Game of the Weekend – Tottenham deliver masterclass on the big stage

Dele Alli

Much has been made of Tottenham’s reported lack of preparation for this season – an almost unprecedented summer of no new signings was expected to result in a team lacking ideas, struggling when injuries arrived, and without the fire-power to challenge for the top 4. Add to that the uncertainty over the continually delayed move to the new stadium, which itself was meant to create an unsteady atmosphere where the layers never felt truly at home. However, the Spurs players and manager Mauricio Pochettino, have decided not to stick to that narrative.

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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

Nullifying Eriksen threat pivotal to Croatia’s World Cup mission


Having collected maximum points from their three Group D fixtures against Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland, it is unsurprising that Croatia are now regarded as one of the favourites to win this summer’s FIFA World Cup. The Vatreni entered the tournament as ‘dark horses’ – of course they did – but, with a series of impressive performances on the pitch, they have now earned the right to be considered much more than rank outsiders. Continue reading

Tottenham’s fine summer of work complete as Eriksen commits future to club

Euro 2016

Last season ended disappointingly for Tottenham Hotspur as they surrendered second place in the English Premier League table to their fierce North London rivals Arsenal by losing their final two games of the season against Southampton and Newcastle.

Nevertheless Mauricio Pochettino’s side still secured their best ever Premier League finish of third and in doing so qualified automatically for the group stages of this season’s UEFA Champions League.

Subsequently with a view to handling the demands of simultaneously competing domestically and in European football’s elite club competition, the 44-year-old manager has worked diligently throughout this summer, with the support of both Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy and owners ENIC International Ltd, to maintain and strengthen his squad.

Spurs well prepared for current season

After signing a quartet of extremely talented players who possess the potential to help Tottenham enjoy a successful season, Pochettino and the club’s hierarchy capped a fine summer of work in terms of enhancing their prospects for the current campaign by extending the contract of influential midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen to continue exerting excellent influence

Specifically the 24-year-old Denmark internationalist has agreed a new deal which is set to keep him at the club until 2020.

Since joining Tottenham from Ajax in August 2013 for £11.5m, Eriksen, who has been capped 63 times by his country, has scored 30 goals in 134 appearances, whilst at the end of his debut season – 2013-2014 – he was also named as the club’s player of the year.  Over the course of the last two seasons Eriksen has continued to perform consistently well, in order to firmly establish himself as one of the finest attacking midfielders in the English Premier League.

As such, that he has committed his long – term future to Tottenham is of major benefit to Pochettino, as the Argentine aims to create a team capable of challenging to win major honours.

Quartet of quality new signings

The former Espanyol and Southampton manager’s prospects of achieving that have been further improved by Tottenham’s recruitment of Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, Vincent Janssen, Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama for a combined cost of £67.4m.

Whereas the former AZ Alkmaar striker Janssen and Wanyama, who was bought from Southampton, have both already seamlessly fitted into Pochettino’s team by producing assured performances in each of Tottenham’s first three English Premier League games of the season, the French midfield duo of N’Koudou and Sissoko are yet to make their debuts for the club after being signed from Olympique Marseille and Newcastle respectively on transfer deadline day.

Given that N’Koudou was one of the most outstanding wingers in Ligue 1 last season and Sissoko starred at Euro 2016 for France, they, along with Janssen and Wanyama, have the ability to become key members of Tottenham’s team, just as Eriksen already is.

Extension of Eriksen’s contract final act in a fine summer of work

As well as making a positive start to the season for Tottenham, the mercurially talented Eriksen was instrumental for his country as he scored the only goal as Denmark opened up their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign with a 1-0 victory over Armenia.

As such the Dane is set to return to Tottenham buoyant following his excellent exploits on the international stage.

Furthermore, his signing of a new contract completes a fine summer of work undertaken by the North London club’s chief decision – makers and Pochettino.

How long can Tottenham hold onto Christian Eriksen?

Tottenham were once again thanking the efforts of playmaker Christian Eriksen, with the Londoners scoring late against Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg. The game looked set to be going into extra time, but a quick counter attack saw the Dane put through on goal, and he made no mistake with his finish in the dying minutes of normal time.

The 22-year-old scored twice in a 2-2 draw against the Blades that saw Tottenham into the Capital One Cup final with a 3-2 aggregate scoreline over two legs. His first goal was a curling free kick that deceived the United goalkeeper with reverse swerve, and his brace came following a swift break through the middle, before the Dane finished low via the post after being put through on goal.

It’s been a common occurrence this season with Eriksen striking late in so many games already, and his incredible fitness levels are certainly a factor. The former Ajax man has been covering more ground than his teammates in games, and such incredible stamina means he’s always a threat when the opposition defence are tiring.

But with Eriksen making the headlines nearly every week, how long can Tottenham hold on to him for? Spurs face a difficult task of finishing in the Champions League, with Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool for competition, which could well see the 22-year-old seek pastures anew as he’s sure to be inundated with interest in the summer.

Tottenham’s lack of progress in the Premier League in the last few seasons has meant their star performers continue to be sold to other sides offering them European football and the chance of trophy success. Midfielder Luka Modric joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2012, forward Gareth Bale joined the Spanish outfit in the summer of 2013, and Christian Eriksen could well be next.

He’s been outstanding this season for the Lilywhites, scoring and assisting 11 goals in 24 games in all competitions, while creating 53 chances. Eriksen hasn’t missed a game in the league so far either, with manager Mauricio Pochettino having been somewhat reliant on his individual brilliance.

So how long will he remain at White Hart Lane? Reports are linking the playmaker to Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Manchester City, and Liverpool, but Spurs won’t do any business in January. They know they need to secure a top-four finish to stand a chance at keeping him for another season, but how long can they realistically hold onto him for?