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A Horse Named Stranger

Football: New Season, but same old Messi at Barca and elsewhere.

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Spurs are giving me flashbacks of us with Mourinho in 2018. I'm sure he will still grind out results here and there like he did with us relying on individual skill and efficiency to save the day but, really, this is just aimless, hit-and-hope coincidence football. Spurs under Poch used to be one of the best pressing sides in the league but you'd never say that now. Under Mourinho, we were consistently in the bottom 3 in the league in terms of distance covered and I wouldn't be surprised if the situation is similar with Spurs now - just an all round lack of intensity.

Edited by Consigliere

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7 minutes ago, Raja said:

Also, I wish I could watch the WSL :(

You're in the UK now aren't you? All of the matches except the one on BT Sport are free to watch online.

Everton looked pretty comfortably the better side today. You'd think their midfield should improve as they get more time together too.

 

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1 minute ago, ljkeane said:

You're in the UK now aren't you? All of the matches except the one on BT Sport are free to watch online.

Oh snap. I didn't know I could watch them online. I don't have a TV so this is good to know! ( I'm assuming I don't need a TV?)

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1 minute ago, Raja said:

Oh snap. I didn't know I could watch them online. I don't have a TV so this is good to know! ( I'm assuming I don't need a TV?)

Well one of the games is on the BBC Sport website so technically I think you're supposed to have a tv licence. The rest of them are just on the FA's website.

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Spurs continue to look underwhelming. Kane and Son are great, but the vast majority of their players are meh. I'd have them finishing somewhere between 6th and 10th if I had to guess.

Dele Alli is shite.

Not to take anything away from Everton though, their midfield was great. I've always been impressed with Allan every time I've seen him play, and James had a good game too. They just need Richarlison to remember that he's playing for Everton, not Richarlison.

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Spurs have a good enough team to finish 6th at least. Lo Celso and Gedson Fernandes were not in the squad today and the former must surely be a definite starter over Alli. I don't know why Mourinho started Winks ahead of Sissoko. I'm not even sure what Winks actually brings to a game - he's a poor ball carrier, poor playmaker and poor defensively as well. Him alongside Hojbjerg -- who isn't particularly good at anything other than winning the ball back -- is a pedestrian midfield combination that offers zero creativity.

Dier should never be starting at CB ahead of Sanchez or Foyth either - he's always been terrible when played at CB. The big disappointment of course is Ndombele who is a very talented player but hasn't looked it at all at Spurs thus far. Some of that may be down to Mourinho's abrasive man management but only a small part imo; most of it is the player's fault - his fitness levels have not been up to standard at Spurs and that is Ndombele's fault. It's unacceptable for a professional footballer to be knackered after 50-60 minutes which has been the case for a year now.  

Edited by Consigliere

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Ndombele's biggest issue is that he can only run for 10 minutes before he has to have a lie down. How the fuck did Spurs' scouts not pick up on that!?!

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1 hour ago, Soylent Brown said:

They just need Richarlison to remember that he's playing for Everton, not Richarlison.

 

 

I mean, Richarlison put in a selfless shift working his arse off pressing and defending  at both ends of the pitch and stretching the game by playing down the wing. His composure in the final third when not under too much pressure needs work for sure, whether passing or crossing he fluffs too often, but suggesting he's a selfish player just isn't accurate.

I could see Spurs finishing outside the top 10. I mean right now they seem (without wanting to tempt fate) clearly worse than Liverpool, City, us, Chelsea, Leicester, Wolves, Arsenal and Everton, but the likes of Newcastle, Palace or Southampton could easily scrape enough form together to finish above a team this uninspired and that's not even counting Sheffield United and Burnley who I think will struggle with the fixture congestion but who will nonetheless be aiming at top half again.

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We need Spurs to do well enough that they don't fire mourinho

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7 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

 

 

I mean, Richarlison put in a selfless shift working his arse off pressing and defending  at both ends of the pitch and stretching the game by playing down the wing. His composure in the final third when not under too much pressure needs work for sure, whether passing or crossing he fluffs too often, but suggesting he's a selfish player just isn't accurate.

I could see Spurs finishing outside the top 10. I mean right now they seem (without wanting to tempt fate) clearly worse than Liverpool, City, us, Chelsea, Leicester, Wolves, Arsenal and Everton, but the likes of Newcastle, Palace or Southampton could easily scrape enough form together to finish above a team this uninspired and that's not even counting Sheffield United and Burnley who I think will struggle with the fixture congestion but who will nonetheless be aiming at top half again.

Yeah, he does always work hard for the team, but he can be incredibly selfish in possession sometimes.

He's like Salah at the end of the season when he's chasing the golden boot, only all year round.

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PSG vs Marseille ended in a bit of a scuffle- 5 sendings of in the 96th minute- two second yellows for Paredes and Benedetto for an ill-advised challenge and retaliation, two straight reds for Kurzawa and Amavi for straight out laying into each other in the resulting brawl, and one for Neymar for a little clip round the head of Alvaro Gonzalez who he claims was being racist throughout the game.

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57 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

Ndombele's biggest issue is that he can only run for 10 minutes before he has to have a lie down. How the fuck did Spurs' scouts not pick up on that!?!

I don't think Spurs' scouts missed it. Don't know what's going on with him but he never had this poor fitness issue at Lyon where he used to start the majority of games and play the full 90. The level of competition and intensity is higher in the premier league but surely the difference is not so great that he can barely make it through a half. 

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I always post in the thread that is about to get closed am I not.

Not much to add, Jose terrible and outplayed by Ancelotti today. That was some woeful football by Tottenham.

His squad is enough talented to at least fight for a CL spot, maybe even get it, if not then 5-6 place, surely. But with displays like today's, he'll finish midtable at best. 

He must be banking on Europa League success, and maybe some domestic cup, as long as those options are in the air he'll be fine as Spurs manager. And his lucrative contract adds up to it.

 

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At the beginning of the season, one of Tianjin's pro teams disbanded.  Now this year's shortened season is almost over (4 games left, all scheduled before the end of the month), and the other Tianjin team is all but relegated.  They have only earned one point from ten games, the team ahead of them has seven points.  It's a bit embarrassing not to have anyone local to support anymore.  

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Spurs have been average ever since losing the CL final. They've lost that 'Top 4' aura and seem quite vulnerable. Not entirely sure what happened to them as they are still a very strong squad. They were under-performing even before Mourinho. It's really bizarre. Feels like they still haven't recovered mentally from CL final defeat. They perform well, then lose a game, take too long to recover mentally, then perform well again, then lose again, and repeat.

Or was it perhaps they were over-performing under Poch?

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I really, really hate 1-0 leads, right up to the moment they turn into 1-0 wins.

My takeaways:

- Spurs are bad in this setup. No creativity in midfield, relying in long balls to (the admittedly excellent) Son and Kane. Sure, they have quality and will pick up points, but they were nowhere near the quality needed for a top four challenge, never mind a top 10.

- Pickford was back at his best, something we didn't see last season. Great positioning and reflexes for when he was needed. If that's who he'll be this season, all the better.

- Mina and Keane look a lot better when someone like Allan patrols in front. More crosses then, as the opposition seeks the wings, and crosses they excel at.

- Coleman is still a very good defender when he's fit. I don't think anyone expected Hamish to be helping too much defensively (though, he did work!), but Coleman largely kept Son quiet. Can't ask for much more.

- New midfield needs time to gel, but my Lord, there's so much more quality there than last year! Better screening of the defense, more aggressive press, better handling of the ball, more creativity. They get to know each other better and this will be great! Depending a bit on how fit Hamish stays.

- Richarlison misses chances sometimes. Yes he does. Still works hard, and he'll not miss them all season. I'm not worried, not yet.

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What’s funny is that from watching All or Nothing I was totally under the impression Jose was a genius who was doing a brilliant job.

Its just that when you are presented with, you know, the evidence of actual Spurs games you remember that his side has looked dreadful since he arrived.

That puff piece of a show really does hide just abject some of this football is, and yesterday was really not an aberration. Sure Lo Celso coming back will change things but it won’t change that Spurs at home against a mid table Everton side were content to sit back and ‘hope’ to get a lucky counter off a long ball for much of the game. 
 

I think that approach might work fine if you have a couple of players who can work some absolute magic in the final third every game to create a goal from nothing ( which is why Spurs were so awful without Kane last year) but it’s not great with a squad like this.

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6 hours ago, The Winged Shadow said:

Spurs have been average ever since losing the CL final.

Spurs were terrible long before the CL final. They took a downturn in January 2019 and haven't stopped. Their CL run just papered over the cracks. I think they're good enough for 5th-6th place but not quite good enough for top 4 anymore. Their defence has declined significantly compared to what it was with peak Vertonghen and Alderweireld at CB and Rose, Walker and Trippier at fullback. Two have left and Rose has declined (in addition to wanting out of the club) and their current options aren't even as good as Trippier let alone peak Walker and Rose. They've got good options in attack (just lacking a decent backup for Kane) but in central midfield and defence, they are pretty much run of the mill. 

 

ETA. and Mourinho's ultra negative tactics aren't helping. It's hamstringing their forwards where they do have quality players in Son, Kane and Lo Celso and good players in Moura, Bergwijn, Lamela and Alli while exposing their defensive frailties. Spurs' midfield only occasionally looks to play on the front foot these days and they are usually on the back foot in that area of the pitch. They also don't press nearly as well as they did under Poch either. 

Edited by Consigliere

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Well, on the solid basis of one whole game, I will claim vindication in my earlier claim that we don't need Høybjerg. 

Thankful today that he chose Spurs.

 

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