Signings, Pre-Season and Palace

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So, it’s been a while since my last post but I thought it was a good time to review our signings, pre season fixtures and a quick look towards our game against Palace on Sunday. So let’s get to it…

Signings

Will he, won’t he?!
And so the bloody Gareth Bale saga continues. What a farcical pain in the arse this has been all through the summer. Did Madrid ever have any intention of paying £80+million? Do they still? All these questions are near on impossible to answer, mainly due to the stupid British and Spanish media. People believing stories from the fucking Metro, Daily Mail and Marca are nearly as much to blame as the stupid wankers writing them. So as I write this, there’s still no further word on the matter, he’s still “injured” and doesn’t look like he’ll feature in this weekends fixture. If he doesn’t stay, he can’t say Spurs haven’t tried to match his ambition with top signings and the possibility of more to come.

Paulinho
I’ve already spoken about Paulinho as he was basically signed when I wrote my last piece. However I have only seen him play once against Espanyol and he looked pretty good. He had a great confederations cup with Brazil and I can’t judge him on only 60mins in a Spurs shirt, but it is frustrating that he’s had so little first team playing time. I expect he will start on Sunday and I look forward to seeing him develop a solid midfield partnership with Sandro and Dembele.

Nacer Chadli
I wasn’t too sure about this one as I thought I’d never heard of him before till I thought back to our Champions League campaign a couple of years ago. He scored a couple against us and actually gave us a bit of a torrid time. But honestly, apart from that I’m only going on youtube videos but he looks like a solid signing. It’s always a bit of a risk signing players from Dutch or French leagues because the standard in the Premier League is a fair bit higher so it’s hard to gauge how the players will adapt. Hopefully he will be providing cover for our flying Welshman this season as opposed to being a first teamer week in week out, but time will tell on that one.

Roberto Soldado
After we missed out on Benteke from Aston Villa, I thought we’d gone and done another Spurs and left it too late and lost our man. Another reason for the frustration was because although I hoped, I didn’t think Levy would have the balls to sign Soldado, especially as Valencia were not obliged to budge over their valuation/buy-out clause. But low and behold, we stumped up the cash and have a genuine 20 goals a season striker. He can play by himself or with a partner and his instincts are bloody amazing! Seen lots of him over the years and am very very excited to see more of him this season.

Etienne Capoue
This guy literally signed this morning and seems like a good bit of business at just over £9million, but as I said with Chadli, always a slight note of caution when buying from France. With Tom Huddlestone finally moving on to Hull Tiger Puma Athletic Wanderers City FC, he will provide good cover in defensive midfield and also at centre back. However, what I don’t want to see is AVB bringing him on for Aaron Lennon is when we are winning 1-0 with 15mins to go and simply trying to hold on. AVB got slated for this early on last season and rightly so. With Capoue on the ranks, we really have great strength and depth in midfield.

Ex-players
We have bought very well this closed season and there have been a few players leaving us to try and balance the books. Dempsey went to the MLS for a pretty decent £6million, which is what we paid for him. I don’t think he is better than anything we have brought in, quite the contrary in fact. Big Tom Huddlestone left without ever getting the chance to score and cut his hair…. twat. We got decent money for him and Jake Livermore went to Hull too for a season long loan. Steven Caulker left to Cardiff for £8million which is decent business but it did seem a strange sell considering our lack of personnel at centre back, (Gallas was also released, thank god) plus the fact he is touted as a future England centre back. Anyway, what’s done is done, let’s hope it doesn’t bite us on the arse throughout the season.

Pre-Season

Swindon 1 – 1 Tottenham
Our first 2 pre season games were against lower league opposition and they weren’t exactly the most exciting performances. The best thing about the first game at Swindon was Gareth Bale started, and scored. AVB made 10 changes at half time so the game seemed to stall a little with neither side creating much and the passing leaving a lot to be desired. Swindon equalised and that’s how it finished. Let’s hope Bale’s last performance for us was against Swindon in front of 10,000 people.

Colchester 0 – 0 Tottenham
Our second match was against Colchester and again most of the squad was used. We threatened throughout the game and created a whole host of chances, but their keeper was having a blinder and alas, we couldn’t convert any of them (sound familiar?) So, although these two matches were obviously to get the squad back into shape and get some match fitness back into them, we should still be beating these types of sides.

Then we jetted off to Asia (with Bale) to take part in the Asia Trophy. I was hoping for victory against Sunderland then get a very strong test against Man City. Hmmmmmmm, wishful thinking.

Sunderland 3 – 1 Tottenham
This game was very close to being called off after torrential monsoon thunderstorms soaked Hong Kong throughout the day. Oh, how I wished it had. It started relatively well with a few chances, before the pitch caused us a problem and Sunderland missed a good chance. We went ahead with a deflected Gylfi shot but it didn’t last too long with Sunderland equalising within 5 minutes or so. We were well on top and created a few good chance but Mannone made some fantastic saves to keep us at bay. And typically enough, against the run of play Sunderland scored. They rubbed salt in the wound by scoring a third late on and thats how it stayed. It was a frustrating game to watch because of the state of the pitch but more importantly because Jan Vertonghen was taken off injured after only about 10 minutes on the pitch. It doesn’t look like he’ll be fit for Palace. Also seeing Danny Rose at left back was interesting, personally I just don’t think he’s good enough but we need cover for Benoit as he struggled at times last season.

South China 0 – 6 Tottenham
I’m not gonna dwell on this long as it was a bit of a training exercise. Defoe scored a good hat-trick which can’t have done his confidence any harm and we passed and moved well. There are far far bigger tests to come.

Monaco 5 – 2 Tottenham
This was a thrashing! With seemingly no fit centre backs we had a totally makeshift back-line and were punished for this. Fryers and Livermore in the centre were embarrassing at times and against a striker like Falcao (who I think is probably the third best player in the world) we were always going to be under threat. Lloris was at fault for the first one and their fourth and fifth were mainly as a result of us pushing so far up the pitch. Defoe went off injured early on but it didn’t look too bad. Personally I thought Chadli did quite well but Harry Kane, who replaced Defoe, looks like he might be better off out on loan again this season. Townsend scored a great goal at the end with a lovely run full of pace and skill and a splendid left foot shot from about 25 yards out. However, we looked a bit lack-lustre.

Tottenham 1 – 1 Espanyol
Our final game of pre season gave us a chance to see our big 3 signings all lining up together. Soldado, Paulinho and Chadli all started, of course without Mr Bale. We started very well, Soldado’s movement was excellent early on and we should’ve been one up after Paulinho scored with a header but was ruled offside. We were dominating proceedings and when Rose was upended in the box for a penalty, Soldado had a chance of a debut goal. Slotted it! Espanyol equalised before half time and our defending was shocking. It seemed like we had introduced a zonal marking system that just didn’t work, and it was actually Soldado ball watching that caused the goal, albeit a fine header. Half-time saw the introduction of big Younes Kaboul, thank the bloody lord! Great to see him back, although not sure if he’ll be fit enough for the first game of the season, still a huge boost. Dembele looked bright throughout and him and Paulinho had a decent understanding although it got a bit crowded at times when Chadli came into play on the left. Kyle Walker had a good game, making good runs both down the flank and through the middle. Sandro also came on for about 20 minutes or so which is a massive boost for us, and once we get him playing regularly we will be a force. He was a massive loss for us last season. The game sort of pittered out after that and it finished 1-1. In truth I thought it was a pretty boring game and we looked scrappy at times. Great to see some very important players back and for Soldado to get his first goal but Espanyol aren’t exactly European heavyweights and I think we’ll have to up our game and keep our shape better if we are to win on Sunday.

First Game of the Season

So to the big kick-off. Crystal Palace away. Not the worst start we could’ve had, although it’s always hard to predict the new boys on their first day back at school! What about the line up then? Hard to actually know who is fit and who isn’t. I think AVB will stick with Lloris and continue in the same vein as last season with regards to the keepers.

I have a feeling he’ll start with Rose as I haven’t seen much of BAE in pre season. Walker right back, now who the fuck is gonna be in the middle? Dawson if fit will surely start, then I think it’ll be between Vertonghen and Kaboul but neither are exactly 100% fit. I think Fryers would be too big of a risk but he’s played a lot of pre season.

Chadli will start on the left, Lennon on the right then it depends on Sandro’s fitness. Paulinho and Dembele should start and I think AVB will go for another midfielder instead of pairing Soldado with anyone upfront. Personally I’d maybe give the new French lad Capoue a start, bit risky, but dont wanna risk Sandro if he isn’t fit. Capoue to sit in front of our back 4 which may be very necessary, which allows Paulinho and Dembele to push forward. Soldado upfront on his tod.

My line up: Lloris, Rose, Kaboul, Dawson, Walker, Chadli, Dembele, Capoue, Paulinho, Lennon, Soldado.

As ever, let me know your opinions and thoughts, good or bad. But overall COME ON YOU SPURS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Betfred.com

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