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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More Premier League action coming up? Check out our match previews here!

Round seven of the English Premier League season takes place this weekend.

Here’s a look at all the upcoming fixtures this weekend.

Sheffield United v Liverpool

Key men: John Egan (Sheffield United); Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Prediction: Sheffield United 0 – 2 Liverpool Continue reading

Predicted lineups for this weekend’s English Premier League fixtures

It’s time for gameweek six of the 2019/20 English Premier League season.

Here’s a look at all the predicted lineups for the ten fixtures over the coming weekend.

Southampton v Bournemouth

Southampton XI: Gunn, Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Soares, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Djenepo, Ward-Prowse, Boufal, Adams Continue reading

A preview of round 3 of the Premier League

It’s already round 3 of Premier League action in the 2019/20 season.

Liverpool and Arsenal are the only two sides with a 100% record after just two matches! These two giants meet at Anfield in the Saturday evening game.

Elsewhere, both Manchester clubs should win comfortably while Spurs will most likely beat Newcastle but Chelsea could struggle at Norwich City.

Aston Villa v Everton

Key men: Grealish (Aston Villa); Richarlison (Everton)

Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – 2 Everton

It could be another tough day at Villa Park for the newly-promoted home side. Continue reading

Tottenham’s Harry Kane could burn out if he doesn’t protect himself

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It was unfortunate to see such a lethargic display from Harry Kane in the Champions League final after the Tottenham striker returned from injury and was immediately put into the first team. Kane is one of the very best prospects in England but the player needs to be protected and mainly from himself.

We do not have to doubt Kane’s goal scoring abilities and his eye for goal and work rate in the area is brilliant. He is so precise and if anyone does want to doubt Kane’s abilities as a striker then his 164 goals in 253 appearances for Tottenham should put that to bed.

But here’s the problem and it cuts both ways with coaches and Kane himself- he needs to know and they need to know when the player needs rest.

Before the Champions League final Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was asked why he brought Kane straight back into the team forcing Lucas Moura the hat trick hero in the semi-final win over Ajax to be dropped to the bench? Pochettino reacted as if the interviewer was pulling his leg, such is Kane’s importance to the team, but it was arguably wrong to think that and it was a genuine question. Had Moura been returning from injury, he still would have started the final from the bench, and yet Kane was brought in. True he is special to the club but he was still slightly rusty after having missed almost the last two months of football. It was the wrong choice to start him.

That was proven in a game where Kane was almost invisible. Again not his fault, this was the final and he wasn’t about to miss it but Kane’s inclusion actually helped Liverpool, because it felt for the most part that Tottenham were playing with 10 men, he was that quiet.

A few days later England were playing the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations Cup and England manager Gareth Southgate absolutely did the right thing in not starting Kane but bringing him on later in the game. No matter if England eventually lost the match, Kane’s presence or not wouldn’t have made the difference as he is still clearly recovering.

The problem was that after the game Kane was interviewed where he remained positive and upbeat and told journalists that he would get right back to fitness, go for a run on the beach and hit the gym.

Whilst Kane’s words would seem normal to any day footballer who is 25 remember the problem is that Kane doesn’t seem to be listening to his own body. He missed two chunks of the season because of injury and his quality is such that Tottenham cannot really afford to be without him for long periods. And when he gets injured his willingness to get fit quicker than expected seems to hamper his recovery time. So when he is ready to return, he actually really isn’t.

Southgate did the right thing Pochettino to a lesser extent didn’t. But Kane also needs to listen to his own body, the last thing anyone wants to see is a career where he keeps picking up injuries here and there and doesn’t get a good run of games under his belt. He is a special talent and he needs to be looked after.

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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Liverpool and Tottenham take the advantage in the Champions League

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Liverpool and Tottenham won their respective Champions League knock out ties and look like being the favourites to get to the semi final stage.

Liverpool who were last year’s beaten finalists when they lost to Real Madrid 3-1 swept aside Porto at Anfield. The Reds were the favourites to win the game and they eased to victory over Porto with goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino, indeed Keita scored within 5 minutes of the start of the game. Porto did squander a few chances but the brutal truth was laid out for all to see that Porto don’t really belong in a Champions League quarter final, even if they are deserving to be there after getting through the group stages and beating Roma in the last 16. The deep end of the Champions League has that ability to show up teams who are not prepared, and tonight that was Porto.

The 2nd leg in Portugal will be interesting and the tie isn’t a dead one for Porto, but if Liverpool were to open the scoring then Porto would need 4 goals, a neutral can only hope that it is Porto who score first in the 2nd leg otherwise that game will be put to bed rather early.

With all due respect to both Liverpool and Porto the game that everyone had their eyes on was the all-English tie between Tottenham and Manchester City. With no love lost between the two teams this was sure to be a spectacular night and it was Tottenham’s first European game at their brand new stadium- and it ended in a 1-0 victory.

Son grabbed the goal with his wonderful solo effort but City will be rueing Sergio Aguero’s penalty miss early on in the game which could have changed how it all played out. In the end Tottenham deserved their win and City actually looked rather toothless up front. Why did Pep Guardiola opt to bench Leroy Sane a player who has scored 19 goals this season? Or not start Kevin De Bruyne- he will have his reasons but City looked limp on the attack, which is what their game is all about.

Harry Kane went off injured and Tottenham will be hoping that it isn’t serious, though the England international looked in pain. The only good news for City is that the match is far from dead at 1-0, and City will still be the favourites to win the 2nd leg. However like Liverpool if Tottenham can score first the whole situation of the tie will change. It’s difficult to think though that City will be contained at home.

Liverpool should make it to the semi finals, but you’d have to be brave to pick out who will go through between Tottenham and City, although clearly it is the Londoners who have never made it to a semi final of the Champions League before who have the advantage.

AC Milan are in dreamland if they think they can lure Mauricio Pochettino from Tottenham

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There have been reports from Italy over the weekend linking Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino to Italian giants AC Milan, and whilst many would say that the story is non starter, the truth is if this has any backable concrete evidence it would be a non starter anyway.

Sadly for Italian football this isn’t the mid 1990′s- European football in England and Spain has left Italian football behind, both on the pitch and off it and there would be zero chance of Pochettino leaving Tottenham and the Premier League at this stage.

In Italy so much has to be changed. On the pitch AC Milan have a team of players that feel unrecognizable compared to the greats that graced the team in the 1990′s. They are reportedly offering Pochettino a £300m so called ‘war chest’, but guess what- players are not tripping over themselves to come to Milan anymore. And even if he did get the money it would take years to rebuild the side. Why leave an exciting project like Tottenham to take 10 steps back and try it again at Milan?

The moment Italy goes quite on hooliganism and showing too much respect to the ultras the supporters who are supposed to create a daunting atmosphere but instead chant out vile racist slurs, that’s the moment that serious football managers turn their back on the league.

Serie A is falling behind at a record rate, with only one club in Juventus flying the flag, and even they have the skill of bottling it when it really matters. At Tottenham Pochettino has not won anything granted, but he is managing a club in a league that has largely moved on from its hooligan and racist days. Yes all of that still exists within the game but at least in England when it does, it is not ignored and it is punished. Could you imagine for example a black player in the Premier League being subjected to racist chants and their team mate saying it was ’50/50′ like Leonardo Bonucci said about Moise Kean for Juventus? Staggering doesn’t come close.

Italian football is a joy to behold and there is so much to love about the game. Let’s not make any mistake that Serie A does have the capabilities of being a better league and more exciting league than Spain’s La Liga and England’s Premier League combined. But the league and the mentality of some involved within it are from anarchic times. Education is needed within the game, infrastructure and a sense of moving forward are too. But we were talking about this 15-20 years ago and little has changed.

In short Pochettino will be saying thank you, but no thanks to Milan, because he is with a completely professional team in a professional league that only looks to the future not to its past.

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.

Spurs’ Heung-Min Son shows Pochettino they can cope without Kane

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Mauricio Pochettino wore the face of a very worried man as Harry Kane struggled to get to his feet.

The full-time whistle had just been blown at the end of Spurs’ 1-0 home defeat to Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s revitalised Manchester United when Kane picked up the ankle injury that has kept him out of action ever since.

Heung-Min Son was also part of Pochettino’s side that went down to United that day. However, the 26-year-old South Korean international was off to represent his country in the Asian Cup immediately after the Wembley defeat.

Son played in South Korea’s 2-0 win over China just three days later in Abu Dhabi.