A great summary of the current squad and a nice insight on some of the futures these players may have.
September 2020TRANSFERS, YOUTH PROMOTION, RESULTS
Bill Nicholson | Echo of Glory
Entering the summer, we the Tottenham Hotspur board, comprised of Chairman Daniel Levy, Operations and Finance Director Matthew Collecott, Executive Director Donna-Marie Cullen, and Director of Football Administration and Governance Rebecca Caplehorn, with the expertise Technical Performance Director Steve Hitchen had provided a transfer budget of £13,000,000.
In addition to player transfers, this budget would cover the hiring of staff. The board was in charge of hiring members of the scouting, medical, and coaching teams across the Youth Academy, the Development Squad, and the First Team.
Placed in charge of identifying targets and players to sell was Head Coach Bill Nicholson. Chairman Daniel Levy was responsible for negotiating terms with other clubs.
− Argentinian goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga (aged 28), with his contract expiring in 2022, was sold to Mexican club CD Cruz Azul for £4,000,000 initially, with the fee potentially rising to £5,000,000. He arrived from Southampton in 2017 for £2,500,000 (a £1,500,000 to £2,500,000 profit) and went on to make 22 appearances in our colors. We wish Paulo all the best in the future.
− English left-back Danny Rose (aged 30), with his contract expiring in 2021, was sold to Italian club Cagliari for £4,000,000. He arrived from Leeds United in 2007 for £1,000,000 (a £3,000,000 profit) and went on to make 156 appearances in our colors, scoring 8 goals. We wish Danny all the best in the future.
− English right-winger Jack Clarke (aged 19), with his contract expiring in 2023, was loaned to English club Middlesbrough. We wish him luck and look forward to his return next summer.
Head Coach Bill Nicholson had his thoughts on the window:
- The board backed Jose earlier in the summer, so we were a bit strapped on cash when we tried to enter the market. Hence, no incoming players. Instead, we invested some of the money to improve our Youth Recruitment. As for the first team, we’ll work with what we have.
- I would have liked to clear some more room in the squad. I had listed Dele, Winks, and Lamela, but each case was a bit peculiar. It seemed clubs were priced out of a move for Dele, Winks rejected multiple clubs that put in an acceptable offer, and Lamela garnered little interest. They’ll get a chance to impress me now. If they take it, they may remain at the club.
Academy Promotion and Contract RenewalThis month, we had a contract renewal for Davinson Sanchez until the summer of 2024 (it was due to expire in June 2022).
Here are Bill’s thoughts on the extension:
- I had thought that if we brought in another center-back, Sanchez might have a tough time getting a spot in the team. A couple of things happened: we were unable to bring in a center-back and Sanchez performed really well in training.
- This new contract should give some comfort to Davinson, but he should be reminded that there is still work to be done. We will not stop our search for a center-back. He should be determined to start for the squad, and if he does not put in the necessary effort, his situation could reverse once again. Time to repay the faith.
In addition to Davinson’s renewal, youth academy prospect Rodel Richards (19 year old striker, currently on loan at Colchester) has impressed enough on loan to be placed in the Senior Squad upon his return by Head Coach Bill Nicholson. With Troy Parrott, and Rodel Richards in the Senior Squad as U21 academy prospects, our pipeline between the academy and the first team is growing stronger. We admire Bill for his focus on promoting youth, and look forward to seeing these two play for Spurs in the future.
Bill Nicholson on Rodel’s promotion:
-The lad has put in good work at Colchester thus far, and our scouting team as well as our Head of Youth Development Dean Rastrick see him as a potentially useful player. Why not give him a shot on his return? Give the Spurs’ boys a chance to impress the Tottenham faithful. He’s one of our own.
ResultsBefore we touch base on results, let us remind the supporters of the expectations of the board:
It is expected for us to qualify for Champions League via our Domestic League competition, to reach the Semi Final of the Europa League and the FA Cup, and to not worry about the Carabao Cup.
The first month had a tremendously congested fixture list. With COVID-19 postponing the start of the season, the FA, the EFL, and UEFA had tried to keep the scheduling for Carabao Cup and Europa League intact. The clubs’ agreed to this, but it resulted in a very punishing schedule for the squad. Already, before the start of the season, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg suffered a 2-week injury. How will the team fare without him?
Premier League Matchweek 1: W 6-1 vs. Crystal Palace
A massive 6-1 home victory to start us off vs. Crystal Palace. Dele and Kane each had a brace, while Lamela and Bale rounded off the victory. It was a complete game, the only thing missing being a clean sheet, which ended almost immediately after we scored our 5th goal. The team turned off for a moment, but bounced back to score a 6th. Really entertaining stuff, and 2 players who were transfer listed really came through for the team. Dele started the match, and Lamela came in as an impact sub.
There was a little spice in this match, as Bill Nicholson in his pre-match presser was asked how they’ll deal with the experienced Palace players, to which he responded “we’ll run circles round those old farts”. Hodgson did not know how to respond to the blatant disrespect, but Nicholson’s premonition came true.
Some interesting results from that weekend:
Man City 0 : 0 West Ham at the Etihad
Everton 1 : 1 Burnley at Goodison Park
Southampton (10 men) 1: 1 Man Utd at St. Mary's
West Brom 0 : 0 Wolves at the Hawthorns
Leicester 0 : 2 Arsenal at King Power Stadium
Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round: W 2-1 vs. Unversitatea Craiova (ROU)
We were pitted against Romanian side Universitatea Craiova (the one and only) and nearly suffered a shocking defeat at home. We started with an experienced side and were completely dominant, but wasted our chances. They scored in the 77th with an easy ball over the top, to put Ofosu one-on-one with the keeper. It was embarrassing defending, and we were spared our blushes with two goals at the death, one by the returning Gareth Bale (two goals in two games ay?) and one from the backup striker Carlos Vinicius. I let the team have it afterwards, but job done.
Interesting results that round:
CSKA Sofia (BUL) 2 : 2 (p) APOEL (CYP) at Stadion Balgarska Armia
Sumqayit (AZE) 1 : 0 Aberdeen (SCO) at Kapital Bank Arena
Apol. Limassol (CYP) 2 : 2 (p) Dun. Streda (SVK) at Tsirio Stadium
Puskas Akademia (HUN) 5 : 2 Dinamo Moscow (RUS) at Pancho Stadium
Sporting Lisbon (POR) 1 : 0 Motherwell (SCO) at Jose Alvalade Stadium
Osijek (CRO) 2 (a.e.) : 1 Maribor (SVN) at Stadion Gradski vrt
Premier League Matchweek 2: W 2-1 @ Burnley
We were more in control this game, but I was still not happy with how close it was at the finish. The players are expected to win comfortably against this sort of opposition, and we tried to stay true to the “Spursy” moniker. That will not slide under my watch. With Wood getting sent off in the 63rd, we made it 2-0 in the 64th, but they should never have scored. Very disappointed we did not get a clean sheet, but we deserved the 3 points here. Kane added his 3rd goal of the season.
Interesting results that week:
Man Utd 2 : 0 Leicester at Old Trafford
Wolves 2 : 2 Chelsea at the Molineux
Carabao Cup 3rd Round: W 5-1 vs. Crystal Palace
Shortly after facing Palace in the Prem, we drew them in the third round of the Carabao Cup. Once again we were home, once again we smashed ‘em, this time 5-1 (STILL NO CLEAN SHEET). Lamela had a brace (really turning it around since being transfer listed), and Bale had a marvelous game, scoring and setting up 2.
Interesting results from that round:
Ipswich 2 : 0 Burnley at Portman Road Stadium
Peterborough 2 : 0 Newcastle at Weston Homes Stadium
Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round: W 2-0 vs. SonderjyskE (DEN)
This was more like it. Finally, a f***in’ clean sheet against some s**t opposition. Bergwijn and Vinicius were on the scoresheet, and the result was never in doubt. Fun part about this game was the debut from left-back Dennis Cirkin, who had a very positive first game and kept a clean sheet next to some experienced defenders. Well done lad!
Interesting results that round
AEK Athens (GRE) 2 : 3 Beitar Jerusalem (ISR) at Main Olympic Stadium
Alanyaspor (TUR) 1 : 1 (p) Basel (SUI) at Bahcesehir School Arena
Rostov (RUS) 2 : 2 (p)Maccabi Haifa (ISR) at Rostov Arena
St. Gallen (SUI) 3 : 1 APOEL (CYP) at Kybun Park
Bodo/Glimt (NOR) 2 : 0 BATE (BLR) at Aspmyra Stadion
Rijeka (CRO) 4 : 1 Malmo FF (SWE) at HNK Rijeka Stadium Rujevika
SK Rapid Vienna (AUT) 0 (p) : 0 Slovan Liberec (CZE) at Allianz Stadion
Besiktas (TUR) 1 : 2 Willem II (NED) at Vodafone Park
Shamrock Rovers (IRL) 2 : 3 LASK (AUT) at Tallaght Stadium
Premier League Matchweek 3: W 2-1 vs. Leeds United
This week, we setup differently. Leeds likes to commit a lot of bodies forward, so the thinking here was to switch to a counter-attacking style. What I am not happy about is that we did not create more chances on the counter. Our xG was down, and we were not breaking with pace. They however, only had one chance early in the game which they scored. From then on, it was a matter of can we take a chance. Alderweireld off a corner, Son off a beautiful counter, and we steal it at the death. Did we deserve it? I think so, their chances were meaningless. While I want to play the most attractive brand we can, we need a mixture of Silk and Steel in our tactics. The Champagne style of Pochettino and the gritty, mud and no glory style of Mourinho. This will bring us glory. Also, it was nice to give Harvey White a debut here.
Interesting results that weekend:
Everton 1 : 0 Wolves (10 men) at Goodison Park
Leicester (10 men) 4 : 1 Southampton at King Power Stadium
I mean, results wise this is brilliant. I was disappointed with our first Europa League fixture, but other than that the performances have been pleasing. We need to secure the defense a bit (only one clean sheet from those fixtures?), but those were games we needed to win and we did. Looking to build momentum from this and push on.
In terms of the starting lineups, Lloris has been playing in the Prem, with Hart playing in the cup ties. Hart has the only clean sheet, but neither have had too much to do, nor have they had the opportunity to make mistakes.
Reguilon has been our Premier League starting left-back. Davies has started the cups, but needed a breather for the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round. It was nice to give the nod to Dennis Cirkin for a lovely debut (with a clean sheet). Dier and Sanchez have been our main center-back pairing in the Prem, with Alderweireld coming in for the cup ties thus far. Hopefully we’ll be able to hand opportunities to Rodon and Tanganga (some sub appearances have occurred), but only if the conditions allow for it. Aurier and Doherty have been rotating frequently at the right-back spot, all depending on who is more fit.
With Hojbjerg injured, our main duo has been Sissoko and Ndombele in the center. Sometimes, we change our midfield triangle to be more defensive (see the Leeds game), in which case we have moved Dier to defensive midfield. In that circumstance, it was nice to give a debut to Harvey White, who played solidly in Pierre’s absence. With that defensive triangle, you might see Lo Celso also dropping into a deeper role to help connect the defense with the forwards. With an attacking trio, we have mainly seen Dele in the number 10 role, although this is due to Lo Celso lacking necessary fitness. Dele, to his credit, has really impressed this month, scoring goals and providing assists while being on the transfer list. He’s playing for his future here, and I love it.
Our forward three has generally been Bale on the right, Son on the left, and Kane as our striking talisman. Kane and Bale in particular have been prolific, Kane scoring 3 and assisting 1, Bale scoring 1 and assisting 3 (solely in the Prem). In cup ties, Bale is getting minutes on the left wing, Moura has been coming in, Lamela has surely impressed as both a sub and a starter, and Bergwijn has had time out on the left. Lamela has been performing better than Moura, and may take his spot as Bale’s backup on the right. Vinicius has done well, scoring in a couple of matches as Kane’s understudy.
October: What to Watch ForPlayers: I am hoping to see some action from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. He should be returning in early October. If we can bring in Tanganga, Rodon, or Whiteman for first team opportunities, that would be great.
Premier League: After a rather straightforward fixture list in September, we start having a few more difficult matches in October. Ahead of us, we begin with a tricky fixture at the Molineux against Wolves. After fixtures against Aston Villa and Fulham, we also have a big home fixture to end the month vs. the reigning champions, Liverpool.
Europa League: After two easy draws in the Europa League (we almost botched it against that Romanian team, ay?), we received a nightmare draw for our final Europa League Qualifier – at the San Siro vs. Milan (ITA). Could not have wished for a worse team to draw, but we will believe that we can win. We will go there and attack, and we expect to make it to the group stage.
Carabao Cup: An easy 3rd round victory brought us a kind 4th round draw: away to League One opponents Peterborough. We have to be wary though. They took a Premier League scalp (Newcastle) in the third round. We cannot give them any breaks. I want to win everything, even if the board doesn’t.
This concludes our monthly report. If you have any questions, please contact us @SpursOfficial on Twitter.