P W D L F-A GD Pts
7 2 3 2 6-6 0 4
3 Cup Matches
· December 2019 figures
· Last Year's figures
Fans’ expectations not being met – on or off the pitch
Jose Mourinho has now been in charge of Spurs for as many games this season as Mauricio Pochettino – 17. When he arrived, we had played 12 Premier League games and had fallen to 14th place. Spurs soon climbed back into the top half, and at the end of January we are in 6th place, in contention for European qualification, but perhaps hard-pressed to claim a Champions League spot next season.
I can tell you that in managerial terms, and in the categories of team selection, tactics, and substitutions, Jose is comparing favourably against the performance of Pochettino in the preceding 17 games. However, the expectations of most Spurs fans are not being met on or off the pitch. In January we have won just one of our four league games, and that was a close-run thing against bottom club Norwich. We are still in the FA Cup but needed a replay to dispose of Middlesbrough (not convincingly) and have a tough replay against in-form Southampton next Wednesday.
Off the pitch, fans hoped for a striker to cover the absence of injured Harry Kane, whose road to recovery has started but will be a long while yet. We are missing the power of Sissoko in the middle and we haven’t seen enough of Ndombele, although he is apparently fit again now.
Whilst we have been more active in a January window for a change, no striker has been signed. Several names were mooted, and I would have taken Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud who is desperate for first team football, and who would have offered height, effective hold-up play and not a little goal-scoring ability. Chelsea didn’t sign anyone, so Giroud stays.
What we did do, and refreshingly early in January was sign Gedson Fernandes, who had bright cameos at Watford and against Norwich, but was less prominent when he made his first start in the cup at Southampton.
Christian Eriksen's departure for Inter Milan was confirmed on Tuesday (28th January) at a reported fee of £16.9 million, which was a good deal bearing in mind he would have gone for nothing in the summer. Eriksen appeared in 6 of our 7 games this month and played a part in 28 of our 34 games. It is a shame that after 6 good seasons, he has left under something of a cloud because of poor performances this season in the eyes of many fans. His final overall grade of only 4.9 this season is a blemish on a very good record.
The Eriksen money has made up most of the cost to make Giovani Lo Celso’s loan move from Real Betis a permanent one at a reported £27.2 million. Lo Celso has a contract until June 2025! Gio won two consecutive man of the match votes at the end of the month.
The following day (Wednesday) the club formally announced the arrival of Steven Bergwijn from PSV. Bergwijn is 22 and plays on either wing. He will take Christian Eriksen's number 23 shirt. Bergwijn played against us in our November 2018 2-1 Champions League win at Wembley. The Bergwijn transfer had been the talk of Twitter for weeks, and the social media network was somehow ahead of the club with photographic evidence of the move the night before the formal confirmation.
Kyle Walker-Peters has been loaned to Southampton till the end of the season. Danny Rose, who made just one Premier League start for Jose Mourinho, has been loaned to Newcastle till the end of the season. Danny hasn't done himself any favours with his disclosures to the press, and his declaration that he would see out his contract with Spurs till June 2021 come what may. The manner of that statement suggested his heart was no longer with the club, and I am sure that Mourinho has been trying to engineer a path out for the player.
Several younger players have been loaned to lower league clubs. Jack Clarke is now at QPR, who also still have Luke Amos. Anthony Georgiou has gone to Bolton. Cameron Carter-Vickers’ fifth loan club is Luton. Kazaiah Sterling is with Leyton Orient and Shilow Tracey at Macclesfield. Goalkeeper Brandon Austin, who had some exposure to the first team squad this season is at Viborg in Denmark and Armando Shashoua has gone on loan to Atletico Baleares. Armando will join his brother (also a former Spurs junior) who transferred to Tenerife, but has also joined Baleares on loan. Defender TJ Eyoma joins Lincoln City on loan, whilst midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe has been transferred to Stoke City.
We saw the return of Hugo Lloris for the Norwich game. Paulo Gazzaniga served us very well as Hugo’s deputy. Japhet Tanganga made his Premier League debut and had 4 starts this month, playing at both right and left back. His league debut was against Liverpool and he acquitted himself well, making a valuable clearance in front of goal. It wasn't the only precious clearance he made this month either. Japhet was voted our man of the match against Liverpool and also in the cup replay against Middlesbrough. The BBC also conferred that title upon him for that game. Tanganga has won our Player of the Month award in a month which has featured more moderate team and individual performances.
Jose Mourinho confounded those who thinks he gives short shrift to youth as he gave 17-year-old left back Dennis Cirkin a place on the bench for the home match against Middlesbrough.
Lucas Moura started every game this month but scored only one goal - the equaliser at Middlesbrough.
We have a difficult start to February with tomorrow’s game against Manchester City. With that FA Cup replay and our home Round of 16 Champions League match against Bundesliga leaders Leipzig to come, we shall know a lot more about our chances of glory by the end of the month.
· Review the 2019-20 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 19 years!