On track, but we need Dembele and someone like

6
Image: SpursWeb

In this article I stated that the end of last season was no more to blame then the beginning for Spurs ending in third place rather than second or first. In the first four games last season we took 3 points from 12. I suggested that a better start was needed this time. Regardless of luck or other factors, a draw at Everton on the first day of the season is a reasonable result. I thought our guys did well for the final twenty minutes, but were lacklustre before that. Palace proved to be tricky (again) and a win of any kind was welcome. We now have four points from two games, a much better start than last time. My prediction for the first two was D W, and for the next two D W. My fingers are crossed! A win against Liverpool would be fantastic, but less so if it is countered by a loss at Stoke. Two draws and two wins would give us 8 points from 12, and I can live with that from two home and two away games at this stage.

Mousa Dembele misses the first four games through suspension. He was also suspended for the final two games of last season, and we know what happened in those. Dembele can break up opposition play. He can move the ball forward. He scored just three PL goals last season and supplied just one assist. These statistics do not, however, indicate his impact. Dembele started 27 PL games and missed 9. Kane scored once in the 11 games Dembele was not in the team, yet he scored 25 PL goals in the season. That is 24 goals in the 27 games in which Dembele played.

The following (rounded) figures are for PL games per 90 minutes for Dembele for 2015-16.

Total passes                        47

Forward passes:     26

Pass completion:    90%

Clearances:              2

Interceptions:           2

Shot accuracy:          56%

Shots:                                    1

The challenge is Dembele may get injured or suspended and there is no one who appears able to play his linking role. Wanyama and Dier are both defensive midfielders (who do good jobs at that). Can either play the Dembele role? I think it is possible, but I have heard others suggest not. What of Dele, Eriksen or Lamela? I do not believe any of these is suited to that role and they are needed elsewhere. I also do not think this is a role fort Nkoudo. Mason is not of the quality of Dembele. Bentaleb seems to be on the way out.

Going back to his age (29), if the aim is to build over the next few years, then a younger player needs to be Dembele’s understudy. This means someone from the existing young ranks stepping forward or buying. Could Harry Winks do the job? I simply do not know, but it would be great if he could. Who can we buy? There are not hundreds of Dembeles out there waiting to come to Spurs. Again, I do not know. If I believe the media, Spurs will have bought ten players by the end of this weekend!

We need Dembele and we need someone to step into his boots.

Your thoughts are welcome.  Leave your comments below.

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Brian has been a Spurs supporter from around 1960, so was there for the double, the FA Cup in 1962 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. He admits to having cried when Spurs lost to Benfica in the 1962 European Cup Semi-final and to times when he could weep when watching Spurs for the past few years (but for very different reasons). Brian has been lucky enough to see greats such as Jimmy Greaves, Pat Jennings, Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne. During the 60s, 70s and 80s Spurs won at least one domestic trophy and one European trophy each decade (with those wonderful all white strip floodlit games). It has taken Brian more than 20 years to realise that may take a while to come back, but hope lives on.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I think we were looking at Wijnaldum for a bit to possibly play that role. Dele Alli is the logical successor to dembele. He too is a box to box mid but currently is behind Dembele defensively and on the ball but has high work rate, tackles well, plays the ball forward very well and offers something more in attack. Dembele is exceptional on the ball, a one man army so to speak, and there aren't many available like him at the minute but I think Dele Alli can do a great job there.
    I believe Wanyama was played there on Saturday due to hugo's injury largely to try to limit the number of shots at Vorm.
    Of other players we've been linked to Mahmoud Dahoud looks the best box to box but again, like Alli, is years behind Dembele.
    I honestly believe bringing in another intelligent creative one man army such as Ante Coric or James Rodriguez for the 3 behind kane would settle this team a lot more, because it would it would create the same headaches for the opposition midfield but allow us to play Wanyama against attacking teams and Alli against defensive teams to better effect. Anybody who thinks Dele Alli cant play box to box needs to remember a) we didn't do so badly with him defensively as a box to box early last season and b) We got to fifth in the table with Mason and Bentaleb in midfield. Let point b sink in for a second.

  2. I agree with the the above! Dele could probably play Moose's role adequately, although I like the idea of adding another CM,. I've been banging on about Witsel since last season, he's there for the taking, and is as close to the Moose as you're gonna find, they'd also dovetail well together!,. It looks like we're not interested in him, so I'll have to get over it haha

    I'd also add another ACM (play across front 3) to the squad, also looking forward to Nkoudo being added!! It's not Njies fault as he was injured all year but we lack a simple, direct pace/width dimension,.. Go and get 2 quality midfielders Levy and then hit the deadwood fire sale button! ;()
    For sale;
    Mason (absoultely no problem with keeping him tho, if only he was brilliant!)
    Bentaleb
    Chadli (NKoudou, injury-free Son & 'new ACM' would make him redundant)
    Njie (Supposed upgrade in NKoudou as well hope it is!)

    You could just about get £35mil for those 4, go and get Witsel & maybe Silva, the Portuguese youngster, sort out the Pau Lopez deal if were actually serious about it, and even A-N -other wild card exciting youngster & your net spend would be about £15-20m which is acceptable when the stadium build austerity is off-set by all the mega buck TV debacle!
    COYS

  3. We need a creative attacking midfielder. Witsel plays in the same position as Wanyama and Dier. IMO no need to start both of those home values Palace

  4. Call me crazy but I think onomah could play the Dembele role good dribbler hardly loses the ball and incredibly strong.. Give him a season learning from Dembele..

  5. Well Wanyama was doing the Dembele role yesterday and I thought he did it rather well. He's a good tackler and a powerful presence in midfield just like Dembele. Of course he's not as good a passer as Dembele and he definitely doesn't have Dembele's technical skill, or dribling prowess. However he's likely to score more goals, especially from inside the opposition box at corners and free kicks and he's a far more powerful presence in midfield than Mason and Carroll.

  6. David you are completely right.buy sofiane boufal or mahmud dahud .arsenal are trying to sign moroccan winger boufal.Honestly saying,levy is stupid,he will never spend big money such as boufal,dahud or levandovski and that’s his big mistake(in my opinion)

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