Have we made progress or not - tomorrow will tell

Discussion in 'Featured' started by Bazza47, April 13, 2018.

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  1. Bazza47

    Bazza47 Well-Known Member

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    I can still remember that October day when City arrived at The Lane. They were a mixture of old and new, some probably past their PL best like Kolarov and Zabaleta, others just arrived like Sane and Sterling, others who didn't make it with Sheik City like Iheanacho.

    We're also a much changed side. Kane and Dembele were injured, Walker has gone to the Other Side, Alderweireld is out of favour, Wanyama was starting to show his class. Only 5 of the current likely starters were there 18 months ago - Lloris, Jan, Eriksen, Dele, Son and Lamela possibly.

    City have invested a quarter of a billion £'s since then. We've spent nothing, net. So have we moved on.

    Defence - not in my view. For me we were at our most dominant last term at The Lane, with much power transmitted though our Walker/Rose wing back partnership. Toby was, and still is, the best centre back in Europe, Jan an able partner. We were the best defence, bar none. Now, as the Juve tie so graphically showed, we are vulnerable through the middle, since Toby's injury and fall from favour. Add to that more than a little nervousness about Hugo. That's nothing new. In some respects some of his distribution has been better, only some. His flapping at crosses - he's too short and too lightweight to excel in that department- worries me greatly.



    Holding Midfield - Victor was awesome last year if I recall, like he was on something, but the injury has sapped him and we've yet to see a return to last season's form. Not to worry - Beast 2 is back. For me Moussa has had his best season since he joined us. When he was fit last year he was good, this season even better for me. I'm a fan. Sissoko played last year, although I must admit I didn't remember that. He'll not start tomorrow.

    Attacking Midfield - Sonny, Eriksen, Lamela, Dele, last year, sort of. Sonny doing okay, but has lost his confidence a little, but he likes Wembley, so a goal or two would be good. Eriksen has been improving all the time and is in the form of his life. Lamela - better, a cautious better mind.

    Up Front - H. Notwithstanding the debacle of the reclaimed goal, he has improved his all around game, scored more and at the moment he's not injured, compared to last year. That said he's lost his sharpness in front of goal for me of late. It's been a while since we've seen him banging them in from all angles.

    So my likely Poch line up:

    Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez (sorry but Toby is the right choice for me), Vertonghen, Davies, Dembele, Dele, Eriksen, Son, Lamela, Kane. Possibly Dier for Lamela to counter their overloaded midfield.

    Tomorrow we will see if we have moved forward. A victory consolidates our Top 4 aspirations and confirms that we have. I'm looking for nothing less.

    COYS
     
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  3. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    Well they're 3 losses on the bounce to our supposed level of opponents, I think city are suffering with an on the beach already mentality.
    We owe them a beating from earlier this season aswell.
     
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  4. Gordon Mc

    Gordon Mc Member

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    It certainly would, but City have lost three in a row and seem very unlikely to lose a fourth, It's a huge test and nothing less than 100% from everyone, 100% of the time will suffice but methinks it may be beyond us. As you say Baz, and as I (and others too, admittedly) have noted, Hugo is becoming a weak link, if not yet a liability. Toby really should be kitted out, things are surely desperately grim looking if he doesn't even make the bench; I'm just as unsure about Lamela's worth (old news) as ever and I'm just not feeling good about it generally. My instinct is Go For It - it has to be the way to beat them, and let's give their Red cousins a serious talking to next week as well. COYS.
     
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  5. Jam Guest

    Good article Baz..

    Have we improved? Perhaps not.. but we are thereabouts.

    Toby is probably the biggest out.. his absence only made palatable by the presence of Sanchez.. who while not yet the finished article is already a very good player.

    City are on a poor run of results but we shouldn't forget they are a tremendous side.. United for example had no business beating them.. they were battered.. and 3 goals from 5 shots is a freakishly random occurrence.

    As for their Liverpool tie.. well familiarity breeds contempt as they say. It reminded me somewhat of the Reds improbable victory over a vastly superior Chelsea side in the 2005 UCL semis.. you play someone enough times in a season then eventually you will sink to their level.. or vice versa. It is why the better clubs detest domestic ties in Europe for the most part I think.

    So while City are there for the taking this is potentially a very difficult game.. and wouldn't surprise me if they do their utmost to seize the opportunity of lifting the title at Wembley.

    That said we're on fire presently.. and will give as good as we get at the least.. so here's hoping we do a number on them.. and get some measure of redemption for that shellacking we endured earlier in the season.
     
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  6. burnt Active Member

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    One game won't define how much progress we've made in a season one way or the other i.m.o .... There's way too many random events that can happen in any single game to judge it like that ... Either team could have a one off worldie or an absolute stinker on any given day for example .. It would be folly to make a sweeping statement on the back of something like that .. All evidence so far would suggest we certainly haven't leaped forward but we haven't really gone backwards too much either .. Taking the massive disruption to our defence for diff reasons throughout the season , injuries in general and the Wembley factor ( which we've handled really well in fairness ) , we've managed fairly well overall I would suggest .. Shockingly disappointing way we exited Europe was a sickener but massive improvement overall was made in that competition this year .. I suppose the F.A cup challenge will define our season for many .. Win it , 3rd or 4th in prem and a decent run in Europe , all things considered , that would have to be seen as a successful season .. Overall there's just so many things to consider when deciding how much progress we've made or haven't made that it can't be decided on the back of one game ... C.O.Y.S .....
     
  7. Cheshuntboy Guest

    I wrongly thought that Chelsea would rise to the occasion, and probably see us off a couple of games back, and now I've no idea which City will turn up tonight. No one could possibly dispute that they're a better side than Spurs, and they've been robbed in their last two defeats, so we may very well suffer the backlash - perhaps the game will say more about Guardiola's much-vaunted management than about Spurs' current state - for what it's worth, I reckon we've stood still at best since we blew our chance against Leicester in 2016, and I can't see another genuine title shot coming any time soon.
     
  8. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    The simple fact is you cannot get better without significant investment in the 1st Team. (Not everything else but)
    At best you will improve by marginal percentages, hence the snail pace progress.
    2nd - 4th really has no difference to it CL qualification is the only Achievement no 1 will remember again a Trophyless campaign.
    The FAcup would be significant improvement as it would show us that we can actually win Trophies and do well in the league.
    People remember Trophies they don't remember the year we had the greatest sponsorship deal or highest attendance!
     
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  9. Big fran Guest

    Agree with jam n felon that we have probably there or abouts stayed at the same level. We should from here on in get third or snatch 2nd maybe which is important to avoid playing a potentially tricky qualifying game as Everton once found out drawing villareal.
    The trouble lies when you sell to a direct rival(sorry for banging that drum... But probably do the same again with Toby but that's for another day to discuss) and then the two Manchester throw an obscene amount of money at it from their seemless pockets which is beyond our control to be fair and cannot plan for.
    However what is in our control is a decent amount of investment ie some sort of net spend for example. Addressing the areas of the squad that needed improvements rather than cheap lazy unimaginative options such as llorente. We needed a 2nd striker as we all know and could have done with another box to box mid. We did sign the winger we needed on moura but in a window to late and now he's playing catch up fitness and conditioning wise so won't be an option till next year realistically.
    Wanyama and Toby were both available for the juve game and given that they are two key players had they been involved who knows where we would be now ... Semi final of the CL maybe? Would that been seen as improvement I think so.. That's down to Poch and his man management and resource management to be looked at I suppose.
    To clinch another Consecutive CL spot is a definite improvement from the jol redknapp ramos AVB days that's for sure and it brings about more revenue and carries more weight when targeting quality players.
    The question is this though. Will we be looking to loosen the purse strings, target top players and pay them and the players we have somewhere near the market rate wages?
    For next season I'd like to see us

    A) have a mini clear out the likes of llorente sissoko jansen
    B) keep Toby and revert to a back 3 which would mean improving the wing back options.
    C) Sign a quality 2nd striker so we don't over rely on Harry and **** our pants every time he's taken a knock with the option of two up top in certain games.
    D) Tie all our top players down on improved deals including Poch.
    E) Bring in some top young talent for years to come ie sessagnon maddison Dembele and a keeper.
    F) Activate Bales first option clause n bring him home. Can't see it unless he wants it and will compromise on salary.

    Were not a million miles away to be fair it just needs some ample investment and to keep our players.
     
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  10. burnt Active Member

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    Couple of things lads , as far as I know City need Utd to loose tomm to be crowned champions this weekend and Fran I'm pretty sure I've heard there's no qualifiers for Champions LG next season even if you finish 4th ... All are straight through to the group stage ... I'm fairly certain I've read or heard that lately ... C.O.Y.S ...
     
  11. Jam Guest

    Very astute post Fran..

    Just to clarify.. I think the squad as a whole is stronger now.. just the starting XI though has maybe not improved. Players have obviously progressed.. as you would expect from a young team.. but we've regressed somewhat in a few positions.. most notably across the backline. Hence the status quo in my opinion.. we're still at a very high level though let it be said.

    You make a good point about reverting to a back three.. I have wondered recently whether it would be worth doing so to get Toby back on the pitch.. but if your wingbacks aren't capable of getting forward and doing damage in the final third then it's not a positive formation. With Rose on the outer we don't have that on the left.. and not consistently so on the right.

    I think there could be some significant squad upheaval this summer.. I can see up to 6 current squad members possibly moving on.. and that's not including any surprises.. or interest that may arise from Spain for our very best.

    We'll do well to replace all of them with equal or better players.
     
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  12. Jam Guest

    Cheshunt in all fairness we have progressed considerably since 2016.. we may not have anything silver to show for it yet but we've clearly come some way since that humiliating day at Newcastle.

    Perhaps I'm biased but we were the best side in England last year as far as I'm concerned.. most goals.. least conceded.. and subsequently best differential. We were extremely unfortunate not to win it.. losing out to a side which went on a ridiculous run but was ultimately inferior.. as their showing the previous year and this current one would seem to suggest.

    They say the best side ultimately wins the league.. but I'm not sure that's necessarily the case anymore.
     
  13. Cheshuntboy Guest

    I just don't know - Lloris is no longer a contender for 'best keeper in PL', and the rest of the defence is certainly less solid than it was a year or two back; Wanyama might just as well have missed the whole season for what little he's contributed (THAT goal apart!), while Dembele has suddenly come good only after coasting for most of his Tottenham career (World Cup place, new contract, lucrative transfer, all three?) - it all adds up to a team that is capable of beating the best, but still hasn't found the consistency to beat the usual suspects to the trophies, and that's been Spurs for most of the past fifty years. The 'project' will be starting its fifth year very soon, and it's very hard to see the Kanes, Allis et al waiting for the club to catch up with them much longer - you can't build anything if the bricks won't stay still long enough for the cement to dry, and I reckon Pochettino must be descended from Gaudi, unfinished projects being in the genes.
     
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  14. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    Well that was flat dull and clueless, always is when you start with Alli Eriksen Lamela.
    Lacked pace, lacked movement, lacked press lacked any form of game plan.
    Poor
    And Lloris needs to be shown the door in the summer
     
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  15. burnt Active Member

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    We do to them what they do to Whingerpool , play straight into their hands ... Mindless stuff really , were lucky it wasn't 5 or six and they weren't even close to their best i.m.o ... We had plenty of the ball at times but managed to make their defense look competent which is a feat in itself ... The signs were there over our last few games in fairness , we got good results but we're fairly ropey at the back ... We don't have the pace to hurt them like others can but we can't just keep playing straight into their hands ..
     
  16. Stephen. Guest

    How can you start with lamela. when playing at home. Lloris more mistakes in his last 3 games than Pat Jennings made in his whole spurs career.
     
  17. Spurporter

    Spurporter Active Member

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    My take on this is simple:
    1. We lost to a better team, but MP did not start Spurs best possible team. Best team will start against Brighton on Tue, I guess.
    2. I think we did progress, although MC made a larger leap spending astronomically.
    COYS!!!
     
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  18. Jam Guest

    Exactly Felon.. why sit off and then play three 10s up front?incongruous. We have Lucas Moura on the bench.. I saw a bit of him at PSG and I've no problem saying he is a better player than both Lamela and Son.

    I still rate Lloris.. but he has been poor this season by his own standards.. particularly of late.
     
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  19. Bazza47

    Bazza47 Well-Known Member

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    When I started the thread I wrote........... "City have invested a quarter of a billion £'s since then. We've spent nothing, net. So have we moved on............."

    Notwithstanding the fact that in total they've spent £450m, perhaps I posed the wrong question, or should have considered it is more like how we have done relative to the others around us.

    We're better than Chelsea and Arsenal, equal to MU and Liverpool, but way behind City is the reality. There's only so much you can achieve on Zero Net Spend.

    We were poor last night, no shape, chasing shadows, exposed over the top, through the middle and down the flanks. They were very good, we were not. We were lucky it was only 3-1.

    Jan apart we were very poor through the team. Hugo had a mare for me. It was always going to happen, hopefully he's got this season's **** performances out of his system.

    MP needs to work some magic this coming week that's for sure.
     
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  20. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    Plucky non spending Spurs that are so calm and happy with the squad laughing at the big spenders have stood still and given these sides a boost.
    Next Season, City will be at the same if not better Level, Liverpool can shore up that defence and will improve Utd as with City will be at the same if not better, then you have Chelsea a title winning side when they can be bothered or if they get the correct manager in and last of all the Scum who can never be fully written off at springing a good run together.
    So as I said in the past our cameo in the Top 4 has come partly from the establishment having a wobble but that would only last so long and as we can see it's starting to regroup.

    The question is what are we gonna do about it this Summer?

    Marginal improvements won't over turn how much better City are than us over a league campaign which is apparently Pochs priority, if we aren't careful we will be looking at that same gap towards Liverpool also.
    Utd & Chelsea always have the potential/capability to win the League so what exactly are we gonna be aiming for without Spending some money?

    This team as good as it is on its day is short, there's no getting round that it is short of what's Needed.
    Last night showed a lack of tactical flexibility to it, other matches have shown a lack of depth, it lacks pace in certain areas, it lacks Winners/Leaders/Experience.....

    This love fest with Shoehorning Lamela in at every attempt has to stop, same for Sissoko.
    There are spells in the Season where Alli seems to be a starter regardless of form contribution etc.
    Poch has got a lot to learn tactically and in game because his 1 plan is good when it works and all are firing but the slightest problem with it and it's dull / flat and Poch just doesn't have any answers or different options. We've set up with almost no thought as to what the opposition have and subs are put on way too late often with just throwing some1 on for the sake of it.

    We had a good 'Run' in the CL, look to have qualified for it next year, huge 2 games in the FAcup coming up to nagate that's our last chance to claim some silverware and will be for me a Big marker to see if Poch and this team really have got it or are a false dawn.
     
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  21. Mick

    Mick Member

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    Poor last night especially Hugo, Moussa and Dier. The only good thing was that Lucas looked good when he got on. Hope he starts on Tuesday. Good job Sterling can't finish otherwise it would have been 6. Still like Sanchez but had tough game last night
     
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