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Keeping calm after United

4 min read
by Ben Boorman
Ben Boorman takes a look at our opening day defeat and finds the positives.

After the rush of the opening day of the new Premier League season we all we’re happy to have Spurs back. Despite the defeat on Saturday away at Man Utd, there’s no need to lose your marbles, in fact you should be feeling very good about Spurs this season as the potential for a very good season is high for us. It’s not the time to be low and glum, it’s time to feel good and feel optimistic about us this season.

A lot of criticism was levelled at Michel Vorm throughout pre-season for numerous errors, rightfully so because he was poor, but on Saturday he handled himself well. He made key saves to keep us in the game, he looked confident when he came for crosses, he maybe could’ve come out to prevent the goal but could’ve easily given away a penalty and a Red Card, very solid display.

The back four looked probably the best I’ve seen for many years at Spurs. Toby Alderweireld looked confident and assured and was never troubled by any of Man Utd’s attacks and showed a great range of passing. Alongside him Jan Vertonghen showed his leadership and commanded the back-line. He started to look like Vertonghen from 2012/13, defensively sound and always alert to an attack, the Vertonghen/Alderweireld partnership is going to be very crucial for us to have a good season.

[linequote]Toby Alderweireld looked confident and assured and was never troubled by any of Man Utd’s attacks [/linequote]

Arguably we had our second-choice full-backs playing and both had a very solid display. Davies showed plenty of competence and dealt with Utd’s new boy Depay very effectively and always was looking to move the ball upfield. Kyle Walker had a very decent game too, was effective in the first-half attacking and getting forward and in the second-half defended the attacks of Mata and Young and guarded his area well. As for the own goal, he was put in a very difficult position as he had to lunge in to try and clear the ball off Rooney and if the ball had been 2cm further away from the goal it would’ve been a fantastic clearance, so Walker shouldn’t feel too disheartened about his display on Saturday.

Eric Dier was brilliant in the holding midfield, showed very good awareness and tackled fantastically most of the game; he has a real future in that position. Ironically it was Bentaleb who was making the silly mistakes and getting caught in possession giving chances away, not that Dier was perfect but he was certainly more comfortable. Of course it’s easy to forget that Bentaleb is still only 20 years old, we can’t expect him to deliver the world-class performances that he’s been delivering for 18 months, so hopefully it was just a bad day at the office.

The star of the attacking line was Mousa Dembele. For someone who was seemingly cast aside throughput last season he was purposeful in his attacks, he pressed up very well and was looking to take shots at goal which makes a very welcome change. Eriksen showed why he’s the architect of our attacks as he nearly make the breakthrough after a beautiful link-up with Kane and nearly equalised at the end and was always stuck in the action whenever we went forward. Chadli can be frustrating but he was always looking for a goal opportunity and was always in space on the left, sometimes wasn’t picked up when available.

[linequote]The most pleasing part of yesterday was the team was utilising the high-pressing intensity style that Mauricio Pochettino is very eager for us to play[/linequote]

And last of all, but not least Harry Kane proved he is no one season wonder, not that anyone with any remote knowledge of football ever thought he was. His phenomenal scoop for Eriksen’s chance proved he’s got a lot more to his game than just goals and his work-rate on and off the ball, he’s always looking to feed in his team-mates, the Golden boy has picked up where he left off last season.

The most pleasing part of yesterday was the team was utilising the high-pressing intensity style that Mauricio Pochettino is very eager for us to play. Every good chance we created and most of our attacks came from pressing high, winning the ball high up the pitch and attacking quickly when the opposition is on the back foot. Every player on the team, including our substitutes were looking to tackle hard and high, that’s high up the pitch not head high and the style is finally being implemented to every player in our squad.

So in summary, I actually feel quite bullish about our season, we’ve got a classy back four, very good depth in midfield, I haven’t even mentioned the likes of Tom Carroll, Dele Alli and Alex Pritchard who will all have the potential and chances to have very good seasons for us, all that’s missing is another striker and then we have a very good depth squad to have a very good season for us. So, my fellow Yids and Yidettes, keep calm and enjoy the season. COYS!

All views and opinions expressed in this article are the views and opinions of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of The Fighting Cock. We offer a platform for fans to commit their views to text and voice their thoughts. Football is a passionate game and as long as the views stay within the parameters of what is acceptable, we encourage people to write, get involved and share their thoughts on the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

Ben Boorman


  1. Pablo
    09/08/2015 @ 12:42 pm

    Most of what you say is true…..well some of it.
    No need whatsoever for doom and gloom.
    For long periods we were the better team.
    Though it does appear that we picked up where we left off. Not able to put teams away and struggle to score.
    We lacked creativity in central midfield. Despite Dier not being poor,if we are to contend he is not the man for that position. In fact neither him or Bentaleb need to start.
    Else for Chadli. I don’t know what game you were watching. He was very lazy and casual.
    Was hardly involved and didn’t seem too bothered to get involved.
    We lack depth in forward positions and something needs to be done about that in a hurry.
    Also need an experienced holding midfielder desperately.
    Our fullbacks were both out of position most of the game defensively and especially fir the goal.
    Though as far as I’m concerned they should both be our second choice as you mentioned.
    A few quality signings before deadline day and we can surprise many people.

  2. paulk
    09/08/2015 @ 2:56 pm

    I see I was not the only one who thought Vorm might have come out and cleared the cross that led to the goal .
    The reason the fullbacks were out of position was that they were advancing upfield to play a part in what looked like a very good opportunity to press united until the ball was given away under no pressure and allowed united to counter attack.

  3. BWSpur
    09/08/2015 @ 6:21 pm

    Good to see some positivity after yesterday’s result, and rightly so. I didn’t think we had our best game and I thought a few players out there underperformed (Dembele, Chadli and Bentaleb were all poor for me) and yet we dominated United early on and they only got back into the game thanks to a silly mistake from Bentaleb. Had it not been for that or had Eriksen’s lob dropped in then I think we’d have kept the momentum and probably taken all three points, but that little bit of luck wasn’t with us on the day. No need for doom and gloom – early days yet; transfer business still to be done and nicer-looking fixtures coming up. COYS.

  4. andy
    10/08/2015 @ 8:59 pm

    I thought CE was really poor. Lacked influence and should have hit the target with our best chance of the game. Agree with regards to the full backs. We lack options going forward and need to improve the squad.

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