Games continue to come thick and fast and today Tottenham travel to WBA in what will be their 9th game of January alone, that will mean that Tottenham will have played just 45 minutes short of a quarter of a season in one month. Considering the fuss that Van Gaal and the United players made when we played them in December the fact that we have reached Wembley and remain in the mix for a position in the top 4, every one of our squad, Pochettino and his coaching, fitness and medical staff should be congratulated.
This week it is back to the action of the Premier League after the upsets of last weeks FA Cup 4th round ties, of course some have had the added distraction of the Capital One Cup in midweek and it is of little surprise to note that Chelsea have had the added benefit of an extra day and a few hours to recover before they play, while Tottenham, who played a day later play yet again today, but then that is another story, let’s see how we think today’s games will go:-
The right result despite a few unnerving, unnecessary, moments towards the end of last nights second leg encounter against Sheffield United. Despite what every Tottenham supporter felt when the opposition snatched a couple of late goals and a great chance to take the lead the remainder of the game was almost entirely controlled by a young Tottenham team still in the early stages of development. Make no mistake, I, like most other of our fans had that sinking feeling when each of the oppositions goals hit the back of the net, it was a situation that we had seen a few times before.
Another all premiership cup tie for Tottenham but after travelling to Burnley this time they entertain another relegation candidate in Leicester. The games are coming thick and fast for Tottenham with this being their 37th competitive fixture of the season, just one fixture short of a full league season before the end of January and no matter what happens this week they will have played 39 games before the month is out.
Sandwiched between two games against Sheffield United that could mean a trip to Wembley and a cup final if things go to plan this is no unwelcome distraction but another chance for other members of the squad to show the boss what they can do.
Earlier this season Eric Dier spoke with Gareth Southgate and reached an amicable agreement to opt out of an U21 get together, they reached agreement in order that he might train with the Tottenham coaches in an attempt to give him the best chance of earning a place in the Tottenham team in his preferred, specialist position at centre back. In earlier U21 fixtures he seemed to have been used to cover at right back enabling Callum Chambers, newly signed by Arsenal, to take the step up to the full England squad and it must have hurt to see a younger, inferior, slower defender make that step up while he was asked to cover in his absence.
The January transfer window for Tottenham so far has been very similar to most others in recent seasons, the club is linked to midfield players galore but as usual in need of more strike power. With midfield options in abundance the story is still rumbling on that the club might still pursue the signing of Rabiot from PSG, it made some sense a few weeks ago when Bentaleb was about to head off to the AFCON, but with the final itself only two weeks away, if Algeria even get to it, that concern is over. A loan deal for the player was always a strange possibility anyway.
With the first leg of the semi-final played at the Lane last nights game was always likely to be a difficult encounter for the premiership team, we have seen countless times before that lower league teams are capable of causing upsets to even the best, last nights encounter was one of those occasions. The late goal will certainly be of great assistance as it will mean that Sheffield united will at some stage have to seek the goal needed to get back into the tie, that should then allow the better quality of player in the Tottenham lineup to exploit space available to them, at least that is the plan.
Tonight will see Tottenham entertain Sheffield United in the first leg of this semi-final, a home leg that all at Tottenham will hope will be as conclusive as can be. A convincing win will surely ensure that with so many important games ahead of the team Pochettino will be able to rotate his squad in the return leg. Of course when do these things ever go to plan?
Yet another story emanating from the press and in particular Danish newspaper BT, news has reached these shores that Tottenham will be tempted into selling Christian Eriksen in the summer transfer window, if not before, and yet again it is suggested that PSG will be the lucky recipients. This is not the first time that this particular media outlet has pushed the PSG line, they did so when Eriksen agreed to join Tottenham in the summer of 2013.
In a little over 24 hours Tottenham face an important fixture against Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg, it’s been a while since we last appeared in as important a game domestically, the last being the game against Chelsea at Wembley. The draw was kind to Tottenham in that they avoided both the big guns of Liverpool and Chelsea but did hand us the home fixture first and that presents it’s own problems, our supporters, pundits and media will all expect Tottenham to finish the tie in the home leg and that is never easy.