Match Day Preview - Spurs v Bournemouth. COYS
So we could break the all-time Premier League attendance record when we meet Bournemouth. But it`s the first home win of the season we need more. Poch is under pressure now to take our away form and bring it in to our temporary home. Let`s face it if the biggest home crowd at a League game does turn up then our team had better turn up as well cos we need a performance this weekend to make sure the fans go away happy and, even more importantly, that they want to come back in numbers. Another dull Burnley Swansea style draw will be too much. Chelski would have and should have been the biggest crowd ever but the Police and local Authority restricted us to 70,000, this time we have no restrictions.
The question marks are now against Dele Alli. I watched the Huddersfield game and then I watched the recording and I only looked at where Dele was and what he was doing. His movement was good he made intelligent runs but he`s trying to do too much and he`s trying to do the flash stuff and has forgotten the basics. After two brilliant seasons Alli has looked short of his best this season and his frustration is showing in some of the stupid things he is doing on the pitch including that woeful dive in the Huddersfield box. The stat from Oulala.com underline that Alli is definitely suffering a dip in form. They show that in his seven league appearances, Alli has made more unsuccessful touches (26) than any other player in the top flight. Richarlison (25), Riyad Mahrez (23), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (23) and Ayoze Perez (23) complete the top five for this undesirable stat. He has also lost possession 21 times - that`s the second most by any player in the Premier League. Only Swansea City`s Jordan Ayew has been dispossessed more times (24).
Then there is Moussa Dembele arguably our most influential player, a massive talent whose ability to hold on to the ball and distribute it turning defence into attack is being sorely missed. Fears grow for Moussa who himself has said he will never be 100% fit ever again. The door is open again for Ross Berkley to fill that space and though Moussa is back in light training I think Winks may get the nod to start this weekend with Sissoko coming on later. Poch may want to hold Dembele back for the bigger games. Would the arrival of another midfielder in January upset the balance of the Spurs side? Talk is of Andre Gomes coming from Barca and of course Berkley is supposed to be a given. But given that Moussa can never be considered as an automatic start and Winks is an emerging power house do we need a Berkley or a Gomes?
So we are in good nick in the PL and handily placed in the CL, despite dropping points at home, our away form is proving our salvation. Spurs have the joint-best away record in the league, along with Manchester City 4 wins from 4 and a goal difference of plus-10. But we have the fourth-worst home form, losing to Chelsea and draws to Burnley and Swansea, scoring only 2 in 3 matches. October is the month when we will be put to the ultimate test. With 10 games gone in all competitions, our record is the same as it was 12 months ago; 7 wins, 2 draws and a loss. Then, like now, we have improved quickly after an average start and have gone on a winning run and like last season we had 5 wins in 2016, and now 4 this season with hopefully a good win this weekend to make it 5 in a row. However, last season we went from mid -October to the end of November with just 1 win out of 10 matches. Those defeats cost us our place in the CL and then our place in the EL and it left Chelski too far ahead to really catch up. To be fair during that period we lost Harry and Alders to injury. This time around we may be in better nick with Wanyama, Rose, Lamela and Moussa coming back. We need these players as we have to stay competitive in all competitions and especially this month with Real Madrid on Tuesday Liverpool on Sunday and a squad game against the Hammers in the EFL finishing with United away at the end of the month. The next four weeks are going to show us what this squad is made of as big fixture after big fixture starts rolling in
Eddie Howe`s Bournemouth will not be easy to break down. They gave City a hard game, going down eventually to a 97th minute winner at the end of August but they did get thumped away by the Woolwich. But who will Poch pick with the biggest game for Spurs since we won the UEFA Cup in nineteen hundred and frozen to death coming up!
You can bet your sweet bippy not one of the Spurs squad will want to miss the match on Tuesday and Poch will want to wrap up some players in cotton wool and pull some players off early. The really big team pick issues will come in some key areas. Will Rose get a start so Davies can be held back for the Real game. Will Trippier start over Aurier or will Poch want Tripps for Tuesday or will KWP come in? Then there is midfield. Will Wanyama come back in, leaving Dier on the bench and will Winks start over Sissoko. Delle has to play, he needs time on the pitch, Harry will no doubt start but hopefully Llorente will be called on sooner rather than later. With Real Madrid approaching who would be your choice for Saturday?