VS Preview: Spurs v Swansea
The Llorente and Clement Reunion and…..Hello Wembley! There`s no place like home!
It took Harry Kane 169 games to score 100 goals for Spurs; 12 games fewer than Thierry Henry took to score 100 for Arsenal (181). After Dortmund, Kane rightly takes the headlines, but the win against Everton and Dortmund was a team performance, and it was Eriksen at his creative best at Goodison with a killer goal to top his performance off. Eriksen has grown under Poch and has become Spurs main creator. Eriksen created 16 goals in 2015/16, and 23, in 2016/17. He is well on the way to beating that this season - with four assists in just five games so far! To put Eriksen in perspective, the 20 assists he has provided in the 2017 calendar year so far make him the best playmaker across all the top European leagues. His closest rival to the crown of assist king in English football is Kevin De Brune of Man City with 12 goals this year. Eriksen is now the joint-highest scoring Dane in Premier League history, with 32 goals (level with Nicklas Bendtner).
Davinson Sanchez looks like the real deal and Poch may now have the best back 3 in the Prem. Poch played a midfield diamond last Saturday which negated the Everton threat and whilst Sissoko still can`t finish his position in that diamond meant he was more effective. He seems to suit a more central attacking role which is good as I can see Poch rotating Sissoko and Dembele more as the season progresses. Dier sitting in front of the back three and Alli, Eriksen and Sissoko all rotating, with one always furthest forward behind Kane, worked a treat. Wanyama may have to fight for his place with Dier now Sanchez looks like he has won the right to be part of a back three leaving Dier with no CB role to fill. We have now won 4 successive away games in the Premier League for the first time since January 2014 (five in a row). Everton are winless in their past 10 Premier League games against Spurs (D5 L5). We have now taken more points off Everton than any other Premiership team.
The Swans haven`t beaten us at home since their League Cup Victory in 1978 although they came close in 2016 at the Lane and it took a Rose and Chadli goal to win the match. In 2015 we had a 3-2 thriller at the Lane. Spurs have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with Swansea, scoring at least two goals in the last seven of those. In fact, Swansea have never beaten Spurs in 12 Premier League encounters. We, however, have now failed to keep a clean sheet in 11-successive matches at Wembley when last season we had 17 clean sheets. Swansea have no talisman Siggurdson in the side anymore and Llorente is now with us! So it`s down to the returning Wilfried Bony to lead the line. After seeing the Swans display against Newcastle you have to say they are looking like relegation candidates yet again. Their only success this season was against an even poorer Palace. They were hammered by United in August and fought out a lacklustre draw against Southampton who still haven`t hit form yet. It is more than a year since Swansea City's American takeover, and the jury remains out on the effect it has had on the club. Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien have had a rough first season which almost ended in relegation for the Swans last year. Kaplan and Levien admit to making mistakes and they are now on their third manager, Paul Clement, since they took over, which is never a good sign. Instead of investing more money on transfers Kaplan and Levien want to focus on expanding the Swans' scouting network and make the club self-sufficient, able to generate its own revenue streams to spend on the squad accordingly. Which means?…….they will be relegation candidates again this year!
Paul Clement was not impressed with his side last weekend. The Swans have now lost their opening two home league games of the season for the first time since 1985. Clement said "Very frustrating. I'm finding it difficult to understand why I saw what I saw. I'm very disappointed with the way that we played,' said Clement. 'Although the margin of defeat is very small, ultimately decided by a set-play, for me the difference in the two teams in the performance was much greater than that. I thought they were better than us. ' Swansea lacked creativity in attack and managed only a couple of chances, the best of which saw Tammy Abraham round goalkeeper Rob Elliot before seeing his shot blocked on the line by Lascelles. Clement gave their new Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches, who is on a season-long loan from Bayern Munich, a start. He comes with a big reputation and high expectations. However, the 20-year-old failed to make much of an impression as his occasional show of flair was undermined by wayward passing, with the stats showing he was dispossessed 23 times in the match. Swansea are without injured trio Ki Sung-yueng, Nathan Dyer and Kyle Bartley, who has been ruled out for the next three months. Both Leon Britton and Wilfried Bony are pushing for starting positions but both might end up as substitutes on Saturday.
Clement will have seen the Spurs performance against Dortmund and will have to ask his players to produce something special. One thing about winning is it builds confidence with 6 goals in two games we`ll be hungry for more. Expectations will now be on Spurs to go on a run this month to knock over the likes of Swansea, Barnsley, West Ham, Nicosia and Huddersfield Town. Contrast that with our October fixtures! We are going to have to be on top of our game because October could almost be described as a season defining month for us. We go from Bournemouth at Home to Real Madrid away! Liverpool Home to United away to Real Madrid at Home all in the space of 17 days!
Poch now has a selection headache; Wanyama should be fit, does Poch go for Trippier or Aurier for this one? Aurier has the speed of Walker and the madness of Assou Ekotto! Moussa tired visibly against Dortmund so does he go for the Sissoko, Dier, Alli ,Kane diamond? Will Llorente get 20 minutes?
How good is it to have so many selection problems at last?