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Equal with Gilzean, half way to Greaves...

SPURS - ALL-TIME TOP 10 GOALSCORERS
1 - Jimmy Greaves - 1961-70 - 266 goals in 379 appearances
2 - Bobby Smith - 1955-64 - 208/317
3 - Martin Chivers - 1968-76 - 174/367
4 - Cliff Jones - 1958-68 - 159/378
5 - Jermain Defoe - 2004-2014 - 143/363
6 - George Hunt - 1930-37 - 138/198
7 - Len Duquemin - 1947-57 - 134/307
8= - Alan Gilzean - 1964-74 - 133/439
8= - Harry Kane - 2011- 133/200
10 - Teddy Sheringham - 1992-2003 - 124/277
The FA Cup is Spurs' to lose.
Go Wigan!!!
With the draw we've had; Wimbledon, Newport, Rochdale, winner of Swansea/Sheffield Wed, and with some of the biggest obstacles already out of the way; Liverpool, Man City; some powers above seems to be hinting at Spurs to go for it.
The All Action No Plot view...

Rochdale 2-2 Spurs: Four THFC Observations

1. Aggression, or Lack Thereof

Should any passing strangely politely enquire whether we have the ability to field two separate elevens they can now be answered fairly emphatically in the affirmative, the evidence being paraded on the pitch at kick-off. Eleven completely different pairs of legs, from those that did the business in Turin, and if pre kick-off our glorious leader allowed himself a private moment of self-congratulation on the fact, who could have begrudged him?
However, should the line of questioning trickle towards the ability of that back-up eleven to bring home the goods as required, there may be one or two shuffles of feet and sheepish sideways glances.

In truth, the ability of the “reserves” paraded today is not in question, as most are internationals and by my reckoning around eight-elevenths of them would do the necessaries if flung into a Premier League game alongside their more vaunted associates. (Sissoko, Llorente and Vorm, since you ask.)

For some reason however, pitch them together at a lower-league ground and they collectively wobble away like nobody’s business, looking rusty even if they aren’t, and slightly bewildered by the pace, and the crowd, and even the very concept of a cup tie for goodness sake.

Now given that the above pretty much hammers home that this was a collective failing, one might opine that I’m something of a rotter for picking on one individual, particularly when that individual is as loveable and honest as Son, but such is life.

Son in fact at least had the decency to look interested and energetic throughout; his motivation was not really in question. Rather, he seemed to be lacking in willingness to get stuck into things and emerge with a few cuts and scrapes for the sake of the greater good. One can imagine that if offered a sword and shield before a gladiatorial biff, he would look at them in horror, and enquire if the whole affair could be settled without any need for physical contact. The spirit, one might say, is willing enough in Son, but the flesh is as weak as they come.

And so, predictably, the young nib could be seen pulling out of 50-50 challenges, getting wrestled off his chosen path and generally being bullied this way and that. And in a way, that was our performance in a microcosm, at least for the first hour or so.

2. Substitutes Raising The Entire Team

That general sentiment of tentativeness and dislike for the less fragrant elements of cup football only really began to change once the substitutes were shoved on. Admittedly young Winks came out in the second half looking suitably mortified for his error, and determined to atone by scurrying around for as long as his legs would obey, but by and large we continued to potter about the place with only a passing degree of interest, and if the final whistle had sounded and we had been eliminated I’m not sure the eleven on the pitch would have been motivated to do much more than shrug shoulders and enquire what was for dinner.

So it was left to the subs to address matters. They were introduced iteratively, and our performance improved in direct proportion. Lamela and Dele brought with them not only energy, speed of thought and some deft touches; they also managed to haul everyone around them up to a fairly similar level.

Quite why we could not have started with that same sharpness is beyond me, but I suppose we should just be glad that it transpired at all. Lamela and Dele suggested the novel concept of picking their way through Rochdale midfield and defence, and the rest of our heroes cottoned on to the idea and joined in, as if it were the first time they had ever heard of such a scheme but by golly they wanted part of it.

3. The Curious Incident of Danny Rose Randomly Upping His Game

If Son’s timidity in the face of a flailing limb or two were frustrating, but mitigated by that willing spirit, the contrast in Danny Rose’s attitude pre- and post-substitutions was downright bizarre. For the first hour or so the Rose locker was utterly bereft of willing spirit. The young bean seemed to do little more for two thirds of the game than go through the motions, as if to wave his arms and wonder out loud why some people were picked to play away to Juventus while some other people were picked to play away to Rochdale.

All of which made some sense, for here, after all, is a man who, when not happy with his lot at N17, will grab the nearest megaphone and broadcast the fact to society at large.

But what followed made for pretty odd viewing, because as Lamela, Dele and Kane popped in to wave hello, young Rose went through the gears at breakneck speed, until he ended up as some sort of Gerrard-esque driving force ploughing straight through central midfield and towards the Rochdale penalty area. Willing spirit, flesh that was anything but weak – by the time our second goal came round Rose had discovered the whole bally lot.

(And then he lost his bearings slightly for the equaliser.)

4. Moura Looks A Nifty Sort

The silver linings in all this admittedly took quite some locating, they not being of the ilk that jostled for position and yelled “Me! Me! Me!” in a desperate attempt to make themselves stand out from the crowd.
However, the newbie looks a fun sort of fish, what? If “Lack of match practice” were the official party line, the memo sure as heck did not reach Moura Towers, because the young buck tore about the place like a kid on Christmas morning.

He managed in the opening ten minutes the sort of feats that nobody at Spurs has done in several season – viz. waltz around opponents for the sheer joy of being alive. A pretty handy type of name to have in one’s address book, if you get my drift.

A (near-enough) debut goal will also do the honest fellow some good, I imagine. And a propos that equaliser – and at the risk of having the universe collapse under the weight of absurdity – I must commend Monsieur Sissoko for a perfectly-weighted through ball for our newest recruit. Odd, isn’t it?
+3
Bet no one saw that coming from a mile off...

A match we could have been doing without. Whens the replay?
+1
It's just Poch being charitable and giving Rochdale a payday at Wembley. Also an extra game for Kane to add to his goal tally so he can break the Spurs 50goal record; and Moura to get more match fitness; gives the whole team more minutes. It's brilliant man-management and tactical genius from Poch, extending our FA cup run to keep our second string team focused.
+2
That's one way of looking at it...
I didn't watch the game but from what I understand neither Wanyama or Winks will be pushing out Dier and Dembele in the immediate future. Obviously Poch must also been correct in leaving Toby out for the Arsenal and Juventus games. All of these guys need more minutes to pick up form.
Llorente and Rose I guess are the first two gone in the summer.
+1
It's a shame but I worry we've outgrown Winks. Wanyama had a poor game for sure because his main strength is his strength, but ironically he was bullied all over the pitch.

I dno about Rose being the first to go in the summer. Not sure where he could go if he doesn't get back to his pre-judas comments form.
+1
Toby was terrible all game. So was Wanyama. Rose wasn't so good either. Lots of misplaced passes, poor defensive decisions.

First goal was due to Winks being an idiot and trying to dribble up field instead of making a simple pass.

Second one was lack of awareness and perhaps losing focus as the game was near its end. Toby's attempted headed clearance was awful and gave them a clean shot at goal.

Only positive in the game was Lucas Moura's performance.
+1
Not to make excuses, but it was obvious that Toby had not acclimitised to the game or the pitch quick enough. Early on in the game Toby sent a simple pass straight out the pitch and then proceeded to slip at every opportunity; quite literally!

Wanyama lost the ball in exactly the same position Winks did, arguably worse actually as he was right in front of our defence, and needlessly tried to hold off pressure and lost possession. Thankfully this was still early in the game and the Rochdale attacker failed to spot his 2 free mates just beyond Toby and instead took a shot that failed to hit the target. These were the early signs that Rochdale had a clear gameplan, and they were passing it better all over the pitch against us too. Home advantage at its best. They harried our midfield and probed for the mistakes.
+1
Write off half. Wanyama Toby Winks, along with the rest of the team bar Lucas have been so poor. Wanyama giving goal chances away, Winks/Toby giving the goal away needlessly. Llorente missing his chances as usual and Son is having an off day. Completely outplayed right now and deserve to be 1-0 down.

Poch made 11 changes to the team, so it's no surprise there is a lack of chemistry there. Same team needs to come out second half and get their s**t together quickly. We have got more gears and more in the tank to compete.
+3
Does anyone have any insight into whats happening with Rose? Like I mean granted hes not performed as he used to when played this season but hes never had a proper run of games to start stringing some form together.

Are we saying that hes still not getting played regularly because of the comments he made to the press last summer?
+1
no rose is good he gained a lot of weight also so he is working back to match fitness.
+1
Davies started the season as our top defender, hes contributed directly in 7 goals and has generally been solid. Rose had a long layoff following his poor comments, so can be afforded the time to get back to full fitness. There is no divine right for him to be starting ahead of Davies until he gets back into form and full fitness. That is Poch's philosophy, there are no favourites & no automatic starters; look at the fact that Toby has not been played since he declared himself fully fit after his 90minutes at Newport. Missing both huge games at Arsenal and Juventus.

Poch trusts all his players and the amazing team chemistry at the moment proves he is man managing well enough to keep everyone happy and on their toes.
+1
My team vs Rochdale:

-------------------------------Vorm--------------------------------
-Aurier----------Aldeweireld--------------Foyth-------------Rose--
----------------------Wanyama-----Winks--------------------------
-Moura------------------------Lamela------------------------Son--
-----------------------------Llorente-------------------------------

Then vs Crystal Palace same as against Arsenal.
+1
A new 500k pitch has been relaid on at Rochdale, but I still don't think that will help much. It will still be a shitty pitch, so I would start Trippier in order to put some crosses into the box for Llorente. No point having Moura and Aurier on the same wing making runs.

Also replied to a post below re- Juve game/Trippier/Aurier mate.

Aurier and Moura know each other and can be an interesting attacking pair on the right flank. Against Rochdale Moura might not be too fussed about the sandy pitch. He probably grew up playing football on the beach...
I agree Aurier and Moura is a good attacking pair. Will be interesting to see how that pans out in the future but just no need for double pace today, Trippier's crossing better be on form!
Dembele was stopped at Italian customs, because entire Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd midfield found in his pocket.
+4
it's just the right moment for him and Lamela to step in. both do it in style.
+2
Haha class. I'm gonna say it. Best pure CM in the world.
+1
@Paddy on current form I'd say you have to look pretty hard to find better
+1
That disastrous start brought back memories of San Siro, which sparked the comeback with Bale's hat-trick. Playing against the master defenders, we really went in with our own sparkling gung-ho variant. How we set up to defend that free kick was mind boggling. Five Spurs players marking three Juventus players on our right hand side. Dele Alli with two further onto our left, including Higuain. Recipe for disaster but I've watched it numerous times from different angles and Higuain definitely looks to have been offside. That's one big decision going against us, as well as Kane being denied what looked a clear penalty.
The second goal was very much The Doing of Davies. We were just winning the ball back in midfield when he did an unnecessary challenge and conceded a free kick. A few seconds later he kicked down a Juve player in the box. A stone wall penalty, quite similar to the one Lamela won at Liverpool...
Aurier and Sanchez had their hands full on their side. They weren't always too tidy and Aurier's slide tackle penalty was just too crazy. Really missed Alderweireld at that point in time. But it has been raised before on these pages; Aurier also needs more playing time to get himself sorted. Receiving his yellow one could have feared that red wasn't far behind. However, he actually settled and was more composed after it.
Vertonghen again our best defender. Further up the pitch both Dembele and Eriksen were brilliant. The latter prob our best. Dele Alli and Lamela also with strong performances. Lamela always available and with several excellent first time passes.
Great character from the team and in the end 2-2 is a strong result to take back to Wembley!

+2
In an interview with Danish TV Eriksen said he had planned to put the free kick high over the wall. At the last second, he realised that Buffon had read him and changed his mind to put it bottom left.
+1
Agree with a lot of what you say.

Things I took from this match and previous 3 games.

1) Dembele is best CM in the world against top opposition.

2) Trippier and Davies are now fully our first choice full-backs. Davies has been immense recently, and Trippier has been a lot more solid defensively and more ambitious in his passing. Rose and Aurier need a massive game against Rochdale to give Poch a headache.

3) Lamela needs to be given a starting berth. Whether it is for Dele or Son, this kid has an exquisite first touch, and his creativity takes some of the pressure of Eriksen. He's also one of our best pressers and tacklers.

I personally think Dele should be dropped. I think it would be a positive for his mind-set. He needs to know he's not untouchable.

4) Kane is best striker in the world. Love this guy beyond words.

5) Vertonghen and Aldeweireld have got to be the 2 best CBs in the league. Jan has been immense since Toby's injury, and I think he has achieved Spurs legend status.

6) I see Wembley as a huge positive for our team. The one thing that was always lacking from our team was the cocky winning mentality, being able to perform to our best under extreme pressure.

Playing at Wembley this season will have prepared us fantastically for future Semi-Finals and Finals in domestic cups, and shown us that we can dominate the very best teams in Europe.

7) I am very confident of winning a trophy this season. I think that even if we come up against City in the FA Cup, we will beat them. I think we will get past Juventus and gain massive experience in doing so. I also think that none of our players will want to leave at the end of this season.

Such a massive performance. COYS!
+1
1. Agreed
2. Disagree - our fullbacks were our weak links yesterday, both costing us penalties, but both managed to compose themselves as the game progressed as North said. The penalty that Aurier gave away was because of lovely counter attacking play by Juve to set Douglas Costa on his way. Could you have imagined if we played Tripper yesterday? He would have gotten absolutely destroyed down that wing all night.

Aurier needs to be given more gametime - it's his first season and has only been playing the cup games being constantly rotated with Trippier; who is far more familiar with the team and colleagues/tactics etc.

I don't think it is fair to use the Rochdale game as a means to prove their ability or starting status - the pitch is going to be horrendous and it will be a terrible game of football. Think how badly we did at Newport - the pitch is going to be way worse! Complete write-off of a match in my opinion.

3. Agreed
4. Abso-f*****g-lutely agreed.
5. Agreed - Vertonghen been one of Europes best this season.

+2
I'm sorry but you can't say that Trippier would have got "absolutely destroyed down that wing all night", that's one of the most ridiculous, unfounded things I've ever heard you say mate.

Costa hardly got the ball all night. He ran at Aurier twice, and beat him twice. Aurier didn't beat his man once, and got about 3 crosses in all game.
Are you saying that now Aurier deserves to start over Trippier at Crystal Palace on the evidence of last night?

Did Sanchez destroy Trippier? Did Mane destroy Trippier? Did Mkhitaryan destroy Trippier? How about Ronaldo at Wembley? Jesus Christ, I know you doubt him, as I doubt Dier, but give him credit when he deserves it!

And no, its not a write-off of a match. The pitch may be bad, but our players need to show that they learnt their lesson from the Newport game, that they respect their opposition, that they want to win the FA cup. This is our best chance to win a trophy this season; in no way is this a write off.
+2
The full back slots have become our greatest weakness. It used to be one of our biggest strengths. Neither Trippier or Davies are top 4 or big game/trophy material. Rose seems to be history and Aurier is like a complete stranger being dragged out once in a blue moon. It needs to be sorted.

I'm not confident that nobody will leave this summer. Several players are reaching the age that only leave them with one last opportunity to play for someone bigger than Spurs. Lower wages and lack of trophies does matter. They will all get to admire Kyle Walker lifting trophies at the end of this season.
+4
@Paddy don't be so ridiculous and dramatic. How can I give Trippier props for a game that he didn't play in? I had literally just praised Trippier for his performance in the Arsenal game. Aurier got beat twice, so how many times would Trippier have got beat? Bear in mind, you can't just say that because Aurier only got ran at twice, that it would have been the same with Trippier. I know if I was Costa, which player I would rather be running against!

Are you saying that Trippier should be starting every game after that performance from Aurier? No I wouldn't assume so, so why would you assume I was saying Aurier deserved to be our starting RB? I said he needed to be given more time to iron out his mistakes. It's his first bloody season with us!! Walker took 8 season with us before he learned how to cross, his last full season with us, he had a record high of 5 assists! Trippier went on to get 8 in the second half of that season!!!

And yes, actually Trippier did get destroyed by Sane, the exact same game that made Poch dropped him for Aurier when we got destroyed.

If you go back a few pages, I gave Trippier the props he deserved when deserves it. I've said a MILLION times that Trippier has his strengths, and even told North just a page back that he was being too harsh on Trippier when he reviewed our win at Arsenal.

Miki was s**t, so why bring him up? Both him and Sanchez play on wings to cut back in. Ronaldo doesnt play anymore as a pacey winger, and he hasnt for the last 3 years, acting more like a Dele Alli support striker to get in amongst the goals.

To summarise though; I understand Trippier's strengths lies in his crossing but if you are unable to identify that Trippier's main weakness is a tricky pacey wide winger then you're the one that is blinkered mate. I think Aurier will come good if he's given the time, and he should be. He's got another new friend in Moura so hopefully settling in will be smoother.

Re-Rochdale: write-off game as in you can't use it to judge a player's desire. Everybody's main concern would be not to get any injuries.

Did you watch the Newport game? What lesson was there to learn? The pitch was so bad, our players couldn't put 2 passes together. Then whenever the ball is lobbed forward, the wind blew it all sorts of directions. Half of the pitch at the time was yellow for christ's sake.

Of course it is a trophy, and we must win one, but does that mean that Poch is going to be worrying about resting Kane who supposedly picked up an ankle twist and knock? No. You trust Llorente to play because it is Rochdale and you aren't going to take any risks. It is a game purely for fitness. It is a game we are expected to win, but you can't use it as a game to measure player's abilities.

I'm sure I've never been harsh on Trippier.
Sort defense out for the second leg and you guys should make it through. Lucky Higuain is Higuain otherwise tie done.
+1
Aurier was the weak link. He hasn't had much game time recently. Plus I wouldn't have said that at 3-1 the tie would have been done. We dominated them and would have pushed even more if we'd needed to.

Anyway, the last person we need Champions League advice from is an Arsenal fan. Good luck against that team you're playing in Europa.
+3
Higuin was the lucky one scoring 2 in the first 9minutes. The rest of the game was the real Higuin.
+2


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Premier League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
72
59
20
79
1
3
23
27
1
56
32
19
51
5
5
17
27
2
54
30
31
61
3
9
15
27
3
53
26
23
49
6
5
16
27
4
52
28
24
52
5
7
15
27
5
45
15
36
51
8
6
13
27
6
36
-3
24
21
9
9
9
27
7
35
-1
40
39
10
8
9
27
8
34
-14
46
32
11
7
9
27
9
31
-10
41
31
12
7
8
27
10
30
-10
47
37
13
6
8
27
11
30
-12
46
34
11
9
7
27
12
28
-11
36
25
13
7
7
27
13
28
-14
36
22
11
10
6
27
14
27
-17
42
25
12
9
6
27
15
27
-17
37
20
14
6
7
27
16
27
-24
47
23
14
6
7
27
17
26
-12
40
28
11
11
5
27
18
25
-26
53
27
14
7
6
27
19
20
-19
40
21
13
11
3
27
20
C/L  C/L Qualifying  UEFA Cup  Relegation 

UEFA Champions League Table

Form
PTS
GD
GA
GF
L
D
W
Pl
Pos
16
11
4
15
0
1
5
6
1
13
10
7
17
1
1
4
6
2
2
-6
13
7
4
2
0
6
3
2
-15
17
2
4
2
0
6
4

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