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Tottenham Hotspur

Fears of Tottenham’s top-four collapse are blown out of proportion

The Lilywhites look set to qualify for next season’s Champions League competition.

Max Cohen

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Pochettino
Photo: Getty Images

After Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Swansea on Saturday, the Blues narrowed the gap between fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur to two points.

The distance between Spurs and Chelsea was eight points at the start of April, and much has been made in the media about Tottenham’s possible late-season collapse.

However, these fears have been massively overblown. Spurs are still perfectly placed to attain Champions League qualification, despite their recent dip in form.

Tottenham have endured a horrid run of recent results: a 3-1 humbling at home at the hands of Manchester City was followed by a drab draw against Brighton.

Then the north London side were defeated in their biggest match of the season at the hands of Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Regardless of this poor spell of results, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side remain in pole position to claim fourth spot.

Spurs hold a two-point cushion over their London rivals with a game in hand and their run-in presents four entirely winnable fixtures.

Watford, West Brom, Newcastle, and Leicester City beckon for Tottenham in the following weeks; all teams that either have nothing to play for or will have been relegated by the time they face the Lilywhites.

Watford are comfortably mid-table and haven’t won a match since the first week of March, Newcastle are guaranteed safety and have lost two in a row, while Leicester have lost three out of their last four.

(Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

West Brom are the only side who are in decent form, unbeaten in their last four matches and finally playing with confidence. However, Spurs should have little trouble in sweeping away the league’s bottom side, who most likely will be assured of their fate when the two sides meet.

Tottenham have little reason to worry about losing out on Champions League qualification.

Given their straightforward run-in, it still appears the north London club will be playing in the continent’s premier competition for a third year running.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Tottenham Hotspur

Is Erik Lamela about to have his best season yet as a Tottenham player?

The Argentine made a real impact against Fulham.

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Erik Lamela
Photo: Getty Images

Erik Lamela impressed as Tottenham recorded a 2-1 victory over London rivals Fulham on Saturday.

The Argentine international hasn’t quite lived up to the reputation that accompanied his £25.7 million price when he moved from Roma in August 2013.

While he has threatened to show his true potential at times, he has never been able to achieve the level of consistency that warrants a regular starting spot for Spurs.

Nonetheless, fans were treated to the Argentine at his very best when he broke from his own half, dribbling past the entire Fulham midfield, before laying off the ball to Harry Kane for his goal at the weekend.

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

He complemented this moment with a confident cameo display from the bench, in which he threatened the opponents’ goal on two occasions, while fulfilling his role defensively, breaking up several Fulham counter-attacks.

Despite not getting as many minutes as he would have liked, Lamela was hugely influential in turning the course of the tie for the Lilywhites, and this could see him rewarded with his first start of the campaign in the not too distant future.

Having a fit and firing Erik Lamela gives Pochettino another excellent option for rotation in attack. After his cameo at Wembley, there is a feeling that the 26-year-old is well prepared for his best season as a Tottenham player.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham’s Anthony Martial decision looked justified against Brighton

The Frenchman was poor against Brighton after summer in which Tottenham tried to sign him.

Mathew Nash

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Manchester United have suffered defeat at the hands of Brighton in a thrilling encounter at the Amex Stadium. The Seagulls claimed a 3-2 win, as Jose Mourinho’s side never truly got up and running.

There were plenty of poor performances from the Manchester United players. The likes of Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and even David De Gea did not cover themselves in glory. But Anthony Martial might have been the pick of the bunch.

With Alexis Sanchez missing the Frenchman got a surprise start but failed to take his opportunity. He looked disinterested at times and was anonymous throughout, before being hauled off by Mourinho.


“After thinking about all the factors and possibilities, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United. There are lots of factors, and right now it’s too early to talk about them…”

– Phillipe Lamboley, Martial’s agent, speaking in June 


It comes at the end of a summer in which it seemed he would leave. The player wanted to go, as confirmed by his agent.

Tottenham Hotspur were heavily linked with his signature. However, as reported by the Evening Standard, Spurs were never going to pay the asking price for the French international – set at a cool £80 million by the Old Trafford hierarchy.

At one point toward the end of the transfer window, it appeared that things have softened and a deal might go through. But Tottenham did not get their man.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – MAY 04: Anthony Martial of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at Amex Stadium on May 4, 2018 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Based on the evidence on display this afternoon, Tottenham fans might be pleased. But his display today shows exactly why he should have been allowed to join Tottenham this summer.

Clearly, he is not happy. Because on his day the 21-year-old is a devastating forward with the ability to leave even the best defences in tatters.

A move to Tottenham could have reinvigorated his spirit and career. As it is, he is stuck at United where he looks set to cut a destitute figure until January at least. If he carries on this form, then Tottenham are unlikely to come knocking on the door again.

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Three selection headaches Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino faces ahead of Manchester United trip

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Photo: Getty Images.

After two comfortable wins in the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino will have some tough selection decisions to make as Tottenham travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United next Monday.

The Argentinian made two changes against Fulham having beaten Newcastle and despite the impressive win at Wembley, could make more before heading to the north-west with several doubts over key men in the team.

Here are some of the biggest decisions he will have to make over the week ahead…

Ben Davies or Danny Rose?

Ben Davies has had a poor pre-season and a disappointing start to the Premier League season, potentially opening the door for a return for Danny Rose. Linked with an exit in the summer, Rose was on the bench against Fulham and could be applying the pressure on the Welshman who took his place last season.

It seems unlikely that Pochettino would make such a change for such an important fixture, but equally he may not want to gamble on Davies costing his team with an error.

Lucas Moura in attack?

One of the best performers throughout pre-season and, in particular, against Fulham, has been Lucas Moura. The Brazilian has played as a second striker and been impressive, creating and finishing chances and posing an alternative threat to Harry Kane.

Yet, selecting Moura means that Pochettino must sacrifice a midfielder such as Moussa Dembele, which he may be reluctant to do going to Old Trafford. This decision will be a clear reflection of how confident Pochettino feels about his team’s chances of a win.

Is it right to play Toby Alderweireld?

Goal were among many sources to claim that the Belgian was close to joining Jose Mourinho’s side this summer as speculation continued throughout the transfer window. Alderweireld returned to the line-up for only his sixth appearance for the club in 2018 against Fulham, but Pochettino may have doubts.

The coach could question whether Alderweireld’s mentality would be correct to face a club he reportedly wanted to sign for in only his second appearance of the season, and with the likes of Eric Dier ready to step in, he may opt to be cautious.

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