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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2016-2017 - Matchday 9

It's tight at the top!

In my season preview I suggested the Premier League title race was going to be tough, and 9 games into the season, it certainly looks like being that way. It couldn't be tighter with just one point separating the top five teams.

I did say that it was going to be hard for Spurs to improve or even maintain their third position of last season, and I still hold that view. As you know, in my Bournemouth match report I declared that "we were not good enough". I stick to that view too. We might be unbeaten, but a title challenging side needs to do better than get draws at West Brom and Bournemouth. Those were four points dropped in my opinion and four points which would have made us clear Premier League leaders. I fear we will look back on these two games as being pivotal at the end of the season. Mind you, November could be telling with away games against two London rivals who are flying at the moment.

Having been the top London club for the first seven matches we have now slipped to fifth place behind both Arsenal and Chelsea, who will be those London rivals I mentioned above.

Others remain optimistic, and of course, we are still in the title race, and it is still very early in the season. This has been a rare unbeaten 9-game start for us, and one that is most welcome, but we are not showing the goal power of our rivals. I won't go over old ground here, but you know the team hasn't performed that well when your goalkeeper wins the man of the match vote. That is what happened for the second consecutive game (both 0-0 results) when Hugo Lloris won your vote. Once again Victor Wanyama scored highly, and he is proving a most consistent player in front of the defence, and very reliable too.

Wanyama has managed to improve his disciplinary record too, with just two Premier League bookings so far. That's more than can be said for Saturday's substitute 30 million midfielder Moussa Sissoko who has been retrospectively charged with violent conduct over his stupid elbow in the face upon Harry Arter when trying to take a quick throw-in. The club have correctly chosen not to contest the charge, and will now be without Sissoko in a game he would have started at Anfield tomorrow. Pochettino has to make other plans, whilst Sissoko will also have to sit out the Leicester and Arsenal games. I guess he will start next Wednesday at Wembley against Bayer Leverkusen, but he also has plenty of time to cogitate over his failure to make an early impression after his big-money signing from Newcastle. Still, I believe Spurs are paying something like 6 million a year instalments towards the massive fee. Sissoko was the biggest villain in our side on Saturday according to voters, who have yet to be convinced of his overall worth to the club.

Jan Vertonghen is the player most at risk of an early suspension, as he has already collected four Premier League yellow cards. No doubt he will be rested for tomorrow's game at Anfield, but he will have to be very careful against Leicester on Saturday, otherwise he will be missing THE London Derby match.

The draws for Arsenal and Man City were good for us, but the Liverpool and Chelsea wins were not. That 4-0 defeat for Mourinho at his last club was only the second time a Mourinho team had conceded four or more goals in the Premier League. Yes, the only other occasion was that magnificent 5-3 win for Spurs on New Years' Day 2015!

There is a nice gap developing between the top five and Everton an d Manchester United. Long may that continue!

See the spursometer in full.



Premier League results 22-23.10.16

B'mouth     0-0   Spurs
Arsenal     0-0   M'brough
Burnley     2-1   Everton
Hull        0-2   Stoke
Leicester   3-1   C. Palace
Swansea     0-0   Watford
West Ham    1-0   S'derland
Liverpool   2-1   West Brom
Man City    1-1   S'hampton
Chelsea     4-0   Man Utd

            Premier League Table

               P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts

 1. Man City   9  6  2  1  20-9   11   20
 2. Arsenal    9  6  2  1  19-9   10   20
 3. Liverpool  9  6  2  1  20-11   9   20  
 4. Chelsea    9  6  1  2  19-9   10   19
=========================================
 5. Spurs      9  5  4  0  13-4    9   19
========================================= 
 6. Everton    9  4  3  2  13-8    5   15
 7. Man Utd    9  4  2  3  13-12   1   14 
 8. S'hampton  9  3  4  2  11-8    3   13
 9. Watford    9  3  3  3  13-13   0   12
10. B'mouth    9  3  3  3  12-12   0   12
11. C. Palace  9  3  2  4  12-12   0   11
12. Leicester  9  3  2  4  11-15  -4   11
13. West Brom  9  2  4  3  10-10   0   10
14. Burnley    9  3  1  5   8-13  -5   10
15. West Ham   9  3  1  5  10-17  -7   10
16. Stoke      9  2  3  4   9-16  -7    9
17. M'brough   9  1  4  4   7-11  -4    7
=========================================
18. Hull       9  2  1  6   8-22 -14    7 
19. Swansea    9  1  2  6   8-15  -7    5
20. S'derland  9  0  2  7   6-16 -10    2

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