Tag Archives: tottenham

Tottenham needs to quit ‘old playing style’


A late ball is pinged into the box as Newcastle search for a dramatic equaliser. The ball ricochets of Eric Dier’s arm in the box and he’s penalised. Callum Wilson scores the spot kick. Two points dropped.

Fabian Bulbuena heads in, Davinson Sanchez heads past Hugo Lloris, and Manuel Lanzini sends a scorcher in off the woodwork. A 3-3 draw with West Ham. Two points dropped.


Tottenham sit off and off and off at Crystal Palace, eventually resulting in Jeffrey Schlupp scrambling in an equaliser at Selhurst Park. Two points dropped.

We could go on, and we will.

Roberto Firmino, Romain Saiss and Ivan Cavaleiro have also all scored late goals against Tottenham during the last month or so in games Jose Mourinho’s side either could or should have taken points from. That bunch and their goals took another five points off Spurs.


So, that’s 11 points in total Tottenham have let slip in the last 15 minutes in league games this season. Y’know where they would be in the Premier League had they held on in those matches? First, five points clear of Manchester United, just two games before the halfway point of the season.

Spurs make their fans feel sick numerous times during each campaign, and there are always moments of ‘what if?’, but this term it’s hitting particularly harder. To see the same performance and result time and time again this season is now bordering on infuriating, because it’s clear lessons are not being learned.

Following the 3-3 draw with West Ham, there was a clear switch to a stubborn, deep pattern of play. Tottenham had blown Southampton and Manchester United away in 5-2 and 6-1 victories respectively, highlighting the attacking force in their ranks. We’ve all seen the Harry Kane and Son Heung-min statistics and know what they can do when given free rein.

But while there were initially wins that took Spurs to the top of the Premier League, there have since been moments of predictable downfall.


During the 1-1 draw with Fulham, as Tottenham dropped deeper and deeper, there was no ignoring that nagging thought in the mind or the swirling feeling in the gut. That feeling was guided by what we’d seen before rather than the trademark pessimism the fan base owns and is renowned for.

The Cottagers grew in confidence with the more possession they enjoyed, and one moment of quality at the expense of Sanchez and Dier – one getting skinned out wide and the other losing an aerial battle – was enough to render the effort in sh*thousing an opponent meaningless.


It must be knackering for the players, as it’s certainly tiring viewing for those at home.

Since the 3-3 West Ham draw, Tottenham have scored three goals in a league game just once, that being the simple victory over Leeds. They give themselves a brief period to score in the first half of games and look to shut up shop in the second.

The problem with that is it panders to the side’s weaknesses rather than their strengths.


Is it more sensible to give Kane and Son every chance to express themselves and contribute even more than they already have this season, or rely on Dier and Sanchez to close out a 1-0 win with tonnes of pressure piled on them late on? It’s not really a contest, is it?

Mourinho hinted that the defeat involved problems with ‘individual skills, individual ability’, and he may be right. Neither of the centre back duo would be touted as among the Premier League’s best central defenders right now, even if there’s a dearth of quality options to choose from, but they’re not being given a fair chance with the style of play currently employed.

Fulham were good on Wednesday evening and deserved their point – hell, they could have nicked all three with some more precision in attack – but Tottenham need to be winning at home against teams in the relegation zone. They have to give their creative players more chances in possession and not sit off and allow themselves to be battered while defending. It’s not their strength.

Albert Einstein once said – or may not have, according to history nerds – that ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. Yet numerous times this season we’ve seen Tottenham put in the same performance, and it continues to halt any suggestion of a title push.


It’s time for a change in style, before they slip any further down the table. The gap to United can still be reduced to three points with a win at Sheffield United on Sunday, before the Red Devils’ trip to Liverpool.

Fingers crossed that Bramall Lane encounter doesn’t end in a 1-1 draw.



Tottenham’s draw against Fulham gets Mourinho ‘yelling’


Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho was left hugely frustrated after seeing his side held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham and miss the chance to climb up to third in the Premier League.

Spurs took the lead midway through the first half as Harry Kane headed home a wonderful cross from Sergio Reguilon, but some sloppy finishing (and a fantastic showing from Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola) kept the visitors alive.


Spurs’ profligacy was punished late on as Ivan Cavaleiro responded with a header of his own, and Mourinho was left to field questions about Spurs’ failure to push on and see off yet another opponent.

“Not good enough, but good enough to win,” Mourinho said of Spurs’ performance (via football.london).


“Not good enough because I think we have to play better in a more consistent way, but good enough to create four or five big chances, good enough to give Hugo in a very quiet evening.
Good enough to win the game but not good enough because we have to play better than we did.

“I understand that in the first half we had chances to kill the game. Some of them are Areola’s responsibility. In the second half we had the biggest chance to kill the game but when you don’t do it you cannot concede goals the way we did do it.

“This is the same story basically since the beginning of the season. We can talk about not killing the game yes, we can speak about that, and today was a clear situation where we could and should have killed the game in the first half but then you go back to the goals that we concede and it’s not also easy to assimilate that.


“I think there are things [to do with the goals Spurs have conceded] that have to be with the characteristics of players. There are things that are difficult too. There are some things they have to do with organisation of the team, but other things they have to do with individual skills, individual ability, and its as simple as that.”

It was a performance which also left midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg frustrated, with the Dane questioning Spurs’ lack of bravery yet again.

“Very disappointing,” said Hojbjerg (via the Daily Mail). “We have to do better in a couple of aspects of the game. More bravery, more focus in terms of organising the team and being solid as a team.

“That doesn’t mean you have to stand in your own box and defend, it means the team is compact, the team is close to each other. I had a chance, I had to score. There are many details we have to do better.


“I’m happy there is a game in three days again so we can show a reaction, show we are better than this. We are ready to go again, and of course heads are high.

“There’s a long way to go. We’re still very ambitious. We’re still very solid and very hungry as a team. We’ll keep going.”



Final Score: Tottenham 3-0 LASK


Spurs off to the perfect start in the Europa League as strikes from Lucas Moura and Hueng-min Son, either side of Andrade’s own goal, seal a routine victory for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Match Events

0′ The match is about to start!

9′ CLOSE! Carlos Vinicius’ header wide out

18′ GOAL! Tottenham 1-0 LASK (Lucas)

27′ OWN GOAL! Tottenham 2-0 LASK (Andrade)

45′ What a save from Hart!

47′ CHANCE! Lamela’s shot inches wide

68′ OFFSIDE! Son’s goal disallowed

75′ Schlager stops Alli with decent save

84′ GOAL! Tottenham 3-0 LASK (Son)


Tottenham XI: Hart, Bale, Lamela, Lucas, Doherty, Hojbjerg, Ben Davies, Winks, Sanchez, Reguilon, Carlos Vinícius

Subs: Lloris, Sissoko, Alderweireld, Son, Aurier, Kane, Alli, Bergwijn, Ndombele, Lo Celso, Austin, J. Clarke

LASK XI: J. Holland, G. Trauner, R. Ranftl, P. Michorl, R. Renner, A. Schlager, P. Wiesinger, A. Gruber, H. Balić, A. Andrade, M. Raguž

Subs: T. Gebauer, C. Ramsebner, P. Filipović, M. Potzmann, T. Goiginger, L. Grgic, Y. Cheberko, Eggestein, M. Madsen, T. Lawal


Son, Kane and Ndombele joins hands to devour Manchester United


Tottenham came from behind in remarkable fashion to inflict an embarrassing home defeat on a shambolic Manchester United, who played an hour of the game with 10 men.

Son scores his firts of the match after Ndombele’s equalizer and Captain Kane picks it up from there netting a brace

Son ended up as the man of the match following his Mysterious Goal and assist in Old Trafford.


Final Score: Man Utd 1-6 Tottenham


Tottenham came from behind in remarkable fashion to inflict an embarrassing home defeat on a shambolic Manchester United, who played an hour of the game with 10 men.

2020/2021 Premier League
Bruno Fernandes (2′ PEN)
Martial (28′)
Ndombele (4′)
Son (7′)
Kane (30′)
Son (37′)
Aurier (51′)
Kane (79′ PEN)


Match Events
2′ Penalty Goal! Man Utd 1-0 Tottenham (Bruno Fernandes)

4′ GOAL! Man Utd 1-1 Tottenham (Ndombele)

7′ GOAL! Man Utd 1-2 Tottenham (Son)

28′ Red Card! Martial sent off

30′ GOAL! Man Utd 1-3 Tottenham (Kane)

37′ GOAL! Man Utd 1-4 Tottenham (Son)

51′ GOAL! Man Utd 1-5 Tottenham (Aurier)

63′ Yellow Card! Bailly booked

69′ Alli replaced by Ndombele

79′ Penalty Goal! Man Utd 1-6 Tottenham (Kane)


Man Utd XI: Matic, De Gea, Pogba, Maguire, Shaw, Martial, Bruno Fernandes, Bailly, Rashford, Wan-Bissaka, Greenwood

Subs: Mata, Lindelof, Fred, Lingard, Dean Henderson, Van de Beek, McTominay

Tottenham XI: Lloris, Sissoko, Lamela, Son, Aurier, Kane, Hojbjerg, Dier, Sanchez, Ndombele, Reguilon

Subs: Hart, Alderweireld, Lucas, Doherty, Ben Davies, Alli, Winks


Final score: Southampton 2-5 Tottenham


SON HEUNG-MIN has given Tottenham a crucial win by banging in FOUR goals to see off Southampton.

Danny Ings gave the Saints the lead, but Son responded with a brilliant display as Harry Kane assisted every one of his goals.

And the England captain finally got on the scoresheet himself for the fifth, before Danny Ings grabbed a consolation with a controversial penalty.


Match Events
0′ KICK-OFF! Who can win this match?

3′ OFFSIDE! Kane’s goal disallowed

10′ What a save from Lloris

15′ Handball early, Ings’ goal disallowed

27′ Lucas offside, Kane’s goal disallowed

32′ GOAL! Southampton 1-0 Tottenham (Ings)

44′ Yellow Card! Bertrand booked

47′ GOAL! Southampton 1-1 Tottenham (Son)

47′ GOAL! Southampton 1-2 Tottenham (Son)

64′ GOAL! Southampton 1-3 Tottenham (Son)

73′ GOAL! Southampton 1-4 Tottenham (Son)

82′ GOAL! Southampton 1-5 Tottenham (Kane)

90′ Penalty Goal! Southampton 2-5 Tottenham (Ings)


Southampton XI: Bertrand, McCarthy, Romeu, Armstrong, Ings, Stephens, Ward-Prowse, Bednarek, Adams, Walker-Peters, Djenepo

Subs: Shane Long, F. Forster, Vestergaard, Vokins, W. Smallbone, Obafemi, N. Tella

Tottenham XI: Lloris, Son, Lucas, Kane, Doherty, Hojbjerg, Ben Davies, Dier, Winks, Sanchez, Ndombele

Subs: Hart, Sissoko, Alderweireld, Lamela, Aurier, Bergwijn, Lo Celso


Just in: bale arrives in Tottenham


The Welsh forward was welcomed back to London like a superstar. Around 100 fans were waiting for him in Enfield. His loan deal was not made official yesterday.

Gareth Bale returned to north London as a superstar on Friday, the Welsh forward was given a warm welcome by both the local media and the fans. Bale’s return was top news story across all of the national sports media, with the BBC and Sky giving a minute-by-minute account of his arrival in the capital.

But by mid-afternoon, the mood was a little more subdued. There was still no official announcement from Spurs (regarding Bale or Reguilón), and no photographs of either player posing in the Tottenham shirt. But nor was there any hint that the deal might have fallen through – it was just that Tottenham preferred to wait until today to confirm the news and draw a bigger audience.

Bale and Reguilón arrived at a private terminal in Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport at around 9:00 hours yesterday. They flew together on a small, private jet, and were picked up on arrival by Tottenham officials and driven directly to the club’s training complex in Enfield. Tottenham president Daniel Levy and manager José Mourinho were seen arriving moments earlier.


When Bale arrived in London, the loan deal had been agreed but not signed. Tottenham were keen to conduct medical tests of their own – on top of the ones which the player completed in Madrid, given his history of injuries. During those tests, a minor problem with Bale’s knee was detected – an injury which he ad picked up while on international duty with Wales and for which he had been receiving treatment. That will delay his debut, which would not have come in tomorrow’s meeting with Southampton because for that to happen, he would have needed to have been registered with the FA by midday on Friday.

Terms of Bale’s loan move to Spurs
Spurs did confirm to local media that it is a one-year loan deal without the possibility of an automatic extension. As for the financial details of the operation, there are two versions coming out of England – one says that Tottenham will be responsible for paying 40% of Bale’s wages, the other claims that the club will pay half of Bale’s gross 30 million euro salary, but that figure could rise to 22 million if the player reaches a series of performance-related objectives.

Bale is still a big draw in the United Kingdom. As was evident yesterday. Around 100 fans were waiting for his arrival in Enfield. When Bale’s car was spotted, the fans started chanting: “Spurs, Wales and golf, in that order!”, and “Bale, born to play for Spurs!” He was the talking point in all of the sports debates in the country’s top television programmes. Bale is smiling once again…


Shocking: Tottenham completes the signing of Bale and Regulion


The signings of Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon could see Tottenham’s formation change as Jose Mourinho completes one of the biggest tactical shifts of his long and illustrious managerial career.

Bale’s return would be a major coup for Spurs and reignite enthusiasm from supporters but the onus would be on Mourinho to make best use of his undoubted ability. The acquisition of Bale’s young Real Madrid team-mate could prove to be a key factor in achieving that.

It will surely bring a change of formation, one hinted at since Mourinho arrived.


Right from the start of his Spurs reign, Mourinho’s idea was to deploy Ben Davies as a defensive left-back sweeping to cover the centre-backs with Serge Aurier free to race forward and provide the width on the right. Building with a back three was his vision.

The subsequent injury to Davies – sustained in his first game in charge – became a theme of press conferences, as well as the subsequent documentary series on Spurs’ season. The loss of Harry Kane cost Spurs points, but it was the injury to Davies that jeopardised his plans.

So wedded was Mourinho to this asymmetrical formation that he ended up utilising Japhet Tanganga out of position there rather than playing the more experienced England left-back Danny Rose. That decision even led to Rose’s departure on loan to Newcastle last season.

In conversation with Rose, Mourinho cited the greater physicality of Tanganga as a key factor in his decision. It was a clear indication that the qualities he wanted in his left-back were very different from the demands of the position on the opposite flank.

Serge Aurier was encouraged to raid forward on the right and play a very different role. In part, this was because – something openly stated by Mourinho – he does not trust Aurier in defensive situations. This was him accommodating those weaknesses.


Following Davies’ return from injury, Spurs enjoyed some success reverting to the original plan and the transfer business prior to the opening weekend of the season appeared to suggest that the vision for this season was to upgrade rather than overhaul this idea.

The signing of Matt Doherty was widely regarded as a straightforward upgrade even though he had been used as a wing-back at Wolves. Aurier’s role was so attacking anyway that it could be argued that a natural wing-back on that right side made more sense.

The move for Reguilon is different. He is not a like-for-like upgrade on Davies. His attacking qualities mean that he is more suited to mirroring the role of Doherty on the right than slotting seamlessly into the existing shape. A formation change would appear inevitable.

Switching to a genuine back three makes sense.

It was as an offensive force rather than a defensive full-back that Reguilon caught the eye for Real Madrid before thriving on loan at Sevilla. Mourinho has operated with attacking full-backs before. But this Spurs defence needs too much help for that to be a serious option.


It is more likely that Reguilon would find himself in the sort of positions that Heung-Min Son has often found himself expected to take up in this lopsided Tottenham formation. With little attacking threat coming from Davies, Son has had to come deeper to collect the ball.

Son could be one of the big winners if Mourinho switches to a 3-4-3 formation because the presence of a wide man outside him on the left would free him to push forward into the box and find himself closer to Kane in attack. That would play to his strengths.

The benefits for Dele Alli are less obvious and perhaps that helps to explain why his name has been mentioned as a possible factor in any deal with Real Madrid. The 3-4-3 formation effectively removes his role – one that is so central to the 4-2-3-1 formation.

While it might seem a negative move to withdraw an attacking midfielder to bring in a full-back, the introduction of Reguilon in his natural position would not only push Son into more threatening areas, providing much-needed support for Kane, but it would help others too.


Doherty would be free to play the wing-back role in which he impressed for Wolves without leaving the wide open spaces behind him that Everton were able to exploit on the opening weekend. Toby Alderweireld playing on the right of a three-man defence would avoid that.

It would also suit Eric Dier, on his return to defence, if he were able to play as a sweeper with defensive cover either side of him rather than as a marker. His experience of years in midfield could even enable him to step up and distribute from there if the game demanded it.

The partnership of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Winks looked bereft of creativity against Everton but greater passing options out wide could alleviate those concerns. The presence of a back three behind them could even allow Giovani Lo Celso to be used in a deeper role.

Having wing-backs stretching the play could see Tottenham’s formation become more like a front five in possession with Son and Bale, two potent scorers, getting closer to Kane in attack and delivering the sort of numbers needed to take Spurs forward.

That is crucial to unlocking Bale’s full potential.


Getting the best from Bale
The Welshman remains a physical specimen but at the age of 31, the days of him powering past opponents with sheer speed are drawing to a close. While he retains the threat of going by markers on the outside, his chief weapon now is cutting inside on that famed left foot.

With Doherty providing the width, Bale could be used as an inside rather than an outside right – putting him more often in that zone from which he found the net no fewer than nine times from outside the penalty box in his most recent season as a Premier League player.

Nobody has come close to those numbers since. That not only serves as a reminder of just how dangerous that Bale can be but it underlines the potential transformation in potency that his arrival could bring. The heavy scoring load on Kane could be shared.

Lucas Moura scored only four goals in 35 Premier League appearances last season at a rate of one every 562 minutes spent on the pitch. It is a paltry return for a player in the offensive line and a key differential between Tottenham and those teams they aspire to catch.


Liverpool have had great success by feeding the ball to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the channels with their full-backs providing the width. Could Spurs hope for similar returns from Bale and Son if they can set up the system to position them in those same zones?

It requires special full-backs, hard-working midfielders and centre-backs who are world class in one-on-one situations for Liverpool to make that work in a 4-3-3 formation. For Tottenham, it would seem more achievable with that extra man at the back in a 3-4-3.

It is not a formation that is alien to the club’s supporters, of course. Mauricio Pochettino switched to a back three during the 2016/17 season after enjoying success with 4-2-3-1.

He used it to give his side an extra man at the back – notably using it against Watford’s two-striker system – while encouraging Kyle Walker and Danny Rose to attack as wing-backs.


Many of the Spurs squad remain from those days so the formation would not be new to them – but it would be a major departure for Mourinho from his tried and trusted methods.

He is a coach who has enjoyed so much success over the past two decades that it would be understandable for him to be reluctant to embrace a formation different to the one with which he has won two Champions League finals and no fewer than seven domestic league titles.

And yet, it now seems the natural step for his Tottenham team to make a similar tactical tweak to the one adopted by Arsenal, of all teams, under Mikel Arteta. “I think Mikel has found a way for them to play and to be stable and to improve,” said Mourinho recently.

Tottenham are in search of that same stability and improvement. If the signings of Bale and Reguilon help them to find it with their own switch to 3-4-3 it would be an evolution for the team – and their celebrated coach.


Bale Tottenham’s move: who gets advantage? Bale or Tottenham


The Welshman could be making an emotional return to his former club, but what can a 31-year-old Bale offer to Jose Mourinho’s side?

Gareth Bale appears to be closing in on a sensational return to Tottenham Hotspur, seven years after he left for Real Madrid. The Welshman, now 31 years old, has fallen out of favour in the Spanish capital and his agent Jonathan Barnett has revealed that he believes a deal is possible.

“There’s a long way to go on some issues, but without doubt Gareth is closer to leaving Madrid than at any time in last seven years,” he said.

“The deal is complicated, but there’s reason to believe a deal is close and things could move very quickly if discussions continue to go well.”

Bale made his name as a world class player during a six-year stint with Spurs from 2007 to 2013, winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year on two occasions. His time in North London came to an end when Real Madrid paid around €100 million for his services.


A lot has changed in the seven years since Gareth Bale’s last game for the club, when he scored a brilliant last minute winner against Sunderland, so what would his signing mean for Spurs?

Bale could be missing piece of Mourinho’s attack
Despite struggling to tie down a place during his last few years in Madrid the Welshman is still one of the world’s finest attacking talents on his day. He has contributed 126 goals (80 goals and 46 assists) in 171 La Liga appearances and boasts four Champions League winners’ medals.

He is usually deployed as a wide forward, an area in which Spurs seem fairly well-stocked with Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura, Eric Lamela and Steven Bergwijn in those positions.

However Jose Mourinho is desperate to sign another striker before the transfer window ends, saying recently: “But I want to make it very clear that the club – if you want to call it the club or the structure above me – knows I need a striker and they also want a striker.


Mourinho tends to play with a physically powerful centre forward and at 1.85m and blessed with strength and pace, Bale could fit the bill. In recent years he has found himself deployed more centrally for the national team and he could be an option down the middle when Spurs captain Harry Kane is unavailable.

Genuine star presence
Tottenham Hotspur have changed a lot in recent seasons. They moved to a glamourous new stadium, hired a big-name manager in Mourinho and recently released a behind-the-scenes Amazon documentary. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy seems intent on building the club’s brand and the arrival of a global star like Bale would certainly help raise their profile.

The 31-year-old still has plenty to offer on the pitch but the Real Madrid man’s commercial potential will also appeal to a shrewd operator like Levy. His experience could also be invaluable as Spurs look to win their first piece of silverware since the 2008 League Cup, when an 18-year-old Bale missed the final due to injury.


Enormous wage demands
Bale’s days at Madrid have appeared numbered since Zidane announced in August that the forward “didn’t want to play” in the Champions League tie against Manchester City. However the Welshman still has two years remaining on a contract believed to be worth around €600,000 per week, a colossal amount of money even a club of Real’s size.

It has been reported in the Telegraph that the Spanish side are so desperate to reduce their wage bill that they would be willing to continue paying half of his salary for the remainder of his contract. Even if the North London club were only covering 50% of his earnings, the eighth-highest paid footballer in the world would still be their biggest wage expense.

Back in June Tottenham were forced to take out a £175 million government loan to help deal with loss of revenue due to the pandemic so Bale would represent a sizeable risk for the club. But if he can recapture some of the form from his first spell in North London, it will be an investment worth making.


Tottenham moves closer to swoop Madrid’s Duo


Tottenham have moved closer to sealing their double swoop for Real Madrid pair Bale and Sergio Reguilon.

A total agreement for Bale to join a year long loan was close on Wendesday night following another day of discussions.

It is understood no players will go in the opposite direction.

Left-back Reguilon is due to undergo a medical on Thursday ahead of signing a five-year deal with Tottenham, who have agreed a £27million fee with Real.

Jose Mourinho will be buoyed by the incoming duo from his former club in the Spanish capital.


It now seems a matter of time before both deals are completed to bolster his squad for the upcoming season.

But one blow to Spurs fans is the fact that Dele Alli has sensationally been left out of the squad to face Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League and he could leave before the transfer window closes.

It is unlikely that the England international will be used as a sweetener in the Bale deal and Real are well stocked in the attacking midfield department.

If the 24-year-old and Spurs are willing to part company, there will be a number of clubs interested in him.

Inter Milan and PSG are both interested parties and the club would prefer to sell him abroad rather than to a Premier League rival.

Alli was substituted at half-time during Spurs’ opening day 1-0 defeat by Everton, fuelling suggestions of a rift between player and manager.

There is however a reluctance to sell him below market value, particularly with coronavirus impacting the transfer market so significantly.


Tottenham’s Epl fixtures for 2020/21 season


Tottenham will host Everton in their opening fixture of the 2020/21 season, before a trip to Southampton and a home game against Newcastle.

Spurs’ first test against the traditional ‘big six’ comes against Manchester United on October 3. The following month, they face Manchester City at home and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The first north London derby will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 5, while the reverse fixture at the Emirates is scheduled for March 13.



12: Everton (h)

19: Southampton (a)

26: Newcastle (h)


3: Man Utd (a)

17: West Ham (h)

24: Burnley (a)

31: Brighton (h)


7: West Brom (a)

21: Man City (h)

28: Chelsea (a)


5: Arsenal (h)

12: Crystal Palace (a)

16: Liverpool (a)

19: Leicester (h)

26: Wolves (a)

28: Fulham (h)


2: Leeds (h)

12: Aston Villa (a)

16: Sheffield Utd (a)

27: Liverpool (h)

30: Brighton (a)


3: Chelsea (h)

6: West Brom (h)

13: Man City (a)

20: West Ham (a)

27: Burnley (h)


6: Crystal Palace (h)

13: Arsenal (a)

20: Southampton (h)


3: Newcastle (a)

10: Man Utd (h)

17: Everton (a)

24: Fulham (a)


1: Sheffield Utd (h)

8: Leeds (a)

12: Wolves (h)

15: Aston Villa (h)

23: Leicester (a)

The key dates of the Premier League 2020/21 season
The Premier League has revealed the 2020/21 season will start on Saturday September 12.

The season is scheduled to finish on Sunday May 23, 2021 – just 19 days before the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament kicks off.


The transfer window opened on Monday July 27 and will close on Monday October 5 at 11pm. An additional domestic-only window will run from October 5 to 5pm on October 16 but Premier League clubs will only be able to trade with EFL clubs.

Premier League ins and outs
Who has your team signed? Who has been shipped out?

Check here for a comprehensive list of all the Premier League ins and outs from the 2020 summer transfer window, which opened on July 27 and closes on October 5.

Just click 👇

PSg to rival Liverpool in signing Thiago Alcantara


Kane’s goal records for Tottenham analysed


Harry Kane’s two goals for Tottenham in their 3-1 win against Newcastle not only kept his team’s European hopes alive but they took the England captain past 200 goals for the club. Not bad given that the achievement comes at a time when his form is being questioned.

The noise around Kane has become constant, intensifying as Jose Mourinho has struggled to end the stagnation at Spurs that had preceded Mauricio Pochettino’s departure.

Mourinho even felt compelled to respond to suggestions from Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson that Kane would not find it easy to score goals under the Portuguese.

“I think Harry Kane has no problem at all to score goals in my teams,” Mourinho replied, “especially when he’s fit and fresh and has routines of playing.”

Events at St James’ Park support his argument.

Kane has now scored four goals since the restart. That is more than Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – the reigning golden boot winners. It is the same number as the in-form trio of Jamie Vardy, Danny Ings and Raul Jimenez.


But Kane is judged by higher standards than most – a reputation that he earned by winning back-to-back golden boots of his own and by reaching this 200-goal mark in his 350th game.

Merson is not alone in wondering about the possibility of diminishing returns from the striker who turns 27 later this month.

But what is the truth about his form?

Let’s begin with the goals.

Kane now has 15 of them in the Premier League this season. He needs two more in Tottenham’s remaining two games – against Leicester and Crystal Palace – to match last season’s total and avoid this being his worst return since his breakthrough year.

That number can be explained in part by the injury that has forced him to miss a quarter of Tottenham’s Premier League games this season. But it is not the full explanation.

Examining Kane’s non-penalty goals per 90 minutes is the clearest indication of his potency in front of goal and those numbers suggest that he has been short of his best for a while.


He is averaging 0.49 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season – roughly a goal every other full game. That is very similar to last season’s record of 0.48.

Indeed, it is not far below his goal return in winning his first golden boot in 2015/16. Had he stayed fit and scored some penalties, it would easily be enough to take him beyond 20 goals.

But this is well short of the numbers that Kane was posting during his best years between 2016 and 2018 when he was averaging over 0.80 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes. Those are the sort of elite returns that result in 30-goal seasons such as the one in 2017/18.

What is clear is that Kane’s dip since then has little to do with a decline in his finishing ability. Instead, the expected-goals data reveals a similar trend across his career to date.

Kane has outperformed expected goals in each of his six seasons as a Premier League regular. This is indicative of his finishing prowess and no great surprise given his extraordinary ability to strike the ball with power and accuracy from all angles.


The expected-goals data suggests that the reason why Kane has scored at a less impressive rate over the past two seasons is because the quality of chances have not been the same. He remains a wonderful finisher but he is not getting the shooting opportunities as before.

Kane’s shot numbers in his absolute pomp – which was the 2017/18 season according to many of these metrics, a year in which he scored 30 Premier League goals – were remarkable. He averaged more than five shots per 90 minutes across that campaign.

But those shot numbers have halved since then and are at their lowest point in his Premier League career this season. The same is true of his touches in the opposition penalty box.

In fact, Kane had more touches in his own area than Manchester United’s in Tottenham’s first game following the Premier League restart.

Finishing matters but there is no escaping the consequences of these numbers. More touches in the box mean more shots and more shots mean more goals. It is no coincidence that Kane’s numbers on the first of these metrics results in him being down on all three.


Why is it happening? That is a trickier question to answer because there are so many variables. The obvious explanation is that Tottenham are not the team that they were. Even while reaching the Champions League final last season, their form was suffering.

The current Premier League table shows Spurs down in seventh even after back-to-back victories. The conclusion that they are not as good as they once were is an easy one. It follows that this team is not providing Kane with the opportunities that he had before.

Christian Eriksen was a key figure in the team for many years and while his influence waned prior to his departure in January, it is not yet clear that he has been adequately replaced. Giovani Lo Celso has shown signs of filling that void but for now Eriksen is still missed.

The Dane’s importance is highlighted by the fact that he created far more chances than any other Tottenham player in each of his first six seasons with the club. His presence was a valuable source of goals for Kane and he is not the only outlet that the striker has lost.


Kieran Trippier is another who Spurs supporters felt was not delivering as he had before when sold to Atletico Madrid but those crosses from the right were a dangerous weapon.

Mourinho’s system relies heavily on Serge Aurier’s surging runs from right-back but the Frenchman’s open-play crossing accuracy of 15 per cent is less than Trippier’s 24 per cent. Again, there has been a perceptible drop in the quality of service that Kane is receiving.

The more troubling theory for Kane’s biggest admirers is that some of Kane’s declining numbers could be attributed to changes in his own game rather than of his team. Are Kane’s numbers worse because Spurs are worse or are Spurs worse because of Kane’s dip?


It is a conundrum.

In his younger days, Kane’s powerful running up front was a key feature of his game with Pochettino once marvelling at how he ran 13 kilometres in a single match.

Kane’s game has evolved since then, although he is hardly immobile as he approaches his 27th birthday later this month. He covered more ground than anyone on the pitch against United. “I feel as fit as I have probably ever done before,” he said recently.

Perhaps his role for Gareth Southgate with the national team offers a glimpse of his longer-term future – dropping deep to allow the speedy wide forwards to exploit the space. Kane has the vision and passing range for that role but it is not yet clear that is the plan at Spurs.

While his average touch map this compared to his 2017/18 peak shows that he is seeing far less action in the opposition box and doing more work in deeper areas, that has not really resulted in him being more involved in the game. Quite the opposite, in fact.


Midway through the second half of the derby against Arsenal, Kane had enjoyed fewer touches than anyone else on the pitch. He had completed only four passes in the match prior to the second-half water break. The stats show he is touching the ball less than ever.

Mourinho insists that Kane “is fundamental for the team” and he is known to favour a target-man striker who can act as a reference point for attacks. He wants goals from his forward and the two against Newcastle will encourage him that they will continue to flow.

Kane signed a six-year deal with Spurs in the summer of 2018 and supporters will be hoping that many more goals are to come – even if his comments during lockdown won’t go away.

“It all depends what happens with the team and how we progress as a team,” said Kane of his future. “So it’s not a definite I’m going to stay there forever but it’s not a no either.”

That progress is in Mourinho’s hands now but the team’s success remains intertwined with Kane’s own. Tottenham still have an elite striker. The challenge is to ensure that he receives the service that he requires. As the stats show, he cannot scale his past heights without it.

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‘Tottenham should sell Ndombele if Semedo and Umtiti are part of deal’


Tottenham should consider selling Tanguy Ndombele if it means getting Nelson Semedo and Samuel Umtiti, says former Spurs striker Darren Bent.


Ndombele has struggled to adapt to English football since his club-record £53.8million move from Lyon, with the midfielder suffering multiple injuries during his first season at club. He has also come under heavy criticism from manager Jose Mourinho.

Tottenham had hoped the France international would be the long-term successor to Mousa Dembele who joined Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F in January 2019.

But Ndombele is already being linked with a move away from Tottenham, with LaLiga giants Barcelona said to be interested.

And former Tottenham striker Bent believes a deal could be in the club’s interests – particularly if a deal involving Semedo and Umtiti can be constructed.


“To be fair, that swap deal would cover up a lot of cracks and I think it would help,” he told Football Insider.

“Centre-half, they’ve been a little bit week this season and at full-back as well, they’ve been a little bit suspect. Tanganga’s done very, very well but he’s still quite young.

“Semedo a couple of years ago was absolutely brilliant for Benfica, absolutely brilliant. Went to Barcelona, struggled a little bit but that covers it.

“Umtiti as well, a World Cup winner of course! If you’re getting Umtiti and Semedo, you ain’t having to buy these players and that’s two positions kind of sewn up.”



Kane ‘in line for gentleman’s agreement with Spurs over blockbuster transfer’

Tottenham have no intention of selling Harry Kane this summer but are in line to give him the green light to quit next year, Football Insider understands.

The England international, 26, paved the way to leave his boyhood club by revealing in an interview last month that he is “ambitious” and will not remain at Spurs “just for the sake of it”.

A Spurs source has told Football Insider that there is a strong possibility of a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between Kane and chairman Daniel Levy that would see the superstar remain at the club for one more season ahead of a blockbuster 2021 transfer.

The north Londoners are not looking to cash in on their prize asset in the next transfer window or any time soon.

Given football’s financial chaos a result of the pandemic and a predicted summer market that will see a huge shortfall of cash, it is unlikely any club would be able to meet the £200million asking price for Kane.

Nevertheless, Tottenham are aware of the growing difficulty in keeping hold of the England captain in the long term.

He signed a six-year contract in June 2018 worth up to £200,000-a-week and that runs until 2024.

Spurs do not anticipate him trying to push for a move this summer, or have a realistic chance of securing one.

But the club are aware of the growing noises around Kane, which the player himself encouraged with his bombshell interview with Jamie Redknapp last month.

Kane, who turns 27 in July, has gone further than ever before in suggesting that leaving Tottenham in the near future is a strong possibility.

He has been sidelined since New Year’s Day with a torn hamstring but is expected to be fully fit when the season resumes, which will not be before June.


Aarons would be a great signing for Spurs – Bent

Norwich City defender Max Aarons would be a great signing for Tottenham, according to Darren Bent, who says his former club have yet to sign Kyle Walker’s long-term successor.

Aarons has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence since graduating to the first-team fold at Carrow Road in 2018, racking up 73 appearances for the club across all competitions. He played a key role in Norwich’s run to Championship glory last season, and has successfully transferred his impressive form to the Premier League.

The 20-year-old has been a bright spark for the Canaries in an otherwise miserable 2019-20 campaign, featuring in all 29 of their fixtures to date.

Aarons has also earned a regular spot in England’s U21 side, and is already being tipped for a potential call up to Gareth Southgate’s senior squad.

Norwich look destined for relegation after being cut adrift at the bottom of the table, currently sitting eight points from safety with only nine games left to play. A mass clearout is expected when the transfer market reopens, with Aarons among those being tipped to remain in the Premier League amid reported interest from Spurs.

Bent thinks Tottenham have “struggled to replace” Walker since his move to Manchester City in 2017, and sees the Norwich star as the ideal man to come in and solve Jose Mourinho’s problems at right-back.

“I really like him, Max Aarons. I really, really like him,” the ex-Spurs striker told Football Insider. “I watched him a lot in the Championship, and he’s taken a major step up to the Premier League and done very, very well.

“If Norwich do go down, which looks like it might happen, I think he’ll be out the door.

“I think he’d be a great signing for Spurs. They struggled, in some respects, to replace Kyle Walker. They’ve got Serge Aurier but he’s really struggled at times. They’ve been had to play Moussa Sissoko back there. So for me, I think he’d be a good signing.

“We know what Spurs are like, and it really follows that trend of signing young, English players. It’s been happening for years, and for me, it sounds right.”


Tottenham would struggle to replace Harry Kane, says Lucas Moura

Lucas Moura believes Tottenham would struggle to replace Harry Kane if they were to sell the England captain when the current season eventually ends.

Speculation has increased that the striker could leave the club at the end of the campaign, after he refused to rule out a future move away from Tottenham during an Instagram live session with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp.

Kane is Spurs’ third all-time leading scorer and has contributed at least 20 goals in all competitions for each of the five previous seasons.

“It’s hard to speak about the future, about a negotiation because it’s a personal decision. I’m sure that every season Tottenham receive offers for Harry Kane,” said Moura, who joined Spurs in January 2018.

“It’s not me who has to decide, but of course I want to play with him in the next season. I want to stay with him because he’s very important for us and it’s not easy to find a player like him.

“Everyone knows he’s a big player. He’s very important for us, he’s our striker and scores almost every game. I’m sure that Mourinho wants to keep him. He counts on him for the rest of the season as well as for the next one.”