· May 2017 figures
· Last Year's figures
Slow starters again!
It can truly be said about Spurs that we have been slow starters in the Premier League race for the third consecutive year. Manager Mauricio Pochettino had a great start to his Spurs career three years ago (2014) with 4 wins in 5 games, which included two Europa League play-off games, but in August for the last three years our results and achievements have been moderate. Two years ago we didn't manage a win in our first four games (D3 L1) and sat in 16th place, and yet we became challengers to Leicester as the season progressed, finishing third.
Last year was a similar situation with one win and two draws, although we were in seventh place in the early table. Again we became genuine title challengers, but had to be satisfied with our first runners-up position in the league for over 50 years. Despite our moderate start this year (W1 D1 L1) you might fancy a bet on Tottenham Hotspur to achieve again this season, or perhaps on a game-by-game basis, starting on September 9th at Goodison Park.
There is, of course, a link behind Spurs' regular slow starts in the league, and that is Daniel Levy's well known style of hard bargaining and brinkmanship in the market. In fairness, Tottenham were not the only Premier League team struggling to finalise deals, and the BBC's story of transfer deadline day tells of several fancied moves that did not occur. Perhaps the most famous was the story of Everton's Ross Barkley deciding at the very last minute not to go through with a move to Chelsea, which had been agreed by his club. Spurs were interested in Barkley, and perhaps Barkley fancied us more than Chelsea, but Spurs did not meet Everton's fee demand for the England International who is injured anyway at this time.
Spurs did conduct last day business in the form of PSG's Ivory Coast International right back Serge Aurier, whose work permit was delayed and caused some anxiety, due to his controversial record off the pitch, which led to him not being allowed into the UK for a Champions League game last season. Aurier is an exciting player, who is going to give Kieran Trippier competition again. Trippier has returned from the England camp requiring attention to his ankle, which he injured pre-season, so maybe Aurier will make a debut net week at Goodison Park, where the atmosphere might be hotter than usual because of our chase of Barkley.
This list of all Premier League Summer transfer details gives the bare bones of all the deals made, but not the full story. Spurs' other deadline day purchase was that of 32 year old Spanish International Fernanado Llorente, apparently snatched from under the nose of his former Juventus coach - now Chelsea manager - Antonio Conte. Llorente's move was our last piece of incoming business, and depended upon Swansea's successful re-signing of Wilfried Bony from Man City. Llorente is not just going to be back-up for Harry Kane, but his experience and expertise will surely be a benefit in the Champions League. Remember, we don't have Dele Alli for the first three Group H games, because of his ban carried over from last season's game against AA Gent.
The day before the deadline day Spurs annnounced the signing of 19 year old Argentinean Juan Foyth, and our other signings were Davinson Sanchez (for a club record fee) and new third choice keeper Paulo Gazzaniga. We got £18 million for Kevin Wimmer, who went to Stoke. Add to that the £50 million for Kyle Walker to Man City (money we could not refuse, surely?), and the fees for the previous transfers of Federico Fazio, Nabil Bentaleb, Clinton N'Jie and supplementary sales of Luke McGee, Filip Lesniak and finally Will Miller, and the club has probably made a profit on another transfer window. That's not the news many Spurs fans want to hear, but the club was being linked with other players. The strongest of the links was the potential loan acquisition of Barcelona's Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes, but that didn't happen and perhaps depended upon Barca successfully prising Countinho away from Liverpool.
Both Sanchez and Aurier (Foyth is for the future, surely?) fit Mauricio Pochettino's playing style well, both having the pace to recover from high-line defending if need be, and the skill to assist in our method of playing from the back. A play-maker to challenge Eriksen would have been ideal, but we will have to wait at least until January now!
In a month of only three games, moderate performances, and moderate results, the assessment of individuals and team has matched their achievements. Harry Kane has more bookings (2) than goals (0). Dele Alli has scored twice, and Ben Davies actually scored a second successive Premier league goal at Newcastle, to follow one at Hull in May. Mousa Dembele was considered our best overall player this month by Spurs Odyssey voters. (Kyle Walker-Peters made an excellent Premier League man of the match debut in our first game at Newcastle, but hasn't appeared since)
· Review the 2017-18 Premier League season here
Don't forget to check out the players' current figures re. appearances, cards, goals scored and accumulated ratings to date at the bottom of this page.
...if you want to read reports of the matches played during this season, then links are on the Spurs Odyssey Fixtures/Reports page here. By working your way back through the previous month's figures, you can review the performances over the last 17 years!