Home » The pre-derby jitters are kicking in nicely

The pre-derby jitters are kicking in nicely

By Harry Hotspur -

The North London derby is upon us again and inevitably, indeed, quite rightly this is one of those games that even the most casual observer will use to gauge who’s who. A single point separates these two sides and our hosts will be mindful of the fact that they won their last two games at the Emirates against us and if they can come out on top this time around, then it will be three of a kind for the first time in nearly a decade.

BT Sport is broadcasting the game, which is Saturday’s early kick-off, so we’ll have the team sheets for you at 1130am, and you can keep up to speed with the action via Tottenham live scores.

It’s said that the form book goes out the window on occasions such as these, but it’s probably nearer the mark that it’s some players’ grip on reality that goes AWOL, with any luck the international break, and its trusty ability to comatose football media will allow this game to pass without any need for handbags or red cards to ruin the occasion. Show me how passionate you are by outplaying the other lot. I’m not some 16-year-old who’s sent giddy by grown men pretending to square up to each other.

It won’t sit well with fans of a certain vintage that Antonio Conte has been mumbling unconvincingly to the press about Mikel Arteta having enjoyed the support of his employers. By contrast, Tottenham might have been better off playing down their £150million investment. For one, the club itself never said anything that suggested ‘war chest’, that was the children in the press room, and for two, the players that have come in have been a mix that on balance one might best term frustrating. Disagree? Then ask Conte why certain new players are struggling to pick up meaningful minutes. And while you’re there, ask him what his plan B might be. The schedule of any Premier League season routinely gets messy, and every Christmas we see the same faces participating in the same pantomime. Except for this year, the World Cup is going to make everything worse. So not a great summer to buy players that are so clearly a punt for the future.

Or maybe this Christmas, the good fairy atop the THFC tree will wave her wand and make Ryan Sessegnon less wet, and make Pape Mata Sarr recognizable to any Spurs fan that might bump into him in the street.

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Marbella Spur
Marbella Spur
2 months ago

I am looking forward to today’s game with a mixture of trepidation and hope. I expect more of the same from Spurs, where we cede possession to Arsenal and hope to hit them on the break. You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to work out our tactics. As long as we don’t go behind too quickly and by too many, we stand a chance of a result.
With regards to our transfer business, we are slightly stronger but our squad isn’t deep enough to play in so many competitions and for those fans who gleefully cheered when our group was announced in the CL, reality has set in and there is no certainty that we will qualify for the next stage.
My overwhelming feeling for the quality and rating of any players we sign is based on the simple metric of whether they would get into Liverpool, City or Chelsea’s teams and the jury is certainly out on that. Kulu, Romero and Bentancur do not really count as new signings as they came in last season. Of this window’s signings, Perisic has been good but he is thirty three, Richarlison looks promising but I agree that he was signed to replace Kane when he inevitably leaves, the jury is out on Lenglet who is unlikely to be a long term solution and I have no idea what has happened to Bissouma who looked a good player at Brighton but seems very peripheral up until now.
What never ceases to surprise me is the areas of the team/squad which is obvious to most fans that need strengthening have not been.

Limerick AL.
Limerick AL.
2 months ago

Transfer Activity aside I would be happy with a Boring Draw. We went there as Favourites and still managed to not turn up. I would love to see us Win of course , but theres something in our DNA that suggests otherwise. Its a game that I am expecting nothing from , except the truth.

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  Limerick AL.

If we draw and put in a good shift i’d be delighted.

Only two PL away wins in the NLD since about 2007 I think, one each. Rare a as rockinghorse todds

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago

The players are being integrated slowly. A bit too slowly for my liking, but we were not a bad side last season and it was all about augmenting what we had. There are not many punts there, barring Spence and Udogie.

Richarlison is now settled and starting games. If not starting he’ll be the first sub in.

Perisic is 1st choice now, and has appeared either side.

Lenglet has started ahead of Davies in a handful, a trusted rotation option it appears.

Bissouma has been slower getting in, but he is a wonderful player. Arguably our best signing of the lot. This boy would have gone for 60m if his contract wasn’t close to ending

Spence only a brief appearance, but in a position that has lots of competition, albeit not of high quality.

Udogie one for the future too, but all clubs do this – buy quality young players in a position you are strong in already to future-proof.

Forster we’ll see today if Lloris misses out. Genuinely not worried if he starts, unlike others we’ve had.

All in all it was a good, balanced window. Very difficult to integrate loads of players, especially with a coach that is so granular in detail like Conte. Patience

East Stand
East Stand
2 months ago
Reply to  Chirpy

None of these players apart from Perisic are upgrades on what we already had in our first 11…

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

Both Conte signings in January upgraded our XI.

Bissouma is better than both of our current midfielders, he is excellent.

I’d argue Lenglet is better than Davies.

We had a good XI that finished last year, it is all about bringing in players who give us competition and options for a long season.

Solid window

East Stand
East Stand
2 months ago
Reply to  Chirpy

Apart from the 33 year old Perisic, who else would we consider a ‘Conte signing’?

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

I would not imagine we’d sign any players that Conte had not OK’d. It’d be a discussion with Levy and Paratici re funds, then between Paratici, the recruitment team, and Conte about targets.

If we are playing the guessing game (in which you are guessing one), I’d guess that Bissouma and Richarlison would be high up Conte’s list.

The two in January too – Conte wanted Kulusevski at Inter, and Bentancur has been his go-to from the beginning.

East Stand
East Stand
2 months ago
Reply to  Chirpy

Richarlison has been brought in to succeed Kane, I can see no other logical reason why Levy would have sanctioned bringing him in with Son, Kane, Kulusevski and Moura still at the club.

SpursGoliath
SpursGoliath
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

He’s versatile – he can take the position of two players effectively. He’s probably not on Christiano Ronaldo wages either.

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

Even if he has been brought in to replace Kane, then it is great planning signing him now rather than when Kane leaves.

If Kane does go next Summer we have a replacement 9, Brazil’s starter, and funds to invest – plus a season with both.

If Kane goes on free in 2024 we have two years of both players, a ready-made 9 in place, and a long time to scout a replacment (or see if Scarlett is ready).

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

I doubt anyone will replace his goals…he is elite. You build your side to share goals about, like City had done.

The truth is he can go in 2yrs and there is nothing we can do about it. He isn’t getting younger either. Getting Brazil’s starting 9 (no, not Jesus) is not a bad start, and we get at least a year to see if he is up to it

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

Will add more to this..

While Richarlison may not be better than our front three, today one of that front three will be missing. Instead of the patchy Moura coming in, we can now call on the service of Brazil’s starting 9, fresh off the back of 3 goals for his country. Or bring the excellent Bissouma in and go 352.

Davies is injured. Last year we may have had to play Sanchez there, now we have Lenglet, a much-capped French international to step in, who actually plays that position.

Even Forster the freebie. If Lloris is out, give me Forster over any of the others we had in the past.

East Stand
East Stand
2 months ago
Reply to  Chirpy

We’ve gone from mediocrity to slightly less mediocrity. Hurrah!

Last edited 2 months ago by Easty
SpursGoliath
SpursGoliath
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

We’ve gone from relegation candidates to comfortably top 4 in two windows – that’s what it is, dress it up however.

Sorry we didn’t go from bottom 6 to better than City in that time frame…

SpursGoliath
SpursGoliath
2 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

I’m not saying we didn’t deserve to be down there.

Since being at the exact same level as Everton 18 months ago the two super rich PL sides have gone on very different journeys.

The job is far from done but Levy’s emergency planning has been better than Everton’s of that there is no doubt.

Still a joke we were in that position but Everton are still in that position for the foreseeable. Beyond our entitlement there’s little to really separate us from a side like Everton, they’ve certainly tried to be a ‘big club’

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

If you think Richarlison and Bissouma are mediocre I feel sorry for you. Not sure what you expect? Veratti and Mbappe?

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

Define proven.

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

Define proven in football terms.

SpursGoliath
SpursGoliath
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

Coming off the back of a January where both players firmly established themselves it wasn’t as desperate a picture as you paint.

I still think 4 of the signings could establish themselves in the starting 11 – Perisic, Lenglet, Charli and Bisssouma…on top of Romero and Bentancur settling in under Conte recently, plus Kulu if Charli doesn’t start. It’s effectively a new team barring the ‘star players’ of Lloris, Kane and Son and the Conte generals of Dier and Hojbjerg.

Right back is the f up if there is one, I imagine it’ll come to a head in January. Could be two out (one on loan) and one in.

East Stand
East Stand
2 months ago

It was pretty obvious from the transfers we did in the summer, that it was about punts fit the future in the main. Richarlison is obviously Kane’s successor, while every player Conte finds surplus to requirements are out on loan.

Its all set up for the next guy, it’s embarrassingly obvious…

SpursGoliath
SpursGoliath
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

The squad was getting too old, to not sign any young players would have been very strange.

Now you have prospects like Udogie, Spence, Seesegnon (still only 22, surprised) Tanganga, White, Skipp, Sarr, Kulu, Gil, Parrott and Scarlett kicking around the squad or out on loan. Ok not all will ‘make it’ but still, there’s planning there.

Plus you have Bentancur (25), Richarlison (25), Romero (24), Royal (23), Bissouma (26) and Hojbjerg (27) approaching their peaks potentially.

So in two windows they’ve recovered from a position of having the oldest squad in the league.

Last two windows were good, most grumbles are ‘I wish we were Man City YESTERDAY harumph’ – it might not be enough for Conte sure.

If we take January off then I’ll be here moaning have no fear – but not now.

East Stand
East Stand
2 months ago
Reply to  SpursGoliath

It was a half decent window, the point I’m making is that only Perisic is a starter when all fit and in form. It’s the ‘Conte!s been backed’ claptrap that I find most nauseating, if one player that improves your first 11 is ‘backing’, then fair enough. It’s not what I thought it was in that case!

SpursGoliath
SpursGoliath
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

Charli and Bissouma are good enough to start – it’s a deep sqaud one way or the other

East Stand
East Stand
2 months ago
Reply to  SpursGoliath

Is it good enough in terms of quality throughout the team? I would say it falls short in several key areas. Creativity in midfield, right wingback isn’t good enough and the first choice back three is just about doing the job.

Chirpy
Chirpy
2 months ago
Reply to  East Stand

We’ve let in one more than Man City and Liverpool this season. (7 compared to 6. Brighton the least with 5)

Only City (26) and Liverpool (24) have let in less than us (31) since Conte arrived.

The defence is not ‘just about doing the job’ in the slightest.

SpursGoliath
SpursGoliath
2 months ago
Reply to  Harry Hotspur

I just think money was made available to ‘buy before the need to sell’, that’s it, just a slightly higher than average spend

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