Spurs Half-Term Reports
As the last helicopter flies out of 2015, what better way to mark the occasion than a fleeting glance at the first half of Spurs’ absorbing season. Relax your broken, mince pie-burdened souls. It’s the half-term reports…
Player of the Season…so far?
According to reports, Dele Alli’s first touch in the professional game was a successful back-heeled pass. He was 16 at the time, making his debut for Milton Keynes Dons against Cambridge United in the Southern Football League.
Just three years later, in one of his first appearances for Tottenham, in a friendly against the galactic might of Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena, he nutmegged both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos with the assuredness of a maths professor doing short division.
Dele Alli is not a player with a shortage of confidence. It’s a rare kind of self-belief which allows someone so young to bridge the canyon between League One and the Premier League. Indeed, it appears as if life in the plain-speaking, roughhoused world of the lower leagues has made a man of Ali.
He’s all-action; technically gifted but ferocious in the challenge. Just ask Morgan Schneiderlin, whose skeletal system is still humming like a tuning fork after a 50-50 with Ali at Wembley in November. The kid is a star.
It seems churlish to single out someone who’s featured in just two League game this season, but Kieran Trippier’s javelins look to be dipping just short of the qualifying distance at the moment.
His Europa League cameos may’ve highlighted a proficiency for running in straight lines and providing crosses; but less his skills as a defender. And, as a defender, that rather does set the alarm bells-a-ringing.
Still, at 25 there’s enough time to see a spike in his development, so maybe we’ll not abandon all hope just yet. Oh look at that. He’s just assisted Heung-min Son’s winner at Watford.
Where will Tottenham finish?
As it’s Tottenham, all logic tells you that we’ll finish 5th or 6th. No matter how rotten or swimmingly things appear to be going throughout the season, 5th or 6th is invariably where the ship washes up. It’s just science. You can’t argue with science.
With the League being so unpredictable, however, to the point where the only thing you can rely on is its unpredictability, well, then, anything’s possible.
Our current form is consistent enough to challenge for a top four finish and this new-fangled trope of being good defensively will take some getting used to, but certainly won’t harm our chances of aiming even higher.
5th or 6th it is.
January transfer wish-list?
The end of the summer transfer window was source of relative concern for Spurs fans, in that we’d failed to sign a defensive midfielder and back-up for Harry Kane.
Since then, Pochettino and the gang have been toiling in the laboratory and managed to concoct a first-rate combative midfield lynchpin in the shape of Eric Dier. Presumably from leftover bits of David Howells and Didier Zokora.
With that issue seemingly resolved— having also benefitted from the renaissance of Mousa Dembélé— back up for Harry Kane remains a must for January.
Realistically, it’s unlikely the club will have the scope to purchase an elite level striker. With that in mind, while moves for Mauro Icardi or Breel Embolo might be attractive, Charlie Austin or Saido Berahino appear the more feasible options.
Marks out of 10?
A lung-busting, high-pressing 7.65