It has been obvious for a while now that the team are becoming more creative with Roberto Soldado leading the line, even during the pre-season tour he seemed to have built some sort of creative understanding with Christian Eriksen and in particular Erik Lamela. Soldado has played very few games but is creeping closer and closer to those elusive goals that will hopefully eventually ignite his career in North London. Despite only featuring in a handful of games he already has more assists to his name than Adebayor and he played a vital role in both goals on Wednesday.
Just about all of us that contribute toward the content of JTN have supported Tottenham for what seems an eternity, we defend our team and everybody associated with it whenever possible, unfortunately the events of Sunday left us all lost for words and sorely disappointed. Since then we have heard all sorts of excuses for what was in the second half an insipid display, the players have been unable to grasp the requirements of Pochettino’s requirements! does that mean more players in and more out in the next couple of transfer windows? The pitch is too small! it’s been the same for over a hundred years and though there is not the expanse in wide areas seen at many other grounds Lennon and Bale managed to destroy teams not but a few seasons ago.
The reaction to the outrageous Lamela goal on Thursday is still being talked about across the world, there have been millions that have viewed the Vine or Youtube footage of the “Rabona”, even those in the media that seem to have a grudge against Tottenham and those that have not been particularly generous in their assessment of Lamela, have all spoken with total admiration of a piece of skill that lit up White Hart Lane and football in general.
The headlines since Thursday evening have been pretty much dominated by Erik Lamela and “that” goal, a rather special goal the like of which comes along very rarely. Harry Kane also had his fair share of adulation following his excellent hat-trick in the same game, his goal keeping antics also managed plenty of mentions. Mauricio Pochettino now has a number of selection issues to ponder over, if not for today, then in forthcoming fixtures, as he always hoped more of his squad are now standing up to be counted, his favoured threesome of Chadli, Eriksen and Lamela if anything are improving, Kane and Soldado have probably both now jumped ahead of Adebayor in the pecking order and though Fazio is suspended for today, he had a pretty decent outing on Thursday.
Another four correct results yesterday might suggest that I am getting the hang of this, or that form is beginning to play more of a part in proceedings as the season progresses, either way the remainder of the weekes fixtures will not be easy to guess right. Some of the teams facing each other might be considered to be in a false position, others will be desperate to make a statement and ensure that they remain capable of achieving what they set out for on the opening day of the season. This is how I think it will go:-
As the weeks continue to slip by and though we are still less than a quarter of the way into the season it is becoming obvious that those teams around the top and near the very bottom of the table need to start producing results before their hopes for the season disappear and they become embroiled in battles that they never once envisaged. Last week I managed to correctly predict the results of 6 fixtures with one correct score but in all honesty a few of the results could have gone in a totally different direction. It doesn’t get any easier as the standard within the Premiership has narrowed in relation to all but a handful of clubs.
The clamour for Harry Kane to be given a chance and a starting berth in the Tottenham lineup in Premier League fixtures is growing with every appearance he makes, last night he carried on scoring goals, three of them, in another Europa League victory to follow up his goal in the Capital One Cup. That’s now seven goals this season in just 10 appearances for Tottenham to go along with the other goals he has scored for the England U21 team that has won through to the European Championships next summer.
Tottenham have been linked with another exciting forward in recent days, Saido Berahino of WBA has been hailed as the best goalscoring English forward in the country and a potential Tottenham target in January, though most of his goals have come during league fixtures he has the same number, 7 in just 10 games as Harry Kane.
His first year in London was disppointing to say the least, after Tottenham invested a huge some of money on a young prodigy the knives were soon out and he was declared a flop almost immediately. Erik Lamela at just 21 years of age became one of the clubs most expensive signings, with add-ons, if conditions are achieved, he will be the record signing. Harshly he was written off despite his inexperience, inability to speak the language and due to the fact that he was just setting out on a new career in 3rd country within just a couple of years, some forget that at such a tender age he had only just broken into the River Plate team when he was snapped up and whisked off to Italy, a little over a year later and he headed to the Premier League.
It is probably fair to say that a huge percentage of Tottenham supporters have remained convinced that Lamela is a tremendous talent with the potential to become a great player, speed of thought and of feet is only surpassed by the very best players in Europe, we know he is far from being the finished article but age and inexperience is all that is holding him back at the moment, for now he seems to be enjoying his football and more importantly working hard for the team.
Tonight Tottenham take on Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League, hopefully it will be a memorable occasion both in terms of the performance and result, but tonight is not just about the Tottenham team of today but it will be an opportunity to remember a true great from our past and one of the men that put Tottenham firmly on the map and in the record books. Bill Nicholson joined the club as a 16-year-old on the 16th March 1936 and a couple of years later he signed professional papers committing himself to Tottenham for what turned into a lifetime of involvement with the club.
In 1939 on the outbreak of war he joined up and did not return to the club for a further 7 years, it cost him a large chunk of his career but he returned and became an important part of the team which won the title in 1951, that year he won his only international cap scoring a goal after just 19 seconds before giving way to a certain Billy Wright in the England team.
Hopefully we shall start to see a starting lineup not so significantly different to the team associated with league fixtures at the weekend, it is surely time for a decent level of continuity rather than nine or more changes. Of course it is necessary for squad players to play in order to gain real match fitness and in some cases for the new boys to come to terms with their new club and the premiership. After a couple of draws it is now essential that Tottenham get back to winning ways in Europe, three points tonight are essential as failure is staring us in the face if we fail to win this fixture.
We were informed that Hugo Lloris returned from international duty carrying a slight injury and so it makes perfect sense to bring in Michel Vorm for tonight’s fixture, with the likelihood that Younes Kaboul will be rested to allow Fazio to continue, particularly as he is suspended for the coming league fixture following his red card, then that surely means that Adebayor will be chosen to lead the team out, further ensuring that Roberto Soldado then has the opportunity to continue to build upon last Saturday’s impressive showing.