Thursday, May 18, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Ivaney Vuonit writes:
It’s Easter and your school report card shows conclusively that the work of the last few years is starting to pay off. Since 2013 games won on the up, games drawn pretty much steady, games lost down, increasing goals scored and considerable improvement in defense. The big indicator of where you’re going is reflected in goal difference: from 2013/14 +4; 2014/15 +5; 2015/16 +34 and 2016/17 with 31 games played + 42! Now, that’s progress.
So, how can we explain this? Well, for starters it was 2013/14 that Tottenham sold Gareth Bale and bought Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela. Just the year before 2012/13 they had also sold Luca Modric but bought in Jan Vertonghen! In 2014/15 Eric Dier and Dele Alli arrived for modest sums. In the most extravagant year 2015/16 Toby Alderweireld cost £11.5 million, Heung-Min Son cost £18 million and Victor Wanyama cost £11 million.
Over a four year period the income from Modric and Bale has been re-invested in eight players who this year to date (31 games) have contributed thus:
Alderweireld 23 appearances;
Alli 28 appearances;
Dier 27 appearances;
Eriksen 30 appearances;
Son 13 appearances;
Vertonghen 26 appearances;
Wanyama 29 appearances;
Lamela 6 appearances and err Kane 31 appearances.
Apart from the obvious consistency that not changing the team too often brings and relatively few injuries the striking element of Tottenham’s rise is the quiet progress Pochettino has made since his arrival in May 2014. He and his players have just got on with improving their performances without drawing too much attention to themselves. Even when Kane (19 goals) does not score someone else does - Alli (16 goals), Son (11 goals), Eriksen (7goals).
As the end of the season gets nearer and pressure rises it remains to be seen how well they keep their collective cool. At this stage it can, however, be said that they should not fear any of the teams immediately below them in the Premiership. Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal all have their own problems to contend with and are all also looking over their shoulders.
Tottenham as champions of the Premier League is not going to happen this year and much as they might like to think otherwise also not next year. The demands of Premier League and Champions League will prove too much for them as will also the disruption of playing away from White Hart Lane. All indications are that Tottenham will want to maintain steady progress and solidify their position in the Premier League even at the expense of missing out on going further in Europe. After finishing third in their Champions’ League group Tottenham didn’t really lament going out of the Europa League against Gent. Although Pochettino says time is not on their side I suspect the Spurs board are cool headed and quite happy about the direction the club is going in.