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[FM21] Working for Daniel Levy


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2 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

Just¬† the result you neededūüĎä

Thank you, @Folayinka. It was a relief for sure.

3 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

I almost thought you were gonna lose and get sacked by the boardūüė≠

It does feel like the vultures are circling... just as Harry Kane is about to return from injury.

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Game date: Saturday 6th February 2021

Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion (EFL)

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My medical team are still advising we can get 75 minutes out of Harry Kane so I think I'll name Harry on the bench and maybe bring him on in the second-half at some point.

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We’re going to stick with the 4-2-4 Wide that served us well against Fulham.

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That was much more like it, a lot closer to what we know we're capable of. We dominated possession and we actually did plenty with the ball, we worked their goalkeeper and scored four goals.

Lucas Moura scored a close-range header in between two Carlos Vinicius penalties. Harry Kane came on for the last 20 minutes and showed his poacher instincts to add our fourth.

Once again, with all our subs on the pitch, we picked up an injury and finished the game with 10-men. I think if Sergio Reguilon (groin) had still been on the pitch we would've kept the clean sheet our performance deserved.

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Game date: Sunday 7th February 2021

Beleaguered Manager

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Will Stuniverse survive much longer as manger of Tottenham Hotspur?

Where has it gone wrong for the Spurs manager?

What would you do differently if you were manager of Tottenham Hotspur?

Will he make it to the end of the season?

Could the Europa League (v Braga First Knockout Round Round) and / or the FA Cup (v Stoke City away Fifth Round) come to his rescue?

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Will Stuniverse still be managing Tottenham Hotspur at the start of next season?

Stay tuned... let's see what happens this weekend...

 

Note: Ironically, as an aside, Stuniverse has survived longer this season than Nuno Espirito Santo even though Wolves are above Spurs in the Premier League Table.

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Game date: Wednesday 10th February 2021

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup, Fifth Round)

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Harry Kane has been back in training a couple of weeks now and came off the bench late in the Brighton game to score a goal. I think tonight, Harry will be on the bench again but I'll aim to give him longer than 20 minutes playing time in the second-half.

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I want to keep the midfield and attacking players consistent tonight as we're still getting used to this 4-2-4 Wide system, but I will rest Heung-Min Son as he's looking a bit jaded.

I'm going to rotate the back-four though, particularly the two centre-backs as Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier have played most games so far this season. Japhet Tanganga keeps his place, but moves to centre-back so that I can give on-loan Pierre Kalulu his debut at right-back.

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I'm going to go 4-2-4 Wide again against Stoke tonight. We've looked good playing that system so far and we have a 100% win record since we started playing that way - 3-2 against Fulham and 4-1 against Brighton.

To be fair, I haven't really had the players to start two up top before now. We only had Harry Kane and on-loan Carlos Vinicius as recognised strikers and Harry's spent a fair bit of the season so far out injured. I know there's around four other players who are capable of playing up front but I felt they would be better off playing in their natural positions.

I did try 16 year-old Dane Scarlett but, while he has bags of potential, he isn't ready for first-team Premier League football yet. I also tried 20 year-old Rodel Richards, but I sold him to Nottingham Forest in January as I didn't think he was good enough, sadly.

The January additions of Andreas Voglsammer and Jermain Defoe gives me four natural strikers which allows me to start with two up front and have cover in the striker department on the bench.

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We're delighted to have won and progressed to the FA Cup Quarter-Finals. We pretty much bossed the game from start to finish and only an outstanding performance by their goalkeeper Angus Gunn prevented us from scoring the number of goals I think our performance actually warranted.

Heung-Min Son showed great awareness to play Andreas Voglsammer in for our first goal and Andreas then turned provider after the break as Harry Kane came off the bench to score our second goal.

We were disappointed to concede a late goal when Jacob Brown ran between two ball-watching centre-backs to head home but that loss of concentration is what you get with young defenders late-on in games.

Overall, we're very pleased to progress to the next round.

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Game date: Thursday 11th February 2021

Stuniverse Splits Spurs Supporters

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Game date: Saturday 13th February 2021

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL)

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Carlos Vinicius came off the bench and rescued us a point late on. After that, it was like a basketball game, end-to-end with both teams really going for it.

We were disappointed to fall behind, disappointed not to win the game because, overall, we thought we'd just about done enough but it was a familiar story with us not getting enough attempts on target and, when we did hit the target, Illan Meslier was almost unbeatable in their goal.

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Game date: Thursday 18th February 2021

Braga v Tottenham Hotspur (Europa League, Rd. 1, 1st Leg)

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For most of the first-half we just couldn't get anything going. Our 4-2-4 Wide system wasn't working and Braga were overloading us in midfield. They took the lead from our attack, Erik Lamela gave the ball away just outside their penalty area, they played a long ball over the top, Andraz Sporar got the better of Eric Dier in the race for the ball and went on to score.

We lost Erik Lamela to a groin injury after about half-an-hour and Lucas Moura came on and was inspirational for us, aided by a tactical change when I reverted to a 4-2-3 with Harry Kane playing shadow striker behind Andreas Voglsammer. It worked with Andreas Voglsamme equalising for us just before the ref blew for half-time.

After the break, I thought we were the better team and Lucas Moura grabbed a deserved winning goal for us.

The players showed tremendous character to come from behind and win but we have to remember the job isn't done yet. Braga proved they are a very good team today and we still have the second-leg to play back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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3 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Game date: Friday 12th February 2021

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I think you have a high chance of winning the FA cup. Liverpool or Arsenal seems to be the only competition. 

 

Let's hope you don't get sacked before the final though. Those 49% fans sound scaryūüėÖ.¬†

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19 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

I think you have a high chance of winning the FA cup.

Thanks, @Folayinka, whilst I agree with you I don't want to go tempting fate.

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21 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

Liverpool or Arsenal seems to be the only competition. 

Very true. And Arsenal and Liverpool playing each other in the QF really opens things up for us and for everyone else. Sadly though, we may have to rely on somebody else beating whichever one of them makes the semi-final as we haven't got close to any of the top EPL teams so far this season.

23 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

Let's hope you don't get sacked before the final though. Those 49% fans sound scaryūüėÖ.¬†

That's the thing tough, isn't it... I have to stay in the job long enough!

I prefer to think of the 51% fans who didn't want me sacked :)

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30 minutes ago, samboing said:

@Stuniverse Do you use a different tactic or style away from home, or do you just play one tactic for home and away fixtures? I wonder if a change of play may help when you play away from home.

Very good question, @samboing.

I do change systems but I don't have a home system and an away system per se. I prefer to play the same system when things are going well across home and away games.

Maybe this is something for me to consider - home and away systems, plus maybe a different system for the big clubs as we haven't got close to Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool or the two Manchester clubs this season at all and some of them have hammered us.

--

Home Form

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Away Form

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Game date: Sunday 21st February 2021

Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL)

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At times today we looked back to our very best with goals from Lucas Moura, Andreas Voglsammer and Gareth Bale.

At other times we made life very difficult for ourselves. We should've been comfortable at 2-0 and 3-1 but, on both occasions, we were unable to maintain the two goal advantage and let them pull things back to 2-1 and 3-2 but, fortunately, they never managed to equalise.

Leicester is a difficult place to come and play so we're delighted to be taking three points back to North London with us.

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Game date: Thursday 25th February 2021

Tottenham Hotspur v Braga (Europa League 1st Knockout Rd. 2nd leg)

Tottenham lead 2-1.

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There's a cliche in football that says you're at your most vulnerable when you've just scored a goal.

We saw that today. We were out of the blocks very quickly and started brightly. We could've already been two up before Heung-Min Son gave us the lead after two minutes. But then we switched off allowing Ricardo Horta an easy equaliser after an individual error by Sergio Reguilon.

Fortunately our heads didn't drop. It was a tight game after that but Gareth Bale came off the bench to win it for us in the second-half.

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I won‚Äôt pretend that I use a home tactic and an away tactic ūüėā but even if you keep the same formation but tweak what you want from the players, and the way you play, maybe a bit more counterattacking when away than at home! Something needs to be done to stop the Bigger Boys, maybe this is worth considering!

Oh and sorry but That FA Cup final has Swansea Doncaster written all over it 

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25 minutes ago, samboing said:

I won‚Äôt pretend that I use a home tactic and an away tactic ūüėā but even if you keep the same formation but tweak what you want from the players, and the way you play, maybe a bit more counterattacking when away than at home! Something needs to be done to stop the Bigger Boys, maybe this is worth considering!

Thank you, @samboing. That is well worth considering.

25 minutes ago, samboing said:

Oh and sorry but That FA Cup final has Swansea Doncaster written all over it 

Spoilsport :p

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Game date: Sunday 28th February 2021

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton (EPL)

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As a backroom staff we were angry after this game and let the players know that.

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The way the game developed, this was a game we should've won... comfortably... but we very nearly lost it. 3-1 down with 19 minutes to go, we were staring defeat squarely in the face. Yes, the players showed great character and resilience to comeback and get the draw but we should never have been in that position.

We started the game well, bossed the possession, created more chances than Southampton, and better chances than Southampton, but we couldn't get our attempts on target.

Then we got caught out on the counter-attack, not once, but twice, and were 2-0 down against the run of play.

Harry Kane pulled a goal back, only for us to lose discipline at the back, as we pushed for an equaliser, and bang, another ball over the top and we were 3-1 down. We couldn't deal with Takumi Minamino at all as he scored twice against us. Moussa Djenepo's goal, their second, was a wonder strike from 30 yards.

A minute after going 3-1 behind, it was 3-2 after Gareth Bale rounded off a neat passing move to score from close range.

All seemed lost in the fifth minute of five added on minutes when we hoofed the ball into the penalty area and, in a crazy goalmouth scramble, Toby Alderweireld somehow prodded the ball over the line.

We were relieved with the draw, hugely relieved, a draw that saw us go unbeaten in our eight games this month, but that's little consolation when we know we should have won this game.

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Game date: Thursday 4th March 2021

KAA Gent v Tottenham Hotspur (Europa League 2nd KO Rd. 1st leg)

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I may regret this but I'm giving Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele a rest tonight. The team I've picked should be good enough to get a result in Belgium but, if it all goes horribly wrong, I still have the big guns on the bench and there's always the second-leg back at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

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Another frustrating one where we drew a game we felt we should've won based on the balance of play.

We took the lead with a breathtaking move of one-touch passing involving Pierre-Emile Hojberg, Giovani Lo Celso, Lucas Moura and brilliantly finished by Carlos Vinicius.

Unfortunately, we couldn't add to that with a second. I may have contributed to that a bit by sending us out with only a Positive mentality whilst asking the wing-backs to support.

Gent equalised with their only attempt on target in the entire game.

We did threaten their goal more in the last 20 minutes when I sent Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela on, but the second goal eluded us.

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Game date: Monday 8th March 2021

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley (EPL)

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We won... and I'm delighted with the three points... but we left it very late which is far from ideal.

I'm starting to sound like a stuck record but I don't get it, we look superb in training but then, in games, it's the same old story we have plenty of possession, we create more chances than the opposition, but we don't get enough on target and we don't test the goalkeeper enough. Then, as Burnley did today, they score against us with a rare attack.

Burnley make it very difficult. They put ten men behind the ball all the time and their idea of defending is hoof the ball as far down field as they can or put it in Row Z. 

Harry Kane didn't have his best game but that's on me as I kept changing the system out there - one up top, two up top - and the changing the role I wanted Harry to play during the game - shadow striker, deep-lying forward, complete forward, advanced forward - and I never allowed him to settle. I agonised about taking Harry off but, in the end, I replaced him with Jermain Defoe after 81 minutes.

And then the late drama. Eric Dier equalised on 85, heading in an Erik Lamela free-kick and Jermain Defoe grabbed a typical poacher's goal in the 93rd minute.

Overall, we deserved the win... but boy oh boy did we leave it late.

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Game date: Thursday 11th March 2021

Tottenham Hotspur v KAA Gent (Europa League 2nd KO Rd, 2nd leg)

Aggregate: 1-1

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That was a complete, almost perfect game for us. The players were magnificent.

Gent didn't have a single attempt on target all game.

We scored three goals through Erik Lamela, Carlos Vinicius and Andreas Voglsammer. We could've had a few more too apart from the determined, resolute defending of Gent. I lost count of how may of our shots were blocked or charged down.

We are now 11 games unbeaten and our aim is to keep that run and momentum going through hard work on the training ground.

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Game date: Thursday 11th March 2021

Tottenham U18s Cup Winners

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Game date: Friday 12th March 2021

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Game date: Sunday 14th March 2021

West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL)

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A good win for us to keep our unbeaten run going but we made it less comfortable than it needed to be in the last 10 minutes.

We were comfortably 2-0 up within half an hour from two excellent strikes from Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son. Son's shot, after a great run inside, was unstoppable.

We had chances to stretch our lead further but, again, we were wasteful and didn't work their goalkeeper enough.

On 82 minutes we got caught out by a ball over the top, not for the first time this season, and Mbaye Diagne scored to make for a nervous last 10 minutes or so.

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Game date: Wednesday 17th March 2021

Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur (EPL)

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It's a disappointing defeat, of course it is, but for once I'm not critical of my players. I thought we played well, created lots of chances, took the lead through Harry Kane, and would have scored more if not for the brilliance of Aaron Ramsdale in their goal.

We dominated the ball, looked the better team, and apart from their equaliser which was against run of play, I always thought we were going to go on and win until the referee became card happy but for us only. Just us. Not them.

Sheffield United are a combatitive team and you have to match them for that. And we did. But the referee was inconsistent and one-sided with the yellows he dished out. Sheffield United committed 13 fouls and got two yellow cards. We made nine fouls and received a staggering six yellow yards. We're not a dirty team so how does that work that two out of every three fouls deserved a yellow card? By that count, Sheffield United should've had eight or nine players booked.

As the card count built up, we had to ease off tackles more and more, and that allowed them to take control of midfield and the game in the closing stages.

I'm very angry, but not with my players, with the referee and his officials.

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Game date: Thursday 18th March 2021

Is Stuniverse cracking under the pressure?

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Game date: Sunday 21st March 2021

Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup Quarter-Final)

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We did it. We made it through to the FA Cup semi-final and I'm thrilled for our supporters.

I have to give Cardiff City a huge amount of praise. They were magnificent. In the Championship they've only won two of their last eight games but today they raised their game and gave us a very difficult time. When Sheyi Ojo gave them the lead on the hour mark it looked like a giant killing was on the cards.

My players didn't let their head drops, I made some changes, and Carlos Vinicius came off the bench to score a brace and put us in the semi-final.

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49 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

You seem destined for the FA cup. 

I’d like to think so, @Folayinka Although Championship Cardiff City came very close to knocking us out in the QF. Another Championship team in the SF, Swansea City.

50 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

You haven't played any top team so far. 

Agreed. The draw has been very favourable to us in all rounds.

52 minutes ago, Folayinka said:

Liverpool awaits in the final though:)

Unless Wolves can do us a favour ūüėÄ

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Game date: Wednesday 24th March 2021

Scarlett turns professional

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Game date: Wednesday 24th March 2021

Alli strains hamstring

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Game date: Saturday 27th March 2021

Bale injured playing for Wales

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Game date: Thursday 1st April 2021

Monthly Reports

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Game date: Friday 2nd April 2021

Stuniverse under increasing pressure 

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Game date: Saturday 3rd April 2021

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (EPL)

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We went with a game plan that we thought would give us the best chance of a result today and we had to rip it up after only two minutes when Bernardo Silva gave Man City the lead with their only shot on target all game. Ironically, after that we did very well and they never looked like scoring.

We kept things tight until half-time and then went more adventurous after the break, midway through the second half, and in the closing minutes after Benjamin Mendy was sent off.

Andreas Voglsammer was so unlucky in the closing moments - first Ederson made a world class save to deny him, and then barely two minutes later Andreas hit the post.

Injuries played a part as well. Heung-Min Son went off in the first-half with a calf injury and Lucas Moura had to soldier on with a hamstring injury as we'd used all our substitutes.

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9 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Nice concept, just caught up with this. Hope you can keep it together and bring home a cup!

Thank you @karanhsingh.

I hope so too. We have a favourable FA Cup SF draw (Swansea) and a favourableish draw in the Europa League QF (AC Milan) and SF (Shaktar or Sporting CP) but with our EPL league position under scrutiny I may not keep my job long enough.

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Game date: Saturday 3rd April 2021

Press Conferences: Guardiola and Stuniverse

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Game date: Saturday 3rd April 2021

"Stuniverse. My office. NOW!"

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1 hour ago, Folayinka said:

10 points from the next 5 games! That sounds scary ūü•∂¬†

You face Chelsea and City in the next 5 league games and both are away from home. 

Yes, it sounds very scary, @Folayinka. Even if we take maximum points off Everton H, Aston Villa H and Crystal Palace a, and that’s not a given, we still need at least a point off Chelsea a and Man City a. 

This season we haven’t got close to the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool with all of them scoring plenty of goals against us. In our last match, Man City H, we went less attacking and lost 1-0 to a second minute goal that was their only shot on target.

With 40 points this season, from 29 games, way below an average of two points a game, I think we’re going to need a lot of luck.

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Game date: Thursday 8th April 2021

AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur (Europa League QF, 1st leg)

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This was one of those freak results that happen every now and then. To be honest, I can't explain it, but I'm very angry and annoyed with our defending, our non-existent defending, to be 3-0 down inside quarter of an hour is not acceptable. The players are better than that, they know they are better than that, and once we started to change things around they showed that, but you can't give teams with the quality AC Milan have a 3-0 head start and expect to get anything out of the game.

When we went 2-0 down we changed from 4-3-3 Wide to 4-2-3-1 Wide.

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At half-time, trailing 4-1 with our goal coming in added on time from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, we changed to 4-4-1-1.

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On the hour mark, trailing 5-1, we made some substitutions, including taking off Harry Kane, and went 4-4-2.

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It worked in so much as we pulled things back to 5-3 with goals from Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty (our two wide midfielders) but then we let Milan score again before the final whistle.

Hard to find any positives after that apart from scoring three away goals which, in normal circumstances, would be a good thing but, with a three goal deficit, we have a lot of work to do in the second-leg at home before those away goals become a telling factor.

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10 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Yes, it sounds very scary, @Folayinka. Even if we take maximum points off Everton H, Aston Villa H and Crystal Palace a, and that’s not a given, we still need at least a point off Chelsea a and Man City a. 

This season we haven’t got close to the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool with all of them scoring plenty of goals against us. In our last match, Man City H, we went less attacking and lost 1-0 to a second minute goal that was their only shot on target.

With 40 points this season, from 29 games, way below an average of two points a game, I think we’re going to need a lot of luck.

Tough one indeed but hope you can scrape the results! Ideally they should have given you the option of picking up a cup win as well.

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Tough one indeed but hope you can scrape the results!

Thank you, @karanhsingh, it is a tough one indeed. And the situation isn’t helped by injuries and key players needing rest.

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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Ideally they should have given you the option of picking up a cup win as well.

Sadly, I didn’t have that option. It was either accept 10 points from five games or ask for a lower points target. They were my only options and asking (begging) for a lower points target didn’t feel right as Daniel Levy is right that we are underachieving in the Premier League.

I think the issue for the Board is that the Cup Finals are scheduled for the end of the season.

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