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[FM21] Working for Daniel Levy


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3 minutes ago, Johnny-Trotter said:

An auspicious start to Spur's (real-life) season yesterday - hopefully you can reflect the same.

Thank you, @Johnny-Trotter. Yes, I watched the Tottenham v Man City game with interest yesterday. I hope so too.

4 minutes ago, Johnny-Trotter said:

Interesting how your game is aligning with some real-life scenarios:

- Playing a Manchester side at home for the first game

- Kane missing for the first game (at least) and hoping to recover fitness for the next games.

Hmmmmn, interesting indeed. Let's hope I can grab a 1-0 win or better as well.

5 minutes ago, Johnny-Trotter said:

Remember that (because of Covid) the European qualifying games are one-legged in the 2020-21 season - so no chance for a 2nd leg recovery if it doesn't work out in the first game.

Ah, thanks... that explains why the game against Kesla FK is a one-off game then. At least we were drawn at home.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Saturday 12th September 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United (EPL 1)

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Losing Harry Kane through injury while away with England is a big blow but we'll do the best we can. Carlos Vinicius has impressed in pre-season with four goals from five appearances so he's earnt the right to start. Fortunately, everybody else reported back from international duty unscathed so the rest of the team is pretty much what I had in mind.

We'll go with the 4-1-2-3 control possession system that's served us well throughout pre-season.

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I really don't know what to say other than the scoreline flattered Manchester United and we didn't get what we deserved. First-half there was absolutely nothing between the teams, a half of very few chances, they had four, we had four. Unfortunately for us, in added on time at the end of the first-half, Paul Pogba dinked a ball over the top, Mason Greenwood was more alert than our defenders and he tucked it away well.

I thought we responded well after the break and really took the game to them. We were the only team who looked like scoring at that point, until Aaron Wan-Bissaka counter-attacked down our left and runs into the penalty area, we blocked his cross, but it fell right into the path of Mason Greenwood who made no mistake.

We changed things around after that and went with two up top.

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We continued to attack them and looked the most likely to score. And we did. Great work by Lucas Moura down the left, he played the ball into the penalty area, Heung-Min Son took one touch and then dispatched the ball into the bottom corner. 1-2 game on.

And we were so unlucky not to equalise when David De Gea pulled off a world class save to deny Lucas Moura.

We continued to pile on the pressure, as we had to, and got picked off on a couple of breakaways. We failed to defend a throw-in properly, and Mason Greenwood was left unmarked at the far post to complete his hat-trick. Edinson Cavani added a fourth for them when he rose strongest at the far post to head in a Bruno Fernandes cross.

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3 hours ago, samboing said:

Ouch! A disappointing start to the season, but Fulham next up a great opportunity to show the league and Levy what you’re capable of!

I know, @samboing. Very disappointing. The only way is up, huh?

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Game date: Monday 14th September 2020

Takeover rumours

Well I definitely wasn't expecting this...

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Any truth in it? No smoke without fire and all that.

 


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Posted (edited)

Game date: Thursday 17th September 2020

Swindon Town host Tottenham Hotspur in Carabao Cup Third Round

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This could be interesting given we play Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday and then Swindon Town in the Carabao Cup on the following Tuesday...


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Posted (edited)

Game date: Thursday 17th September 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v Kesla FK

Europa League League League Path Second Qualifying Round

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We have a few injury problems ahead of the Europa League qualifying game against Kesla. Harry Kane is still out with pulled knee ligaments. Giovani Lo Celso and Japhet Tanganga are back in training but I won't risk them.

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In the end, I decided to go with the same team that lost 1-4 to Manchester United. The scoreline wasn't a fair reflection of the game, in my opinion, and I wanted to give them another run out together.

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My fear going into this game against Kesla FK from Azerbaijan was complacency and, after 36 seconds, Kesla scored when Husleynov headed the ball over Hugo Lloris but, fortunately for us, he'd strayed into an offside position. Then, after Carlos Vinicius had given us the lead, Kesla caught us on a counter-attack and equalised.

Carlos Vinicius scored a second and, from then on, we controlled the game as Kesla's players heads dropped. Sergio ReguilonEric Dier and Moussa Sissoko all scored for us as we ran away with it in the end.

After the defeat to Manchester United, it was a great way for the team to bounce back and The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was rocking.

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Game date: Thursday 17th September 2020

Europa League Third Qualifying Round Draw

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Game date: Saturday 19th September 2020

Bale set for a spell on the sidelines

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Sunday 20th September 2020

Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL 2)

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Very frustrating. It was one of those games where we dominated, created lots of chances, but couldn’t score. Fulham hardly threatened so one goal would probably have done it which, given how free flowing goals have been in pre-season and the cup games it was really annoying not to score a goal.

 

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Game date: Tuesday 22nd September 2020

Swindon Town v Tottenham Hotspur (Carabao Cup Third Round)

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Thursday 24th September 2020

Rio Ave v Totenham Hotspur (Europa League League Path Third Qualifying Round)

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I'm delighted that Harry Kane is available for selection again although I probably won't risk him for a full 90 minutes. There's still a few players not available for selection.

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Game date: Thursday 24th September 2020

Europa League League Path Fourth Qualifying Round

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Game date: Saturday 26th September 2020

Carabao Cup Fourth Round

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Game date: Sunday 27th September 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (EPL 3)

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This was very much like the Manchester United game only even more so. Stats wise, apart from the goals, there was very little between the two teams and we even created more chances than them. 

Liverpool were ruthless in front of goal, we were well and truly taught a lesson in clinical finishing.

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Game date: Thursday 1st October 2020

Monthly Reports

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Thursday 1st October 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v FK Jablonec

(Europa League League Path Fourth Qualifying Round)

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Friday 2nd October 2020

Europa League Group Draw

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Game date: Sunday 4th October 2020

Brighton and Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur

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Of course, it's frustrating to be still looking for our first win in the Premier League, after four games, when we've been winning comfortably in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup.

We got off to a slow start and conceded because we didn't defend our six yard box well enough. We were struggling to get anything going and I changed from 4-1-2-3 to 4-2-3-1 and that gave us a foothold in the game.

Goals from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela gave us the lead by half-time and we really should've gone on to win from there. We were looking good value, but Yves Bissouma scored a wonderful, individual goal to equalise.

I changed to 4-4-2 with Harry Kane and Carlos Vinicius up front and I really thought we were going to find the winner. Erik Lamela and Harry Kane forced their goalkeeper Robert Sanchez into fine saves. Steven Bergwijn hit the side netting and Pierre-Emile Hjobjerg shot wide. In the end though, we were holding on after Sergio Reguilon saw red with a reckless tackle when he was already on a yellow card.

We know how to win football games, we've proved that in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup, and we'll soon start winning in the Premier League as well.

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@Stuniverse is there anyone in the first 11 that you’ve noticed as the weak link as to why you can’t stop teams from scoring, well in the league anyway? I remember from a few years back on the stats page there was a column for mistakes, then another for mistakes leading to goals, might be worth checking that out! 

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Posted (edited)
On 18/08/2021 at 17:57, samboing said:

@Stuniverse is there anyone in the first 11 that you’ve noticed as the weak link as to why you can’t stop teams from scoring, well in the league anyway?

That's a very good question, @samboing and at this stage of the season I'm not sure I have a very good answer.

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In our two heavy losses against Man Utd and Liverpool the stats were very even and I didn't feel we were overrun, they were just far more clinical in front of goal. Against Man Utd our Harry Kane was out injured and Greenwood was on fire for them. Against Liverpool, it was Kane's second game back, having played against Rio Ave in the Europa League on the Thursday before and they had Firminho running the show.

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Against Fulham, we were the better team, we just couldn't get enough efforts on goal and we failed to score.

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Against Brighton, we struggled, I don't know if it was because we were playing Sunday after a Thursday night Europa League game but we were second best for the opening 25 minutes and struggled, at times, to get out of our own half. I changed formation to go more attacking and it worked - we came from behind to lead 2-1 at the break. The second-half was more even. I went even more attacking after they equalised, and I think we would've won if Sergio Reguilon hadn't got himself unnecessarily sent-off. We were hanging on after that.

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Overall, I think we've been playing well, we've been scintillating in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup but we haven't had the breaks in the Pemier League and lacked quality against Man Utd and Liverpool.

On 18/08/2021 at 17:57, samboing said:

I remember from a few years back on the stats page there was a column for mistakes, then another for mistakes leading to goals, might be worth checking that out! 

It looks like there still is. Serge Aurier has made two mistakes leading to goals and Toby Alderweireld one.

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My regular back four has been:

Sergio Reguilon (Ave. 6.83) | Toby Aderweireld (6.90) - Eric Dier (6.96) | Serge Aurier (6.66)

Although I played Matt Doherty (7.20) at right-back against Brighton so I can't blame Serge Aurier for either of the two goals we conceded that game.

 

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Game date: Monday 5th October 2021

Transfer Window Closes

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There wasn't any in-game transfers as I'd disabled the first transfer window, but this is the Transfer History.

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What that means is we have got a transfer budget...

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... but it isn't very big, probably because of the massive loans...

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... I did ask the Board for an increase...

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... but without success.

I didn't push it, but may well ask again when the January Transfer Window opens.

 


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Game date: Wednesday 7th October 2020

Europa League Registration - Group Phase

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I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but we can only register 24 out of 25 registration places as we don't have eight Home Grown Nation players.

 


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Posted (edited)

Game date: Wednesday 7th October 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland- Carabao Cup Fourth Round

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On top of the injured players we also had six players away on International duty and Sergio Reguilon suspended.

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We had so many players unavailable that I had to call 18 year-old Rafferty Pedder up from the U23s, and assign him squad number #48, in order that I could fill the substitutes bench.

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With so many players unavailable, I was delighted with the performance of a makeshift starting 11 and a cobbled together bench. We were perhaps, fortunate, to be playing an opponent from League One, but you can only beat the team in front of you. 

Tanguy Dembele gave us an early lead, Dele Alli doubled it, and Dele could have had a first-half hat-trick on another day as he twice hit the woodwork.

After the break, Harry Kane made it 3-0 and I thought we were very comfortable at that point so I was able to give playing time to youngsters Rafferty Pedder and Dane Scarlett.

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Dane was unlucky not to score when, clean through with only the goalkeeper to beat, his shot hit the foot of the post.

Moussa Sissoko rounded off the scoring with a thunderbolt from long-range.

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Game date: Wednesday 7th October 2020

Carabao Cup Quarter-Final Draw

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Game date: Saturday 17th October 2020

Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL 5)

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Of course it's frustrating not to have won yet in the Premier League. That was our fifth league game and we still haven't won, yet we've won every game we've played in the Europa League and the Carabao Cup. Maybe I need to try something different or maybe I just need to rotate the squad a bit more?

Tiredness could've been a factor today because we were not at our best. We had 25 players in total away on International duty and that hampered our preparations. I left Heung-Min Son on the bench because he looked jaded after his return from playing for South Korea in Mexico and then the United Arab Emirates - that's a lot of travelling. Maybe we should have rested more of the Internationals and gone with fresher legs.

The main problem in the Premier League is we're not scoring enough goals. We're creating chances, but not putting them away. At times, I think we rely too much on Harry Kane, who rescued a point for us with a dramatic late equaliser, but Harry himself is still easing himself back from a knee ligament injury.

When you're not scoring many goals, the last thing you want to be doing is gifting goals to your opponents with individual errors. Eric Dier has been our most consistent defender so far this season, but his missed interception allowed Kyle Walker-Peters the opportunity to give them the lead.

I'm not worried about the two offside goals we conceded because we defended those situations well, both players were at least a yard offside and VAR disallowed both goals very quickly.

There's no doubt though we're not doing well enough in the Premier League and we have to start winning soon.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Thursday 22nd October 2020

PAOK Thessalonikis v Tottenham Hotspur Europa League Group I (1)

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We're thrilled to have opened up our Europa League Group Phase with a convincing away win in Greece. We changed from 4-1-2-3 to a 4-2-3-1 and we looked far more creative going forward. I think our five goals were well deserved.

Defensively, Thessalonikis didn't create many chances but they did score a couple of goals. That's something we'll have to be wary of if we stick with this system.

The main downside tonight was a knee injury suffered by Sergio Reguilon.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Sunday 25th October 2020

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL 6)

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We have to do better. It's as simple as that. We have to do better in the Premier League. It doesn't help that we're playing Europa League games on a Thursday but this squad is experienced enough that they should be able to cope with that. Maybe, I'll have to rethink how I use and rotate the squad across the different competitions we're involved in.

Once again we had plenty of chances today and we failed to convert them into goals.

Leeds showed the importance of getting the first goal and how it can lift a team. That's what we need to start doing. Scoring goals, and scoring first.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Monday 26th October 2020

Team Meeting

We held a team meeting today to try and raise morale within the squad. I thought it went very well but my assistant manager Teddy Sheringham wasn't convinced.

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Game date: Thursday 29th October 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v TSV Hartberg Europa League Group I (2)

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In an attempt to salvage our Premier League campaign, I've decided to select my strongest team for the Premier League games and go with a rotated team in the Europa League Group Phase.

I'm also sticking with 4-2-3-1 for now.

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Game date: Sunday 1st November 2020

Monthly Reports

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Game date: Sunday 1st November 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City (EPL 7)

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I'm getting fed up of saying this now but another Premier League game where there was nothing in it, nothing between the teams, but we couldn't find a way to score a goal and that, ultimately, cost us.

Midway through the second-half, Giovani Lo Celso rattles the crossbar. In a game of few chances, if that goes in I feel we go on and win the game.

We probably should've kept things as they were, we were comfortable, and taken the point against high-flying Leicester. We wanted to win, we took more risks as we looked to take the game to them, which we did, but we got picked off by a sucker-punch and lost a game late-on that we shouldn't have lost.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Thursday 5th November 2020

Molde FK v Tottenham Hotspur Europa League Group I (3)

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For tonight's game we changed from the 4-2-3-1 Attacking control possession system we've been playing to a 4-1-2-3 Balanced wing play system.

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I thought we did more than enough to win the game tonight but we couldn't get the second goal that we needed. We had the chances but our efforts were either off target or didn't work the goalkeeper enough.

We switched off early, allowing them a free header at a corner from their first attack. Carlos Vinicius, who had a very good game, scored our equaliser with an acrobatic volley but that second goal eluded us.

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A win would have guaranteed our qualification to the Knockout Stages but, at the halfway stage, we're very well placed for a top two spot that will see us progress. Of course, we want to qualify as Group winners.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Sunday 8th November 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v W.B.A. (EPL 8)

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Of course there's pressure. Tottenham Hotspur is a big club, with big expectations, and seven games into this campaign a club like Tottenham Hotspur shouldn't still be waiting for their first Premier League win. I get that. Of course, I do. And we will put it right. We're not that far away. We're favourites to qualify from our Europa League Group, we're in the Quarter-Final of the Carabao Cup, and we will turn our league form around.

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Yes, we are struggling a bit to find a system of play that suits us. I don't like tinkering and changing, and I don't like changing for the sake of it, but we need to find something that is going to work for us and allow us to not only create chances but convert them as well.

We're going 4-2-3-1 Balanced wing play today.

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It's a relief, yes. Of course it's a relief to get our first win of the Premier League season. It shouldn't have taken us eight games, but it did. Now we have to build on this victory, get some momentum, and start climbing the Premier League table.

I don't want to moan about injuries but we have had quite a few to deal with. We saw today the difference a fully fit Harry Kane makes to this team. That was a superb performance when we needed him to stand up and be counted. A hat-trick, not Harry's fist, and it won't be his last, the first two penalties, both hit hard and low in the exact same place, bottom corner to the goalkeeper's left. When Harry hits them as sweetly as that, no goalkeeper in the world stops them.

We saw as well the difference having Gareth Bale fit again makes when he came on in the second-half. And a fit again Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso. It's great to have all these options to start, or to come off the bench and change things.

I have to give West Brom credit, they defended in numbers, with a flat back five, and that made it very hard for us. For a long while into the second-half, it looked like we were heading for another frustrating nil-nil. We had to change to 4-2-3-1 and bring Heung-Min Son more central before we could get any penetration against them.

We were very good value in the end though and thoroughly deserved the win. I know how hard these players have been working to change things around and I'm thrilled for them and I'm delighted we've finally given the Tottenham fans something to smile about in the Premier League.

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Game date: Saturday 21st November 2020

Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL 9)

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We had 26 players away on international duty. Moussa Sissoko gashed an arm while away with France but he's fine now. Everybody else reported back unscathed, fortunately, but managing fitness levels is going to be our biggest consideration.

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It's a great feeling to have won back-to-back Premier League games and to see us climbing the Premier League Table.

We expected a tough game against Sean Dyche's Burnley at Turf Moor and boy did we get it. 

In a tight and close affair, as expected, Dele Alli headed us into the lead to break the deadlock just before the break.

It was hard work in the second-half, the last 20 minutes particularly, as Burnley put us under a lot of pressure. We didn't help ourselves, by keep giving the ball  away in midfield, but Hugo Lloris in our goal, and our back-four, were magnificent.

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Game date: Thursday 26th November 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v Molde FK Europa League Group I (4)

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We're delighted to have qualified for the Knockout Phase with two games remaining.

In the reverse fixture, in Molde, we didn't think we did ourselves justice in the 1-1 draw so it was very satisfying to win this game so comfortably. It ended up being the Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura show as they each bagged a brace. Our opening goal, a stunning free-kick from Erik which curled over the wall and went in off the post was worth the admission money alone.

It's been difficult at times juggling the Europa League and Premier League fixtures so, hopefully, qualification means we can focus on the Premier League and see if we can shoot up that league table.

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Game date: Sunday 29th November 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United (EPL 10)

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I'm angry. I don't know what else to say after that display. I'm very angry.

We rested the players against Molde, we gave them every opportunity to be able to go out there and perform today, and they allowed themselves to be bullied out there. Bullied, yes. Sheffield United wanted it more, they were stronger than us, when they gave the ball away, they fought to win it back, they tackled hard, they were aggressive, they bullied us.

We weren't anywhere near good enough and I'm angry.

If we had been as committed and strong as they were, Oli McBurnie doesn't win the header for their goal.

We gave ourselves a mountain to climb after that and, to be fair, we did throw everything at them second-half and went more and more attacking. Erik Lamela hit the crossbar, Aaron Ramsdale made three or four world class saves, but we should never have put ourselves in a situation where we were chasing the game like that.

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Game date: Tuesday 1st December 2020

Monthly Reports

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Tuesday 1st December 2020

December Fixtures

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I'm not sure why we don't play a Premier League game until the 15th of December. There are fixtures planned for Saturday 5th and Saturday 12th, but not for us. 

EDIT: So I've checked and these were the scheduled fixtures at the start of the season.

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Manchester City have a clash with European Champions League Group games and Everton don't have a clash so I can only assume it's been rearranged due to our Europa League Group game on the Thursday and couldn't be pushed back to Sunday because of the scheduled midweek EFL games on Tuesday 15th.

Oh well, the two games-in-hand won't help our league position look any better in the short-term.

 

 

 
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Johnny-Trotter said:

You finally got the Premier League win, but still seems like one step forward, one step back at the moment.

Sadly, @Johnny-Trotter, that's the case.

It’s really frustrating. I can’t understand why we’re struggling against the lesser EPL teams after hammering European teams, often with my second-string 11. I honestly don’t get it…

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And time may be running out now Daniel Levy and the Board have woken up to the fact we're producing disappointing performances on the pitch.

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Looks like may I also have to go back to a Control Possession based tactic now they've also realised I'm no longer playing that style.

 

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Game date: Thursday 3rd December 2020

Tottenham Hotspur v PAOK Thessalonikis Europa League Group I (5)

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Usually I would've rested all my key players having already qualified for the Europa League Knockout Round but, after the debacle against Sheffield United, they can all play again.

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My chairman, Daniel Levy, has reminded me that the Club Vision requires Tottenham Hotspur to play possession based football. We've tried a Balanced and an Attacking style so tonight we're going to try Positive.

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We played better tonight. We dominated possession and PAOK only had one attempt on target. We created a great many chances but were too wasteful in front of goal , not getting anywhere near enough on target.

Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele scored our goals. Erik Lamela hit the post with a free-kick and Toby Alderweireld rattled the crossbar with a towering far post header.

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Game date: Monday 7th December 2020

Tottenham 16th with game-in-hand

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Game date: Thursday 10th December 2020

TSV Hartberg v Tottenham Hotspur Europa League Group I (6)

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For the final Europa League Group game I decided to rest the players who are likely to start against Chelsea on Tuesday.

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It's a disappointing defeat. Even though I selected a weakened team, the 11 starting players should have had enough about them to beat Hartberg. I included a few youngsters on the bench with the plan of giving them playing time. At 2-2, with 20 minutes to go, I did consider leaving them on the bench but, with qualification already assured, I gave Rafferty PedderOliver Skipp and Dane Scarlett a run out.

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Game date: Thursday 10th December 2020

Klopp eyes Son for Liverpool

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