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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham round-up: Pochettino rallying cry for Dortmund; Eriksen can “fill void” left by Alli; Carabao Cup opponents discovered

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Tottenham

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has issued a rallying cry ahead of his side’s Champions League opener with Borussia Dortmund, urging them to learn from last season’s mistakes.

The north London outfit were eliminated from a favourable group containing CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco after just five games, struggling to adapt to European football at Wembley.

But the Argentine has insisted that their failures of last season will only make them even more determined this time around, despite being in a group with current holders Real Madrid and Dortmund.

Talking prior to their opener on Wednesday, Pochettino said:

“It was our first experience of the Champions League last season – previously 98% or 99% of the players played in the Europa League.

“That experience is important. We know what the competition demands of you. It was a very painful experience but, today, there’s not an excuse. We need to be ready.”

And he continued to say that nothing less than three points will do against Dortmund:

“Last season, after the first game at home against Monaco [where Tottenham lost 2-1] it was difficult to change the dynamic. This game against Dortmund is so important. To start well will be key to the future. It is like a final.”

In other news, former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard has claimed that Christian Eriksen can fill the void left by Dele Alli’s absence and lead Tottenham to victory over the Germans.

Alli will serve the first of his three-match suspension following his dismissal in Tottenham’s last European match against Gent in the Europa League, in a game where Spurs shockingly crashed out.

In a column for the Evening Standard, Lampard said:

“Being without a player of Alli’s quality through suspension is never ideal, yet Eriksen is the one I expect to step up. I saw Spurs’ win over Everton at the weekend and he was fantastic in midfield, creating chances and dictating play.”

And lastly, Tottenham have been handed a Carabao Cup tie against Championship side Barnsley after they came out on top in a rescheduled second-round encounter with Derby on Tuesday evening.

Derby’s first-round tie against Grimsby was delayed due to adverse weather conditions – hence the late completion last night’s match – and Adam Hammill’s 88th minute winner sealed a dramatic victory.

Barnsley will now take the trip to Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night to face their Premier League opponents in the third-round, with boss Pochettino expected to ring the changes for the home side.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Real Madrid

Tottenham should sign Real Madrid’s Mateo Kovacic in a heartbeat

The 24-year-old has a £44 million release clause in his contract.

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Mateo Kovacic
Photo: Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic has revealed he wants to leave Real Madrid this summer and move to a club where he can “play regularly”.

Speaking exclusively to Spanish outlet Marca, he said: “In another club I’ll have the chance to play regularly as a starter. It’s an opportunity that I have & that I want right now.”

According to TuttoMercatoWeb, Tottenham‘s name stands out among the clubs that have positioned themselves to sign want-away Croatian, who has a release clause of 50 million euros (£44m).

Lots has been made of Toby Alderweireld‘s future at White Hart Lane but, in actual fact, central midfield is the area requiring the most attention this summer.

Supporters will go into next season with full faith that Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez can do a job in the middle of defence, with or without the former Atletico man.

Meanwhile, speculation surrounding Mousa Dembele’s future – he has been linked with a move to both Inter Milan and China – would leave Pochettino in search of  a new central midfielder.

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Spurs are being linked with a number of names to fill the position, but Kovacic’s is undoubtedy one of the best options among them.

Replacing Dembele with the 24-year-old Croatian international would be no bad move.

Just like the Belgian, Kovacic is a player who thrives in a box-to-box role, providing both power and the ability to pick out a pass – he is the perfect player for Pochettino’s system.

He is a player Spurs fans would love to see at White Hart Lane and the club has reportedly shown formal interest in him before (Sportske Novosti) – a long-term target, who is now very available.

The Croatian finds himself in the same situation for his country as he does at Real Madrid: restricted to substitute appearances behind a midfield bursting with quality.

Nonetheless, this is not a reflection of his own ability and Spurs could offer him the chance of regular first team football under a manager known for his ability to ensure player progression.

£44 million for the youngster’s signature would be a relative bargain considering his current ability, but more importantly his potential. He is a player Levy should snap up in a heartbeat.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham round-up: Kovacic available, Son’s tears and Kane heroics

All the latest news and gossip from Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Nash

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Kovacic come-and-get-me plea

Spurs are said to be interested in Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic. As reported by The Sun, among several other outlets, the Croatian has made it clear he wants to leave Real Madrid in search of more regular first-team football.

He has a £44 million release clause and has also been linked with Manchester United.

Sonny’s tears

Tottenham attacker Heung-min Son has admitted breaking down in tears in front of the South Korea president after defeat to Mexico this week.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Son scored a stunning goal in the game, but it proved to be nothing but a consolation for the attacker and his nation. They lost the game 2-1 and, when speaking with the leader of his nation after the game, Son could not contain his emotions. As reported by The Mirror, the Tottenham forward stated he ‘couldn’t stop crying’ after the game.

Harry hat-trick

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was one of the heroes as England thrashed Panama at the World Cup this afternoon. The England and Spurs striker scored a hat-trick for England in a 6-1 win. He netted two brilliant penalties, before deflecting Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s effort off his heel and into the net.

Kieran Trippier put in another fantastic performance whilst Eric Dier was an unused substitute and Dele Alli missed the game with a thigh problem.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham could be set to make £23 million mistake with Alassane Plea

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Photo: Getty Images.

The role of a back-up striker is one which continues to prove problematic for Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur. Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente are the most recent new members to try, and fail, to satisfy fans as an alternative to Harry Kane, but now a new figure could enter the club.

The Sun say that Spurs may make a £23 million move for OGC Nice striker Alassan Plea to rotate and compete with the England captain, but to invest such a fee may just be throwing money down the drain.

At first glance, you may think that his record is impressive enough to put him into contention. 21 goals in 48 games in 2017/18 isn’t bad after all.

Fairly quick and a keen dribbler of the ball, drifting wide and cutting inside at times, he would clearly offer an alternative to Kane.

(Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

However, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned too. At 25-years-old he should be approaching the peak of his career, but with only two and a half years of top flight experience he lacks the maturity that some other players at that age possess.

That alone is not a reason to be put off, but his scoring record has not always been so consistent and it does bring back echoes of Vincent Janssen, who joined at a younger age but with three full seasons of first division football in Holland, being prolific in all three.

The other major area for concern is that Plea is not the hardest working, often reluctant to press and defend from the front or drop back when required as Harry Kane is only too keen to do. In Pochettino’s set-up, that could prove problematic.

Daniel Levy clearly has his sights set on resolving this problem yet again after Llorente failed to provide all that Spurs were looking for, but he may be left feeling that he could get more for his money than by gambling on Plea.

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