. COYS!!

My player ratings for the match against Coventry:
Friedel – 8
Naughton – 8
Caulker – 8
Dawson – 8
Assou-Ekotto – 9
Sigurdsson – 9
Huddlestone – 8
Parker – 9
Bale – 9
Dempsey – 9 man of the match
Adebayor – 7

Subs:
Townsend – 9
Carroll – 8
Dembele – 8