Danny Rose, Left Back to the Future!

After what can only be described as a difficult and unfulfilling 2013/14 season for Danny Rose personally, not showing any of his best form, looking uninterested and at times uninspired. But Great Scott, we have seen a complete transformation into one of our best players throughout this season. The left back has earnt two England call ups and at 23 years of age, and if he can continue to peform, then you wouldn’t put it past him to gain even more. We the fans have been desperate for a consistent left back for many years, with several having small flourishes in the position such as Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gareth Bale before moving further forward and even new signing Ben Davies was thought to be the man to cement the position; but after all of that, it was the man from Leeds, that has come through Tottenham’s academy and now reached the point of being for now, Spurs’ number one left back – and at 23, he could yet cement himself as that left back for many years to come.

Watching the England man last season, you couldn’t see much hope – and I am sure he would be the first to admit he was under par. With the season Tottenham had, looking back you couldn’t blame Rose for looking disillusioned with the game and I am sure football became insipid for the left back at times, being critised after every little mistake by the not so faithful supporters; Tottenham was not a very happy place, and it wasn’t very stable last season, making it difficult for the players to feel comfortable I would assume, and it looked as though that affected Rose – who looked nothing like the player that scored a wonder goal on his debut against Arsenal – that player had passion and excitement when playing. I think Danny Rose lost interest, meaning the way he played suffered. But, alas, Rose has risen from the dead this season under Mauricio Pochettino, with the Argentine reigniting the fire within Rose and he looks a new man; he tackles with conviction, runs with purpose and is determined to win – becoming a vocal character on the pitch with his team mates. Yes, he has still made mistakes this season, and yes he can be a little bit naïve defensively, but that is the same with all offensive full backs throughout the game, and I would say that the balance that Rose has got between defence and attack is very good, and will only improve we hope.
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After Ben Davies signed for Spurs from Swansea for £10 million, it looked as though he would push on to replace Rose at left back, and that Mauricio Pochettino wasn’t keen on the Englishman – but it turned out that this investment in the 21 year old Welshman has had a good effect on both players – pushing eachother to improve throughout the season. Danny Rose started off the season as number one left back, but injury allowed Ben Davies to stake a claim, and he did impress, with a great performance against former side Swansea at the Liberty Stadium sticking out in my mind, and that looked like a turning point – Ben Davies replacing Danny Rose who had been good, but there were still doubts over his long term future as Tottenham’s left back amongst the fans. But, the tinking was premature and probably the most impressive thing about Danny Rose’s season is that he fought hard and regained his spot as number one left back from Ben Davies; perfoming in the Cups and I am sure he impressed in training and all of a sudden, Rose was establishing himself as one of Tottenham’s most impressive players.

Rose has a big impact on the way the Lilywhites play, with not much width on the left hand side with Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen; the usual operators on the left flank always looking to cut inside and make an impact through the middle; they have been reliant on Rose to give them that pace and width with crosses, and it gives the creative players in the middle a good wide outlet. Without the pace of Rose, Spurs have had real problems down the left hand side, notibly against Southampton, where the Tottenham side was crying out for a player to bomb down the left hand side. Rose has contributed with 5 assists this season, a good tally from left back, and also seen himself poach 4 goals, which is no mean feat – with a goal against Chelsea to his name. I am sure he will be looking to increase that tally next term.
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The impact Mauricio Pochettino has had on Danny Rose cannot be underestimated, with Mauricio seeming to put an arm around Rose and as I have said, reignite that passion for football within him, and his quality has shone after that; he has deserved the plaudits he has got – but there are still doubts about him from some, but other than Harry Kane, he has arguably been Tottenham’s best player this season and Rose will be hoping that this form can continue for a long time yet and he can prove those few doubters left, wrong. COYS!! Remember to follow me on twitter, here: @AddictedToSpurs. And also check out my instagram page, here: addictedtospurs, to keep up with everything Tottenham!
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Michel Vorm proving himself worthy at Tottenham Hotspur.

Hugo Lloris is without doubt our number one goalkeeper, but after the Frenchman suffered an injury to his knee which has kept him out for four games so far, we have had to rely on summer signing Michel Vorm in these Premier League fixtures – the Dutchman’s first four League appearances for the club since his move from Swansea. His performances have been admirable in these games and I don’t think we could wish for a more reliable and commanding goalkeeper to replace our usual captain.

Vorm has had to wait patiently for his opportunity in the Premier League, playing his part in the cup games, and doing very well, apart from the rare mistake against Leicester City. Mauricio Pochettino in the summer no doubt identified that we had a significant hole in goalkeeper department, with nobody pushing Hugo Lloris to be better, but also nobody there apart from Brad Friedel, who despite being a very professional player, at his age can’t be relied upon in the Premier League, there needed to be a signing. With no back up of the quality of Michel Vorm, we were risking losing points having to play 43 year old Brad Friedel.
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Michel Vorm has been very professional and patient since coming to Spurs, being only complimentary of his goalkeeping teammate Hugo Lloris, while also not moaning (in public or to the media) about his lack of opportunity in the Premier League. It’s very important that the squad work harmoniously and Vorm has without doubt been only good for the side, certainly he has been no problem what so ever, and I am sure that Hugo Lloris and the squad would agree.

On the pitch, in these four games that Michel Vorm has had to step in for, although the results haven’t been fantastic against Burnley and Aston Villa, Vorm has been dependable, authoritative and vocal. His shot stopping is good and his distribution arguably better than that of Hugo Lloris’. His professional attitude has been great, and his appreciation of the club and what we expect commendable. I have been totally impressed by his attitude from the second he came to Tottenham and hope this outlook will continue during his time at the Lane.
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At 31, Vorm is showing his experience, and that has been great to have him come in and do a stellar job replacing our number one. Going to the World Cup with Holland, having won the League Cup with Swansea and of course being the Swans’ number one for a few years, means that our back up keeper is more than qualified to play second fiddle to Hugo Lloris, and is great to have as back up when needed. The only question you can have of him is whether he could have gone to a club that he would have been their first choice, but his answer of saying that it’s due to the training ground and the ‘big club feeling’ is more than enough for me; I am happy to have him.

There’s no doubting we got a bargain back up goalkeeper from Swansea this past summer, and I think now that we have had a taste of what it’s like for Hugo Lloris to be injured and have someone as reliable as Vorm to fill in, we won’t worry too hard about our goalkeeping situation for a quite a while. It’s enjoyable to see two-quality goalkeepers work so well together, and hopefully both Hugo and Michel are improving because of their healthy competition, along with the experience and know-how of Brad Friedel, who on a side note, I really hope stays with the club in a coaching role after his inevitable retirement.
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Let’s hope Hugo gets back fit soon – but in the meantime, we’re lucky to have such a dependable goalkeeper in Michel Vorm at our disposal, and it’s proving to be a very wise acquisition for Spurs. COYS!!
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POLL:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Swansea.

Match: Wednesday 4th March 2015.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 3-2 Swansea.

Tottenham goalscorers: Chadli 6’, Mason 51’ and Townsend 60’.

Swansea goalscorers: Ki 19’ and Sigurdsson 89’.

A really, really good three points. After the Capital One Cup final disappointment, you could possibly understand if the players looked a little dejected out on the pitch after losing only 3 days ago, but that certainly wasn’t the case as we performed very well, especially in the second half to beat a very decent Swansea side at White Hart Lane. We didn’t look tired but determined; determined to prove that we can still go on to challenge for the top four and that the Capital One Cup final defeat wouldn’t be the defining moment of our season. We started very brightly, worked very hard, found our rhythm and got a very good three points. The past was firmly laid to rest, and the player’s minds looked firmly focussed on the future, starting with this game and we have won well. The result looks close, but we deserved to win; we were superior in all aspects of the game and despite a late rally from the Welsh side, we looked well worth the three points and it would have been so discouraging to drop two points because of a late show from what was an under par performance from the Swans in my opinion.

In the first half, it was an electric start to the game; and the lightening struck first in Tottenham’s favour as Danny Rose bombed forward and supplied a beautiful cross that found Nacer Chadli who provided a simply wonderful volleyed touch that found its way past Fabianski and into the net for 1-0 just 6 minutes in. That was Nacer Chadli’s 11th goal of the season as he continues to show his dazzling scoring talent. The game was stopped shortly after that as Bafetimbi Gomis provided a shock to everyone after fainting on the pitch, with flashbacks to Fabrice Muamba replaying in the minds of Spurs fans; the Frenchman was stretchered off, but was conscious and is now perfectly fine, which is fantastic to hear. After that scare, Swansea pounced on what was a lack of concentration at the back as Gylfi Sigurdsson hit a free kick onto the post and we fail to clear our lines, as poor defending from Jan Vertonghen allowed Ki Sung-Yeung to poke the ball through the legs for 1-1 on 19 minutes. We still looked good on the ball, with Bentaleb and Mason looking good in midfield, hitting strikes from long range, but comfortable for Fabianski. Jonjo Shelvey going close for the Swans, stinging the palms of Hugo Lloris in-between the Spurs sticks. It finished 1-1 at half time, with all to play for in the second half of the match.

And the second half started much like the first, as 6 minutes into the second period we took the lead once again! Christian Eriksen dazzling the Swansea defenders with his dribbling skills, before the ball made its way into the path of the oncoming Ryan Mason, who sorted his feet, before unleashing a strike into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 on 51 minutes. We were looking good on the ball, and found ourselves in the driving seat thanks to our goal scoring midfielders. And to get our third goal only 9 minutes later was another midfielder; after the referee played a brilliant advantage after a foul on Bentaleb, Andros Townsend ran at the Swansea defence with intent as he so often does, and this time he had the end product, cutting in onto his so called weaker right foot and delightfully finished into the top of the net for 3-1 on 61 minutes, and it looked like Swansea were down and out, as we looked to cruise to victory. But, this is Tottenham we’re talking about, and they wouldn’t allow us to cruise to victory, but instead hold our breath and hope for mercy. The player to cause the unrest was former Spur Gylfi Sigurdsson, who powered a shot past the despairing Hugo Lloris for 3-2 on 89 minutes, and the late flurry from Swansea was very unnerving, as it would have been so disappointing if we had let all our hard work go to waste, and we had to thank the unbelievable Hugo Lloris who somehow got his hand to a Fernandez header to save us two points. Thank Hugo! Great result.
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We had a lot of stand out performers in this game. In the first half we didn’t hit the heights we could have, but in the second half the team improved and stepped up our level of performance. In particular, it was nice to see Christian Eriksen improve and find his feet in the game after being fairly poor recently, he created the second goal and looked much more threatening and free in the second half, passing the ball well and creating some good opportunities; hopefully the Dane can continue to improve and further impact our games; because when he plays well, the team plays well. Ryan Mason played a great game too, in midfield he was tenacious and also got a goal, which as the more advanced player in the midfield pivot of Mason and Bentaleb, he needs to do. He has the ability to score goals and be effective offensively and it was his day to clutch his first Premier League goal for Tottenham, and hopefully his first of many. Our full backs’ bombing forward is a feature of our play without doubt, and Danny Rose has been fantastic so far this season and his assist for Chadli was super. His delivery has been questioned during his career but there are signs of improvement under Pochettino, and he has cemented himself as a very good Premier League left back, and definitely our first choice ahead of Ben Davies. It is fantastic for Nacer Chadli to get back on the score sheet after a difficult couple of months for the Belgian – he has been a revelation so far this season and his goal scoring tendency has made him a fan favourite; having Nacer, Kane and Eriksen all flying would give me hope of a top four finish. There’s no more superlatives left in the world to describe Hugo Lloris, so I’m transforming his name into one. Lloris was extremely Lloris.

A brilliant three points against a tough opposition! We produced three incredibly nice goals to go with a solid performance and very important three points. Thankfully we held on and ended our drought of wins. Next up is another London derby away at Loftus Road against QPR. It’s going to be a tough game against a scrapping Rangers side under the guidance of former Spurs coach Chris Ramsey! I’m sure that’ll be a good game. You can follow me on twitter, @AddictedToSpurs for all the coverage ahead and during the QPR game! Let me know your views on our win over Swansea in the comments below! Up the Spurs! COYS!!

My player ratings for the side that beat Swansea at the Lane:
Lloris – 8.5
Walker – 8
Dier – 8
Vertonghen – 7.5
Rose – 8.5 – Man of the Match. (Davies 78’ – 6)
Bentaleb – 7.5
Mason – 8.5
Townsend – 7.5 (Dembele 64’ – 6)
Eriksen – 8
Chadli – 8.5
Kane – 7 (Soldado 76’ – 6)

Mauricio Pochettino reacts to our 3-2 win over Swansea:

Match highlights from the game:

Ryan Mason post match reaction:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Swansea.

Match date & time: Wednesday 4th March 2015. 7:45pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not broadcast live in the UK. Worldwide TV listings can be found HERE.

After a very disappointing result at Wembley, being defeated 2-0 by Chelsea, our attention turns very quickly back to the Premier League, where we have to pick ourselves up and fight to secure a good finishing spot in the League. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, or use it as an excuse, because there aren’t any excuses, we have to take responsibility to improve and learn from the disappointment and make sure it doesn’t happen too often in the future! Our focus now has to be on an important game against Swansea, where we have a good opportunity to stop what can only be seen as a slump in form after our Arsenal heroics, with no wins in 5 games in all competitions. Losing the trophy is very hard to deal with but as a young squad, we can take the experience as a positive one and use the frustration and disappointment to our advantage in pushing for a place in Europe, whether that is in the Europa League or Champions League. Each game should be taken one at a time, as this season was always one of bedding into Mauricio Pochettino’s values, with next season being the realistic target to push for places in the top four, and to win trophies. The cup final this season was a surprise and winning it would have been exceptional, but we are still on the right track with the young squad and promising manager to make those Wembley appearances much more frequent. But, that’s in the past now and we have a season to concentrate on. Starting with a difficult but winnable contest with Swansea at the Lane. A win would do us a world of good.

Swansea are a good side with a good standard of players. They sit 8th, just one spot behind ourselves in 7th, with a 4 point gap, despite us playing a game less. They have been fairly consistent in their performances and under the guidance of the impressive Garry Monk, have continued to cement themselves as a competitive Premier League side that are hard to beat and pushing to be in contention for places in Europe. In their last 5 games, they have only lost once and drawn once, while winning the other three including an impressive 2-1 victory over Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium and an even more impressive 1-0 away victory over Southampton. They know how to win against good sides and are well organised defensively and in midfield, while offensively being able to get some goals too, despite the loss of star man Wilfried Bony. But, the impact of losing Wilfried Bony has meant that the Swans have only hit 1 goal in 9 of their 13 games without the new Manchester City man, but they have tightened up defensively, meaning that 1-0 wins have become enough for the Welsh boys, with credit going to Garry Monk for making them more compact, and their midfield becoming more goal threatening. Last time we faced Swansea was at the Liberty Stadium back in December, a dramatic 2-1 win, with Harry Kane and then Christian Eriksen late on securing us the win despite Wilfried Bony getting on the score sheet. The last time the Swans visited White Hart Lane was all the way back in 2013, when Roberto Soldado scored a penalty in a 1-0 win early on last season. In our last 6 games with Swansea, we have won all of them, scoring 12 goals and only conceding 4, which is fairly impressive for a very good side in Swansea.

The team news for Swansea is that former Gunner Kyle Bartley (knee) is ruled out, while current Spurs player, on loan with the Swans Tom Carroll is ineligible, and former Spurs man Gylfi Sigurdsson has recuperated from his hamstring injury and will look to replace Carroll in the side. The return of the dangerous Sigurdsson will be a big boost for the Welsh side, with his goal threat and silky touch on the ball will be greatly appreciated to Swansea, with 4 goals and 8 assists this campaign. Another big threat for Swansea is Bafetimbi Gomis; despite not hitting the heights that was expected of the Frenchmen, he still has the power, pace and goal threat to cause a stir in opposition defence, and in the absence of Wilfried Bony, he has the opportunity to shine, despite only having scored 5 goals so far this season. On the wings, Jefferson Montero, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer all have pace and skill to trouble full backs, and Gomis will look to profit off of their crosses into the box, as well as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s delivery from set pieces and also in open play. The Swans also have threats in the form of Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-Yeung, who have a definite goal threat and also the composure to turn provider. It will be a job to contain what is a very good Swansea side.Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 09.44.06
The team news for Tottenham is that we go into this game without any injuries, and a full squad to choose from, which will be a plus for Mauricio Pochettino. But, after playing Thursday to Sunday, and then Thursday to Sunday again, and now a Wednesday to Saturday this week, with some massive games in there, you couldn’t be surprised if Pochettino makes some changes to the side to freshen things up a bit ahead of the visit of Swansea to the Lane. Hopefully whatever side we put out can help to end this 5 game winless drought we are on, because we don’t want to be dragged into some further bad form at this stage of the season. A win against Swansea wouldn’t erase the pain of losing a cup final, but I am sure it would be lovely to appease the fans just a bit.

Against a very good defensive Swansea at this minute in time, I am sure they are looking to oppress the talent of Harry Kane, and this will become a fixture in the games we play, that sides narrow the space that Kane has, and don’t allow him to run with the ball or get shots away on goal, just like Chelsea did, but it’s Pochettino, Kane and the team’s responsibility to create space for Kane, and let him play his game to the best of his ability up top, where if he can find space, you know he will punish the opposition. Christian Eriksen hasn’t been in flying form like he was earlier in the season, and his assist tally isn’t spectacular, so if he could pick his game up, and start to find Kane in the positions that he does get into with space, then I think this run of bad form would cease to exist. We have to let our key duo play their football freely and in space, because there is no doubting the fact that they both are our best chance for goals at all times. Allowing the Dane and the Kane to do their thing, you need to compensate for possibly what they don’t do in midfield, so it would be asking Mason and Bentaleb to do even more, and fight harder in midfield to allow Eriksen and Kane to have the freedom up top. If Mason and Bentaleb can do even more dirty work, then Eriksen and Kane will be more free to attack and hurt the opposition. On the wings, it was our full backs against Chelsea that looked the most threatening. Danny Rose and Kyle Walker bombed down their respective flanks at every opposition, but lacked that final ball too often; their work to get into crossing positions is brilliant but they need to be able to find that final ball for Kane, Chadli and even Eriksen to latch on to. If Rose and Walker can improve their crossing game I am sure their own personal value would rise significantly to both Tottenham and England, as I have been very impressed with both recently, especially Rose down that left side.

Match stats provided by Opta:

– Spurs have won all three Barclays Premier League home games against Swansea, keeping a clean sheet in the last two.

– Indeed Swansea have lost their last six against Tottenham in the PL and are winless in seven (D1 L6).

– Harry Kane has scored 12 goals in his last 11 Premier League appearances.

– No team has won more Premier League games from losing positions than Tottenham this season (5) in 2014-15.

– No team has lost more top-flight games from winning positions than Swansea City (4) this season.

– Spurs have conceded the most penalties in the Premier League this season (7).

– 40 points after 27 games equates to Swansea’s best ever return in a Premier League season.

– Swansea City have failed to score a first half goal in their last five Premier League matches on the road.

– The Swans have scored exactly one goal in seven of their last eight away from home.

– Seven of Swansea’s last eight Premier League goals have arrived in the second half.

The games are coming thick and fast, probably a little too fast for Mauricio Pochettino’s liking, but we have to get a win on the board now to keep this top four challenge alive. As Roberto Soldado said, we have 12 finals from now until the end of the season, and it’d be great to pick up at least 8 wins from those games, then we could have a chance of top four. But, we take every game as it comes and we’ll hope for the best, and first up it’s Swansea in a tough test at the Lane, and we have to win it, in honour of the great Dave Mackay. The game isn’t televised in the UK, so you can follow me on twitter for live coverage including, videos, photos, goal updates and more. Follow me here: @AddictedToSpurs. Up the Spurs! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred side to face Swansea at the Lane:
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Lloris
Walker – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Dembele – Eriksen
Kane.

Mauricio Pochettino pre match presser, paying tribute to Dave Mackay:

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 Preview, Swansea City vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Sunday 14th December 2014. 4pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Liberty Stadium.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings, HERE.

After 3 games without a win and without a goal, it’s crucial that we don’t let that drag on and come to the table at the Liberty Stadium against Swansea showing flair, pace and energy to try and get a result, and score some goals! The season so far has been very tough, with a lack of rhythm and consistency in our results and performances, and now we’re right in the thick of the Christmas period, it’s really important that we pick up our performances and get some results, otherwise we will find ourselves too far off the pace in the Premier League and, if we don’t find our performance level ahead of probably the biggest game of our season so far against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup Quarter Final at White Hart Lane. Getting to the final of that competition again would be fantastic, and to win it would be fabulous to say the least, but first we have to get past Newcastle on Wednesday, and have to focus on getting a result in Wales! Swansea are a well drilled, technically fantastic side, but if you look at previous results, they’ve all been in our favour and hopefully we can get a result once more against possibly the best Swansea side there has ever been! It’s unlikely to be a scrap, and Swansea will be looking to attack, keep the ball, and play to their strengths, and Tottenham love to do that to, on a good day, so we’ll be hoping to stop their rhythm, get hold of the ball and hit them on the counter attack. Our away form is good, and we’ll be hoping to take the full three points this Sunday afternoon, and what a big three points it would be.

Swansea have been great this season. Personally, I think they are one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the Premier League this season, and have picked up the results to back it up as well. They sit 8th, only 1 point ahead of ourselves in 10th – and it’s their home form that has been so brilliant this season, in their last 7 games in all competitions, they have not been beaten, winning 4 and drawing 3. With a win against Arsenal in there which really caught the eye. Despite that good home form, and the scrutiny Tottenham have been put under this season, we are only 1 point away from them, and a win at the Liberty can really make our season look more rosy! I really hope we can finally build and improve on the Everton result and bring that energy to our game once more, and make sure that our Europa League commitment doesn’t hinder our performance. In our last 5 games against Swansea, we have come out on top in every single one, being unbeaten in our last 6 games, and never beaten by them in Premier League history. Last time out, at the Liberty Stadium, we were able to beat the Swans 3-1, Emmanuel Adebayor getting a brace, and Chico Flores scoring an own goal – and Wilfried Bony scoring for Swansea. We’ll be hoping, in the absence of Adebayor, that another player will step up and steer us to victory!

The team news for Swansea is that Federico Fernandez (calf) will have a late fitness test ahead of the game, and is therefore a doubt. While goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański (suspended) is out of the game, and defender Neil Taylor returns from a one match ban. Everyone knows who Swansea’s key man is – Wilfried Bony is a phenomenon upfront, his finishing, hold up play and link up with his midfield is brilliant and he is a nightmare to contain for defenders and on his day, when the ball is at his feet and he gets the service either in behind the defenders or from crosses from the wing, he can win games for his side – and if we want any chance of taking the three points back to London, we will have to make sure Bony is frustrated and starved of service. The service that Bony will be hoping to get will be attempted to be provided by a familiar face; Gylfi Sigurdsson has been a revelation this season, and despite being a very decent player in his time at Tottenham, getting important goals, he never reached his full potential and didn’t do enough to secure a place in the starting line up, but his move to Swansea has reinvigorated his career and he has reached another level of performance, scoring goals, but more impressively, being the creative force for Swansea this season with 8 assists and 2 goals. Hopefully Sigurdsson won’t come back to haunt us this Sunday in Wales. Not only do Swansea have strength and technique, they have pace in abundance with their wingers. Jefferson Montero is quick, direct, and effective on the left hand side, and the Colombian has built up a real understanding of the Premier League and with his team mates and is starting to torment defenders, and our right back, whether Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton or Vlad Chiriches, will have to be on top of their game! On the other side, it’ll be either Wayne Routlegdge or Nathan Dyer, and either player will be very threatening, with both being able to provide goals and assists to the Swansea side, while stretching defences and getting in behind. It’s going to be a very tough afternoon, where we’ll need to be right on top of our game.

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The team news for Tottenham is that Emmanuel Adebayor (personal reasons) is out of the game, and Kyle Naughton (heel) is a doubt for the game. But, other than that, we have a full squad to choose from, with Kyle Walker fully recovered from his abdominal injury and in the squad, and the players rested for the Besiktas tie back in contention. Those include Ryan Mason, Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier. It’s so important, being in the Winter period, to have a healthy and hungry squad to choose from, and with the full squad to pick from, it’s important we can take advantage. Mauricio Pochettino needs to find his first choice starting 11 and stick with it, because that will lead to much needed consistency!

Harry Kane, after a phenomenal season so far, has hit his first dry spell of the season, not scoring in four games – but, he has played really well in each game and worked ever so hard for the side. He got a much needed rest in midweek, and should now come back fresh and hungry to drive Tottenham to victory, and hopefully get on the score sheet once again! There are some tough decisions for Mauicio Pochettino, with the midweek game, whether to throw Kyle Walker back into the Premier League after completing 75 minutes against Besiktas. Personally, I would put him into the game as he says he feels ‘perfect’ and he’d be the best equipped to deal with the pace of Jefferson Montero. Nacer Chadli has been one of our players of the season so far, but after an injury, his flow has been disrupted, and his performance level has dropped. Now, he’ll be hoping to get a consistent run in the team and find his goalscoring form once again – it’s crucial for us that he does, because goals from midfield for us are vital. Defensively, we will want to build a consistent and solid back four, and with Walker at right back, Fazio and Vertonghen look to be building a very good centre back partnership together, with strength and composure, and hopefully the understanding between them grows and they become even stronger, with Ben Davies, returning to his former club, at left back, who has been very good at left back recently. Hopefully, the whole team comes together and we can find our form once again away from home.

Match stats and facts provided by Opta:

– Wilfried Bony has 19 goals in the Premier League in 2014, more than any other player.

– Ivorian striker Bony has netted seven times in his last nine Premier League appearances.

– Spurs have lost none of the six Barclays Premier League games against Swansea and have won the last five in a row.

– This will be Tottenham’s 32nd Premier League game on a Sunday since the start of last season, more than any other side.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has scored four goals in five Premier League games against Swansea.

– Gylfi Sigurdsson made 58 appearances in two PL seasons for Spurs, scoring eight goals and assisting four more. In two spells with Swansea he has played 33 PL games scoring nine and setting up 11 more.

– Jan Vertonghen has scored in two of his three Premier League games against Swansea.

– Swansea have now thrown away 16 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season; more than any other team and with those points would be top of the table.

– 21 points after 15 matches is Spurs’ lowest haul in the Premier League since the 2008-09 season (15 points).

– Tottenham have conceded six goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season, more than any other club.

– Swansea are the only side yet to concede a goal in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season.

Every game is a big game, but some are more important than others. And we need to get a result after three games without one. Starting well, getting a goal and staying compact defensively is crucial – hopefully we can do that! The game is live on Sky Sports 1, but I’ll be providing match updates, photos, videos and much more from my Twitter account here – @AddictedToSpurs – give me a follow! Let’s get back to winning ways! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Swansea at the Liberty:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Fazio – Vertonghen – Davies
Bentaleb – Mason
Lennon – Eriksen – Chadli
Kane.

Pochettino reacts to Besiktas loss and says focus now on Swansea:

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 Review, Swansea vs Tottenham.

Match: Sunday 19th January 2014.

Venue: Liberty Stadium.

Competition: Premier League.

Result: Swansea 1-3 Tottenham.

Swansea goal: Wlfried Bony 78′.

Tottenham goals: Emmanuel Adebayor 35′, 71′ and OG Chico Flores 53′.

What a win! Great performance from the lads to make it 5 consecutive away wins in the Premier League, the first time we’ve done that since 1960 under Bill Nicholson! We didn’t start well, Swansea were bossing the passing and creating a few chances, but nothing really clear cut, for the first half an hour we were on the back foot, which Tim Sherwood wasn’t happy with. As the game progressed we did get more and more into the game, and that was topped off by our first goal, great work between Christian Eriksen and Aaron Lennon, and then a phenomenal cross by Christian Eriksen eluded Nacer Chadli but the man on fire Emmanuel Adebayor got his head to it and put us in the lead from 5 yards. That kick started us, and was a real blow for Swansea. In the last 10 minutes of the first half, we played really well, Christian Eriksen and Emmanuel Adebayor linking up brilliantly and half time was nothing more than a nuisance. After the break, we came out in the same form as we finished the first half, quick interplay, fast counter attacks and now even Michael Dawson was getting in on the act! The skipper’s ball to Kyle Walker was perfectly weighted, and Kyle played a dangerous ball in, which was diverted into his own net by Chico Flores, which made it 2-0 and we are flying in Wales! Our play after the second goal was some of the best I’ve seen from us this season, triangles of passing, creating opportunities, finding space that wasn’t there, it was really great to watch, and I felt comfortable watching it, I wasn’t nervous! Dembele, Eriksen and Bentaleb were insanely good and made us tick. For the third goal, Gylfi Sigurdsson did well to release Christian Eriksen who quickly played in Danny Rose who was bombarding forward, Danny threaded a great ball into Adebayor who had all the time in the world to get composed and tuck home for 3-0. The only disappointment was our inability to keep a clean sheet, after so much hard work we switched off and allowed Wilfried Bony to half-volley home for 3-1, but it wasn’t enough to spark a revival, if anything after that we could have got more. Three goals and three points.

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Many candidates for man of the match. A truly brilliant performance from Christian Eriksen, he has played on both the left hand side and in his preferred central position, but he was all over the place in this game, making tackles, passing supremely and getting an assist as well, once again. He’s becoming our most important player, and at 21 getting used to the Premier League, it’s mouthwatering to think about how good he can become. 19 year old Nabil Bentaleb, yes, he’s 19 years old and getting only his second Premier League start of his career, at his age you may expect him to be nervy, and look inexperienced. Bentaleb looks anything but inexperienced, he passes with composure, he tackles with venom and is becoming a very very good player. My man of the match is the double goalscorer, Emmanuel Adebayor, he’s on fire and played a blinder once again, up front on his own he looked arguably better than with a partner, his two goals were great, but it was his link up play and the pace and power he showed that made it a man of the match performance. Adebayor has now scored 88 Premier League goals, overhauling Dennis Bergkamp’s 87 goals, he really is a phenomenal striker, long may his form continue. At the back, Vlad Chiriches did really well against Bony, who physically is bigger and stronger, but Vlad used his awareness so well and played a really good game once again, he’s cemented his place in the starting 11 I feel, even when Kaboul and Vertonghen are back. To think we’ve still got Vertonghen, Kaboul, Townsend, Lamela, Paulinho and Sandro to come back, we could really be in for a great second half to the season!

Great win to put us 5th, level on points with ‘title challengers’ Liverpool in 4th! Next up, high scoring, in form Manchester City visit White Hart Lane on Wednesday 29th January, that’ll be interesting!! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Swansea at the Liberty Stadium:
Lloris – 7
Walker – 8
Dawson – 7
Chiriches – 8
Rose – 7.5
Lennon – 6.5
Dembele – 8
Bentaleb – 9
Chadli – 6
Eriksen – 9
Adebayor – 9.5 Man of the match.

Subs:
Sigurdsson – 6
Naughton – N/A

Tim Sherwood’s post match thoughts:

Match highlights from our 3-1 win over Swansea:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Swansea.

The new Premier League season continues with our first game back at White Hart Lane against a strong Swansea side. Our home form last season wasn’t great, especially at the start of the season, so we need to improve this, starting against Swansea! Started very well against Crystal Palace, and to get another three points is as important as ever. Swansea will be a threat, they’ve signed some great players, and their existing side is already very good, and I really think they’ll have a great season. Defensively, they can be vulnerable, as shown in their 4-1 loss to Man United in the first game of the season, but their attacking style will cause us problems! The ones to watch out for being Wilfried Bony, Wayne Routledge, and of course Michu. Goals are their forté, so our defences ill have to be alert and on top form!

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Our side is looking very good at the moment. With more transfers in the offing, we look set to have a great season, with or without Gareth Bale. Our main goal threat being Roberto Soldado. Roberto makes his competitive home debut against the Swans, and I’ll be tipping him to be in the goals once again! Clinical! A surprise starter could come in Andros Townsend, he really impressed in our Europa League play of against Tbilisi, being involved in almost all of our 5 goals. Deserves a chance at White Hart Lane for sure! Capoue, Paulinho and Chadli could also get their competitive home debuts, and they’ll be exciting to see how they do. Coming off an impressive two performances at Palace and in Tbilisi, I expect us to push on even further, and hopefully get another 3 points under our belt! Holtby could even get a place on the bench after he returned from injury for the Under 21’s, and impressed thoroughly getting a goal! Bale is still out with an injured foot, but his move to Real Madrid could be confirmed soon, unfortunately. Hope for another good performance today and get our first home win of the season! Sadly the game is not televised, but kick off is on Sunday 25th August at 4:00pm GMT. COYS!!

My predicted line up to face Swansea at White Hart Lane:
(4-3-3)
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Capoue – Dembele
Townsend – Soldado – Chadli

Match Review, Dinamo Tbilisi vs Tottenham. (First Leg)

Dinamo Tbilisi 0 – 5 Tottenham

Townsend 12′, Paulinho 44′, Soldado 58′, Rose 64′ and Soldado 67′. (Spurs goals)

A great win in the first leg of the tie. It seems we’ve all but assured our place in the Group Stages of the Europa League. We still have to finish the job off at White Hart Lane, but it is extremely unlikely we’ll let this sort of lead slip. We dominated for the whole game, and we had too much quality for a fairly poor Tbilisi side. They didn’t offer a threat, and we were scoring goals of top quality for fun all night. Very happy we showed full concentration in this game, a game we could have quite easily had the mentality that we were just going to show up and win, something we’ve done a lot in the past. Very pleased with all the new signings performances as well!

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The whole team impressed we today, but especially Andros Townsend. He showed he is capable of holding down a regular place in the Spurs side. He showed something his competitor, Aaron Lennon doesn’t. The final product. Was involved in almost every attack, and more importantly, most of the goals. Really impressed by him, and he could have a starting berth against Swansea on Sunday! Soldado continued his goal scoring antics with two today, and he’s already showing his poaching ability in a Spurs shirt. Etienne Capoue started his first game for Spurs, and really impressed. Composure on the ball, and didn’t make a mistake all game. Hopefully starts on Sunday! Gylfi Sigurdsson was the only player I was disappointed by, he was all over the place and looked really slow. Hope he improves, as he’ll need to, to keep his place in the side. Good win, and a step closer to the Group Stages, now to finish it off at home in the next leg. Our next game is on Sunday, 25th August against Swansea at White Hart Lane, with kick off at 4pm. COYS!

My player ratings for the team that faced Dinamo Tbilisi:
Lloris – 9
Naughton – 8
Dawson – 7
Kaboul – 8
Rose – 7
Townsend – 9 Man of the Match
Capoue – 9
Paulinho – 8
Sigurdsson – 5
Dembele – 7
Soldado – 7

Subs:
Chadli – 6
Carroll – N/A
Kane – N/A