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Tottenham: Pochettino pleased with system; Man United midfielder linked; Davies ruled out



Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with how his side adapted to their experimental formation in their 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates. Expectations were sky high among the Arsenal fanbase going into this game; Tottenham had not one in their last six games and had scored just one goal from open play in that time.

However, Pochettino’s side produced a confident and composed display and arguably had the better chances to win the game late on. Kevin Wimmer’s first-half own goal gave them a half-time lead, but Moussa Dembele’s driving run drew a foul from Laurent Koscielny inside the box and the returning Harry Kane converted the penalty.

Both sides came close to a winner; Christian Eriksen bringing a fine save out of Petr Cech and striking the post with a free kick, while Olivier Giroud planted a header straight at Hugo Lloris. Pochettino said:

“When you have full-backs like ours, Danny Rose or Kyle Walker, they can play forward as offensive players. We tried to put them in a better position to try and play more like wing-backs. That was our idea, and then to play with two strikers. We worked hard preparing that game, and I’m happy and pleased with the way we played.”

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Tottenham have struggled for goals recently, but carried a threat throughout yesterday’s north London derby. May will point to the returning Harry Kane’s goal and performance, but in truth it was the pace of Heung Son Min that caused Arsenal the biggest problem. The Gunners tried to press high in the early stages, but Tottenham kept finding a way out of pressure; often through the speed of Son.

Arsene Wenger spoke about Arsenal becoming stretched, and this type of game was always going to suit Spurs due to their superior athleticism. It was not the first time Pochettino has come up with a solution to stop Arsenal; the former Southampton manager is unbeaten against them in the Premier League as Spurs boss, albeit four of five encounters have ended in draws.

Elsewhere, The Daily Express are linking Spurs with a move for Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. Pochettino tired to sign Schneiderlin, who played under him at Southampton, in the summer of 2015 but the player moved to Old Trafford instead.

Schneiderlin formed a fantastic partnership with Victor Wanyama at St Mary’s, but has struggled to establish himself as a United regular. Tottenham though, are well stocked for central midfielders with Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier, Wanyama and Dele Ali and capable of filling the two roles in deep midfield.

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Finally, Spurs left back Ben Davies will miss Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Serbia with an ankle injury. The former Swansea man suffered the injury in Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley last week. Davies will be a bigger miss for Wales than he is for Spurs, but he is reliable back up for Danny Rose. Moreover, Pochettino likes to rotate his full backs so Davies absence might disturb his plans a little.

Featured image: All rights reserved by phimoi nhat

University of Nottingham History graduate. Freelance sportswriter specialising in Football, Cricket and Golf. Interested in the politics of sport.

English Premier League

£43m for Toby Alderweireld would be great business for Tottenham Hotspur

It seems that the Belgian defender is definitely on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur.



It seems as though Toby Alderweireld is on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur.

It is being reported by Het Laatse Nieuws today that the Belgian’s contract talks with Spurs have been halted.

With the Belgian out of contract in the summer of 2019, Spurs will attempt to cash in on Alderweireld now.

A fee of £43 million has been mentioned for the player, who reportedly wanted a wage to match that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.

Tottenham’s stance of not paying out big wages to their top players has often been criticised. But on this occasion, the Lilywhites are doing the right thing.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

On his day and when fit, Alderweireld might be the best centre-back in the Premier League. However, it has been a long time since the Belgian had such a day.

Most of this season has seen Alderweireld on the treatment table. When he has played, it has always seemed a precursor to his next injury.

Given his age and contract situation, the injury record gives Alderweireld three strikes. At £43 million, Tottenham would be getting a fantastic deal for their defender.

The report from HLN claimed that Alderweireld wanted a wage in the region of €180,000-a-week (£160,000-a-week). Such a sum is vast for a player with his current issues.

The fact Spurs were reportedly willing to go as high as €120,000 (£105,000) per week shows that Daniel Levy tried to keep the Belgian, even doubling his current wage, but Alderweireld is on his way.

It will be a shame for Spurs but breaking the wage structure at the club for an injury prone defender would not have been a wise move.

Eventually, Tottenham might have to be more lenient with their wages, but that should be saved for the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen.

Tottenham should take £43 million for Alderweireld and persevere with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth.

Alderweireld’s next club will hope they can keep the Belgian fit long enough to reap the rewards of his potential signature.

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English Premier League

Christian Eriksen happy at Tottenham, as national coach suggests he’s ready for move

Age Hareide believes Eriksen is ready to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid.



Christian Eriksen has been in fine form for Tottenham Hotspur this season.

The Danish international has maintained his role as a fan favourite and first-team regular with sublime performances in the attacking midfield role.

Such form obviously has him attracting interest. In the past, there have been rumblings of a potential exit. Real Madrid and Barcelona are two teams that would obviously love someone of Eriksen’s immense talent.

One person who feels Eriksen is up for the move is his national team boss Age Hareide.

Speaking in the Danish press this week the Norwegian claimed Eriksen is better than Luka Modric was when he left for Madrid in 2012.

As quoted by TV2/FYNHareide was clear Eriksen has what it takes to play for both sides, but can see why he might stay at Spurs:

“He is ready to take one step more.

“I think he is a type that can adapt to anything. Give him a ball, then the ball will speak for him wherever he is. Christian is a type that just gets better from dealing with better football players.

“Looking at the players that play central to Real Madrid and Barcelona, none of those who are better than Christian.

“Luka Modric came from Tottenham to Real Madrid, and he was not as good as Christian.

“He has gone through a fantastic development during Mauricio Pochettino in Tottenham. It is a team that plays very nice football, and as we are also inspired by.

“Now, Tottenham gets a new stadium, so why should he not continue in London?”

(Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Tottenham fans will immediately be concerned about such talk.

Eriksen is undoubtedly a key player and they know such a move could always be on the cards for the midfield maestro.

Whilst away on international duty players are often linked with moves away from clubs.

It is often down to slow news back home, but players also have time to reflect when away with their country.

If Hareide is talking up Eriksen this way in the press, Tottenham fans will hope he isn’t in the dressing room.

But in reality, Hareide should and will want Eriksen to remain at Spurs.

A move to Real or Barca brings inherent risks of bench-warming – something he will never do at Spurs.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Eriksen also spoke to TV2/FYN this week, ahead of Denmark’s friendly clashes with Panama and Chile and made it clear he is happy at Tottenham Hotspur.

He did, however, mention a desire for trophies:

“To be honest, I do not give a change of mind any thought. You have your dreams, but what’s realistic and going to happen, you see first when the offer is on the table.

“Right now, most are very happy to be in Tottenham, and I am too.

“I still think I can win something with Tottenham. Looking at where Tottenham is now compared to when I joined the club, people are now watching us as title candidates.”

Spurs’ biggest challenge in the next year or so is to keep this group of players, and their manager, in North London.

The longer they go without winning a trophy an eventuality which sees the likes of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and even Mauricio Pochettino leaving becomes increasingly likely.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Eriksen and co. currently have their eyes on the FA Cup, with a semi-final tie against Manchester United upcoming.

Winning that competition may need to be the start of a run of silverware. Otherwise, Hareide’s prediction regarding Eriksen’s suitability to Barca and Real may be put to the test.

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English Premier League

Could Fernando Llorente be Tottenham Hotspur’s secret weapon in Rodrigo pursuit?

Could Tottenham use the Spaniard as a sweetener in deal for Valencia forward?



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Reports today have suggested that Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Brighton and Hove Albion are all keeping tabs on Valencia striker Rodrigo.

Calciomercato claim Rodrigo is wanted by all three clubs who are looking to bolster their attacking options.

Tottenham have long been trying to add the perfect back-up to Harry Kane to their ranks. Both Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente have not quite lived up to the billing.

VALENCIA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 08: Rodrigo Moreno (R) of Valencia CF competes for the ball with Sergio Busquets of FC Barcelona during the Copa de Rey semi-final second leg match between Valencia and Barcelona on February 8, 2018 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Rodrigo, who had a spell on loan at Bolton Wanderers earlier in his career, could be the man to fill the role. The report discloses his massive €120 million (£105.4 million) release clause, but that offers in the region of €40 million (£35 million) are expected.

For Spurs the Spaniard would be a brilliant signing. Rodrigo has scored 16 goals in 35 games this season and would be a welcome addition. But at the price being mentioned, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is unlikely to sign off on any deal.

Rodrigo is nowhere near prolific enough for Spurs, a traditionally careful club financially, to make a move of that magnitude.

But could they have another bargaining chip to help sweeten the deal, and take a chunk off the asking price?

If Rodrigo was to arrive at Spurs they would have little use for his countryman Llorente. The 33-year-old would therefore be surplus to requirements, but would surely be of interest to Valencia.

ENFIELD, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: Fernando Llorente in action during a Tottenham Hotspur training session on the eve of their UEFA Champions League match against Juventus at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on March 6, 2018 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Spaniard has an excellent record of scoring in the Spanish top-flight. Whilst not likely to take a massive amount off of any potential transfer, Spurs could easily persuade Valencia to shave off £10 million should they accept Llorente as part of any Rodrigo deal.

If Tottenham are going to make a move for the talented Valencia striker this summer, having Llorente in the squad could prove a massive bargaining tool in negotiations.

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