Time for change?

28
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

After nine games in the Premier League table looks like this.

    GD

 

Pts
1 Man City

 

11 20
2 Arsenal

 

10 20
3 Liverpool

 

9 20
4 Chelsea

 

10 19
5 Tottenham

 

9 19
6 Everton

 

5 15
7

 

Man Utd 1 14

 

At the same stage last season the table looked like this.

    GD

 

Pts
1 Man City

 

16 21
2 Arsenal

 

9 19
3 Man Utd

 

7 19
4 West Ham

 

8 17
5 Leicester

 

2 16
6 Crystal Palace

 

2 15
7 Tottenham

 

4 14

 

In this article I discussed the view that Tottenham ended up being third because of the last few games. I noted that the beginning of the season was equally to blame. The table from week nine of last season confirms this. The current position is far superior. We have 19 points, 5 more than last time. We have a GD of 9, again 5 more than last time. To help put this in perspective, if we continued in the same fashion, we would finish with 80 points. In 2015-16 that would have landed us second place, the same for 2014-15, fourth in 2013-14, second in 2012-13 and third in 2011-12. You would have to go back to 2010-11 for 80 points to have been enough to be PL champions. If we had beaten Bournemouth on Saturday, we would be on 22 points and top of the table. That equates to 93 points over 38 games, and would almost certainly be enough to win the title.

There is no doubting the improvement. There is also no doubt that there are very few easy games in the PL. The draw with Bournemouth looks a lot less disastrous now we have seen Arsenal and Manchester City both draw at home against teams most pundits would have thought they should have beaten. We have played 9 games, won 5 and drawn 4. At the same stage last year we had won 3 games, drawn 5 and lost 1. We are in a good position to stay in the top 4. We are not in a good position (yet) to win the title.

Given this perspective on the improvement and the perspective of the should-have-won draws of Arsenal and Manchester City, it may seem unreasonable to find flaws. Unfortunately they exist and this team is unlikely to win the title if they are not. Fixed quickly.

We have some fantastic strengths. Our manager is extremely good in many ways. Our goalkeeper may be the best in the world. Our defence and defensive midfield are both excellent, despite having missed Dembele and now Alderweireld. Dembele is not quite match sharp yet, but still makes a huge difference.

What of the attack? Here, we do have issues. Eriksen has not been on form. I believe he was a much better player when Lamela was not in the team. Eriksen has shown over a couple of seasons that he is up to the job. I would drop Lamela immediately and hope to ship him out in January. In my view he has never been a top quality player and is a huge liability. Before people start talking of ‘Lamela hate’, I have no reason to hate any Spurs player. I am simply talking about what I see, and what I see is a poor player. A player with good skills yes, and that is what deceives some people. Skills are not enough. You must have competence. That is the ability to use those skills appropriately and at the right time. An unnecessary nutmeg when a simple pass would have worked may get some people ooghing an aaaghing, but it leaves me cold. Lamela holding his head because he shot wide leaves me cold, especially when he could have shot low and hard across the goal where there was a decent chance it could have been poked in. Lamela demanding to take a penalty then missing leaves me cold. Lamela almost costing his team because of his fouls makes me angry. Lamela losing the ball time after time makes me think we might be better with ten men.

On Saturday I was astonished to see Son go off and Lamela stay on. Janssen should have started with Son, and Lamela should not even have been on the bench.

Who then would I also play? Surely we have not bought N’Koudo to languish in the reserves? He must get some time in PL games. Also, it must be time to give Cameron-Vickers 20 minutes or so in the right games. I would do the same with Edwards. We have of course missed Harry Kane, but his return will not fix a misfiring midfield. Lamela is the weakest link and needs to go.

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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.

28 COMMENTS

  1. I'm not a big Lamela fan, but, despite your qualifier to the contrary, I think you ARE a Lamela hater. He may leave you cold. Fine. You give yourself away, however, when you say things like we'd be better with ten men and he shouldn't be on the bench. I find it amusing when fans trust Porch in other areas and rave about his management skills after a game like Man City, but still want to offer criticisms like yours. I'm sure he sees something in Lamela and is trying to translate it to the pitch. If he sees that is not happening, he'll ship him out. Leave it to him. Until then, I guess you can keep grinding that axe.

    • I do believe that this man has got it right Lamela should have been sent off in this Saturday game, I cannot see any reason why he should be in the first team he's greedy can not pass the ball cross a ball but like all Argentine players he serenely nows how to put the boot in this is not the Spurs way of playing, the dearest player spurs have brought and in my mind not worth it look at the player playing for Sunderland Spurs had, a centre forward scoring goals for his team Lamela can't score from 12 yards
      LET HIM GO IN JANUARY WINDOW

        • There is again no need for rudeness. Calling people morons is not helpful. I asked the poster's view, not yours. You have expressed your views many times in this thread. Basically anyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. Now please give it a rest and let people share views in an adult and sensible manner.

    • All about opinions Dan: Lamela has been a complete waste of money £30m. And I also think that Janssen is another Soldado, bloody useless. Am afraid to say that for every Bale, Berbatov, Modric we buy, we also buy a load of shite,
      So for me when Lamela and Eriksen are starting we affectively only have 9 men on the pitch as they often get rolled over as Leicester will do on Saturday. Poch needs to get his act together.

      OH FOR A SUAREZ, BITES N ALL. COYS

        • You seem to think anyone who has a different view from yours has something wrong with them. As you can see, there are other people who also think Lamela has had his day.. Perhaps just take on board these thoughts and stop calling people names. Just share your views on the football – as I an and others have – without resorting to rudeness each time you see something with which you disagree.

          Why not write your own article?

  2. LMAO! You're nearly as good as Harry Hotspur!! The football we play, the manager we have, the application of the players, the nature of the league, all in all, I'm very happy with the way things are going. I'd give up on the blog if I were you, Harry Hotspur is way ahead of you in the click bait stakes!!

  3. Just can not see why you people like this Lamela am I watching the same player that I think is not good enough to put on a Spurs shirt The management at Tottenham have sold better Players from a support of 65 years

  4. Lamela was indeed reckless in the first half, however he did at least show passion. Eriksen was listless & ineffective in the last few games. He appears to shy away from challenges & his creativity has disappeared.
    We have great defensive midfield players & a great defence, not to mention a wonderful keeper, only our lack of conversion in front of goal is stopping us topping the table.
    Poch must look to change things, either by changing tactics to play with more width, or put someone up alongside our lone striker to occupy defences & provide a greater threat. He must also inspire Eriksen back to his best & curb Lamela's recklessness.
    Dropping points to mid table sides at this stage is a problem. We all know where a few more points at the end of last season would have left us. Let's hope it doesn't come back to haunt us at the end if this, after all you can go unbeaten all season and theoretically get relegated with 38 points!

  5. I was surprised to see Son go off, but only because Lamela had been booked. I would have rather seen the (not so great) Dane hooked off. As the other commenters have said, you sound like you have a disdain for Lamela that I reserve for the likes of Adebayor, Bentaleb and Benni.
    He works hard in the pressing system, probably harder than the others in his bank of three. He gets stuck in more than Eriksen or Son, often giving away fouls to buy time for us to regroup, albeit picking up a fair number of yellows in the process. He does try to do the complex things, but so do Dele, Eriksen and Son and they lose the ball frequently too. So do Coutinho, Hazard etc, it’s part and parcel of trying to be creative.
    His set pieces are on a par with the highly overrated deliveries of our alleged freekick ‘maestro’ CE, whose reputation is about as unfounded as CR7 when he’s wearing a Portugal shirt!
    Is Erik the perfect player? Probably not. Are there better players than him in his position in the league. Probably. Is he the least effective player in the squad? No. Are the capable replacement within our squad? No. Next thing you know people will be saying “Drop him and pick Edwards…”
    SMH

  6. We'd be on 21 points if we'd beaten Bournemouth, not 22.
    And there is no such player as "Cameron-Vickers".
    Oh and your Lamela views are ridiculous.

    • Thanks for pointing out the errors, Erik. Sloppy on my part. No excuses. I did it in a rush but should have been more careful.

      Obviously we disagree about Lamela. This serms not unusual amongst Spurs fans.

      At least here we get the opportunity to express different views.

  7. Lamela's been alwayd trying to improve and is/can become a better player. Whereas Eriksen's just been on a downward trajectory each season since he arrived. And yet, fans wait for Eriksen to become the next Modric. Eriksen's bang average and goes missing for 90% of the season. Eriksen used to be our 'set-piece specialist' but I believe even that's a huge exaggeration as it's been ages since we've last seen him even take a good corner. Why not try dropping Eriksen and see how Lamela fares without our so-called 'playmaker'?

  8. The responses to this article show that subjectivity is alive and well (as it has always been). Leaving aside verbal attacks on individual players the only thing Spurs are lacking at the moment is the ability to put the ball in the net. Undefeated after nine games, only conceded four goals and usually a commanding possession advantage means were are doing most things right. If were were able to score goals as well there would be little negative talk or serious criticism of any of the team. Let's hope Kane comes back firing soon.

    • Agreed. Not to mention we have created a TONNE of chances in most of our games. There have been a couple where it’s been tougher to break down a team, but poch needs to find a tactical solutions to that problem. When we’ve been pressed hard, we’ve faltered slightly offensively. Nothing our genius head poch can’t fix. Hate this berrating after any tiny slip ups. I remember people calling for poch’s head in his first season. Shut up and support, I think the man knows what he’s doing.

    • Very good points. My issues are twofold. We must be able to do the job even if HK is missing. This does not just need a substitute HK, but also needs the rest of the team to fire on all cylinders. As I mentioned, all is certainly not doom and gloom. It is very positive. I do not think all first choice players are of PL title level. We have moved up a gear. This is now a top four side. As you state, we need goals. If HK were out all season I wonder what we would do. No different from many others, vut the reality of winning the PL is we have to be different from others ☺

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