After Tottenham’s nightmare start to the Premier League season what do they need to do to get better?

In May Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was being hailed as a genius, by October his own fans wanted him out. What has gone wrong and how does Pochettino fix it?

Some will blame club owner Daniel Levy, after all he has been tight with his money in the past 18 months. Yes Tanguy Ndombele came for around £60m, and that was a big spend but Tottenham spent just over £70m net this summer. That sum just isn’t going to cut it when you have reached another level that Tottenham have excelled to. Champions League finalists last season and at the beginning of this one the club could be regarded as one of the favourites to win the league and yet they are languishing in the bottom half of the table. The least you expected of the club coming into November was to be 4th.

After a nightmare start where we have only witnessed very small examples of what made Tottenham such a force last season the temptation would be to sack Pochettino, but is this the right move? It would only be if he had lost the dressing room or simply lost the passion and desire with the club. He has in the past hinted to Levy to open up more funds, and it is unclear just how bad the friction is between them. But perhaps this could just be seen as a bad moment for the club, why should for example a manager be sacked for three bad months?

Tottenham already have enough quality to be a top 4 team but they may have to settle for less this season. The truth is that some players like Dele Alli might have to move on, he clearly needs a new challenge. Then there is Christian Eriksen who thought a big deal would come through but it never did- is his head with the club? It seems unlikely it is.

The club clearly need to spend and that means over £100m and it has to be wisely, that’s why Pochettino should stay. He knows the club inside out and just needs some more encouragement to go forward. No matter who the club bring in next it will be starting from the beginning again. The problem of course is that modern football doesn’t work like that, if you don’t win, you’re out. Only a handful of exceptions exist. Arsene Wenger before at Arsenal and Diego Simeone currently at Atletico Madrid.

Pochettino in the current football climate looks like he is on borrowed time, but Levy and co would do well to ride this stormy wave and come out the other end, time will tell.

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How Tottenham are fighting for Champions League glory & top 4 position even without a transfer policy

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This weeks club ownership focuses on Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur who have had quite a successful season when one thinks that the London club have brought in no new players.

When some clubs are spending staggering amounts of money in the summer window, somehow the days, weeks and months rolled on with Tottenham not dipping into the transfer market. Chairman Daniel Levy knew that the clubs new stadium was going to cost much more than anticipated and purse strings had to be tightened.

The predictions were already in for the season that Tottenham would do poorly in the Champions League and that they had no chance of winning the Premier League and that they wouldn’t even be able to challenge for a top 4 position.

What compounded everything for the club was the news that they would have to play their home games at Wembley Stadium with the redevelopment and in the end brand new stadium on the site of their old stadium. Delays were fraught with frustration and when it seemed that the club would be moving into their new stadium by the end of the year that was delayed once more.

But still the players like Harry Kane and Dele Alli and the terrific Son Heung-Min stepped up, the whole team did and in doing so have done manager Mauricio Pochettino proud. Tottenham may not win any trophies this season but they have done themselves proud.

At the time of writing the club have one foot in the semi-finals of the Champions League after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the 1st leg quarter final tie. The match is far from over but the club have given themselves a chance.

In the league Tottenham have been 3rd for most of the season and competitive at that. They have slipped up in recent weeks but despite injuries to Kane and Alli they continued to win games, and they have continued to upset teams who have spent much more than them.

Levy and Pochettino had a plan, true it was risky but they both realised that they had the squad to cope with this season. Of course having a no transfer budget plan is football suicide in the long run, but instead of spending £100m upwards this season the club have held back in order to go into a fresh season in their new stadium and have one would hope a good budget and deals for next season.

It should be an interesting summer at Tottenham and if the club can hold onto their best players and buy 3-4 ones that they really need then next season could be the one where Pochettino breaks his duck for the club. Of course let’s not forget that they are still in the Champions League and if they get past City they could face either Juventus or Ajax in the semi’s for a mind dazzling final. Now that would be something.

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A new era for Tottenham Hotspur has begun as stadium finally opens

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Finally it has happened, Tottenham’s new ground has opened and it has been met by a sense of wonder and amazement.

The Tottenham youth side tested out at the ground at the weekend and a legends line up will face a legends line up of Inter Milan next weekend. These matches are needed in order for the stadium to be granted a safety certificate.

There is no doubt that a new era has begun for Tottenham and you could see the relief on manager Mauricio Pochettino’s face and also of course on Daniel Levy, the Tottenham owner. Here was a stadium that was supposed to be ready by the beginning of the season and delays have meant that the club have had to play games at Wembley Stadium. Whilst it is true that Tottenham responded well at their temporary home, there is no place quite like home.

And that is what makes this new stadium so special, forget what Arsenal did with the Emirates. This new stadium is on the same site as the very original which makes it extra special and will warm fans hearts. It looks spectacular and holds 62,000 fans, and it is of course state of the art. Comfort for fans is a priority and special refreshment bars mean that thousands of pints of beer can be dispensed within minutes, nothing has been left to chance!

But the real beauty in presenting the new stadium is a new era of hope for the club. Pochettino has shown the fans the potential of this current team and while they are yet to win a trophy under the Argentinian they have pulled off some terrific results and surely as a club are playing the best football Tottenham fans have seen in a generation.

The key for the club will be transfer budgets and keeping their best players. One believes that the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli will be going nowhere soon given the big move into the stadium and wanting to be a part of the new era. But the club who somehow went through the season buying no players will need to dip into the transfer market if they want to stay competitive and indeed move up to the next level.

Tottenham should take note that rivals Arsenal did struggle after moving into their new stadium at least in terms of finding cash to buy players. In the first two seasons at their new ground the Gunners spent just £40m, and there is the fear that Tottenham’s budget could be crippled somewhat by stadium costs. But Levy has commented in the past that this will not be an issue, we wait and see.

Tottenham’s first scheduled match at their new stadium will be against Crystal Palace on April 3rd which is a Wednesday evening game. The week after that they will play Manchester City in a mouth watering Champions League first leg. Could the fact the club have moved into this fantastic stadium make all the difference? Watch this space. What is sure is that exciting times lie ahead for this famous London club.

No Kane, no Alli, no Son- Tottenham set to face their biggest test yet

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If you are a supporter of Tottenham you could well claim that despite your club being 3rd in the league, playing some wonderful football and getting great results it has felt like one thing after another- as they say in these parts of London, if it doesn’t rain it pours.

The news that Harry Kane, Son and Dele Alli will be out for extended periods at such a critical time may just be the body blow that ends Tottenham’s season, and that would be an incredibly sad story given how strong the club have been this season.

With Son everyone knew that the popular forward would be unavailable this month given that the Asian Cup has kicked off. Son’s national side South Korea were almost knocked out yesterday when they needed extra time to beat Bahrain. Now they are in the quarter finals and will be one of the favourites to go all the way to the final which takes place on February 1st. If all goes well Son could return to the club for the home game against Leicester a week later.

Son has been very good this season and has been an integral part of the team and his goals will be missed. Talking of goals even though the news was announced over a week ago, it is still devastating to think that Harry Kane could be out until March. Here is a player that has scored 160 goals for Tottenham and already 20 this season in all competitions. But with his ligament ankle injury he is set to miss crucial Premier League games, the Champions League first leg and if Tottenham make it to the Carabao Cup final he could miss that. He isn’t officially due back until the middle of March.

Make no mistake about it, Tottenham will miss their key forward and influential England international.

When Tottenham played Fulham away from home last weekend they were without Kane and Son. And so manager Mauricio Pochettino brought Dele Alli more forward. The result was that the club were rewarded and then stung. Alli scored, Tottenham won 2-1 in a very close game and then Alli was reported injured- he will miss the next 6 weeks in more crushing news for the club.

One has to wonder how Tottenham will be able to cope with such depletions? And one also has to wonder if not buying any players in the summer is now coming back to haunt the club? Surely they will dip into the transfer market even if only for a loan deal. One player that has been suggested is West Ham’s Andy Carroll which would feel like a surprise given how many times the player has been injured throughout his career.

Tottenham face potentially their biggest game of the season so far on Thursday when they visit Chelsea in the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup semi final. Spurs take a 1-0 lead to Stamford Bridge and with all of their recent injuries are not the bookmakers favourites to advance to the final.

Pochettino will have to find a way how to play without so much striking talent on the field. Some solutions may be to advance Christian Eriksen and play Eric Lamela wide. And there might be an opportunity for youngster Oliver Skipp who is being highly touted as Spurs next best player.

This season has been incredibly tough for Tottenham, with stadium delays, no new players and Pochettino being linked to Manchester United. If any club are going to overcome the problems being hurled at them it seems that Tottenham are well prepared.

EPL Weekend Picks – Round 14

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The 14th week of the 2018-19 Premier League season sees Liverpool host Everton, while Tottenham make the short trip across north London to face Arsenal. Let’s take a look at 11 players who you should consider for your EPL Fantasy team this weekend…

GK – Jordan Pickford (Everton)
We’re going to look specifically at players who have gone under the radar in EPL Fantasy this season, starting with Jordan Pickford. Everton’s 7.00m-rated No.1 has picked up 15 points in 2018-19 — only five goalkeepers have a better record.

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EPL Best XI – Leroy Sane leads the way

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The 13th weekend of the 2018-19 Premier League season saw Manchester City and Liverpool maintain their unbeaten starts, while Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the campaign at the hands of Tottenham. Let’s take a look at the top points scorers from the weekend’s games…

GK: Jonas Lossl, Huddersfield – seven points
Jonas Lossl kept his third clean sheet of the season as Huddersfield won 2-0 away at Wolves on Sunday. The Dane now has 14 points from his last three games.

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Tottenham need more than Kane to beat Barcelona

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Injuries to key players in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side couldn’t have come at a worse time for the north Londoners.

If losing Dele Alli wasn’t bad enough, to hear that Christian Eriksen, Serge Aurier, Jan Verthongen and Moussa Dembele were out too would likely have sent even the most optimistic Spurs fan into meltdown.

Hugo Lloris returns in goal in one bit of good news for ‘Poch,’ who will be heavily reliant on the talismanic Harry Kane doing the business. Continue reading

Lucas and Spurs Provide a Feast For Fantasy Managers

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Our match of the weekend goes to a weekday game at Old Trafford which featured Tottenham Hotspur slipping into an interesting dimension of youthful spirit and togetherness waltzing with mature English grit and determination that has many Lillywhite loyalists dismissing the perception of a two-legged title race. A back four of Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, and Rose did the job as well as was needed, keeping a clean sheet away from home and earning a boatload of points between them.

Further up in the midfield, buyers of Christian Eriksen will rejoice as he puts some much needed returns on the board, assisting the first of Lucas Moura’s goals. Dembele rejoined the starting 11, seeing his stock increase with the first clean sheet of Spur’s season. Elsewhere,  Dele Alli’s number of goal celebration finger displays has now outpaced his goal tally, even though he had a few chances of his own, including a gilt-edge one on one with De Gea who was out of goal.

However the real winners of this week’s Fantasy EPL round were the owners of a diminutive and unproven Brazilian, unto whom the always-vindicated manager of Tottenham Hotspur granted a third consecutive start. Lucas repaid his manager’s trust by taking some of the strain off the shoulders of the normal star man, letting Kane know there would be no need to stay late at the office that night.

He put the poorly-constructed United back line to the sword and finished with a brace. If you haven’t watched his second goal, do yourself a favor; it hearkens back to a time of static center-halves stumbling over their feet trying to stop the speedy superstars of years gone by. More importantly however, it hearkens back to a time when a select group of fantasy managers spent 7 million on an unproven goal-scorer, and were rewarded with a point haul which places the young Brazilian among the best in the league so far.

On the other side, one noticed some obvious and much needed changes from the Brighton game among Manchester United’s starting lineup. Jose opted not to stick with what he bought, but rather what was there when he arrived – replacing Lindelof and Bailly  with Jones and Smalling. I’ll admit I thought Smalling did a good job of marshaling the obvious threat of Kane during what was a resilient first half for United, who looked on the whole, from Smalling, through Pogba, and up to Lukaku as if they were really trying to turn the ship around.

Unfortunately for those who picked the ladder, he missed or was denied every opportunity the enterprising United left-flank provided him. Owners of Luke Shaw, who started brightly at Leicester on the opening weekend, might be puzzled to see the lack of points he accumulated during his third consecutive ninety minute spell. But as unfortunate as the United attack proved, woe unto those who selected the ragged defensive unit which Mourinho trotted out onto the field, who were bested and bullied for most of the second half by the aforementioned tactful and mature Lost Boys of north London.

Manchester United in the meanwhile seem rooted as firmly as ever in the post-Ferguson limbo they’ve been in for years now. Jose Mourinho, who once had players breaking down walls for him, can’t quite get the best from a group  who shouldn’t look this mediocre. I don’t blame Jose for anything more than the football, but even concerning that, it must be an immense challenge when such a giant chunk of world football fans are wondering whether or not you will get the sack before Christmas.

Navigating the waters of the Manchester United squad in relation to lineups and who might score or provide from here on out is above my pay-grade you understand, so I can’t offer much advice for those looking to try. Away from home at Burnley is not an ideal place to start silencing the already enormous amount of critics, but the Special One needs some results to get the fan’s support back – and the quicker the better.

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EPL Player to watch – Harry Kane (Tottenham)

kane8The Premier League ends a seemingly endless summer of waiting this weekend when it returns to action, and with football up and down the country fans are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of another nine months or so of constant matches, stories and controversies. OK, so there has been a World Cup since last season concluded back in May – and what a time to be an England fan – but one of the Three Lions’ key players will set out to end one of the most bizarre existing curses in the English top-flight. Despite scoring a whopping 52 goals in 59 games for club and country last season – a truly exhausting campaign with little respite – Harry Kane will be desperate to find the net against Newcastle in Spurs’ opener.

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World Cup 2018: Kane, Sterling and Rashford vying to end England’s 52 years of hurt

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Another major tournament rolls around, and the hopes and dreams of England fans across the world once again dare to ignite in the name of hope and desire. England, who couldn’t play football – they had it in the bag 52 years ago, but to be fair they have struggled to get anywhere near replicating the glory days of 1966 since then. They may have managed to get to a few quarter-finals in World Cups – and indeed that seems to now be the benchmark for a decent tournament – but they haven’t got to within touching distance of the final in the intervening years. Following on from last week’s look at Argentina’s chances this summer, it is now time to take a look at just how Gareth Southgate’s men could fare in Russia.

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