It was just over two months ago when Spurs began their Premier League campaign with victory over Newcastle. Since then there have been injuries, inspired form and disappointing defeats. Spurs as a team have not played their best football so far this campaign but find themselves just two points from the top of the Premier League table after eight games. Here’s a recap of the season so far.
Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela Impress
One of the most pleasing things from a Spurs perspective has been the form of Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela. Before the start of the season, Moura had not even scored for Spurs in the Premier League yet he started the campaign on fire with a goal against Fulham as well as a man of the match performance against Manchester United. This month he was also called up to the Brazilian national team for the first time since 2016.
Erik Lamela’s form of late has also been superb. The Argentine has been involved in three goals in the Premier League despite only playing 88 minutes in the competition. Lamela’s increasing goalscoring prowess will put him firmly in with a chance of starting more games for Spurs, especially as the games come thick and fast for them after the October international break.
More recently, the form of Harry Winks on his return from injury has been encouraging. He has started the last three games for Spurs and impressed in all three. With the injuries mounting for Spurs’ midfielders he could be a key player over the coming weeks.
4 – Erik Lamela has scored four goals in his last four league appearances for Spurs, as many as he had in his previous 58 combined. Form.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 22, 2018
Spurs Unlucky With Injuries
A big theme of the season for Spurs so far, especially in the last month or so, has been the amount of injuries picked up by Spurs players.
Dele Alli for example has had some niggly injuries since the last international break. He did make a return against Brighton and then started against Watford in the Carabao Cup but since then has picked up another knock, which has kept him out of this week’s internationals. Spurs are hoping that he will be fit in time for the start of November.
Jan Vertonghen is expected to be out until December with a hamstring injury and Christian Eriksen, normally a stalwart in the Spurs side, has also been out for the last few games. The Danish international has very rarely missed a game since joining the club and so his absence typifies just how unlucky Spurs have been with injuries recently.
Injuries to Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm meant that third choice goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga had a run in the Spurs team. He did not do himself any harm with his performances in the Premier League and Carabao Cup and may find himself as the new second choice keeper ahead of Vorm.
Tottenham have said Jan Vertonghen will be ruled out of action with a hamstring injury until December.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 11, 2018
Spurs in the Premier League
August could not have gone much better for Mauricio Pochettino’s men as they recorded three victories from three games. It was the 3-0 win at Old Trafford where Spurs really demonstrated their quality despite not making any additions over the summer and the season looked like it was going to be an enjoyable one.
However, such is the fickleness of football, three games later Spurs’ season was completely different. Two losses in a row meant they were six points behind the Premier League leaders Liverpool and Man City and low on confidence. As we’ve mentioned, the team were also plagued with injuries and there was talk of Harry Kane needing a break because of World Cup burnout.
Yet Spurs have won their last three games in the Premier League, keeping clean sheets in the most recent two. The games against Brighton, Huddersfield and Cardiff have not seen scintillating football from the Lilywhites, but Spurs were worth their victories. Once Pochettino gets a fully fit team firing on all cylinders, Spurs could yet give the Premier League a real good go this season.
Spurs’ solitary game in the Carabao Cup was a victory on penalties over Watford at Stadium MK. The game was all about Dele Alli making a return to Milton Keynes and he didn’t disappoint by putting in a match winning performance as well as captaining the side for the first time. Alli’s penalty levelled things up in normal time and he also converted in the shoot-out. Paulo Gazzaniga was the hero of the game, saving two Watford spot-kicks as Spurs ended victorious.
Spurs next game in the Carabao Cup is away against West Ham on the 31st October.
18th April 2015: Dele Alli scores his last goal for MK Dons at Stadium MK.
26th September 2018: Dele Alli scores from the spot in normal time and the winning penalty for Spurs at Stadium MK.
A sweet homecoming. 🏡 pic.twitter.com/ee7Y8Wp5te
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 26, 2018
What has been most disappointing for Spurs so far this season is their results in the Champions League. Their first group stage game went perfectly well for the majority of the game, as they headed into the latter stages against Inter Milan 1-0 up at the San Siro. However a lapse in concentration and lack of game management caused Spurs to crumble and end up on the losing side.
In their second Champions League group game Spurs were unfortunate to be up against Lionel Messi and Barcelona at their best. Spurs could have easily caved in after Barcelona went 2-0 up before half time and put in a spirited second half performance. However the game ended up 4-2 to Barcelona and, even though the performance was pleasing, Pochettino will know that there is a lot of work to do in order to progress to the knockout rounds.
Spurs New Stadium
There is also the on-going uncertainty with regards to Spurs New Stadium. The club are still yet to confirm when the first match will be played there although there are rumours that it will be before the New Year. Spurs have by no means been doing bad at their adopted home and have won all but one of their league games played at Wembley so far this campaign. However, a return to their proper home may give Spurs the lift needed to take their game to an extra level, especially if it comes midway through the season.
Overall it has been a decent start to the season for Spurs. They are only two points off the top of the Premier League and have progressed in the Carabao Cup. The disappointment will of course be in how their Champions League campaign has fared. But their group could look completely different after they play their games against PSV Eindhoven, the supposed weakest team in the group. Add in the fact that the squad has been hampered by injuries, particularly in recent weeks, then Mauricio Pochettino can be pleased about his start but will know there is much work ahead.
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