Following an average performance at home to Crystal Palace followed by defeat at Besiktas that left the likelihood of a disastrous draw in the knockout stages of the Europa League, there was a feeling of doom and gloom from the media(no surprise there), but also from some of the supporters of Tottenham. Despite Pochettino only having been in the job for a matter of weeks, the season began on the 16th August, that’s 4 months or 17 weeks or 120 days, whichever way you look at it no time at all, there were some actually already calling for his head and actually wishing we had stuck with Tim Sherwood!
It has been reported that Andre Villas-Boas has spoken out against his two previous employees, Chelsea and Tottenham and though it is true that the Chelsea owner did move the goalposts and his complaint against him is valid his complaint about Daniel Levy failing to tie up the transfers of four players he asked for is in the main quite ridiculous if true.
We know that he wished to purchase Moutinho from Porto and it seems that major efforts were made to tie up a deal for much of the transfer window only for third-party ownership to ruin it all, it can and does happen as we also saw this past transfer window as Tottenham tried to buy Musacchio from Villarreal only to experience all the same headaches before finally settling for Frederico Fazio.
Due to technical difficulties JTN has been unable to operate for a couple of weeks, the problems now seem to have been overcome and are able to report that in that period results have not been too bad and Tottenham remain in a satisfactory position despite not yet being able to find a decent level of consistency. Defeat in the Europa League came as a disappointment but the draw has not really been unfavourable and could certainly have been far worse.
After a couple of excellent performances this week there is every possibility that a couple of changes might be made for today in this home fixture, though no game is ever easy in the premiership this weeks opponents are not of the same calibre of our last two opponents and will perhaps give Pochettino the opportunity to try a couple of other options.
Yesterday I managed to get half of my predictions correct but amongst them I managed to get the draw between Sunderland and Chelsea right when ninety-nine percent of the pundits opted for the current league leaders. today it’s the turn of four teams with top four aspirations, in the case of City much more than that. With all of the major contenders managing to pick up three points (apart from Chelsea) yesterday each of today’s games are more significant.
As usual I shall try to predict the outcome but with a little more success than I have managed on Sunday games too date:-
Last weeks predictions were not too bad with a decent performance on Saturday, I managed to get both efforts wrong on Sunday and completely overlooked Monday’s fixture but have to admit I did not foresee Villa picking up a point. This week it probably won’t get any easier even though you would by now be expecting all the big clubs, by that I mean wealthiest clubs, picking up most of the points. This season we have seen a number of what might be considered shock results, but as suspensions and injuries take their toll it is the clubs with the biggest and the best squads that will almost certainly come through and dominate proceedings.
It’s never easy to second guess Mauricio Pochettino when it comes to team selection no matter what the tournament, but it has often been the case that the team for our European adventure is the easier to work out. With all the apparent injuries, suspensions and even a couple of players returning to the fray it doesn’t get any easier as the season progresses. There is little doubt that the club still view the league as the main priority, just a couple of points off of fourth it still remains the best option to achieve Champions League football, at least for now, with success in European competition still another option even after the lottery of failed Champions League clubs joining the fray in the New Year.
Go back 12 months and Tottenham appeared to be struggling to cope without their standout player of the season before, Gareth Bale had gone to Spain for a world record fee and Tottenham had spent upwards of £100m on several players to bolster the squad and replace the twenty odd goals that he had contributed. A year ago with a dozen games gone Tottenham had 22 points and were just a couple of points off their targeted fourth place in the league and yet the media knives were already sharpened and ready to strike, Tottenham, Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and AVB were their targets.
After 2 weeks of abject misery the Premier League returned this weekend and the chance for Tottenham to make up for the pain that has been inflicted upon their supporters this season. I’m not quite sure whether they managed to do so but the three points were welcome and certainly helped and the performance was not too shabby considering the number of changes forced upon the team from injury and suspension. The first half saw us fall behind in typical circumstance and though I don’t entirely agree with Steve Bruce and the Sky observers that Hull should have built up a 2 or 3 goal lead, it was a fact that our build up play was far too slow.
Yesterday results left me with four correct predictions including one correct score but also left me a little disappointed as there were also a couple of unexpected home defeats thrown in which should have left me with a far better set of figures, still it’s only a bit of fun and no harm done. Today’s two fixtures and that tomorrow night are no foregone conclusions and will be extremely difficult to predict given the form of some in what is already turning out to be a strange season:-