Spurs Women: What went wrong?

At the time of writing, March 15th 2023, Tottenham Hotspur Women have beaten Leicester City WFC 1-0, in what was being termed as a “Relegation 6-pointer”. On Monday, March 13th, their manager, Rehanne Skinner, was sacked after the club lost their 9th consecutive Women’s Super League (WSL) game. The club finished 5th in the WSL last season, their highest ever finish in the top tier of women’s football in England. The numerous tributes shared by the players on social media were a clear indication of the admiration and respect they held for Rehanne and a testament of how popular she was within the club. On a personal note, I was lucky enough to have gotten the chance to meet her, when Spurs Women made their pre-season trip to the USA. It’s sad how her time as the Spurs boss came to an end, I wish her nothing but the best, for whatever she has got lined up in the future. In this piece I look at various things that went wrong at Spurs Women, which eventually led to Rehanne’s sacking.

Season 21-22 : The best of the rest

Last season Spurs finished 5th, 10 points behind Manchester United and 5 points ahead of the sixth placed West Ham. It was a season where they won away at Manchester City, took their first ever WSL points against Arsenal, but also got a fair share of thrashing against the top 4 (Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United). Taking a look at the underlying numbers also suggested that they probably deserved the 5th place finish. Spurs Women were 5th best in terms of xG (chance creation) and 4th best in terms of xG Against (chances allowed). While they were far away from the top 4 in terms of Goal scoring, scoring 21 fewer goals than Manchester United, they only conceded 1 more goal than them. Although the games against the top 4 showed that there still was a big gap to be filled, the season ended with a sense of optimism that the club was on the right track in order to bridge that gap.

Most played 11 in the WSL 21-22 season

Post season came in with a wholesale of changes, where Spurs had to address the lack of depth in the attack as well as the midfield. The ever-present French midfielder, Maéva Clemaron, and the hard-working English striker, Rachel Williams, left the club after being a core part of the 21-22 season. The season also saw Spurs lose the versatile New Zealand midfielder Ria Percival and the linchpin Kit Graham to long-term ACL injuries. Rather than going too much in depth of how the last season panned out, I would recommend you to read this season recap by Rachel from the N17 Women podcast. In short, Tottenham’s defense played a vital role in spurring them to their highest ever finish.

21-22 vs 22-23

Coming back to now, the 1-0 win against Leicester City has certainly bolstered Tottenham’s bid of staying in the WSL, if not guarantying it. Fivethirtyeight’s prediction model now has Tottenham at just 1% chance of relegation. But after last season’s high, why did Tottenham drop into such a position in the first place?

Injuries in the attack:

Let’s start from the top, the attack. After losing Rachel Williams, Spurs brought in Nikola Karczewska, a 23 year old Polish striker who played in the French first division last season. There were rumors of Bethany England signing during the summer transfer window, which didn’t materialize until the halfway mark, when she eventually signed in the January window. Spurs also signed a couple of young wide attackers to share the attacking burden, Celin Bizet joined from Paris Saint Germain and Ellie Brazil joined from Brighton. Drew Spence and Ramona Petzelberger also joined to help out on the creation front, as Kit Graham was expected to miss out most of the season. Lastly, Angharad James along with her partner Amy Turner joined from Orlando Pride, the former being a direct stylistic replacement for Clemaron. The pair had prior experience playing in the WSL before moving to the States.

Player availability for 22-23 season (till the game against Liverpool)

The season started with a win away at Leicester City, Spence, James and Turner were the new signings who started the game. Soon enough though injuries (long-term & short-term) started to hit the squad. Ellie Brazil & Kyah Simon sustained ACL injuries, Ramona Petzelberger disappeared from the scene after playing just 28 minutes of football, for still undisclosed reasons. Massing of injuries led to Ashleigh Neville being sometimes played as a winger in the attacking 3. Ayane and Jessica Naz also missed their fair share of games during different spells. Nikola Karczewska, although has been available and named in every single match day squad, has seen very few minutes in the WSL. For context, she has only played around 90 more WSL minutes than Beth England has for Spurs, who only arrived in January.

Comparison of last season’s attacking numbers vs this

The attacking numbers (shown in the above image) also highlight the fact that the thin attacking force of Spurs have struggled to match the performance of the last season. The team is getting fewer passes into the attacking third, taking fewer shots and on average creating lower quality of chances. The drop in the progressive passes completed underlines how the team has missed its focal point of last season, Rachel Williams. The ball isn’t sticking up top as much, as it was during her presence. Not everything is gloomy though, the carrying ability of Drew and Celin has led to an increase in the number of carries into the penalty area. The winter signings Mana Iwabuchi and more so Beth England, have only bettered the depth and quality of the attack. Beth in particular, has already shown how she can single handedly keep the team in games.

New faces on the defensive side:

While the attacking side of things have seen a big overhaul from the last season, Amy Turner has been the only new face in the back line. She has played most of her minutes as a right back in a 4, with Asmita, Kerys or sometimes Ashleigh playing as the left back. Another thing that has changed is the midfield in front of that back line. Angharad James – Eveliina Summanen have mostly shared the task of screening the back line. Drew and Cho have also played a few minutes in a midfield 3 along with the previous two, but the defensive responsibilities have mainly lied with James & Summanen.

Comparison of last season’s defensive numbers vs this

As seen in the above image, the defensive statistics so far this season are no where near the numbers of the last. The defense has been leaking goals, conceding the 4th highest number of goals in the league. Opponents have been able to get into Spurs’ penalty area more times than last season and subsequently have been able to create more shooting opportunities. The number of opposition shot attempts coming from a successful take on, or after winning the ball back have almost doubled, hinting at the shaky nature of the defense, as well as at Spurs’ inability to control the ball. There have also been instances when the goal keepers have been at fault, with Spencer making a goal-conceding error against Everton and Korpela conceding “savable” shots from distance.

Others got better:

Earlier, I mentioned how Tottenham were edging closer to the top 4 last season. This season, Aston Villa have proven to be the biggest challengers to that Best of the rest spot. Their summer signings Rachel Daly and Kenza Dali hit the ground running, on top of which they added Jordan Nobbs in the January window. As the below graph shows, they have been the biggest movers towards the island of the top 4, while Spurs have moved away compared to last season. Everton’s underlying metric haven’t varied much, but their defense has been really meager, 3rd joint lowest number of goals conceded. Apart from xG, Spurs were 5th best in a lot of other attacking metrics, touches & passes into the penalty area, key passes, etc. This season both Aston Villa and Everton have surpassed Tottenham in those metrics. Thus, Tottenham’s current position in the table hasn’t all been a result of their own undoing, other teams getting better has also contributed to that.

Chance creation for & against. Better teams tend to be on the bottom right of the graph.

What could Rehanne have done different?

The foundation of Rehanne’s stint was based on solid defensive football, where the opposition was pressurized by an energetic mid-block and the turnovers then led to scoring chances. This season that foundation collapsed. Based on the squad she had available through out the streak of 9 consecutive loses, there weren’t many different things she could have tried in terms of personnel. Her options in the attack and midfield were limited. She did try switching between the midfield players she had available, with Angharad making way for Cho for a couple of games. Maybe the Amy Turner at right back experiment could have been cut short? Or maybe Spurs wouldn’t be fighting the prospect of relegation had Bethany England signed in the summer?

Women’s football is weird, even more so with Spurs, as you don’t know what level of managers they are supposed to attract, given the financial backing possible. Buying managers out of their contract being an extremely rare phenomena makes it even more ambiguous. But now that Rehanne is gone, it will be interesting to see who comes in next. In my opinion, if Tottenham want to bridge that gap to the top 4, they will not just need their new signings to hit the ground running, but also a manager who can help them persistently create goal scoring chances.

Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter.


Scouting Dušan Vlahović

At the time of writing Harry Kane’s situation at Tottenham Hotspur is still not clear, he may get his move to Manchester City or he may well be forced to stay with his boyhood club. For the sake of this article we are just going to assume that come the 1st of September, the England captain won’t be wearing the Lilywhite jersey.

ACF Fiorentina’s Serbian striker, Dušan Vlahović, has been linked quite heavily to be the Harry Kane replacement. As per Tottenham’s star reporter, Alasdair Gold, the Director of Football at Spurs, Fabio Paratici wants to sign Vlahović irrespective of Kane’s sale. Fiorentina’s number 9 has had a meteoric rise in his market value off the back of the last season and is reportedly valued over €65 million.

Vlahović is reportedly Fabio Paratici’s #1 target (Let’s ignore Lautaro Martínez for now)

Before writing this article my knowledge on Dušan Vlahović was limited to just Youtube compilations on him, based on which he looked like a tall, fast, left footed striker with decent footwork. To know more about him and his overall game play I decided to watch 2 of Fiorentina’s games from last season, both against Atalanta (so that I could also watch that new Argentine Center Back that Spurs have signed).

The article is broken down into 4 parts, you can skip to the last couple of blocks if you are just interested in knowing my opinion on him.

  • Analysis on Game 1 against Atalanta
  • Analysis of Game 2 against Atalanta
  • Statistical analysis
  • My overall thoughts on Vlahović

Game 1:

Atalanta 3-0 Fiorentina (13th December ’20)

On paper Fiorentina started off as a 4231, but that transformed into a 541 while defending. Pol Lirola dropped back into the wing back position to from a back 5, which I think was Prandelli’s tactic to counter Atalanta’s wing backs.

(L) Starting Lineups, (R) Fiorentina’s 541 block

Hold-up play :

  • Fiorentina allowed their hosts have plenty of the ball, with Atalanta’s possession in the first 45 minutes being close to 66%. The visitor’s deep 541 block meant that Vlahović was left isolated up front, even 1v3 at times. The new Spurs CB, Cristian Romero took full advantage of that numerical superiority, he had the licence to be as aggressive as he could, thus not allowing Vlahović any space or time on the ball. Him being isolated, combined with some good front foot defending by Seria A’s defensive MVP, lead to Vlahović loosing the possession of the ball 13 times (8 Turnovers, 5 Dispossessed), the highest of any player on the pitch, Zapata (5) being the second highest.
Dusan Vlahovic’s Pass, Carry & Touch map
Cristian Romero’s Defensive action map

Shooting opportunities :

  • Till the time the Serbian was on the pitch (71′), the club from Florence only managed to take 3 shots, while the club from Bergamo took 18 & scored 3 goals. Vlahović’s effort was their only shot from open play and the closest that they got to goal during that time. The move started with him receiving the ball deep in the right hand channel and laying it back to Pol Lirola, who then did really well to carry the ball up field & pick him out with a chipped ball. Vlahović then does even better to get a shot off from that tight space, receiving on his left foot, then maneuvering the ball to his right, a step over to bring it back to the left and then finally taking a curling shot which was tipped onto the post by the new Tottenham keeper Pierluigi Gollini.
  • Vlahović’s second attempt and Fiorentina’s third came in the 66th minute, when he just headed over a fizzed free kick from the right hand side area.
Vlahovic’s first shot: from 1:00 to 1:30 & second shot: from 3:10 to 3:17

Marker on defensive corners :

  • Dušan Vlahović is 6’3 (1.90m), just about an inch taller than the England captain, Harry Kane. Much like Kane, he is also used as the near post marker while defending corners. This facet of Harry’s game was highlighted even more so under Mourinho, when he was defending corners more than he was attacking them. Dušan has the height as well as the experience to cover that.

Game 2:

Fiorentina 2-3 Atalanta (11th April ’21)

The second game between the two teams saw a lot of changes compared to Game 1, Fiorentina playing under a new manager, Giuseppa Lachini, perhaps being the biggest change. Unlike the last game, when Vlahović was the lone man leading the line, Lachini deployed a 2 man front line, with the 23 year old Ivorian, Christian Kouame partnering the Serbian. Gian Piero Gasperini tweaked his system as well, as Atalanta played with a back 4.

(L) Fiorentina’s 352 , (R) Atalanta’s back 4

On the ball :

  • Unlike Game 1, where Vlahović was left 1v3 for majority of the match, he had his striker partner, Kouame, in his close proximity throughout the game. The Serbian started the game out on the right hand side, but after a few minutes shifted to the left side, basically being 1v1 against Romero from then on. Similar to the last game, Cristian Romero didn’t allow Vlahovic much time on the ball, but this changed after the 23rd minute.
  • 23rd minute – Vlahović, picked up a loose ball midway inside Atalanta’s half, and like his usual self started to push and run with it, but in came a flying Cristian Romero, taking much of Dušan Vlahović and some of the ball along with him. The referee issued Romero a yellow for what looked to me a legitimate but a rash challenge.
  • Post yellow card – The Argentine center back started becoming cautious of not getting another booking, thus Vlahović started getting a little more time on the ball. The Serbian took full advantage of that when he was found with a channel ball on the left hand side. He took a couple of touches to take the ball closer to the touchline, lured Romero close to him and then easily dribbled past him. The sequence ended with him skying a shot off his right foot, after making his way into the penalty area.
  • The give away – Vlahović received the ball in the similar area where he was earlier fouled by Romero, this time he dribbled past one Atalanta player, but was then shrugged off by Romero who closely tracked his run inside. Romero then carried the ball well into Fiorentina’s half, after which it took Atalanta only 3 passes to double their lead in the game.
Dusan Vlahovic’s Pass, Carry & Touch Map from Open-play
  • Second Half – With Atalanta leading the game 2-0, Gasperini took an already carded Romero, off at half time. Vlahović also switched the side he was operating on and started taking a lot more touches in the right hand side channel, compared to the first half when he had more touches on the left. Him shifting towards the side of Atalanta’s other Argentine Center Back, José Luis Palomino, lead to him getting more time on the ball. There were a couple of instances when he was able to pin back Palomino when receiving the ball from throw-ins or receiving on feet. On another instance he was able to distance himself from his counter part and cut inside to play a reverse through ball onto the path of Kouame, which resulted into a weak shot. Largely, the lesser aggressive nature of Palomino, compared to Romero, helped Vlahović impact the game more in the second half, which eventually lead him bagging a couple of goals as well.

Shooting opportunities :

  • Off Crosses – 3 of Vlahović’s 5 shots came directly or indirectly from crosses. He was the direct target for 1 of them, while for the other 2, once the initial cross went past him, he smartly dropped back into space, anticipating the knockdown at the back post. Fiorentina and Dušan’s first goal came in a similar fashion.
  • Channels balls – As also mentioned earlier, one of his shots came when he received the ball on the left channel, made his way into the box after dribbling past Romero & took a wayward shot off his right foot from an acute angle. He had a number of instances when he chased down the balls played into the channels & tried to then cut inside into the central zones.
Vlahovic’s first goal: from 1:37 to 2:05 & second goal: from 2:19 to 2:50

A Look at the Stats:

Shooting pattern :

  • Last season in the Seria A, Vlahović scored 21 goals, which included 11 from Open Play, 6 penalties, 3 from corners and 1 from Set-piece.
  • He very much likes to keep his shots restricted inside the penalty box. In his 3 seasons in the Italian league, he has taken only 31 shots from outside the penalty area, i.e. roughly 19% of his total shots. For context, Harry Kane has taken roughly 36% of his total Premier League shots from outside the box.
Dusan Vlahovic’s Shot Map from Open-play, Seria A season 20-21
  • The Serbian very much prefers his stronger left foot while shooting. All of his open play goals came off his left foot. The only right footed goal that he scored last season was from a corner sequence.
  • A random (maybe even nonsensical) point, for a left footed player, he seems to shoot very less from the right half of the penalty area. Generally, left footers try to curl their shots into the left corner, from those areas. I guess it’s the case of him not getting those kind of situations, rather than his inability, as one of his goals last season, was him curling the ball into the corner from outside the box.

Receiving and passing tendency :

To get a fair idea of where he receives the ball and the types of passes he plays, I aggregated data from 5 Seria A games from last season, where he had the most touches and attempted the most number of passes respectively.

(L) Touches while receiving passes from his own half , (R) Progressive Pass Map
  • Avid Channel runner : In the 2 games that I watched, it was clear to see that his instinct was to drop into the channels and either go deep to receive it short to his feet, or make runs in behind for channel balls. The touch map of him receiving passes from his own half hints at the same, as he has got touches in both the channels, deep as well as up high.
  • Passing : As you will see in the bar chart below, he is not much of a ball progressor via passes. Based on the 5 game sample of matches where he attempted most number of passes, majority of his forward passes seem to be him spreading the play out-wide. This was reflected in the build-up to his first goal against Atalanta, received the ball near the right side channel, carried it inside and then spread the ball out-wide, which lead to the cross, which eventually lead to his goal.

Miscellaneous :

  • Hold up play : Albeit not a direct indicator, the Miscontrol and the Dispossessed metric do hint that his hold up play is still pretty much a work in progress. The skill of holding up the ball often gets better with experience, him being 6’3 will no doubt help him get better at that. His height also makes him an obvious option for goal kicks and out balls, as well as a target for crosses. For context, Harry Kane’s 1.78 miscontrols per 90 puts him at 87th percentile and 2.07 dispossessions per 90 put him at 44th percentile, while Vlahović is at 38 and 10th percentile respectively.
Data from fbref
  • Prefers carrying over passing : In the current stage of his development, he very much prefers using his pace and dribbling ability to take the ball up the pitch. In the 2 games I watched, him dropping into the channels and carrying the ball with pace was a common theme.


For a 21 year old to walk into the Premier League and hit the ground running is a job tough enough, for the same 21 year old to replace Harry Kane would be a job even tougher. If signed, Vlahović has certainly got a unique skill set to offer to Tottenham Hotspur, powerful running (with and without the ball) up-front being one of them. On paper, his attributes should help Spurs cover Kane’s use as a target man, what he won’t be able to cover is Kane’s long range passing and distribution. His ability to run in behind and in the channels is something that he offers different compared to Kane and at 21 he’s definitely got the legs to be a pressing menace up front.

One common play across all the Tottenham pre-season games has been the up-back and through played in the central area, where the forward drops deep to receive the early ball played directly into them, the Serbian’s physicality provides a good utility for this type of play. So far we have seen Son Heung-min take up that role up top, post receiving he mainly looks for quick & short interchanges with the nearby attackers. Vlahović’s strengths although, seems to lie more in turning and running with the ball. How Nuno Espírito Santo modifies that pattern of play after Vlahović’s arrival will be interesting to look at.

All in all, in my opinion Dušan Vlahović’s traits do suit the Premier League and would help him take his game to the next level, but the 21 year old’s shoulders shouldn’t be burdened with the complete load of being the Harry Kane replacement, at Spurs.

Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter.

Knock Dem’Sen

If your Gaffer ranks you alongside Diego Maradona & Ronaldinho, it’s obvious that finding your replacement is tough, but if your name is Mousa Dembele & you play for Tottenham Hotspur, it’s near impossible. The Lilywhites have reportedly been looking to bring in a replacement/understudy for the Belgian International for almost 2 seasons now, but this Summer could be the one when they finally succeed in it.


“According to reports from Italy we have turned down multiple bids from AC Milan for Mousa Dembele. Napoli, Inter & Lazio now said to be considering their position. Longstanding interest remains from China. Contract set to expire on 30 June 2019, looks set to move on this summer.”

Dembele who’ll turn 31 in July, has expressed his desire of leaving North London, as he feels that he still has One Big contract left in him. With his injury problems aggravating, it’s highly unlikely that he would get the pay rise that he desires, at Spurs.

Stastbomb recently had a Data Launch event, Their CTO, Thom Lawrence, looked on how players perform under pressure.

Screenshot (57)

The above graphic shows the avg. position of the ball in 10 seconds of when someone pressurizes Mousa Dembele. Basically, on an avg. the ball goes 20 yards up, within 10 seconds of Dembele being pressed.

The video is a must see, and tells a lot about what we are gonna miss when The Belgian Tank is gone!


Recently we have been linked to a number of Midfielder :


  • Mateo Kovacic & Danil Cabellos of Real Madrid, are other options as well, with them playing only around 1000 minutes of La Liga football between them.

Owen recently wrote about Cabellos having the potential of being a Dembele replacement, in quite a detail.

A little on Jack Grealish:

With a few of Spurs ITK’s getting a bit of success recently, we just can’t deny the Grealish rumour. Plus, Alasdair Gold pointed out that the deal makes sense, as we struggled to fill in the Homegrown quota in the Champions League.

Pros :

  • He played majorly as a no. 10 coming off the left side, in a 4-1-4-1 for Aston Villa, and contributed to a total of 8 goals & further creating 47 chances.
  • Dribbling Ability – This is one area where he really excels. He completed 3.3 dribbles per 90 last season, the same amount as Dembele, even though he played further up the pitch.
  • He can drop deep & has the ability to play as a no. 8. He had a successful take on rate of 70%. a pretty good number for a player playing as a Creative Midfielder.

Cons :

  • His defensive ability remained pretty untested, as he majorly had a Creation only role.
  • He is a bit error prone & at times could try to do too much on his own, his errors lead to giving away 2 goals last season.

Grealish looks more like a Eriksen/Lamela backup rather than Dembele’s, and even if we do sign him, he’ll mostly be a squad player. at least to start with.

Pochettino’s Plan :

A few weeks ago, Mauricio Pochettino and Christian Eriksen were spotted enjoying a dinner together, in Copenhagen. According to the Esteemed daily “The Sun”, the cafe, Bistro Boheme, serves up expensive treats such as caviar, oysters and tuna carpaccio. It is safe to say that Levy had agreed to give Eriksen a pay rise before that meet!










So, what else could a Manager be talking to his player just after the season end & only few weeks before the World Cup? Obviously, About his New CM role!! 

As we all know, there is not even one Human being on this planet, who can match the skill sets of Mousa Dembele, maybe changing the way we attack can be an option.

It’s been a bit surprising to be linked with so many wide-men, as first of all Poch doesn’t like much of wing play and secondly, we have Lucas Moura in the sidelines, waiting to get a bigger role next season. Even they all can be just rumors, pursuing wingers could mean that a formation change is on the cards!

We have already seen a 3 at the back version of Dembele-less-Spurs against Liverpool & Madrid last year, but that was more based on counter attacking.

The Danish Maestro can prove to have a Huge role in the new set up, be it starting an attack from deep areas or having to put in a shift without the ball.

Pros :

  • Being in a deeper role, it means that he can have more attacking players in front of him & can even arrive late in the box & provide an extra option with his deadly shooting.

Screenshot (62)

  • Modric-Esque! Not only will he have the full control of the game’s tempo, it can help us massively against teams who prefer to sit back or especially while chasing a game against any big side.

Screenshot (63)

  • Toby-Martial swap deal would suit this change in formation perfectly, with Son likely to miss out a major part of Aug-Sept due to Asian Games, going for a starting winger would be a no brainer & Martial would be a perfect option.
  • If signed, Jack Grealish could have a significant game time in this set-up. He can start alongside Alli & Eriksen without having any pressure of being the lone midfielder.
  • With 2 wingers starting, Pulisic, Malcom or Perisic (whoever we sign) can get plenty of game time.
  • We can continue dreaming of Bale’s return

Cons :

  • The change is highly dependent on what Poch thinks of Eriksen’s ability to contribute in defense. Against big teams, it could be a bit too attacking, but Eriksen surely has the legs & the ability to intercept the balls all over the pitch.


Though a World Class CM in Thiago Alcantara is reportedly available, Poch might well be looking to recreate that Modric magic through Eriksen, at the new White Hart Lane.


Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter. Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on TwitterStats used in the write up have been taken from Who Scored & Squawka.

The Famous Five

After 11 PL games -:

2016-17: 5W 6D 0L | 12 points dropped  | 6 goals conceded

2017-18: 7W 2D 2L | 10 points dropped  | 7 goals conceded

The number of home/away games played, are the same.

While the defensive record looks almost similar, there is one main difference, The shift to a back 3 with the addition of Davinson Sanchez. 

  • The Colombian Drug Lord

The sub-title just is my tribute to the Narcos Series.

Below is a viz. that i found in a statsbomb article written by Euan Dewar.

Only Chelsea’s line is highlighted, as the viz. was used to explain their defensive performance

While Spurs were one of the best teams at not allowing pass completion in their own box, last season, the addition of Davinson Sanchez and a permanent shift to a back 3 has helped them solidify it even more. Overall, it’s become even more tougher to get the ball into dangerous areas against us, than it was previously.

Till the 24th minute of the Glorious Night at Wembley, Davinson was deployed in the sweeper role, in the middle of the 3. Thereafter, he was shifted to RCB, with Dier taking his position.

As of now he has the 5th best passing accuracy in the league with a 93% success rate. His main work while in possession has been to pass it short either to his centre back partners, or look for the holding midfielders. Seldom has he been asked to play it long thus far.

His shift to RCB against Palace wasn’t as impressive though, 5 out of the 7 long balls that he tried, were unsuccessful. Though long balls have never been his strength, it’s up to him to adapt to a new role.

One of his strengths that we are still to see at Spurs is his goal scoring, he scored 6 goals for Ajax last season & further created 11 chances. With Toby out & Eriksen kept away from corner duty, he might well have more chances coming his way!

We picked up just 2 wins out of 9, when Toby was injured at almost a similar time, last season. We look in a better position to fill his void this time around, with Poch having complete trust in Sanchez(unlike Wimmer).

  • Left vs Right

India Spurs

Last season, no one would’ve thought that Davies & Trippier would start against Real Madrid at Wembley & then be favorites to do the same, come the NLD. The back-up full backs from the last season have taken full advantage of their opportunities, this season. Specially, Ben “The Chief Creator” Davies, having missed 3 PL games, he is still the best defender in terms of chance creation, with a league high 16 Key Passes.

With Jan “The Consistent” Vertonghen dropping 8/10 every single game, the left side of our Famous Five has undoubtedly been more industrial both in terms of attack & defense.

Schooling Marcelo & Isco in one go & putting in first time crosses, Tripper has been in a great form off late. Without taking anything away from his performances at Wembley against Madrid & then against Germany, last night, i would like to point out the fact that his 4 PL assists are slightly deceptive.


Assists vs xA in the PL

Apart from the fact that Harry Kane can finish from anywhere, such a significant difference between his actual Assists and Expected Assists clearly tells that he hasn’t been consistent enough in the PL thus far & is only just starting to pick-up form.

I personally feel Aurier shall start in the NLD, but in-form Tripper might be Poch’s first pick as well.


Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter.


Stats used in the write up have been taken from Who Scored & Stratabet.
This article was written with the aid of StrataData, which is property of Stratagem Technologies. StrataData powers the StrataBet Sports Trading Platform, in addition to StrataBet Premium Recommendations.

Summer Shopping

Summer 2017 – 5 ins outs(realistically) at Tottenham Hotspur.

Here is a statistical view of 3 out of the 5 in-comings.

Fernando Llorente

So, starting with the signing which surprised the most, the £14 million striker Fernando Llorente. The Spaniard was seemingly stolen from under Chelsea’s nose on the deadline day, but how does the 6’5, 32-year-old ex-Juventus & Sevilla man fit into Pochettino’s high pressing system? TTTactics man, NathanAClark even made a short video showing how Swansea move between 4-1-4-1 and 4-4-2 to minimize his work load.

Llorente 16/17


Llorente wasn’t having the greatest of times before joining Swans, last year. For the first time ever in his career, he had consecutive -ve xG’s(what are xGs) at Sevilla(15-16) and Juve(14-15). However the last season proved to be a turnaround, he scored a total of 15 goals, comfortably outperforming his xG of 9.41. Being involved in a total of 65 chances, while he bagged just a single assist, 2 of his shots were put in on rebound. His shot accuracy was 52% with a conversion rate of 30%, the second best in the league.

Shot Types Shots Goals KP xG xA
Head 34 7 2 4.09 0.54
Right Foot 11 4 14 2.67 1.08
Left Foot 5 3 10 0.43 0.47
Other 1 1 0 0.84 0

All his shots last season.

However it is reasonable to question whether he will be able to repeat that performance. Given his playing style, slowing down won’t affect him as much as some players, but one thing is clear that he will offer something different. Allowing us to play direct, route one football either in an attempt to see out a game or change the score line when a goal or two down. We might finally witness Poch’s Plan B. 


Davinson Sanchez

The 20-year-old enjoyed a fine first season in Europe with a young Ajax side that proved to be the perfect fit. Notably, he was named the club’s Player of the Year in his first season abroad. Sanchez is a ball-playing defender who likes to start attacks from the back. He’s fast and extremely strong, as some would have seen from what he did to Dani Alves, on the Tuesday night clash against Brazil. He scored six league goals for Ajax last season, which is a brilliant return for a defender, and one of which was an overhead kick which he scored past Tim Krul.

I repeat, THE LAD SCORED against TIM KRUL and that too an OVERHEAD KICK.


Lapses in concentration has put him under scrutiny at times, but his perfectly timed sliding tackles have often got him out of trouble. He attempted more than 2 tackles per 90 minutes in Eredevise, which rose to 4.2 per 90 in the Europa League. A tally of 6 yellow cards throughout the season, kind of supports the argument of his tackles being timely. Mainly in Europe, his long range passing was a bit stray, which isn’t much of a concern though, seeing his age and the opponents he faced.

Since it’s going to be just his 2nd season in Europe, there is not a lot i could have explored about him, stats wise. But one thing is clear, he has the pace & dynamism which Wimmer lacked, that’ll help him slot in the All-Ajax Back Three.


Serge Aurier

Likewise PSG’s Serge Aurier certainly won’t be a Spurs player due to his continued Attitude problems.

The above quote is from my last article, where i looked at some of the players who could have been Kyle Walker’s replacement. That’s how surprising it has been, not even one Spurs fan would’ve thought that he would be a Spurs player, come the deadline.

Despite his relative youth, he has nearly 200 Ligue 1 appearances to his name, winning the competition twice among other major honours, including the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast in 2015.

Aurier: “Statistically speaking, I am the most influential defender in Ligue 1”

Last season, he averaged 1.13 chances created and attempted 1.13 shots every ninety minutes, which shows the threat that he can pose. He is a skillful dribbler, capable of beating opposition players as shown by his successful take on rate of 59.46%. During the last campaign, he averaged 1.67 tackles won and 1.53 interceptions per ninety minutes. Despite standing at just 5’9, Aurier can compete in the air and won 68.67% of his aerial duels last season. He even comes up for corners, and has scored a few headers both for PSG and Ivory Coast. Not sure if he’ll be allowed to do that at Spurs, considering that we already have heavy weights going up for the corners.

He played full 90 minutes in both the WC Qualifiers for Ivory Coast, this past week.


In the 13-14 season for Toulouse, he made 14 of the 19 league appearances as a centre-back. Alain Casanova’s decision to swap from a four-man to a three-man defence lead to him being seen prominently in the heart of the backline. Considering Serge’s ability to play in a back 3, Pochettino & co. might have missed a trick or two by including Foyth in the Champions League squad rather than Janssen.



Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter.


Stats used in the write up have been taken from Who Scored & Stratabet.
This article was written with the aid of StrataData, which is property of Stratagem Technologies. StrataData powers the StrataBet Sports Trading Platform, in addition to StrataBet Premium Recommendations.

Right Back at you

The Kyle Walker saga has taken yet another turn, with Sky Sports reporting that He won’t be pushing for a move away from Spurs. Walker has been an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side, with his pace and agility being a real asset to Spurs’ style of building up play from the back. It goes without saying, that if Spurs can keep Walker this summer, it will certainly be a great boost for Spurs’ already stable core. But it’ll be hard to disagree if Levy decides to sell him, given City are ready to pay a heavy amount. That money can then can be used to boost options further forward.

The last few months of the season saw Kieran Trippier display some good performances and even assert himself as Poch’s no. 1 Right Back. His attacking prowess, specially his final ball has been the real difference maker, helping him notch the same number of assists (5) as his fellow Right back partner, having played only 1/5th of Walker’s minutes.

But the problem has been his defensive ability, his lack of pace that puts him in trouble. As was seen in the last game at White Hart Lane, as soon as Martial swapped his flanks, he started causing havoc, beating Trippier with ease and helping United get a goal back. His performance in the Champions League has nowhere been near great, having played in just the 3 games, all Away. This somewhat hints that Poch knows the need of Walker’s pace at Wembley, an attribute that Trippier doesn’t possess.

And yes, Trippier couldn’t complete even 1 successful dribble in the PL last season.

So, who can be the player Spurs look for, to replace Walker. Here is a statistical comparison of a few players who have been linked.


  • Djibril Sidibe (Age 24)


He has had a great season, much like the whole Monaco team and has been a constant feature in the back pages over a move to Spurs. His stats from last season has been one of the best for a Right Back in the European Leagues, having made 3.48 tackles & 3.45 interceptions per 90 minutes.

But there are a few tweets I would like you to see before making up your mind.

Twitter on Sidibe


He has had his problems while defending, though like, Walker he has the pace to cover up  but he has been dribbled past more than once every game. Almost double of Walker’s number and slightly more than Trippier’s.

He may well have impressed you in yesterday’s game(France vs England) though, even scored a goal!


Pros –  Has the pace & the dribbling ability(1.37 Succ. Dribbles per 90) to make Wembley                his home.

Standing 6 feet tall, can be handy in the Aerial Duels (an attribute which Trippier lacks).

Cons –  Defensive ability, easily gets dribbled past.

Gets dispossessed easily


  • Dani Alves (Age 34)

There were rumors earlier that Spurs were interested in signing the 3 time Champions League winner. His age suggests that he isn’t a Pochettino signing but the fact that he brings the experience of winning so many titles & playing at the very highest level can make Poch change his ideas.
Despite his age, he has been one of the best RB’s in Europe and statistically he is THE BEST replacement you can get for Walker. Be it Chance creation, Tackling, Dribbles or Aerial Duels, Alves’ displays this season have proved that he can still do it at the Big stage and has at least a season or two left in his prime. He has earlier stated his desire to play in the PL before he retires and Spurs could prove to be the perfect team for him.


Pros –   Brings experience & winning mentality

Cons –   Age


  • Ricardo Pereira (Age 23)

He has had a brilliant season at Nice and is One of the most recent features in the newspapers. With a recent report from Telegraph even reporting that Spurs have opened talks with Porto, his parent club.

Screenshot (109)
Twitter on Pereira

As the tweets above, suggest, his passing ability has been one of the best for his position, having 87.2% pass completion rate. His passing rate in no way, shows that he looks to play safe as he had an impressive 1.32 key passes per 90, last season. Just like his passing percentage, his tackles per 90 is also the highest amongst any player in this list (4.35). The 16-17 season he has had with Nice, has been better for him in terms of attacking as well, when compared to the 15-16 season, almost doubling up his chance creation.


He has a €25m release clause, and if Spurs do strike a deal, it would be a really good piece of business, considering he has been on of the best Full Backs in Ligue 1 for a second season running.


Pros –    Can be the closest replacement/upgrade to Walker.

               Has the age on his side as well.

Cons –  At 5’9, his height can be a slight disadvantage for the Aerial Duels.

 Interestingly, in his 15-16 Campaign with Nice, he won around 2 Aerial Duels per game.


  • Adam Smith (Age 26)

The ex-Spurs academy product has enjoyed a good season with Bouremouth scoring one and assisting 5 goals in the Premier League. Though he has had some good numbers but unlike others in this list, he won’t bring in anything special into the team. His bad first touch is something to work on as well, 1.7 bad controls per game is nowhere near decent. He could be an option if Poch thinks that the reinforcements in attacking areas are more important.


Pros –    Economical buy.

Cons –   Bad first touch.

Lack of pace.


PSV’s 25 year-old Santiago Arias has also been linked with a move. Apart from Pochettino wanting to re-unite Dier and Arias, who together had a short spell at Sporting, his numbers don’t really show any reason why Spurs should be looking to sign him.

Likewise PSG’s Serge Aurier certainly won’t be a Spurs player due to his continued Attitude problems.


  • My Choice

Southampton’s Cedric Soares has always impressed me with his performances. A hard-working full back with a good cross completion rate of 1.6 crosses per 90. He has been one of the consistent performers for an ever-changing Southampton back-line.

Having already released Cuco Martina and Martin Caceres, the problem though, could be Southampton’s willingness to sell. But in Cedric, Spurs can get a Premier League ready player.


  • The Optimistic Choice

And at last, we arrive to the World Cup Winning, Pokemon version of Kyle Walker.

During the U20 WC Final


Walker Peters who was deployed as a Left Back in England’s U20 WC winning campaign, would certainly have made Poch think over giving him some first team minutes, next season.

Being played at his less favored position didn’t stop him from pushing forward and he did more than just a decent job for The Three Lions.

An exciting prospect, indeed.


Preferred Scenario

The perfect Right back for Pochettino’s system is one of the hardest to find but at the same time it’s a position which won’t come under limelight if there is a void. Keeping Walker will undoubtedly be the best scenario for Spurs, but if an offer around £50m does come in, there is really no harm in cashing in.

According to the current situation, Ricardo Pereira looks the likeliest arrival and his numbers do back his signing.



Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter.

Special thanks to Football Radars.

Some stats used in the write up have been taken from Who Scored.

The Away Slump

Just 4 points dropped at their World Famous Home, the best defense in the league for a second consecutive season and even achieving their highest Premier League points tally. There is no denying that the only thing that kept Spurs away from the League Title was their away form. So, here i have tried listing out our away slumps into 3 different categories.


  • Forced Possessive Non-sense

I would rather start with the most recent and arguably, the one which hurt us the most. West Ham’s Cup Final, Slaven Bilic setting up a very similar 5-4-1, which he used even last season at Boleyn Ground, to win by the same scoreline. While watching the United game, a sense of fear struck me when i saw the back 5 deployed by Mourinho, staying so deep. But then, the Midfield of Carrick and Tuanzebe, who marked Eriksen, never pressed us and our midfielders had a lot of time on the ball.

Screenshot (74)
Overall Player Influence

That was the main difference, the way West Ham pressed with the likes of Noble and Kouyate, pushing us right back in our own halves and not giving any time to Eriksen and co. to run the show. Apart from a few chances here and there, we never had any momentum on our side, to trouble the Hammer defense. Despite having over 65% possession of the ball, we could only create just 1 goal scoring chance from inside the box, apart from the 2 created from the corners. In the second half, Lloris and Adrian tried to spice things up a little, playing long passes into each other’s hands. The ones which didn’t reach that far were majorly won by Fonte. A mix of side ways passing and Kyle Walker’s brain farts should sum that game up. It’s a bit strange, but West Ham are the only team in this category.


  • The Big Boys

The only other away performance i could have kept in the last category could have been the one at Old Trafford. Victor Wanyama sending his header wide, will be the only thing you’ll remember from that game. The chances were limited but our midfield wasn’t much pressurized as such, thus keeping that game into this category. The games away to Chelsea and Arsenal are included in this category as well, where a moment of magic and Kevin Wimmer at Left Back had a major say in the result. These are the games which you are ought to lose points in, and may be getting a draw isn’t bad.


A special inclusion to this category is David Moyes’ Sunderland, who tried to fill the void of there neighbours, Newcastle. They defended deep and never allowed us even a sneak at their goal, limiting us to just 3 shots on target, all from outside the box. Maybe a moment of magic, one like Eriksen’s in the Palace game, was the only way to break the deadlock.


  • Out Classed

The only 2 games where Pochettino’s men have had a comparatively less possession of the ball have unsurprisingly been at Etihad and Anfield. We just seemed to lose control of the game since the very onset, allowing both Liverpool and Manchester City to take almost 3 times the number of shots that we took. The number of attacking 3rd passes share the same story as well, with Manchester City having completed 178 passes compared to our 90, while the 2 goals we scored were our only shots on target in that game. The inability to play out of the opponent’s press was a common reason of downfall in both these games.


If we include the last season as well, Leicester, Liverpool and Newcastle are the only Premier League teams who haven’t faced a defeat from the hands of Spurs, with Jurgen Klopp still holding an unbeaten record in all competitions, against Poch.

Though the Leicester game up next is already a dead rubber, i would really like us to go there and prove a point(we all know what). Hopefully, a Vincent Jannsen hat-trick will be a great way to do that.


  • The Spursy

In the beginning of this piece, i said that i’ll be categorizing our Away games into 3 categories, well, this is the 4th and the most obligatory of the three.


A PL season is not a PL season unless Spurs draw away to Everton and West Brom. These are the games when Spurs play in their full Prime-Spursy form. The number of shots taken or the chances created or be it any metric what so ever, nothing can be considered appropriate to review these games.

One more game that i would add to this category will be Bournemouth away. This was one of my favorite games of the season, as the only thing i remembered was Sissoko being banned for 5 games after elbowing Harry Arter. I was really surprised when i saw the stats, we created 8 goal scoring chances inside inside the box, with just 1 out of those 8 hitting the target.


The various injuries we’ve had over the course of this season have certainly had a say on these games, but being at wembey next season, the unbeaten home record will be almost impossible, so the away points could prove really crucial. There are certain managers who change their tactics when visiting a top class side, Pochettino still hasn’t done that. Honestly, i don’t see that happening next season as well, we’ve got to have the same belief be it a home game or an away, that we are the better team.

The belief will be ever so important come the next season, not just because it’ll be Wembley, but also because our players would have developed even more. I don’t think we’ll be able to turn around the obligatory draws, but with the players Poch brings in the summer, the rest of the categories mentioned should have even less teams in them.


Thanks for reading. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section or on Twitter.

All the stat used in the write up have been taken from FourFourTwo’s Stats Zone.

The Spurs Round-Up

It’s the most beautiful time of the year & the most busiest when it comes to Premier League football. The Boxing Day fixtures, quickly followed by the New Year‘s Day fixtures. But we, Spurs fans, have had our festive joy shortened a bit. Spurs are not playing on the Boxing Day! The last time when Spurs did not play on the Boxing Day in the 2000’s, they faced a 2-0 Away defeat, to the hands of Glenn Hoddle’s Southampton. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this time around.


The above graphic quite clearly shows, that Mauricio Pochettino’s team has improved in various aspects, from what they were at this time, last season. But they still find themselves a place below the CL qualification spot, while they sat 4th last term. The fact that we had to go through a continuous phase of injuries to our Key players & that, the teams above us have improved more than us in one way or another can’t be denied.

Here, I’ve tried to analyse the performance of some of our players & stated some points.

  • ‘Walking-Rose’

Our Flying Fullbacks were exceptional last season but they have taken their game to another level, this season. Both, Rose and Walker have improved on the number of goals they were involved in, at this time last season.

Screenshot (35).png

Injuries and suspension have forced Rose to miss 5 league games this term, 3 less than what he had missed, till this time, last year. So it would’ve been a bit unfair if I didn’t compare his performance on the basis of Matches Played. Out of the chances he created, in his first 12 League games last season, only 20% of the chances were created from the attacking 1/4th of the pitch. While 50% of the chances he has created this season have been from the attacking quarter of the pitch. It’s pretty clear that he’s been getting into and near the opponent’s penalty area, a lot more than what he did last term. The Avg. duels won by Rose, has also risen from 51% to 54%, this season. He has also doubled up his number of yellow cards, already on 6 this season.

Screenshot (38).png
Rose celebrating his winner against Burnley.

Kyle Walker’s performance this season, has been very identical from what he did last term, apart from Chances Created. He has almost doubled up his chance creation from last season, already creating 26 chances for his team mates, this term. 31% of those chances have been created from inside the penalty area, the highest for any Premier League Right Back, this season. 

His consistency, recently brought him praise from Kieran Trippier ;

“He had his injuries before I got here but he played unbelievably last season, then he had the Euros and he’s just taken off.”

  • ‘In Dier need of Toby’ 

Eric Dier was, without a doubt, the first name on Mauricio Pochettino’s team last season, but the hard-tackling Englishman, has had a lot of criticism this season. Fairly due to his vulnerability at the Center back position, which he has deputized in the absence of Toby Alderweireld.

Even though Dier has had very few games in his favorite/comfortable CDM position, one thing he has really lacked this term is his goals from set pieces. He has had only 2 shots on target this time, whereas he had already scored 3 goals till this time, last season. Can’t solely blame Dier for this, the pressure to fill in Toby’s place & our ever degrading set-piece routines have had equal contributions to that.

Eric Dier at Hotspur Way

Dier will most likely be benched as Toby is set to return for the Southampton game, but the 22 year old could still prove crucial in Tottenham’s success this season. He would have his opportunities in the Europa League & FA Cup as Poch is unlikely to rest Wanyama even during the festive congestion. Mauricio Pochettino’s men failed to go on a long run in any of the cups last season, the lack of a Defensive Mid was one of the main reasons for that. Eric Dier will sooner or later, get his chance at his favored position, if he takes it or not might just decide Tottenham’s credentials of winning any Cup this season.

  • Lamelaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

It’s been ages since Eric Manuel Lamela last played for Spurs. His unavailability really hurts us a lot, specially in the Big Games! When you analyze the performance of an Attacking Mid, the Goals scored & Assists provided are the main parameters to assess their performance but it’s not the same for Lamela and every Spurs fan will agree to this.

Lamela pictured during the Burnley game.

He is much more than that, his qualities undoubtedly make him one of the most important player in Pochettino’s Pressing system. But Erik, has been restricted to just 6 starts this season, while missing all of the last 8 PL games due to injury & family problems.

Picture from PL Football Today

The above graphic clearly shows that Spurs have been far from good against the teams in the top half of the table, winning just once, against Manchester City, which arguably was their best performance of the season, till now.

Out of the 8 games that Erik missed, Spurs have played 3 times against the opposition in the top half of the table, Drawing 1 & loosing 2 of them. Lamela has had his haters, but at the moment even they want him to return to action, like never before. His presence alone, gives Spurs that extra edge & there is no denying that. He’s slowly making progress & it would be huge if he’s available for the Chelsea game on 4th of January.

  • Suspensions 

Our first loss of the season came against Chelsea, the game where Danny Rose had to miss out as he had accumulated 5 yellow cards. We take on Chelsea in the reverse fixture at WHL, there is no point in reminding Spurs fans, what happened the last tine when Chelsea traveled to The Lane as table toppers.
Both the teams have 3 players each, who are just 1 caution away from being suspended for a gameweek. Wanyama, Walker & Vertonghen for Spurs, while Luiz, Matic & Pedro for Chelsea.

But the Spurs players have a better chance to avoid being suspended. The FA rules say, There are cut-off dates for receiving a sanction as a result of accumulated cautions, a Premier League player earning their fifth caution of the season on or after 1st January would not earn any ban.

So, the Spurs trio has to avoid being cautioned only for one gameweek, against Southampton, as they next play Watford on 1st Jan. Therefore they won’t be suspended if they take their 5th yellow on the New Year’s Day.

While, Chelsea play on the Boxing Day as well as on 31st December, so their trio has to take precautions for 2 games, before their suspension gets cancelled.

  • January Window

With Vincent Janssen & Toby Alderweireld, back for the Southampton game, it’ll be only Erik Lamela who’ll be missing before Spurs go into the Festive period. It’s highly unlikely that Pochettino will be willing to unstable the ship, by chopping & changing his squad now. Apart from the loans, the only outgoing player could be Tom Carroll, with reports of Swansea wanting.

@thfcacademy on Twitter

Previously Maurico didn’t want his potential first team players to pick bad habits while under a different coach in the Football League, so he was against sending them on loans. But it seems that he has changed his mind now! Only playing for the development team can stagnate the growth of a player after a certain time, some new challenges will do a real good for some of our academy talent.

Besides this, I don’t feel there will be much happening in the transfer market for Spurs. The Gaffer will be looking to back his players to get a series of wins & build momentum as we move towards the business end of the season. It was this crucial phase last season which helped Spurs challenge for the title so long, last season & it’ll be ever so important this season as well if Spurs are to finish in Top 4, this time.

*Spurs will be wearing their 3rd kit for Southampton Away.
Come On You Spurs!

Stats & Figures were taken from Squawka & My Football Facts.


The Spaghetti lover was the first player whom Mauricio Pochettino brought into his team, this transfer window. Why was Mauricio so eager to get the Kenyan Defensive Midfielder who accumulated 3 red cards last season, having failed to sign him a season before that!

Coming straight into the starting 11, right in the first match of the season, (though, mainly because of Dembele’s ban), signals to why MP chose Victor as the final piece of his defensive puzzle! He has featured in all but one game(leaving the EFL Cup tie), this season. Any guesses, which game that was? 

The 2-1 Loss to Monaco!!

How many games have we lost this season?!

I am not saying that Wanyama has taken Dembele’s position as the new Face of the “Win Percentage” Stat, but his ability to read the game and shield the defense while the Full Backs go on a tour down their flanks, has helped the team a lot! His presence in the midfield has cut off the work that Hugo has had to do between the sticks.

Before the City game

Adding a clean-sheet against the League’s Highest Scoring team to the above stat, Spurs definitely have started well on their path to become the League’s Meanest defense for the second season running!


Wanyama’s announcement by @spursofficial was a banger, so was his home debut. A 83rd minute goal to give us all 3 points against Palace. His performance after that can easily be overseen due to the continuous SON Shine, but it’s the last 2 games where Wanyama has really come on his own.

Spurs traveled to Moscow, desperate for a win after the initial loss. A silly early booking only slightly blighted an otherwise excellent performance from the Spaghetti Lover, combining a keen eye to read the game with strong, forceful tackling. Job done, 3 points Won!

Wanyama played all of those 7 games for both the teams.



9 minutes into the Top of Table Clash against City, Fernandinho, robbed off the ball near the halfway line by Wanayama, Lamela picks up the ball and sets up Rose, whose cross eventually is turned into his own goal by Kolarov, 1-0 Tottenham.

Spurs started the second half with a lead of 2 goals, 55th minutes on the clock, The Kenyan Powerhouse, forced his way near the Man City box which lead to a brilliant save from Bravo, down his right side.

Screenshot (2).png

His ability to read the situation was clearly on display around the 75th minute, Danny Rose was down in the City half, feeling the after effects of Sterling’s tackle on him. Man City tried to counter quickly. I was watching the game with the fellow yids in my city, and one of them was quick to point out that someone needed to cover Danny’s position. Victor had realized it and was at the right place to head the ball out of play, rescuing the team from what could have been a nervous ending had they got 1 back!

The MOM award was truly deserved and Wanyama proved why MP was quick to add him to his squad, being one of the most vital player in Pochettino’s Press. He has averaged a Successful Tackle per 28 minutes in the PL, this season.


Last time i wrote, i pointed out the importance of the 7 games we played last month on shaping up MP’s First 11. Being thought of as an able back-up for Dier, when he was bought, Victor has gone a step forward, showed his PL proven quality and seems to have done amazingly well in putting up his contention for the starting place.

In the Post match interview after yesterday’s game, MP stated that, he is willing to play with only one out and out CDM – “May be the future lies, with us playing with only one Holding Midfielder.” This might help the team even more as one of Wanyama/Dier will remain fresh for the CL as well as the PL games.


Apart from Wanyama, Here are my views on what i learnt from the City game –

  • Poch’s 4-1-4-1 system gives Dele the free role which he needs.
  • Eriksen has performed every time he has been given the role to Pull the Strings from a deeper position, he should be played more at that position.
  • Janssen wasn’t dropped, instead Son was chosen because of Poch’s Game Plan to Press and hurt them on Counter Attacks, which clearly does not suit Vincent.




*Had thought of writing a piece on Wanayama after the CSKA game, glad that i waited for one more game!*



The Poch 11

With just 6 hours left, for the Transfer Window to close, when @spursofficial had finally announced Georges-Kévin Nkoudou in quite a unique (Modern) way, not many would have thought that we’ll be getting any more outfield players in, this summer.


The wait had to continue till just 2 minutes were left until the deadline ended. But, with just 2 minutes left for the deadline to end, The trend of this window continued, Moussa Sissoko, like GKN, tweeted his arrival before @spursofficial did.


It’s been 3 days since the transfer window closed, while reading articles of Sissoko being the missing piece in Pochettino’s puzzle & him instantly replacing the man having a poor run, Eriksen, it seems that the fans are settling in with the squad that we have.

With more than half of our squad involved in the World Cup Qualifiers this weekend, Mauricio has got a lot of time to think of his several team combinations ahead of a busy little period.

Spurs have to play 6 games before September ends and the games only start from the next week, the fixture list includes a League Cup tie at home against Gillingham and an away trip to Moscow, for our first away game in the Champions League. Stoke & Middlesbrough away, Monaco at Wembley and Sunderland at home being the other 4 games.

Having upgraded the squad this summer, Mauricio has a wide number of options at almost every position now. Having swapped the full backs during the fixture congestion last term, Pochettino has an option to play two different, out-and-out strikers, and even play a separate  Midfield duo whenever required.

  • Eriksen Dropped

Not many would have agreed to this, had it not been 3 back-to-back below par performances by our no. 23. Moussa Sissoko’s arrival may well put, the much needed Pressure to keep his place in the starting 11. The newly arrived GKN will look to become fan favorite with his performance on the ground, having already taken over Spurs Twitter by a storm. Add Hueng Min “not being sold” Son to the list, Eriksen has a stiff competition for his place now.

  • Sissoko as Dembele’s Backup

Pochettino’s Europa League’s team last term, featured Tom Carroll & Ryan Mason as replacements for Dembele & Dier. One of the duo & luxuries of the Europa League are no more, having bought Wanyama earlier and now the versatile Moussa Sissoko, Pochettino has some quality combinations for his midfield two. If Mauricio starts Sissoko in the CM position next week against Stoke, it might give us a glimpse of what the new arrival may bring to the team during the absence of Dembele, who’s just one more game away from returning from his ban.

  • Kane or Janssen

With a run of 6 games inside 20 days, Mauricio may well start with just one striker up front, as starting both of them may not do the team good in the mid-week matches. The busy period will give both the strikers their fair share of game time, the interesting thing to look forward to, will be that, whom does the gaffer start for the CL games, both the strikers will be looking for that place.

  • Dier or Wanyama

With Dembele set to return after the Stoke game, these two Enforcers may stop hunting in a pair. Dier’s place in the team was much highlighted last season, where he continuously started games without any rest, now with Wanyama in the team, the role is to be shared between the two. While Victor has played in the CL with Celtic, this will be Dier’s first campaign. Similar to Kane/Janssen, it’ll be interesting to see, whom does Poch rely for the CL nights.

  • Kevin Wimmer Saga

Missed the whole of the pre-season and not even on the bench for the first 3 games, rumours were strong that Spurs were looking to cash in on Kevin, who was looking for a first team place. But as the transfer window neared it’s end, so did the rumors and reports of Wimmer recovering from a hamstring injury spread.

Kev, who has been named in Austria’s squad for the WC Qualifiers, will like to take advantage of this fixture list and get back to the starting line-up and further, push for a place in the CL line up as well.

  • League Cup

The fans would be looking forward to the CL nights but the League Cup tie against Gillingham may well be an opportunity that many players will be looking to. Having impressed in the Pre-Season, Cameron Carter Vickers will be looking to take another step towards first team football, and the EFL cup tie is the perfect opportunity for him to do that. Tom Carroll may well, look to bring back the gaffer’s attention towards him, while GKN will not like to wait long to get his chance. The likes of Winks and Onomah will like to prove that they’re ready for more first team action and won’t just be satisfied with the Cup Outings.


To play 6 games inside 20 days is never easy for any team, but the players, specially the new arrivals, will be itching to get started and earn their place in the side. Till the end of this month, we may well know, what Mauricio’s first choice line-up is going to be, this season.