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A Levy wet dream
There’s a whole lot of brouhaha around Spurs atm. Whether you’re a rival, questioning the impending appointment of one Mr Conte and musing why it’s going to end so awfully for Tottenham, or you’re indeed a loyal Spurs fan and wondering with a hint of giddy glee (or apprehensive trepidation) about actually challenging – not just to win 1 game of football – but for actual silverware, there’s a whole lot of noise.

This last 24 hours has, by far, been the most exciting 24 hours of Tottenhams’ season. And may I state that it’s come off the pitch. Are we in a Levy wet dream? Anyway, I’m sure there will be a polarising feeling amongst the fanbase but no one can deny it’s going to light a fire and make things pretty exciting. And that is precisely, as a Lilywhite, what we are in the game for. For all the talk of being a big 6 club, never winning anything but wanting to, our general failures on and off the pitch, the Tottenham way….blah blah blah; all we really want is some entertainment and to get excited. Downs are ok as long as we get the required ups, too. That’s pretty typical of following this club. People can talk about trophies and players’ end product (unless you’re Mike discussing Harry Kane. Look, Mike, I’m at the bottom of H. Kane’s fan club right now but you are chatting total and utter b*llocks) but we just want to have fun. Conte, hardly the most expansive coach, may not fit the terrifically trademarked ‘Tottenham Way’ and it probably will all end in tears – it’s 2021, when doesn’t it – but I don’t give a f*ck. It is exciting and, just as I don’t care if N’Dombele doesn’t deliver enough end product, it’s still gonna be fun to watch. Fun! Imagine that, at Tottenham.

Most managerial and club relationships don’t or won’t end with everyone happy. Things end for a reason, that is the nature of a relationship ending. There’s currently only 2 PL clubs that have maintained a successful long term relationship anyway, so unless you’re ‘Pool or City, you can go whistle. Alternatively, you can be a club that maintains a toxic relationship and always finds a reason to just carry on that bit longer. You know, like when Spurs pop up as an away fixture when you’ve just had your darkest day in the modern era at home against your fiercest rival….but who is getting the last laugh? Hindsight is a wonderful thing but that 3 nil beat down was the best result we could have hoped for.

I believe Conte, right here and now, is the right man. Is it long term? No. Will everyone be happy? No. That’s never a thing anyway. Will he get these overpaid, overhyped and over pampered players playing as a team, with some organisation and (dare I say it) attacking patterns or play? Most likely.

He is not a man to be trifled with. He will give Kane the rocket he needs. He won’t suffer fools. I’m also pretty sure he won’t pick Davies over Reguillon and won’t bring your most attacking threat off – in a game that’s being lost – for an ‘attacker’ who’s scored 3 goals in 427 appearances for the club. He will also have the clout to bring in some big names…again, something to be excited about, look forward to and start compiling these mental starting 11’s that will more than likely never come to fruition. But still, hope eh.

The point here, especially for us Spurs fans, is that we are getting to say a beautifully relieving goodbye to our overly close friends ‘apathy’ and ‘hopeless emptiness’, whilst getting to say hello to ‘excitement, hope and fun’.

Cue a 4 nil loss to Vitesse this Thursday. COYS.
Glen, Stratford Spur


MEDIAWATCH: Spurs are repeating obvious Chelsea mistake with Conte deal


 

Manager transfer window
So, Nuno’s gone, and Conte comes in. On paper seems like a decent upgrade to me and something a better run club could have achieved in the first place. Is this really fair though? Man U get to play Spurs with a manager who had lost the plot a bit and at possibly their most hopeless, and rebuild confidence for a vital Champions League match tonight, before heading into the derby maybe looking like a different team. This weekend though, a now (presumably) rejuvenated Spurs with a shiny new manager to impress get to go to Everton who are themselves in a bit of a rut. Everton must have looked at the fixture list last night and though “we’ll bounce back at home to spurs lads”. Now…… who knows? By the time my team (Liverpool) plays them, Conte will be well and truly established and Spurs *should* be marching up the table. Away to a well managed Spurs looks a lot different to away to the shambles Man U got to play against. Mind you, it may turn out Spurs are actually just sh*t and it wasn’t Nuno’s fault after all.

If you can only bring in new players during two transfer windows, why should you be able to bring in a new manager whenever you want? Would putting this type of embargo in place stop clubs appointing the first manager they can find and instead think more closely about firing the current manager?
Sam (this is just so Man U can’t get rid of Ole whenever they want).

Why is Conte seen as defensive?
I’ve seen a few comments online asking why Spurs are appointing another defensive coach, when they promised attacking football. Similar comments were made by United fans, saying they didn’t want Conte as he would bring boring defensive football.

I’m just wondering where this perception comes from. Conte’s record reads as follows (this is just the league)

2020/21 – Inter – 89 goals
2019/20 – Inter – 81 goals
2017/18 – Chelsea – 62 goals
2016/17 – Chelsea – 85 goals
2013/14 – Juventus – 80 goals
2012/13 – Juventus – 71 goals
2011/12 – Juventus – 68 goals

Worth pointing out that in those first 2 seasons those seasons at Juventus, the league’s top scorers scored 74, then 73 so they were not a comparatively defensie team. Even including the one very poor season at Chelsea, he still averages over 2 goals a game.

By contrast, Spurs under Pochettino scored: 58, 69, 86, 74, 67. Yes he had comparatively weaker teams, but the point still stands. Conte’s sides are very organised and well drilled, but I think the tag of defensive is slightly harsh.

His record is also absolutely outstanding and it blows my mind that Spurs fans would be worried at all. They’ve replaced a decent manager with one of the top managers in world football and are extremely lucky to get him. If I was a Spurs fan, I’d be very excited.
Mike, LFC, London

Wasted money
Why is football so different.. Even if you fail, you still get paid. With reports saying that Nuno is to be paid 14 million pounds for his 4 month stay at Spurs, it amazes me and staggers belief that Football managers can get paid so much for failing so quick. In most industries, senior hires will be on 6 months probation after starting. This gives both the candidate and the company the opportunity to see if the role fits and works for both. No massive payoff for failing, just a quick good-bye and move on. Levy, the famous negotiator, seems to be only believed by Daniel himself. His clause of no payout for Nuno if he failed to make the top 6 after a full season seems pretty far fetched, given he only lasted a quarter of the season. And not taking the money for Kane, a decreasing asset by the day, was a poor decision.
Too much wasted money in Football and too much power with managers and their demands in an industry where everyone gets sacked eventually.
Ben Roberts

 

Newcastle net spend
Interesting to see my beloved Newcastle on the top 10 of net spends. I wonder if we can show that to any pundit (or mailbox contributor) who claims Bruce did a decent job given he wasn’t backed?!

The sad thing is that his bad management has destroyed our defence to such a degree that I’m not sure anyone can fix it quick. And if we’re 10 points adrift in January, can you convince people to join, even with a bottomless pit of money?

We’re in a mess, and while Mike Ashley was the root cause of it, relegation is squarely at the hands of Steve Bruce, no matter who comes in next. It’s been coming for the last 2 seasons, only to be saved by moments of ASM brilliance.

If the next manager (Emery?) can turn this around and keep us up it’ll be like Hughton saving us when we went into the Championship.
James, NUFC

Saints resilience
I am answering the call to arms for fans of non-big 6 clubs to say a few words, with a hope of getting a few inches for Saints.

I must start by bigging up West Ham, who are going about their business very effectively amidst the pretty much weekly crises of Man United, Spurs and Arsenal. I was there at Wembley in 2010 to see Saints beat Carlisle in the JPT final with Michail Antonio on the scoresheet playing right wing. It is pretty amazing to see the player he has become.

So, to the Saints. Heading into the season we sold Ings, Vestergaard and Bertrand. Our best striker, leading centre back and one of the senior heads in the team. None were players we wanted to lose, but all were on dwindling contracts and not wanting to stick around so I accept that we needed to get some cash rather than letting them all walk for free. To me, this reflects the perception of the club at the moment. We have gone from a top 10 team looking upwards, to a stepping stone club, to a club looking over our shoulder. Though from what I have seen so far this season, it just might be that a new dawn is coming!

Aside from the opening day loss to Everton, we look more resilient and harder to beat. Words I have rarely said about Saints in recent history. We have been competitive for the most part, an important distinction this season. The other two losses were Wolves at home (we got done by a piece of quality from Jimenez) and at Chelsea (it was 1-1 until JWP got sent off). This gives confidence going into games that we’ll give anyone a decent game.

There’s also a sense that we’ve got a stronger squad than last season. Yes, we do lack a few goals in the team and a bit of killer instinct, but if Adam Armstrong beds in and Broja/Adams (and Long/Walcott – LOL one can dream) chip in with a few more goals I’m increasingly confident we will have a good season. Tino Livramento has also been totally brilliant. The bigger squad means we can stomach a few more injuries this time round and go the course!

Finally, the tent in my pants will continue to grow the longer Newcastle languish at the bottom of the table. Like most good things in life, it’s probably short-lived. Will look on with interest to see who they can attract in January in an inflated market where Newcastle will be competing with lots of other clubs, all with lots of money. I also cannot see Premier League rivals (especially those competing for 13th to 17th in the table – including Saints!) selling their prized assets to Newcastle at their own expense.
Cheers, Town Planner Tom (Bringing back parentheses)

Some Wolves thoughts
1) Ruben Neves is quietly becoming the player he threatened to be in after that first year in The Championship. His defensive reading of the game is getting better all the time and his distribution is moving to another level. Whether or not he’s mobile/quick enough to go the ‘next level’ remains a question, but he is a very, very good midfielder

2) Ruben Neves can no longer be considered a free kick specialist.

3) A front three picked from Jimenez, Hwang, Traore, Podence and Neto (with Trincao for cover) is pretty damn exciting. Lage will be able to pick the right combination dependent ion the opposition and keep players fresh.

4) Our game management is atrocious. There were times last night where we resembled a drunk throwing punches in a car park. We were just fortunate that Everton had decided to hit the Jager bombs an hour earlier than us

5) The defence is still an issue, Lage has acknowledged by playing a higher line and trying to reduce the amount of actual defending we have to do. Boly instead of Saiss improves that, if he can get over his Covid related problems

6) Sa is an upgrade on Patricio in every facet of the game, I’d be surprised if we keep him for me more than two seasons

7) This might be Moutinho’s last season 🙁

8) Moutinho might be out next manager 🙂
John, Shropshire

Fixture difficulty ranking
After 10 matches the PL table starts to take shape and whilst there is still a long way to go, the usual suspects are at the top. But are they really doing well?

I looked at the odds for winning the league published before a ball had been kicked, and as far as the (so called) Big 6 the order was:
Man City
Liverpool
Chelsea
Man Utd
Spurs
Arsenal
(It was then Leicester, Everton, Leeds, Villa, etc.)

Now if one assigns a number to each match (IE. If you play City you get a 1, Chelsea would be 3, and so on, all the way down to Watford being 20), and tally them up, then obviously the lower the number the bigger the team played. Still with me? Splendid.

Chelsea 101 (1st place)
Liverpool 115 (2nd)
Man City 102 (3rd)
Man Utd 94 (5th)
Arsenal 108 (6th)
Spurs 100 (9th)

From that Utd has had the hardest matches, and Liverpool the easiest. So should Liverpool be 1st, and Utd lower? What about Arsenal? I don’t know, maybe you do.

Obviously this doesn’t take into account the actual scorelines just who has played who based upon bookies predictions before the season started.

Over to you if you can be bothered.
Mike D (sorry I didn’t do other clubs, West Ham were 11th favourites)

 





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