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Pochettino's formation?

The US tour and games against Celtic and Schalke were quite interesting to watch and already it seems the new gaffer has changed our system.

In the US, some of our play was exceptional, Celtic performance very good (albeit against reserves) and Schalke saw another win, although for me a far less fluid performance. One obvious thing was how Poch seems to have favoured a back four, two in the space in front (Capoue and Mason in USA, Bentaleb and Holtby v's Schalke) and the the three (Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon) and a lone striker.

Lennon seems to be on the left, as has Townsend when he comes on and Eriksen largely right and Lamela central. So, the question is - who should be the two or three or one and will Poch change his system dependent on opponents?

For me, the two would be Capoue and Dembele ( although Holtby has looked energetic and Mason / Carroll also better than Bentaleb).

Written by Windlespur




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The journalist

Writer: Windlespur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday August 10 2014

Time: 6:32PM

Your Comments

First good article in a while!
jvd
Not a fan of eriksen out wide, always been a big fan of having your most creative player through the middle. Trust his judgement and I am very much looking forward to seeing how we play against west ham
spurticus87
I'd like Capoue, with whom? probably Holtby as it is ATM. If MS comes from Saints then he will one of those 2 in front of back 4. I don't think Dembele is up to MP's pressing game. He certainly slows down the fast moving forward play.
longtimespur
Bentelab would be my 3rd if not 4th choice. Sorry, but IMO, he offers less than any others in that area. May be a loan for him, especially if MS is signed. Besides, we may be having the same issue with an overloaded midfield as per under AVB....an area well overdue for pruning. COYS!
Critical_Spur
I thought the opening period was excellent. We dominated the play and were unlucky not to have a couple of opportunities to Ade and Lennon work on through balls. Obvious that we will play a diamond formation op front with Ade at the top and Eriksen in the middle but behind Lennon and Lamella with two of Capoue/Sandro/Bentaleb/Holtby behind them and in front of the back four which is likely to be made up of 2 of Verts/Kaboul/Dier flanked by Davies and Naughton.

Lennon and Lamella and Ade will be constantly looking for through balls from Eriksen and players behind him. The through balls don't always have to be on goal, they could be wide of goal and to the goal line with Lennon/Lamella running to them to cut back into the 18 yard box for the oncoming players to fire in. Really excited by what I am seeing. Very attacking. Need to get the goal scoring boots on.
jvd
Eriksen was played on the left and he drifted inside leaving Rose exposed. If he drifts in from the right, he will leave Walker exposed. Lennon on the left might be because he can get back and help Davies/Rose. Eriksen should be central for me, where hopefully he can help dictate the game like Modric did.
vicspur
LTS, I( think it unfair to judge Demebele on previous performances as we have yet to see him under Poch. If Rose and AT can be transformed, then surely Dembele can be coached to add to his game, i.e., learn to release earlier. With the trio AM of Lennon, Eriksen and Lamela, Dembele may produce the goods.
Critical_Spur
Depending on the 1 up front. who the 3 should be. If Soldado is the 1 then Lamela must play in the 3. Just think they are on the same wave length. Not so important with Ade as the 1 up front.
longtimespur
Critical, good point on dembele, I think that Avb wanted to slow the game down constantly and it could be the reason for his current playing style! Very interested to see how he performs under poch
spurticus87
Critical ... I'm always hopeful that players can be improved. I'm judging Dembele on the time he's been at THFC, not just last season.
longtimespur
I wouldn't say that Poch has transformed any players as yet. We haven't kicked off the season and we'll have to wait and see. Players like Rose, Townsend and Lennon have had their roles redefined within a team that is in the process of being restructured, that's all.
MAN ON!
Essentially its the same formation as AVB except with a bit more interchanging of positions in the forward line and a little less rigidity. So we will probably be easier on the eye but less solid. A lot depends on whether Lamela and Erikssen can step up and be our new Bale and Modric. Whatever we do the competition for top 4 is fierce this year. We need to use squad better and get through to the Europa knockouts without killing ourselves.
StillRickyVilla
MAN ON!, fair enough...not transformed....fully ....yet! However, they are being coached and seems they are adapting. Unfortunately I haven't seen much of that happening with Daws - the adapting that is!
Critical_Spur
Jod, i also thought we looked good in 1st half yesterday...a lot better than last season. Seems like Poch. is going for various tactical moves, like beating the high line teams, and Park the bus teams, with plan C for the opposition playing in between.. so we can be fluid during games, and switch to match tactics against us, to stop our play....
Block D Spurs
Critical_Spur. May be they are being transformed and are doing well at adapting.... I think they are more confident in their roles and more aware of whats being asked of them. I think AVB ended up confusing the poor blighters with over doing the tactical stuff. Sherwood gave them the freedom but the tactics were all over the place. Hopefully MP is the happy medium.
MAN ON!
Longtime spur - that is my concern about Bentaleb - he slows things down and more often than not goes backwards Scotty parkeresque. I do think Dembele can use his skill and pace and create more if he is alongside Capoue.
Windlespur
Vid spur - i disagree as whenever one of the three drifted in Holtby or Bentaleb covered yesterday and in US, mason and Capoue did the same. That is why we need those two players (whoever they are) to fill that space and protect the defence. I am liking it, we look less open and exposed.
Windlespur
Agree MANON - nobody has been transformed yet. Rosé played very well yesterday and I am not his biggest fan, so positive, but a little premature before we have any points on the board. Davies and a new manager will have shown Rosé it is make or break and then the five year deal has given him security, so up to him to perform as he did yesterday all season.
Windlespur
Windlespur. I agree. You can't expect an attacking mid to be covering for a full-back when he himself is supposed to be part of the attack that has just broken-down.
MAN ON!
Windlespur.. It's a good article for debate. Short and to the point.
MAN ON!
When I watched us last season at The Emirates and even at home v goons and against man city and Liverpool both home and away, we just looked so exposed. Against teams such as the above, we need to close the spaces and stop them playing. We did not do that and stuck to a 442 with no sandro or Capoue holding. CAPOUE really could be critical for us this season. I remember watching him in the first game of last season at palace and in the second half he made more interceptions than any other player in the whole 90 of every match. Clearly injuries and a lack of manager confidence, plus settling in time saw a poor season. In pre season he has looked fantastic in that role, not the best on the ball, but does what we need - disciplined, intercepts, tackles, fills space and protects the defence. Hope yesterday's absence was just cautionary and he is not injured or being sold. does anyone know ???????
Windlespur
I noticed yesterday that as soon as Rose or Naughton received the ball and were on the front foot that either Kaboul or Dier tucked in immediately to fill the gap. They looked well-drilled for the short time they've had with MP's coaching... Dyer has had 5 minutes!
MAN ON!
Capoue was MOM in that Palace game. His first game!
MAN ON!
Windlespur, "CAPOUE really could be critical for us". No probs, call me Capoue if you like!
Critical_Spur

Benteleb will become a monster. Dembele is a fav of mine but Poch has not used him at all, is he still injured? Will he ever play for us again.?


Starting XI

..........................Adebayor..........................
...................................................................
(........1......).........Eriksen................Lamela
...................................................................
....Capoue/Paulinho......Holtby/Benteleb.....
...................................................................
Davies.........Verts..........Dier...........Walker?
...................................................................
............................Lloris..............................


LW/LAM... I left it blank because i still think that Lennon/Townsend are the weak links. They may bring a bit of speed to the wings but we get no goals out of them. Townsend his only on-target shot luckily put in the back of the net by Soldado but apart from that it is and has always been 5/10... same with Lennon 5/10.

Id prefer to start with CEBALLOS at LWF/LAM...

Will WALKER start soon... still think he has the potential to be one of the top RB's in the world, and one of the fastest. But i have been surprisingly impressed with NAUGHTON's progression since Poch took over. MUSACCHIO can also play at RB so i am hoping we do get the fella.

DIER was my stand out performer yesterday, due to his age and lack of time with the team. What an immense buy that will turn out to be... 4m is a steal... Nice one son! I would like to see him start alongside Verts, with hopefully someone like Musachio swapping him.

Davies/Rose... its actually a tough one as i think that Rose has stepped up his game...

CAPOUE/BENTELEB or CAPOUE/HOLTBY looks on the cards, DEMBELE? SANDRO? PAULINHO? MASON? CARROLL? now i get what POCH has recently said... we have more than 25 players.. we have to get rid of a few basicaly... will these 5 get a start ahead of the 4 previously mentioned.??

LAMELA & ERIKSEN pick themselves...

KANE & ADEBAYOR over SOLDADO.. wake up Bobby!
Yidmarks
Yes he was and he only played 33 minutes, but made six interceptions, which was more than all the players of three pl sides in the entire 90. CRITICAL - i would play you next to Capoue in the two :)
Windlespur
Kane needs to play every week on a good loan to see how good he is. based on yesterday's awful and at times embarrassing display, he is not the striker we need to fight for top four.
Windlespur
Capoue & Bentaleb to start for me although would be very difficult not play Holtby despite the fact Ive never been a fan. Although the fact it so open to debate shows nobody is really rising to the top. Ericsen central and Lamela off the right, Lennon left for me, again though Townsend instead of Lamela wouldn't be an issue Interchanging is fine but id predominantly like to see Erricsen more central. The big issue for me though and a bit of an elephant in the room is can & will Poch vary things. Mourinho for example is a master at varying tactics to suit. AVB on the other hand had one approach and that was it. I hope MP shows variation at times this season, because the likes of Rogers are setting a very high standard. It was evident that Soton literally blew us off the park and started better than virtually ant other team we played last season. It was very impressive. However they dropped off the pace late in the game and lost both. Our better squad should be a factor but Im not convinced A high tempo high pressing game is sustainable for a full EPL season and I hope we have variation throughout the season.
gatch75
I think the system that Poch is trying to instil gives all 3 of the AM's the freedom to play left, right or central and continuously interchange. We shouldn't get hung up whether Lamela is better in the middle or Eriksen can't play wide. It simply doesn't work that way as they play with freedom and when we lose the ball they simply tuck into whichever position makes most sense.

Saying that, we definitely need the players in other positions to be disciplined. One full back goes, one holds and the centre half shifts over to make a 3. We've already noticed that as well as the holding midfielder dropping in and making a back 5 at times.
muttley
It also makes you wonder whether Poch could get Sandro and Capoue sitting behind Paulinho, Dembele and Eriksen. That's a very powerful looking midfield for some tough away games.
muttley
does it really matter what formation you have if the players dont put in the effort in the first place. we have lots of options and formations to pick from. no bettter test 1st game after last season
123spurs
Yidmarks I would love to see Dembele in that left midfield role. He would be so difficult to deal with. His strength and ability to glide past players will cause the defence loads of problems. He has the potential to win loads of free kicks in dangerous areas. COYS!
a.k.a.james1spurs
i want us to score more goals from corners
123spurs
aka - agree, Dembele running at pace into that channel between full-back and centre half is something we haven't seen enough of in a Spurs shirt.
muttley
Great debate guys and some interesting and as always, different ideas and preferences. Dembele in that left midfield role going forward or as one of tHe two would be my preference also. He is so strong, great control and talented. Just hope he is injury free as you sense he was not proper fit all last year. I remember a disastrous trip to Fulham where we were 4-0 down by half time in the cup and Dembele destroyed us. Paulinho is the one i have seen little from so far and not sure where he fits in.....
Windlespur
Windlespur - we only have 3 injuries up on physioroom.com and unfortunately Dembele is one of them. The other 2 are Dawson and Chiriches.
muttley
I think we will see several different options deployed during the first quarter of the season and I don't anticipate great results during that period since, as PeterB pointed out on another thread, we have not yet attained the fluency that will hopefully come from more time on the training pitch and match reviews. I thought we looked poor yesterday compared to some of our tour games, and the opposition was not that much better than the MLS teams we played. Whether this was due to injury prevention or subtle changes in tactics I'm not sure but we will have to up our game next week if we are to avoid further embarrassment. Some of our key players are lacking consistency and have yet to show any real form so far. Lamela and Eriksen in particular have not yet taken control of any game and that is what they must do if we are to seriously compete. As it stands, I think this is just another transition season and we cannot expect CL qualification given the way other contenders are strengthening compared to us and the need for Poch to see who really can contribute in the EPL and who is surplus to requirements. He can't really judge on the pre-season games we have had given the weakness of the opposition teams. I am going to support wholeheartedly but not expect anything this season other than some entertaining games and the re-structuring of the squad depending upon performances. At present there are too many unknowns with our squad. The league games will provide answers.
Harry-Kari
HK - don't disagree. We also have 5 games in 15 days taking us right up to transfer deadline day. That would suggest Poch will use plenty of players in August. We also have Adebayor with ACN qualifiers in Sep, Oct and Nov so Soldado will be an important player.
muttley
well we can't rely on a kid trying to breakthrough for goals (Kane) so it's ade or Soldado but definitely Soldado when Ade goes walk about...not really a choice there and two up will be impossible for large parts of the season, better have another plan b....if we're still discussing andros then we have given up hope of trying to get top4...a year older than Lamela who proved himself in that football backwater Argentina before scoring goals for fun in that easy to score in league, Serie A, Andros has shown he's unable to perform in league 1, the championship and last year with an extended run in his favoured position in the PL he showed how to starve the striker whilst handing possession back to their keeper every time he blazed over(but he did score from a cross!) and he's a bit injury prone to boot!...Bentaleb has shown flashes but is far from the finished article and shouldn't be being developed at the expense of other stronger players....so if Poch wants to go with 'Yoof' Holtby looks a good bet, Lamela has shown his class consistently in the past as has Davies, Dier worked his way to the top (suffered due to contractual issues) we have some good youngsters but we can't get all sentimental about those that are just not at the level to which we aspire....and we can't be a training academy...
shedboy2
can't see Pool selling us Agger but he'd be a good addition imo...still not long till the season kicks off and we've only done the business we should have done last year (LB, GK) I guess we'll have to wait another year for a left forward/striker....
shedboy2
Muttley, was going to make the same point that I thought the AM berths were interchangeable yesterday which makes it difficult to stop if you are the opposition. Disciplined full backs with the DM covering when caught is a must. Thought we kept the ball well 1st half and obvious we are more comfortable with 1 and 2 touch football. Could be a good roller coaster to watch this season.
CoysRus
Sort of on the same topic, but read today that Harry is talking about hiring Hoddle to help him transform QPR into a 3-5-2 team. That's after Rodgers has played that system in a few games. When you think about it, Vertonghen, Chiriches and Kaboul love running with the ball and would be interesting to see all 3 of them together or 2 of the either side of Dier. We could then have our full backs pushed on and play with 2 strikers or Lamela as the 2nd striker. I doubt it will happen as Poch loves his 4-2-3-1 but it's food for thought how versatile our squad is.
muttley
Can't argue with that post Harry-Kari. Good news is the players seem to respond well to Pocho. They are playing much better now than TS imo and more attack minded than AVB. All this in a short space of time and with largely 2nd string players on tour. COYS!
a.k.a.james1spurs
Interesting reading Jay jaffa on goal.com waxing lyrical over bentalab yesterday then reading other views on here. Amazing how people can view things so differently. Very much a game of opinions.
gatch75
Harry-Kari is right, 100% spot on another transitional year thanks to Mr Knee Jerker extraordinaire. Personally would not have appointed Poch as I think we can ill afford another coach dismissal/walk in the short term and he hasn't proven himself as a coach. Watch United go this season, a proven winner, players will respect and perform for him. Having appointed Pochettino we have to support him through thick and thin, some results won't go our way let's keep the knees in check. COYS.
ItalianYiddo
to me its all about the player, let a player player hes own game within the tactics an formation etc, its like LB dont go past the half way line but why restrict him of that, if you go forward make sure u can get back, its all about decision making, same a attackers do what ur capable of but if you lose the ball u better track back , which should be common knowledge
123spurs
just look what the LVG has done with man u, it has turned into big brother style, if moyes done that he be laughed at but LVG does it an the same players buy into it.
123spurs
Pochettino suggests our squad is too big, something that we have known for at least 2 seasons. The question is, how do we trim it. There are reports that both Dawson and Kaboul, two of our more saleable surplus players are refusing to go, preferring to stay, in Kaboul's case to run down his contract, in Dawson's, he wants to "fight for his place", no doubt with half an eye on a testimonial in the near future. We are not exactly snowed under with offers for fringe players, so how do we shift them, if nobody wants them? This highlights the nonsense of giving a player of Rose's quality a 5 year deal, how do you shift him a couple of seasons down the line, when you wish to upgrade, this policy only burdens the club with fringe players we can't shift, it is a self inflicted problem. 5 year deals should be used only for the players who you are determined to keep, those that are key to the team, and critical for the future, not bread and butter players, who if they refuse a contract offer and leave, would have virtually no ill effect on the team.
Frank
Apparently Walker will miss start of season - Mail reporting and Poch has said still some pelvic issues. a real shame as with some guidance, he could be a great player for us this season. However, hear that Drogba is out for six months, our nemesis :)
Windlespur
simple frank dont register them in 25 man squad so they cant play in PL fo us, to muchplayer power these days, let them rot
123spurs
Frank - think that it will be quite easy to shift a few, even if out on loan in the coming weeks. bae, maybe Carroll, hopefully Kane etc.
Windlespur
as i said to much plaer power, im sure if RM wanted daws he be off in a shot
123spurs
frank bale was just as bad a rose if not worse, im not saying rose will be like bale, but he was almost sold for less then 5 mil to Birmingham. u cant predict the future, man u pre season with same team as moyes, LVG manage to beat RM inter milan and liverpool
123spurs
why did we spend 10 mil on davies? what EXP has ge got?
123spurs
Any way you look at it, we have to reduce squad numbers. The easy way out would be to loan Fryers, Mason, Fredericks, Ceballos and Carroll to get them playing time elsewhere. The harder option will be to shift 2 or 3 of the senior players. I still think we'll see things happen with Dawson/Kaboul/Chiriches and Paulinho/Sandro/Dembele and perhaps even Townsend/Chadli. One thing is certain, I bet we're all watching Sky Sports News on August 31st !!!
muttley
its all ifs and buts at the end of the day, why is sturridge scoring an failed at city and chelsea
123spurs
muttley. new manager but same ol story so role on 31st
123spurs
I would not be surprised with this line up for WU;

Lloris

Naughton - Kaboul - Verts - Davies

Capoue - Dembele

Lamella - Eriksen - Ade

Soldado

Subs; Vorm, Dier, Rose, Sandro, Lennon, Holtby
jvd
With the above line up you could switch out Dembele for Holtby if Dembele is unfit and bring in Bentaleb as a sub. But to me you have to find a way to play Ade and Soldado and Ade plays on the left fairly well. However the depth we have is unbelievable when you think of the names left off. We simply have to move some guys.
jvd
Additionally moving some guys on and bring in Depay and schneiderlin would make this team a formidable force. Musacchio would be good only if we can move Daws and Fryers.
jvd
SRV ... When you say ‘A lot depends on whether Lamela and Erikssen can step up and be our new Bale and Modric’ I don’t see how that can happen. I have seen nothing to suggest that they are anywhere near close to being that good. I’d like it to happen but, to me, it’s like hoping Kane will step up to be the new Messi. They are what they are.
Geofspurs
We have skilful players for whatever formation MP opts to use. Seems to me that the one thing every player needs to have instilled in them is ‘awareness’. They need to be completely aware of where they should be, and what they should be doing, when they DON”T have the ball. They need to be completely aware of making the right decisions, decisions that optimise team performance, when they DO have the ball. If this does not happen then there will be very little difference from last season. I think this will be a make or break season for quite a few of our players. If they are to improve their performance this season it will come from their heads, not their feet, because that is what will make them a better TEAM. Imo.
Geofspurs
4 3 3 best formation lloris rose vert kaboul walker bck 4.... capoe sandro holding erikson cam and lennon/townsend ade lamela up top as it stands quality off bench...
Lapras Woodman
Judging by yday can we assume Capoue is now injured and unavailable for West Ham?
jordtheyid
As for the article I like the way Poch has us looking forward early. We just dont have the creativity (particularly wide and centrally in midfield) to make it a success. Our central midfielders lack passing ability over long distances which limits our ability to switch play quickly. Dembele certainly doesn't improve this and all Paulinho can do is run about. Shneiderlin was the key but once again Levy left it late and we have ended up with some bang average signings. I mean is he going to spend any proper money at all?
jordtheyid
Jordtheyid.. while agreeing that MS is a player we need. But he is overpriced, and not being released. To pay well over the odds is not beneficial to THFC with the financial balance of the squad and the new stadium build now. Anyway it is like paying £40k for a car worth £20k nobody in their right mind will do that.. Dier is not an average signing, he is very good, and can be a star defender in PL.
Block D Spurs
Frank writes, "5 year deals should be used only for the players who you are determined to keep, those that are key to the team, and critical for the future, not bread and butter players, who if they refuse a contract offer and leave, would have virtually no ill effect on the team." I agree Frank, but the Key players you speak of, Daniel Levy is not determined to keep! Because he always has and always will see these 'KEY' players' as a means to an end, players he can use to raise revenue to buy more players... So the great players are sold, and the likes of Dawson, Rose, JJ etc get the long term deals...
Pele10
Lapras, can't argue with your line up probably pretty close to the one we'll see v West Ham. Capoue and Sandro might be a tad too negative. I still think Soldado works better with the attacking front three from a creative stand point but I think he will struggle for goals again this season. Also walker injured so Noughton to start.
Slurms McKenzie
Pele10, the great players are bought for silly money by other teams, as long as real madrid and the likes are willing to drop 60-90 million on a player then no one is safe. 5 year contracts protect the clubs invest and drive up the price when bids come in, nothing more.
Slurms McKenzie
Block D Spurs, perhaps MP feels overpaying for just one player will add extra value to the rest of the team which will more than make up for the extra cost in buying the player (sum of the parts being more than the individual parts and all that rubbish)
In-spurs-ational
Watching the Charity Shield conformed my biggest, fear! Arsenal have made it through the rough times of stadium debt... It has been a long hard drawn out battle for them staying in the Champions League and paying off those huge bank loans, but the AFC board are now being rewarded for their 'to dare is to do' attitude... Meanwhile back at the Lane Big Joe and his apprentice missed the most amazing opportunity to hit the Gooners when they were down a few seasons back, choose not to invest in the squad when the Arsenal were shaking, even without the burden of stadium debt, and now AFC are back stronger than ever! The difference between the two great North London giants??? Only one! The Arsenal fans have top quality ownership and a super smart board of directors, whilst we Spurs fans, well we have ENIC...
Pele10
Geof following on from your post, we have struggled in the past because we tend to build a team around one star player who then gets injured or bought and we have no plan B. Rather then Eriksen or Lamela become the next Modric or Bale, I want to see them and chadli, ceballos, holtby, capoue, bentaleb, townsend, mason paulinho, dembele and sandro develop into a dynamic midfield who can each play within the formation without a noticable drop in form 6-8 very good players is preferable to on world class and 7 average!
Slurms McKenzie
Pele10, I also watched the Charity sheild and I saw a near full strenght Arsenal control a first half against the City reserves playing with poor tactics. I then saw the City reserves change tactics at half time and dominate the game, yes gerrude got a wonder goal from a freak defection and City just didn't have their scoring boots on. Also remember the last team to beat city in the charity sheild finished 7th!
Slurms McKenzie
Pochettino's formation?...he MUST be able to vary it or we will get found out and end up mid table...4231 is a good formation and option for us but 352 is a great counter to 4231 and ideal to play in a league when most are playing one up top...we have some really good players, we have some pretty average ones and we have some that are not and will never be top PL players but what we don't have is enough variety, we don't have enough strikers and we don't have a LW...yet again the season is about to start and our board have hamstrung us....we'll win nothing. People will call to get behind the team, support the players etc yet our own board can't be bothered to try and put out the best team possible (they can't even be bothered to hire the best coach possible!)...it's pathetic to watch this lot not trying and worse to support them for it.....our transfer policy, squad management and dealings are a dogs breakfast....
shedboy2
Once again, we go into the season with a squad that is no where near ready. We still have serious weaknesses in defence and attack and considering we are up against it anyway for a top four place it is nothing short of incompetence that we are so far from being ready. We play Liverpool very early and whilst they have done there business and are fully prepared, we will be putting out a patchwork team. We seem to put in ridiculous bids for players in June/July and when they are turned down, we wait until the last few days of the window before we go back in and if we get them, we get them and if we don't then we don't. In the meantime, all of our rivals have completed their business and are good to go in time for the start of the season. Will things ever be any different. I don't think so.
DoncasterHotspur
jordtheyid.. You seem to think that we have a rubbish team and that Shneiderlin will make all the difference. One good player in a rubbish team will not change a thing. The rest won't stop being rubbish and we'll be buggered if he were to get injured. Do you have a plan B?
MAN ON!
Good bright start to the day Vital Yids. I better get out before it all turns to doom. Up the Spurs... I think.
MAN ON!
Been interesting to watch the preseason. Whilest some the opposition has been positively woeful(Celtic), i see the beginnings of a team, a philosophy, and a structure. It finally looks as if the players are being coached as to the team structure, especially in defense. The defenders are shifting across when we attack up a flank, when a defender sees a gap, the DM is slotting in to cover that position. The number of times when Rose went forward that i saw either Holtby or Bentalib shift in behind reflects good coaching.

One huge difference i have noted from the past 2 years, MP is putting players in a position within his structure that allows them to utilize their individual strengths, to use the skills we bought them for in the first place! The goal we conceded came from Sandro losing possession, failing to recover, and then not picking up a player. The structure itself was OK, just one player who hasnt played in a long time, carrying a niggle(As is ALWAYS the case with him unfort), who isnt match sharp.

I certainly hope reports that Capoue is leaving is rubbish, cos he is the cog that makes us tick IMO. Bentalib will reach that level as DM, but he aint there yet. Capoue played Schalke, Clean sheet. The manner in which Capoue and Holtby are aware of each others position and runs, and the fluency with which they are able to link D and Off, reminds me to a point of Modric and Parker. They obviously have a way to go, and both are young, but they are the engine which makes us tick. Capoue frees Holtby up to be creative from deep, and he covers tackles, as Holtby is inclined to be hot-headed in the tackle.

looking up front, most on here seem happy with Eriksen and Lamela, as am I. depending on who plays striker, I would offer the following suggestion: If Ade plays, play Lennon in 10 (had great pre so far); if Soldier plays, play Paulinho in 10. I see a future for Paulinho as a 10, he knows where the back of the net is, his movement and flicks around the box can be effective. I just dont see him as a deep lying player, both he and Sandro dont pass well enough for that position.

i am quiet happy with both full back positions, although i wonder which Kyle the American is coming in to replace. Initially it was Naughton, but as stated in other posts, i think Naughton is currently out performing what Walker did last season. Get Musacchio sealed, Shift Daws, and offer Kaboul a season to season contract alla King. He was immense on Sat, and has been entire pre. If we keep Chiriches, its as a utility player, ie CB, RB, DM.

All of the above of course changes if we sign other players.
10iscoach
if only all the supporters showed the same ambition as the board...just sit this season out not spend any new money, ask if if perhaps they could just trade in last season's tickets for new ones...I think the board would then have to spend some of the revenue they take from supporters on the product they want to watch.
shedboy2
I think that he will play a version of three at the back with Capoue holding the central position allowing Kaboul and Vertonghen to play wider covering the flanks as Rose and Naughton bomb on. Capoue will anchor it and bring the ball out of defense. The attacking four of Ade, Eriksen, Lamela and Lennon looks settled with one place left for one of Holtby, Bentaleb, Dembele or Paulinho, probably Bentaleb initially. Some big names won't even make the bench.
Love totty
If we sign Musacchio, at CB we then have Verts, Musacchio, Kaboul, Dier, Velk, Chirches, Daws and Fryers. Thats 8 players, and even in a perfect world, they arent all going to play. Verts looks likes he is staying after this weekends tfer deals at Barca. IMO the order in which i listed the defenders is the pecking order in terms of ability.

Velk is a free pick, so we can ignore him. not sure if Dier and Fryers are based on age? Either way, Fryers is last on that list, and he just isnt good enough in any position. I would sell him for 3-4mil, if we can get that much. Daws and Chiriches are a conundrum. IF we buy Musacchio, sell Daws, IF we dont, then sell Chiriches. Chiriches IMO is just a utility player who can cover any of 3 positions, he cant start in any of the positions over the long term. IF Musacchio doesnt come, we have some inexperienced defenders in our ranks age wise, and assuming Verts and Kaboul are going to start in PL, Daws can play with the Youngsters in the cups, and certain PL matches where pace isnt an issue. Not sure Chriches can offer that based on what i have seen so far.
As mentioned above, i personally put Kaboul on a season to season contract like King. We all know his injury history, but when he is good, he has no peer, certainly at Spurs.

SOOO many IF's, roll on season, and end of window, so we can talk certainties.
10iscoach
In the middle of the park is where the fun and games start. Its looks as tho Chadli is a goner, based on media reports. As deep lying playmakers, i feel we only have 2, Holtby and Dembele. keep both, especially if we get Dembele, and then tell him to shoot once in a while. At DM, we have 3 players, Capoue, Sandro and Bentalib. bearing in mind what we have seen presseason so far, i feel Sandro is the one to go, his speed is gone, he is a yellow waiting to happen, and his range of passing has never been good enough. He also is always carrying niggles. I dont quite know where Mason and Carroll fit in, but i think its time to call it a dayoin Carroll. Mason i havent seen enough of, although IMO Mason looked better than Bentalib. oNe season more perhaps. AM we have an abundance of riches, Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon(rejuvinated), Paulinho, and the enigma, Andros. I wont sell any of them. Kane and Ade also seem comfortable playing wide left as well.

Strikers well we only have 3, so nothing to say.
10iscoach
The talk of Agger coming strikes worry. I quite like him but it means Vertonghen is off. I also can't seem to get my head around Capoue being our saviour as a holding midfielder. As Pele rightly put, we have had 2-3 seasons where top 4 was possible. We have a stadium to build and pay for, we need to stick with the manager and try to build a side. Too many changes have done nothing.
RAF Yid
kaboul won't accept a season to season contract....he would have signed an extension last year but the club wanted him to prove his fitness...he'll now hang on till next year when he'll walk and pick up a big fat signing on fee somewhere else...unless someone really makes it worth his while to go now...
shedboy2
* - get Dembele fit, sorry

So my Squad:

GK: Lloris, Vorm, youngster.
RB: Naughton, Walker; LB: Davies, Rose.
CB: Verts, Kaboul, Dier, Daws, Chiriches, Fryers, Velk(free).
DM: Holtby, Capoue, Dembele, Bentalib, Mason.
AM: Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon, Townsend, Paulinho.
Str: Ade, Soldado, Kane.

Thats 27 players, not sure how many are free picks? Velk is, 3rd keeper would be; Kane, Bentalib, Dier and Fryers? The new USA rb?

No place for Friedl, Sandro, Chadli, Carroll.
This as things stand, with no more players in or out. Musacchio in could see 2 defenders go, Daws/Chriches/Fryers. MS in, 3 of Sandro/Carroll/Mason(?)/Bentalib going out(loan?).
10iscoach
Pele10. Arsenal have also had the stability of retaining a manager for decades. Like Man U they are going through a stability period under one manager. Yes, we have a lot of catching up to do, but what's to say that Poch isn't part of our new ERA? COYS! AND..why do you ALWAYS have to compare us to Arsenal? Man U under SAF were invincible, i.e., another stable structure. Give Poch a chance. COYS!
Critical_Spur
Slurms .... ‘6-8 very good players is preferable to one world class and 7 average’. That’s a generalisation and not necessarily true. It depends how they fit in and play together. I agree that 11 good players who play as a team are better than 11 brilliant players who don’t. But when was the last time any team won the EPL without at least one star player?!
Geofspurs
I wonder if the 5 year deal offered to Rose is simply one that removes the threat of losing a home grown player from our ranks ? DO belive this rule allows some sub standard home grown players to get a living out of the game. Obika is a perfect example , one that has featured rarely in the squad let alone the team.

Capoue hopefully was rested but played in the supposed behind closed doors game last week. Partnered with Holtby / Dembele would imo provide some steel in the middle of the park.

We do need to shed someplayers though, Chirices, Townsend and Paulino are my choices...

Dawson and Kaboul I think will stay to honor their respective contracts and in Dawson another homegrown.

Looking forward to the start of the season proper....

ro6ertj
raf- we need to make the right changes at the right times...it's just too easy to say too many changes were the problem last year...there were so many other factors...what we do need is more goals..we have two snr strikers both of whom are at the fag end of their careers..we should be bringing through a replacement instead we're collecting CB's! As for paying for the stadium...you'd think the billionaire who will gain hundreds of millions through the 'project' would finance that as opposed to taking money out of the first team to do it...we're owned by pure greed though...
shedboy2
10iscoach - I assume you also noticed Carroll not covering and Fryers not pressing Boateng even though there was no other player there? Sometimes you can have a single mistake that leads for the goal. Most time though its combo's and with that goal it was definitely the latter. Saying that, it was pre-season and a bunch of changes had happened. That won't happen in the league.

I would have also thought with "coach" in your name you would have noticed the natural things that Chiriches does in the back line rather than have him as 6th on ability. I thought he was our best defender last season but clearly had injury problems. The problem is, a lot of fans prefer the blood and thunder defending and associate it with being good. They don't appreciate the art of defending and therefore guys like Chiriches get called out for having a quiet game or over-playing it at times. When Chiriches just uses his positional sense and reading of the game and gets a toe in fans just assume it was the attackers fault. When Dawson or Kaboul in the same position hit a big tackle and win the ball fans love it. They also condemn it bad defending when the foul is committed. When I watch Chiriches, I see a Carvalho type player that will grow into a fantastic player as he gets to his mid to late twenties. Of course Carvalho overplayed it in his younger days. Of course he tried to take everyone on and took unnecessary chances. He was coached though and became formidable and made Terry look better than he was. I think that is what can happen with Pochettino and Chiriches. Poch was a centre half after all and surely can't be that tolerant to what he's seen from Dawson as both Saints and Spurs boss. So did AVB who should have gone with his instincts and sold him immediately and give Caulker those 30 games last season.
muttley
Muttley, I agree with Chiriches on the coaching, he has the potential to get better. Dawson won't, Kaboul is decent but clearly injury prone. That means Vertonghen and another. I like Dier, Fryers and Velkejovic, but admit I haven't seen much of those. Surely the 10 EL games (if we win qualifier and league) gives us a good chance to see these 3, maybe Dier might push for regular action.
RAF Yid
entwistle - according to Wikepedia, Fryers has played 26 senior games across Utd, Std Liege and Spurs. He's less than a month away from his 22nd b'day. That to me says that he needs a loan most and we're all probably being a harsh judging him. He's never once had a run in any side and now keeps getting moved between 2 positions. He needs a loan more than anything else.
muttley
Sherwood was AVB's fault! Zeki has played CB for England many times as well as DM and a left back of course.
MAN ON!
Rex - my point was that we've had 2 managers that have sat in opposition dugouts and then became Spurs manager. Both of them had the same instincts about Dawson who no single top side has ever even looked at. Why do we accept the mediocrity? It's not about Caulker. If it wasn't him we would have recycled the money and bought someone else as every other team in the Prem had better centre halves than him. If he refuses to leave then simply don't name him in the 25 as he has no useful value when we have guys like Dier and Velkjovic who are the Spurs future. Let him train with the kids. They will probably run rings round him anyway.

By the way, I don't buy the Joe Lewis thing. It was gutter press BS that naive fans have now taken as fact. If it was true, we would have sold him for 50% more up front and not put in a buy back clause and a 50% sell on value. We were clearly leaving our options open.
muttley
muttley-avb came out publicly and admitted it was a mistake on his part trying to get rid of dawson in his first year.have you forgotten that.
tarkan mardinCOYS
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2279074/Andre-Villas-Boas-admits-mistake-trying-sell-Michael-Dawson.html
tarkan mardinCOYS
muttley- did we have a buy back clause for Caulker? I was never aware of one, how much did we get from him going to QPR? we were due a bonus if Cardiff stayed up though...
shedboy2
fryers is still trying to find his best position but he can play both...look at Chambers at Arse did they buy a RB or CB?....imo a loan would do him good...Vlad seems to have fallen off the radar...this time of year an 'injury' can mean anything- if he stays he needs to be stronger, learn when to play and when to clear and his heading needs to improve...but great touch and excellent on the ball...
shedboy2
why the obsession with caulker?in truth i never thought he was anything more than a prospect.
tarkan mardinCOYS
We are starting to look like a team again. Massive performance from Eric Dier, he looked solid as a rock next to Kaboul. Rose has impressed in pre-season so based on that I think you have to give him the nod against west ham. Soldado has looked sharp, as has ADE. Townsend has looked determined to regain his spot in the starting 11. But the stand out performer of Pre-season has to be Holtby. The guy is just everywhere! I think he is much more suited to the deeper CM role (which he says he prefers), has bags of energy, can pass, shoot, tackle (apart from that horror tackle!!)

Eriksen has been very quiet, one or to neat touches but has to show more for the ball IMO. We know he has quality but he needs to get more involved. Lamela has looked tidy in possession, some very cheeky little passes and a few goals so his confidence must be high. Quiet against Shalke but did have a big part in the first goal

Based on pre-season and general play my team against spammers would be Lloris – Naughton Kaboul Vertonghen Rose – Capuoe Holtby – Lennon Erisen Lamela – Adebayor

I think Paulinho really has to up his game to get anywhere near the first 11 at the moment. From his end of the season performances and the WC he seems to have lost interest. Strange that we haven’t seen anything of the WC boys in pre-season, how does MP judge them without seeing thm in a match? Would seem unfair if say Paulinho, Chadli, Vertonghen all walked into the starting 11 against WHU and displaced players like Holtby, Lennon, who have performed well all pre-season.
hudderspur
tarkan - of course he did. What was he supposed to say? Read it more carefully and this is all he said about Dawson. "Yes. I think we appreciate the fact we were able to hang on to him. We ended up being on the better side by the fact he agreed to stay with us. We were lucky in that sense". Hardly flattering and didn't talk to a single quality of Dawson's. He said this about Gallas in the same interview "William has been a massive player for us this season. He's a player we trust a lot. Whatever we decide regarding his future, we'll have to wait and see, but we are aware of what a presence he's been for us this season" Coincidence that he used the word "trust" for the 35 year old on his last legs and had nothing positive to say about Dawson. Let's not be as naive to think AVB ever wanted Dawson in the bigger picture. Nor does Poch.
muttley
andi thought he had a bad season
tarkan mardinCOYS
michael dawson has been 1st choice centre half for successive managers when fit.tim,avb,harry.his got nothing to prove
tarkan mardinCOYS
theirs only one guy marshalling the troops come saturday.and its not vertonghen or kaboul its dawson
tarkan mardinCOYS
Dawson's injured.
MAN ON!
The Musacchio saga just drags on, and on, and on, it has become a typical Spurs transfer deal, when days turn into weeks and weeks, while others declare an interest, agree a fee, agree personal terms, do a medical, and the players sign, all in a few days a la the recent Jack Rodwell deal. It is now reported that Vilarreal are offering the player a new deal to ward off "interest" from Spurs, so perhaps that it as far as it has gone after all this time, interest, rather than the reported "advanced talks, fee agreed pending 3rd party ownership issues". The same saga seems to be developing with the Yedlin "deal", if in fact this is genuine, although it has been "close" for a week. Cynically I believe that the Spurs PR machine puts out these rumors of ongoing activity, to divert from the fact that the window is fast expiring, and apart from a couple of token deals, and a couple of sales, we have done little to solve the known issues in the squad, that became obvious, and costly shortcomings, last season, resulting in a 6th place finish, and us conceding a shed load of goals, against the better PL sides. Everybody seems to think that merely by putting a new driver in charge ( who has managed two clubs, one Espanyol that got relegated, and Southampton who finished 8th last season, with a squad of the quality that 5 of the players have since been sold for £98M), that he can turn a Ford Fiesta into a Jaguar, simple as that. You can't turn Donkeys into Derby winners simply by appointing a trainer. We are still in desperate need of a CB partner for Vertonghen, before Kaboul breaks down again, and a striker who has even a remote chance of 20 Pl goals/season unlike Soldado, whose goal scoring, or lack of it, must be a grave concern given the fee paid for him. Additionally we must hope, that more of the magnificent 7 come to the party to join Eriksen, apart from whom they were all flops on arrival. It maybe that good players they might be, but the right players for our needs, and ready for the change of coming into the EPL, they certainly weren't. I am afraid that the business in this window is now all but concluded again with zero nett spend, unless we get a Levy speciality 11th hour bargain swoop for a Rasiak, or a Saha, or a Nelson. We shall see, but I'm afraid we simply don't learn the lessons of the past.
Frank
jan vertonghen goes into his shell when faced with abrasive opposition like the hammers.
tarkan mardinCOYS
shedboy - we can't clearly know what's in a players contract but lots was written about Caulker's deal. 50% sell on, relegation avoid clause for £2m, buy back clause at same price we bought him etc. No smoke without fire and you just know that Levy looked after us in that deal. It was rumoured at only £8m between Spurs and Cardiff which strongly suggests an asset of that value had clauses in the move.

Rex - Dawson played 2 games with Capoue back to back. If Caulker or any other centre half had been at Spurs after Dawson left then they would have played instead. Therefore it's a moot point about value. By the way, Dawson had an absolute howler in the game that Capoue got MoM playing out of position at centre half. The fans were wax lyrical about his performance there. Also, we won't be filling centre half positions with midfielders. We would have Chiriches, Vertonghen, Kaboul plus free picks Dier and Velkjovic with a potential new signing of Musacchio. Dawson needs to go or accept we don't have a squad place for him.
muttley
plus jan vertonghen is probably not in the best frame of mind since barca signed vermaelen
tarkan mardinCOYS
MAN ON, in a perverse way, that is good news, it means MP won't be able to pick him on Saturday.
Frank
Back on the formations topic, I was reading an article suggesting that West Ham will be playing with a 3-5-2 against us. They apparently want to accommodate Tomkins, Reid and Collins in a back 3 and then pack the midfield with guys like Diame, Noble, Nolan, Cresswell etc.
muttley
Rex_Vulgaris, so avb resigned. That's something I missed. Do you have any links in which he says that (not having a go at you, genuinely asking)
In-spurs-ational
Dier on Twitter - “I hope to keep improving but I’m happy with the start.” Nicely put.
muttley
muttley- as you indicate very few know exactly what is in the contract but take your own logic...lot's written about it, no smoke without fire etc and apply it to the reason why Caulker -an excellent player, one who would get game time and a homegrown player to boot would be sold off in the manner he was...I don't think a member of the media just dreamed up the story...
shedboy2
muttley, I thought west ham would favour the 10-0-0 formation against us
In-spurs-ational
Also on Twitter. Conor Wickham to West Ham is trending this morning.
muttley
shedboy - no, but they are pretty good at blowing it out of proportion. Caulker was always clear that he wanted 1st team football even in his previous loan to Swansea. My guess is that anything that happened off the field was recoverable, hence the clauses. He wasn't bombed out the club in my opinion.
muttley
In-spurs - then we should match them up and go in with 0-0-10 :-)
muttley
muttley - Both Dawson and Kaboul are said to have turned down transfers. Yes you can not play them but you still have to pay them.
jod
Whoever we play, and whatever the formation is, WHU will try to out muscle us in midfield. I think Capoue has to start.
Geofspurs
Villarreal have just unveiled Víctor Ruiz, who joins on loan from Valencia. Mateo Musacchio's move to us should hopefully now get finalised.
Kong
jod - agree. There is a difference between a transfer and the right transfer though. Just because Kaboul didn't fancy Lazio or Dawson didn't fancy Hull doesn't mean they are not amenable to the right transfer. The press are probably blowing it out of proportion. We have to pay them but picking the team on merit you'd play Kaboul right now. I didn't see Dawson's brief appearance when he got injured but saw the other 3 and he was nothing to write home about. In fact he looked anything but a top 6 player whilst Velkjovic looked solid. Dier also had a strong debut. I'm actually more worried about the Musacchio deal, Vertonghen's readiness for the season and Chiriches's back. I have a feeling that we'll see the same back 5 as Saturday against West Ham.
muttley
Rex, do you live in Canada by any chance?
Harry-Kari
muttley ... with the Dawson situation, ie: wont move and/or you saying not give him a squad place. I haven't done the math as I'm not sure who qualifies but do we have enough HG players to fill the 7 needed without him? If we do then ok but if we don't it's like cutting off your nose ....... I wouldn't like him playing often but if there's nobody else fit and we need him for our quota then we should keep him. Also i really can't see the point of paying a player to sit in the stands whilst we continue to pay his wages. Would be better to buy him out. But even then he might refuse.
longtimespur
Not sure there’s much point in ongoing discussions about AVB and TS, etc. We have a new manager and our first game is in 5 days ... much more relevant and interesting, imo. And it's a game that is destined to be a 3-0 win to Spurs! COYS.
Geofspurs
muttley- we'll have to disagree- I think he was bombed out of the club and how we could use a PL experienced, homegrown LCB who looks to be international class for 8m.....madness. But just one of the many ludicrous decisions made by our handsomely paid executive team...1 week til kick off and are we ready? of course not...absolute shambles.
shedboy2
well if we get 'hammered' on the opening day will MoPo walk into Levy's office and out through mutual consent?....we'd still have time to get FdB in before the window shuts...;)
shedboy2
longtime - well Poch said in his interview last week he had 32 senior players and needed to get it to 25. If there is a place, then clearly Dawson will be named if he is still around. What you say about homegrown is part of it as if we cannot accommodate places for Fryers, Mason, Carroll and Ceballos then we are left with Walker, Naughton, Rose, Davies, Lennon and Townsend. I believe Schneiderlin and Jay Rod were part of Poch's master plan to find a 7th and 8th HG player. If Dawson goes then it will be a late, late move in my opinion. If he stays, then I don't think he will feature much unlike previous years. I still have a hunch that Poch will de-risk Vertonghen leaving next summer by buying Hector Moreno in Jan.
muttley
shedboy - enjoying disagreeing with you in a sociable and mature way. You're still wrong though :-)
muttley
Thought our CB dealings would have been resolved by now. It will be very interesting to see the final 25man squad. MP has a lot of decisions to make. Good to hear that he knows who will be starting against the spammers though. I get a feeling a lot of players who have featured a lot in pre-season have been playing for a place in the 25, not a place in the starting 11.
hudderspur
muttley- my sentiments exactly...;) entwistle- time will tell if we made the right decision as you know I'd have preferred FdB if (as looks likely) we're not going to be spending any new money ( I know you like that;)) on players...LvG looks the real deal both at the WC and in preseason at Manu...but we never had the budget for a man of that calibre...so business as usual fingers crossed and hope on the appointment and 'a day late and a dollar short' in our dealings....
shedboy2
muttley - Haven't seen enough to judge, from bitter experience I know friendlies tell you nothing. Kaboul was our best central defender before his injuries, last season he was half the player when he was fit. Now ? who knows. Yes Dier looked good, but in a friendly. The only time I have seen Velkjovic on the pitch in a competetive game he played in midfield. It seems to me you are making massive assumptions on very little hard evidence, ten games in we might be able to judge. Can't say Chiriches worries me, in my book he's an accident waiting to happen anywhere in our third of the field. Not sure what you mean by the right transfer, no one will pay these guys what we are paying them, they aren't going to take a pay cut, we don't want to end up paying them to leave. I don't think there is a right transfer.
jod
hudderspur- that does tend to be the case in pre-season they play for a squad place or for a move....
shedboy2
jod - I'm making informed assumptions on Dawson's 300 appearances for Spurs but you're right, there are less data-points on the younger guys like Chiriches, Dier and Velkjovic. That's just me though. I see the best in people until they prove me different. I was completely the same with Dawson when he was competing with Naybet and King when he first joined. However, over many years he's more than lost my faith and I don't want him anywhere near the first team. He will consistently make mistakes so we might as well let the younger players make them and grow from being on the pitch.
muttley
entwistle- we need a goal scorer and like last year would still like benteke but I think with moPo in place we'll end up with Jay-rod at the end of the window...he'll be cheaper, saints won't miss him as he won't be playing, is a homegrown and can play left or lead the line, knows what Poch wants and will be up to speed by the time Ade goes walk a bout...
shedboy2
longtimespur, I'm not sure on who does and doesn't qualify, but my understanding of the home grown rule is that there is actually no minimum i.e. you can have zero home grown players in your squad

The only limits are squad size and the number of non home grown players

http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/fans/faqs/home-grown-player-rule.html
In-spurs-ational
By the way, I hope we're all ready for a roller coaster ride in these next 3 weeks. We have a senior squad of 32 players and only 2, Khumalo and Ekotto, are low hanging fruit in my opinion. Poch's comments about getting the squad down to 25 will be an unwanted distraction when we have 5 games to play in that time as well. I expect 3 or 4 senior players to leave, some other loans and a couple of signings before Aug 31. Never a dull moment on here though.
muttley
Frank, until we have the new stadium built, and revenue streams to match Arsenal etc... our squad will always be full of "donkeys" as your opinion... So patience and support to the manager and club is required by all of us.
Block D Spurs
Frank. That was a sneaky little dig there. I almost missed it. ;-)
MAN ON!
entwistle, if MP has any sense, he will make sure that he handles all of Ade's African cup travel arrangements. Otherwise we may not see Ade back until he needs to work for his next contract
In-spurs-ational
I think Ade might deserve a little break after his bout of Malaria. He can come back, score a few goals and propel us into the CL from December on!
MAN ON!
Anyone who would like to know what occurred with AVB needs only consult the official release from the club. The clue is in the words "by mutual consent". Not that complicated folks. As for Caulker, the supposed reason was in the press for a day or so and then it quickly disappeared. Lewis has some influence and I'm guessing he used it. Kaboul was injured, Gallas retired, which left Dawson and Vertonghen as our only CB's. Hardly a pre-planned move. Neither situation matters. Old coach is gone and Caulker is at QPR. Just a thought, if Caulker were that highly rated why would Liverpool and Arsenal, both of whom could use a quality young English CB not have been in for him? COYS
peterballb
Have to agree with Geofspurs. Not sure what good it is to talk about all the shortcomings when we should be focused on the team MP will play next Saturday. If I have to go by most of these messages, we should just forfeit all the important games because we've no chance of winning any of them. Apparently Dawson is now our best defender, none of our strikers can score to save their lives and our new hand-picked manager is barely qualified to manage a League 2 side. Optimism all around I see.
BelgianSpur
peterballb, "by mutual consent" are probably the most complicated words a club can use, for example

Club : "We are going to sack you, is that okay"
Manager : "Okay"

or

Manager : "I'm going to resign, is that okay"
Club : "Okay"

Both ways the manager can be said to have left "by mutual consent"
In-spurs-ational
pterbalb - don't change it. It was a Dawson vs. Caulker debate, not whether Caulker was the bees knees. I'm saying we should have kept him and used him over Dawson. We might have then figured out he wasn't going to make it or not but we didn't even try. Instead, we persisted with a guy in Dawson who we already knew his runway. It's right to look forward though and I'm hopeful Musacchio signs and Dier is the real deal. Hopefully, we'll see the real Vertonghen and Chiriches this season as well and create a competitive unit. The way I see it, if Kaboul stays he probably competes for a 1st team slot on rotation. If Dawson stays as we need homegrowns then he purely makes up the numbers.
muttley
we can only name 17 foreign over 21yr old players...imo if we're struggling take Brad's number away from him...he won't play anyway. BAE, Khumalo won't get a number - we may just as well pay them off if no one will take them...it'll be cheaper than paying them to hang around the place and better for morale...
shedboy2
It's all a bit academic. By mutual consent means that the position had become untenable for both sides. In such circumstances there is only one outcome, the boss stays!
Love totty
Well at least the media pressure is off us this season; nobody is saying we are contenders for a top four finish ... unlike last season. I hope our supporters read it the same way. It is football, so we could end up as champions but, realistically .... !
Geofspurs
Geofspurs - I'm pretty confident we'll win the league and will be bitterly disappointed if we come below the top 3 and don't win at least 2 trophies :-)
muttley
geof- yep, we won't win anything...that really set's us up for a great season....what happened to the days when a team could come together and surprise everyone?...unfortunately I think they are a distant memory....
shedboy2
I think we could realistically win a Cup this year. We certainly have enough players!
BelgianSpur
Rex - agree. What I can't make out is whether Poch wants 25 including free picks or 25 plus free picks. We can definitely get it to 17 non homegrown just by removing Ekotto and Khumalo.
muttley
Belgian .... I agree; we could win any of three cups this year.
Geofspurs
rex- being pedantic on the use of foreign there...they are foreign to the english and welsh FA therefore don't qualify as a homegrown...Dier is a free pick at the moment....
shedboy2
Whichever way you slice it, he was neither fired, nor did he resign. I don't understand why it is an issue. Word is that h was told to play a different style and to play Adebayor. He basically said, you hired me to coach and I will be the one who determines how and who I play. THFC could have fired him. I'm sure he'd have loved that as the comp would have been way higher. He was never going to resign as he would have been walking away from all that money. So they sawed it off somewhere in the middle so that both parties, by mutual consent, could look good and saw off the spoils. He had no intention of quitting or of coaching by proxy. They had no intention of firing him which is why there was no plan in place. Mutual consent. Neither fired nor resigned. They agreed to part ways. You have your agenda, so look at it how you wish. The facts are in he statement. When Harry was fired the statement read, "The club can announce that Harry Redknapp will be leaving his post as manager." The statement continued to elaborate on what a hard decision it was for the board to arrive at. No mutual consent in that one. When Ramos was fired "'The club can announce that Damien Comolli, sporting director, Juande Ramos, head coach and first-team coaches, Marcos Alvarez and Gus Poyet, have left the club, with immediate effect. Again, no mutual consent. COYS
peterballb
I've just found a box full of old Spurs programmes from the 80's. Top of the pile is one for Tues, Feb 23, 1988, against Man U. Terry Venables was manager and, if I remember rightly, we played some attractive football at that time. On that day, before kick-off, we were 10th in the old Division 1, on 34 points and the 4 teams above us were Sheff Wed, Luton T, Wimbledon and then QPR in 6th place... 1st are the Pool on 66 points, 2nd United, 3rd Notts F, 4th Everton and 5th Arsenal..... Our team sheet on the prog reads No 1, Bobby Mimms. 2, Brian Statham. 3, Mitchell Thomas. 4, T Fenwick. 5, C Fairclough. 6, Mabbutt. 7, Clive Allen. 8, Paul Allen. 9, Waddle. 10, Ossie and 11, Paul Walsh... We drew 1-1. C Allen scored our goal. That made him our top scorer that night on 9 for the season and Claeson was on 8...... Sorry, nothing to do with the article but I thought I'd share it....
MAN ON!
muttley, it was whether Caulker could have stayed and whether he was sacrificed instead of Dawson. The answer was no because he was fired by the owner of the club. So there was never an option to keep him over Dawson. When Caulker was sent on his way, Dawson had managed to keep himself in the club, but was not likely in front of him in te pecking order, though, to be fair, Caulker was not used much down the stretch in AVB's first season. There was never, to my knowledge, a Caulker versus Dawson scenario. One of the first players AVB wanted out was Dawson. He refused to go. Sound familiar? COYS
peterballb
rex - no, when he is over 21 he will take one of the 17 foreign places allowed...foreign not referring to nationality but football association!
shedboy2
muttley - I don't think seeing the best in people is the way to manage a football club. Plan for the worst and hope for the best would work better.
jod
entwistle, I am not convinced that Manchester United will get it all right this season. Everton's starting XI, you could perhaps make the case that they are competitive with ours, but as soon as you go to squad, there is no way. They are unlikely to handle two games a week and injuries with the level of players that we can. Liverpool too have lots of new faces and they are still kind of old in places. Again, two games a week has a huge effect on squads. Arsenal are again having to replace key players. At some point it will catch them out. Not saying we are in for sure. just saying that there are certainly talking points on all of the teams not named City and Chelsea. COYS
peterballb
I'll go with the club statement. After his meeting with the board the night of the Liverpool game, he said straight out, I will not quit. There were only three options for him and the club, club fire him, he quit (not resign) or they come to an agreement in the middle. Had he quit (resigned) he would have been entitled to nothing, but probably would still have been bound by the terms of his contract prohibiting him from working elsewhere without the approval of THFC. Had THFC fired him, he would have been entitled to all of his money and would potentially have been able to work immediately wherever he chose. With an agreement, the parties agree a deal that suits all of them somewhere in the midde. AVB got a bunch of money (but less than he would have gotten had he been fired) and was free to work (probably outside of the PL) whenever he could find such work. COYS
peterballb
AVB left the club because he got shafted by Levy and the board. Did not get the players he wanted, had players he wanted to keep sold without his permission or approval! You know the normal stuff that goes on with every Spurs head coach that Levy hires. Was he sacked? Did he resign? Was it by mutual consent? makes little difference because he got fleeced! (but nicely compensated for the trauma) Same with Harry, Ramos, Jol and the rest...
Pele10
MAN ... to my eternal regret I did not keep every programme of every game I attended when I left for Australia ... My bad!!
Geofspurs
Apparently Arsene Wenger is very upset with the AFC board, for being so very kind kind to him, during 17 seasons of continuous Champions League football! Apparently winning the FA Cup in May and stuffing Man City yesterday in the Charity Shield was the final straw!!! In a show down meeting with the AFC board this morning Wenger was heard mumbling in broken French/English, "how dare you make me play in the best stadium in London"!!! He then apparently, (according to peterballb) ran out of the AFC board room screaming "I want to work for Daniel Levy"!!! ;)
Pele10
Pele10 ... Bad example, mate; hard to think that Wenger would be upset about anything at the moment!
Geofspurs
No, he stated that in the press when asked. I do not need to be in the boardroom to read what a manager is quoted as saying in the press or that is directly provided on the tele. I rely on what actually happened unless I am surmising, in which case I indicate that it is my opinion. He stated it. I'll take it as such, and in English, so no worries about translation. Had he resigned (and, to be honest, I can't see how one can resign a coaching position - retire, ok, but resign? it's called quitting) he would not have been entitled to any money, nor would he have been allowed to coach unless permitted by THFC. His contract still had another year and a half (I believe) so he could not possibly have taken a job at Zenit. The parted ways, by mutual agreement. COYS
peterballb
I think we can all agree that we'd be surprised if spurs get top 4 - can anyone honestly see us getting top 4 without more top quality signings? I can't. I've said on other posts about Di Maria being available (yes I know I know) but fellow Argentine, would solve our wing problem. Then of course this 20+ goal a season striker we all crave. Each of the top 4 / 5 clubs have star players (Costa, Hazard, Rooney, Van Persie, Sanchez, Ozil, Ramsey, Toure, Aguero etc etc) who is our best player - Erikson IMO. Yes we hope we can play as a team and 'gel' and win something - of course it 'might' happen but unlikely and I think we'll be lucky to get top 6 as you look how Everton have strengthened - have we apart from youngsters? I really feel we are a couple of top top players away from a top side - think (dreaming yes but) Di Maria, Huntelaar, Reus, a new CB (hopefully one in pipeline) and we could be top 4 material. But as it stands - Chadli, Dawson, Dembele, Townsend, Naughton, Carrol, Kane, Soldado - they just arent the same league as other names mentioned above. Yes we have to be realistic about targets both transfer and ambitions - but it's highly frustrating knowing how close out squad is to being very strong and top 4 potential. Perhaps we'll be all surprised this week and Levy/ MOPO will pull out a surprise or two - hopefully along the VDV line..I'd go all out for Di Maria and shift on our dross asap but Levy will want top dollar (fair enough) but this cycle means no chance of top4. Looks at Arsenal - Sanchez - top top player. Who do we get? Never anyone near that. I'd like to see: LLoris, Walker, New CB, Verts, Davies, Capoue/MS, Holtby, Lamela, Erikson, Di Maria, Huntelaar/ Top striker/ ffs anyone but Soldado or Kane! I know guys I'm desperate but we all know it's true - that season in the Champs League we had a top team - all we needed was another top striker but Levy wouldn't pay the 30+mill for Rossi or Aguero or whoever it was. Imagine if we'd had that player instead Crouch! Crouch ffs!!! What a waste IMO! COYS
chavli
I don't recall making any such claim. But, as usual, them without facts to support their battles with windmills must make stuff up. I like to read your posts interspersed with meanderings from Cervantes. COYS
peterballb
Okay Don Quixote and Sancho .. break it up! :-)
Geofspurs
How have Everton strengthened? They have signed their loan players on permanent deals and have loaned a player to hopefully replace Dulefeu. Strikes me they are in thwe same place as last season but will have one more game every week which increases the needs of a deep squad and increases the likelihood of injuries (which they avoided last season). We are still in 4 competitions, have a club where every player not named Lloris underperformed, have added a young CB, LB and keeper, but we are worse off. How, pray tell? As for signing DiMaria, One thing I have learned is that when a player doesn't want to come because you won't pay his wages and don't have CL, they tend to not come. As for shifting on our "dross", you can't make them leave. Rossi and Aguero were never on the table. Both used THFC to get their employers to give them a decent wage hike. Now if you'd have said that all of Dzeko, Suarez and Falcao were all available for under 15M each while we were paying similar amounts for Defoe, Keane and Crouch, you'd have had something approaching reality. COYS
peterballb
chavli, you speak the truth mate... We missed our big chance to take the Gooners out when they were swamped in stadium debt, were having to sell their best players to pay off that debt. But Lewis and Levy did not go for the kill when we were riding hi in the CL. Instead, Lewis decided, right at that vital moment, when we could have given them an Ali combination knock out, held back and and created a zero net spend policy, at the very time the Arsenal were clinging onto their CL ropes for their life... The Gooners rested up a while, took some deep breaths and came back with a stinging range of combinations that Lewis and his Danny Baby could not cope with and took us out!!! The rest is ENIC history...
Pele10
Or, perhaps the manager who should have had as his number one priority qualifying for the CL again, lost sight of what was important and burned out the players allowing the team to drop in to relegation form for two months as we watched clubs overtake us in the table. And then, with this freshly in his history, he again did the same in February/March the following season to again lose our grasp on the necessary places. Both seasons we were up in the mix for the title in December/January. Both times we slid back. Weren't we in for Suarez one of those January windows but we decided that he did not suit playing alongside VDV? COYS
peterballb
Rex, I thought you might be Peterbalb's alter ego as you both seem to share a love of all things AVB. Perhaps we can have an AVB Memorial Thread where those who think he was a great manager can leave their condolences together with comments regarding Harry's inadequate 4-5-4 league finishes and we can move forward with the current set if issue faced by the new manager?
Harry-Kari
*of issues*
Harry-Kari
peterballb you sound less optimistic than me, but yes I pretty much agree with most you have said there. I can remember Harry saying that his scout said Suarez wasn't up to premiership level, but Harry did like Rossi and I think that could of happened, still a good player when fit. Even though Everton have lost the kid from Barca they have secured 2 good signings in Lukaku and Barry. I think they'll be in the mix for sure, I think it's going to be really interesting but it's gonna take MOPO time, so hopefully he won't get the boot before he gets them going how he likes. I'm always sticking up for AVB on here saying how he didnt get the players he wanted etc but I do feel the biggest crime of recent spurs history was not backing Harry for top striker at that key moment and then sacking harry after doing such a good job. I'm really preying for MOPO to do some dealing with Levy & Franco to trim & improve our squad. Mason counts for home grown anyway so he can stay, I'd let Kane go out on loan..he looked good in pre season but not gonna get us 20+ in prem is he? Who knows but I bet there will be at least 2 more in and a few more out knowing Levy. Even though I'm a Spurs boy, my family are N London and divided between white & red - I think they are good model to follow anyway, they play the right way and well run..new stadium. I'd rather see Spurs, Liverpool, Man U & Arsenal in top 4 than Man City or Chelsea anywhere near it. But yeah, c'mon Levy & co..shift the 'dross' whatever you make that out to be and improve the squad! Loan Kane, Shift Soldado & Get Bony & Huntelaar, sell harry andros & get Di Maria :) Sounds easy doesn't it..but that would help our top 4 chances..if you saw how much running Sanchez did yeserday..wow what a worker. I like how hard Di Maria works, but yeah I'm dreaming. COYS
chavli
I don't give a monkey's nuts about Everton, City, United, (West Ham or Man), Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea or even Scunthorpe United! Spurs is all I care about. Spurs! 4-2-3-1...... Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Vertongen, Rose.... Capoue, Bentaleb..... Eriksen, Lennon, Lamela. Adebayor..... WHU 0-4 Spurs. Why not?
MAN ON!
Or, Lennon, Ade, Eriksen...... Soldado.
MAN ON!
Mauricio Pochettino as head coach with Jesus as his assistant. I believe in Spurs, if not miracles..... Blue and White Army!
MAN ON!
chavli, and what top striker was Harry looking at? The player he wanted was Forlan and he was not going to make the difference. Harry was backed. 40 plus Million on Defoe, Keane and Crouch. All his choices. Less than one year in, Keane was on the get the F out of here list. Crouch, after 2 years was paid to leave and Defoe was dropped and brought in and out of the squad. We could have signed all of Dzeko, Suarez and Falcao for the same money and lower wages. Harry always wanted guys who were past it. The old pros. Parker, Pienaar, Chimbonda, Palacios, Saha, Nelsen, Gudjohnsson etc. Not saying there is no value, but it is always a diminishing return and you just can't afford to go that route when you are limited in resources, as Spurs are. 40 plus Million on Defoe, Keane and Crouch all on large wages. Couldn't get rid of them and when we did it was for nominal amounts. Maybe 10M back on the 40M (not counting salaries). What did Falcao cost Monaco? Suarez, Barcelona? Dzeko to Man City?

It is such a short-sighted way of doing things which is fine, for a coach. They don't care about the future because they may not be there in 6 months. It's about now, which is why I don't ever want a coach in charge of transfers. IMO, coach is there to coach whatever players they have available to them. DOF is there to get the best possible players within a budget that meet the needs of the entire organization. If you need an experienced hand, that's what you get. If you need youth, that's what you get. ETC As for optimism/pessimism, I just look at it realistically. There were lots of candidates who were obviously available. We hired a guy with a 35% win percentage who has never won anything in his few years of coaching. He is liked by his players and he likes attacking football, though he only really used 13 players last season. So what exactly should we expect? Honestly, not a clue. Just no right to expect titles or cups or anything beyond more offensive football. COYS
peterballb
Yes Harry-Kari, with the third best squad in the league he managed 4-5-4. Felicitations. COYS
peterballb
And Harry-Kari, I never suggested AVB be our manager. The posts are all there. He was way down my list. That said, I supported him because he was named. As I will with Pochettino. The fans and the press did nothing to support AVB. It was always a mountain to climb. I wish him well. Now it's on to Pochettino. Even Harry, who I consider an utter hack, I gave a full year before I said so much as a negative comment. I had watched him tell players to go out and run around a bit for two decades. I don't base my opinions on nothing. They are, IMO, earned. I cannot say what Pochettino can or cannot do. There is nothing on which to fairly judge him. DeBoer made more sense. Another 5 even more sense, if we intended to win things. We are where we are, with the coach we have. I'll support him. I'll just keep my expectations in line with what his limited CV shows. COYS
peterballb
Can we please start some completely pointless and monotonous, brain numbing discussions on the pros and cons of Bill Nicholson and Keith Burkinshaw? I mean, as far as ex managers go we would at least be able to throw a few cups and a league title in to the debate. Can we then go on to do this day after day and, on almost every single article that is totally unrelated to both of them? I'll start the ball rolling with these 2 questions: In Bill Nicholson's first season as manager, for his one and only club Spurs, Where did THFC finish in the division 1 table? What was his win percentage for that year? I want each and every answer to be based on only facts 'n' stats please... I wonder, will Bill's history ever repeat itself?
MAN ON!
Dembele always goes past the first 2 opponents and then either turns or loses the ball. Therefore play him as a striker, chances are he will not turn around if he is facing the oppositon goalie. therefore my preferred line up: Lloris naughton (Walker) verts kaboul rose capoue sandro Dembele Eriksen Lamela Ade
gRAMMSTEIN
PeterB, I take all your points, disagree with most in regard to AVB and Harry, but still enjoy reading your analysis of players and the financial aspects of the game. I cannot criticise you for constantly stating heart-felt views. I have some too, particularly with reference to Levy and ENIC, but I have given-up posting those as they are the same as they have been for the last 10 years or so and are not going to change anything in the mess that is our current position. Perhaps it's time for AVB and Harry to disappear too?
Harry-Kari
 

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