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The Spur, Since 1999. "Spurs, a traditional transitional football club"

Season 2018/19: The run-in

February 2019
02: Newcastle (h) won 1:0
10: Leicester (h) won 3:1
13: Dortmund (h) [Champs League: Rof16] 1st Leg won 3:0
23: Burnley (a) lost 2:1
27: Chelsea (a) lost 2:0

March 2019
02: Arsenal (h) draw 1:1
05: Dortmund (a) [Champs League: Rof16] 2nd Leg won 0:1 [Agg win 0:4]
09: Southampton (a) lost 2:1
31: Liverpool (a) lost 2:1

April 2019
03: Crystal Palace (h) won 2:0
09: Manchester C. (h) won 1:0 [Champs League: QF] 1st Leg
13: Huddersfield (h) won 4:0
17: Manchester C. (a) [Champs League: QF] 4:3 2nd Leg, THFC thru on away goals
20: Manchester C. (a) lost 1:0
23: Brighton (h) won 1:0
27: West Ham (h) lost 0:1
30: Ajax (h) [Champs League: SF] lost 0:1 1st Leg

May 2019
04: Bournemouth (a) lost 0:1
08: Ajax (a) [Champs League: SF] won 2:3 2nd Leg THFC thru on away goals
12: Everton (h) drawn 2:2

June 2019
01: Liverpool [Champs League: CUP FINAL]
Happy summer hols

(h) = home.
Originally scheduled dates. Some fixtures get moved owing to TV rescheduling.

Soccerway fixture list for Tottenham Hotspur.

Check those channels like NBC Sports for other THFC & Prem highlights etc.

World Soccer Talk fixture list for US times of UK football shedule and official US providers.

Some Spurs highlights from earlier this season:
Newcastle (a) won 1:2
Fulham (h) won 3:1
Manchester U. (a) won 0:3

Some Spurs highlights from last season:
Chelsea vs Spurs 1:3
Newport vs Spurs [FA Cup R4] 1:1
Spurs vs Manchester U. 2:0
Liverpool vs Spurs 2:2


Tottenham Hotlinks & Football links

BBC football & BBC tottenham hotspur

Guardian football

Ball street

Los Angeles: LA Spurs

Football grounds guide great ground and stadium site

Spurs supporter Chris Cowlin's must-see Youtube channel with stadium updates, match days, away days etc.

NBC Sports youtube channel and their top Premier moments.

200% farewell tribute to "White Hart Lane the ground", to be replaced by "White Hart Lane the stadium" [and to be renamed, currently officially the Tottenham Hotspur stadium until sponsored.] But we'll always call it The Lane.

What makes Arsenal fans the best? "We're not."

More links

Supporter sites, message boards, podcasts

The long running and consistently readable spurs odyssey by longtime loyal Lilywhite

Cartilage free captain

fighting cock mb

The Spurs show podcast

Glory glory forum

not 606 spurs forum, new link as of 2015

TV & radio

BBC radio five live homepage, audio, BBC radio five live podcasts

BBC radio london with frequent Spurs match commentaries

Talksport

General footie

At a glance premier league fixtures and results

Is the resurgence of football hooliganism in the UK real? [features spurs fan dante hawkins]

football grounds guide great ground and stadium site, updated link as of 2017

Britain's most atmospheric derby is in glasgow

Misc.

Football ramble blog -- link updated sept 13

Clips

That match against Arsenal, also on u tube

Check back, links updated & added regularly




Countdown to debut of brand new Spurs stadium

Roll on August 2018. Exciting times as the countdown begins because soon it will no longer be years, but just months, before the grand old club of Tottenham Hotspur will be in an equally grand but also brand new stadium, partly sitting on, but going well beyond, the site of the White Hart Lane we have known and loved.

Major respect to the current visionaries at the club who are doing so many things so well, including the plan to provide rail terracing for a section of the vocal home support. The era of the old fashioned Park Lane End, Paxton, and Shelf terracing may be long over, but it's a tribute to the vision of the club and the way that the leadership and fans are able to work together to provide an authentic, atmospheric supporting experience, and a true sense that the club is as much part of the supporters, who pay a big chunk of the expenses, as it is to those who have a more direct financial business interest.

Even the most veteran fans are feeling a buzz and sense of excitement similar to when we experienced our first live game at the Lane, all those years ago. The phrase "exciting times" is much more than cliche as a new season begins.

Of course, we've gotta make it through a season at a substitute "home" first, not regarded as ideal by many fans, not least they sense that it will be every visitor's Cup Final to play at Wembley stadium this season [another factor being the difference in the dimensions of the Wembley and WHL pitches unless it's made the same].

And now for some big pre-season friendlies coming up.


Spurs v Man City 1969 classic footage shows glimpses of the magic of greaves & gilzean, and pat jennings, despite the loss to manchester city

Alan Gilzean along with Big Match music


Glory days: Jurgen Klinsmann enjoyed two spells at Spurs in the 1990s

'Tottenham is a way of life and I didn't know that until I got there,' he said. 'I signed my first contract and thought, "It's cool to be in London". And then after two weeks I said to myself "Oh my gosh, what is this here?"

'The supporters are very special. They live and breathe for that club. You go to White Hart Lane and there are 36,000 people singing. It's not just one section. It's the whole stadium singing. You go there and think "Wow".'


The Spur's Premier action
Poch sounds like
he's considering
options
Over the line
Spurs guaranteed Euro Champs next season
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Everton 2
7a Pac/USA, Sun, May 12, 2019 (Ssn 2018/19)
Tottenham Hotspur stadium, London
TV: Syfy. Online: fuboTV,Sling,P/stn,B/R.

Final Prem day ends: It's all over. The Prem season is done. 2:2. Meanwhile Manchester City celebrate the title. It went down to the final game for the big decisions: title winner [Citeh], and St. Arseh**** day, that day when Tottenham Hotspur celebrate finishing above Arsenal.

Chelsea finish 0:0 at Leicester but it's enough to keep us out of third place. Arsenal end up romping to victory 1:3 at Burnley but it's too litte too late for them.

Manchester United are humiliated at home to Cardiff [who last beat the Red Devils in 1954] and no doubt Utd in back channels with Poch, who has bigger fish to fry, either with us, or......

It's a higher scoring sport than we thought. BBC Football: "The 31st goal today was the 1,067th in the Premier League this season, setting a new record for most goals in a 38-match campaign. The previous record was 1,066 in 2011-12. Aguero scored on the last day of each!" Palace and Bournemouth definitely made their late contribution as the southeast London side ran off 5:3 winners.

Final Table Top Six:
Manchester C. 98
Liverpool 97
Chelscum 72
Tottenham H. 71
----------------------------------
Arsenal 70
ManUre 66

Second half: Can Tottenham pull off their familiar late goal to win it? For pride.

Classic Erisken direct free kick to leave Pickford rooted. Goal flurry has brought TH Stadium to life.

Arsenal win 1:3 at Burnley. Chelsea still haven't scored at Foxes, 0:0.

City and Pool racking up the goals but City in the driver's seat, now almost nailed on for the title, clobbering Brighton 1:4.

Previously in 2nd half: Ex-Gooner Theo Walcott scores with an assist from ex-Spur Siggy, and then Tosun gets a rare goal for the Toffees. "It's all gone Spursy over there!"

Man City now 1:3 up, on their way to the Prem championship title. Spurs holding off Arsenal's ultra slim chance of overtaking them.

Lilywhites still one up over Everton. Idiot runs onto the pitch. It takes three bouncers to lug him off. Not potentially good for the home club when that happens. With a bigger stadium you're gonna get more fringe elements finding access to the less crucial games. That's life. Don't mix cocaine and alcohol.

Meanwhile Arsenal get one at Burnley, goal diff back down to +8 to THFC. ManUre now TWO down to Cardiff at home.

Half time: Spurs still one up over Everton.

First half: Eric Dier scores against his old club! Arsenal nil-nil in their game, so now the goal difference is +9 in favor of Tottenham Hotspur. Burnley 0, Arsenal 0 currently. Dire situation for Arsenal, who now need to win their cup final [literally] against Chelsea, namely the Europa trophy.

Talking of Chelscum, we move into third place with CFC 0:0 at Leicester. Liverpool 1 up against Wolves. Brighton 1 City 2. Pendulum for title swings to Citeh. What about irrelevant ManUre? Losing to relegated Cardiff.

A draw is enough to guarantee Spurs a place in the Euro Champs league, which of course we're aso in the final of, on June 1 in Spain.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Christian Eriksen's classic free kick earns Spurs an equalizing goal to keep things upbeat in the last league game. Madrid next for the Champions League Final vs Liverpool.

Preview: The euphoria of Tottenham Hotspur's truly exceptional comeback performance at Ajax in the Euro Champs semifinal second leg has still not worn off, it took a while for it to truly sink in for probably the vast majority of Spurs fans worldwide -- we're in the European Champions league cup final. It's real. Matchday vlog reaction. The family that COYS together stays together. Lee of Dorset Spurs is truly truly lost for words, or is he?

This is the absolute peak experience moment for most living Spurs supporters, the magnificent "double" is for most fans something that happened before they were born, or were so young it almost seems like a previous incarnation, before we could really grasp what that meant and how rare, if ever, that achievement is for most clubs.

True, it had a big influence on why some of us supported the side, but I hesitate to call those senior Spurs fans "glory hunters" because there were two more significantly successful clubs overall than us in that era -- Manchester United being #1, with Liverpool a close #2 on the glory hunter charts. Both those clubs had huge followings in the south-east of England [rivalling those of the area's Spurs, Arsenal or Chelsea] -- glory hunters who couldn't have mustered a Mancunian or Scouse accent to save their lives.

Obviously this is not a "double" situation like being the league champions and hoisting the FA Cup in 1961, but to win a European Champions league semi-final to get into the globe's biggest annual club match-up and win the world's most esteemed club trophy is massive, and to go on and win it would be the crowning unrivaled achievement of the club's history. We could be witnessing that on June 1st!

Anyway, back to the now, and for this final league game Spurs are pretty much [dangerous phrase that] through to EC qualification barring a total meltdown in the performance of Spurs losing to Everton and by Arsenal winning, probably needing a bunch of goals, at Burnley. The 8 goal difference between the two sides is a hefty cushion in favour of the Lilywhites, with us three points above them going in. Obviously, even just a draw is good enough to guarantee Top 4 for the true north London side.

Poch talk: It's weird but it was just before the Everton game at their place the rumours and speculation began reaching a crescendo about whether our beloved Argentine manager, who even back in December had long since ascended to heroic almost god-like status at Tottenham Hotspur, will be poached, supposedly first by Real Madrid and then Manchester United. Now it's all starting again but this time it's Mauricio Pochettino himself whose taking advantage of the stunning semifinal win to question whether his future lies with Tottenham in its present guise, and whether the club ownership and management are going to give their manager the tools to cement the club at the absolute top level of world club football. Interesting times, and more to unfold soon no doubt.

On that subject it's time to cut and paste a paragraph from the pre-match blurb for the game at Everton: "It would be tragic at this stage if, now that the final pieces of the jigsaw of super success are almost snapped into place, we should lose a profoundly integral ingredient of the club's present karma."

More soon, please check back.


The Spur's Euro Champs
3 back to go thru!
Spurs get
their 3rd
to go thru

THFC set up Euro Champs final vs Liverpool
Ajax [Amsterdam] 2
Tottenham Hotspur 3
May 8, 2019 (Ssn 20018/19)
Online/TV: various incl. TNT, fuboTV ECL Semi [Leg2] Hilites

More Reactions: Football Ramble's podcast reaction to the stunning Spurs and Liverpool comebacks in the Champion's league semifinals.

BBC Football's 5 Live reaction to this unbelievable night, topping even the sensational Liverpool comeback the night before: Magic Moura, miracles & the Spurs 'superheroes'. Magnificent.

First Reactions: Ultimately it was the most Spursy thing this club could do. Get shellacked so badly that it seemed like the season was imploding, seemingly dead-N-buried very deep into the second leg of the the Champions League semifinal, and then, just because it would give Spursy an even bigger twist, bounce back, win the semi, and go on to boast a Cup Final place in the Champions league. Of course, the only way they could be even Spursier would be to lose so badly to Everton while Arsenal beat Burnley so convincingly that we lose our 8 goal cushion and our place in next season's Champions league. And then win the Final to get back into it! And then.... well you can't top that. That's it. That's Spursy to the max.

It's gonna take a while for this to sink in. Utterly magnifico! Spurs join Liverpool in both making the Champions League Cup Final and winning two of the most memorable semifinals in the history of the world's most prestigious club competition.

Second Half: Smashing semifinal after a diabolical first half, Lucas Moura instrumental in hoisting Spurs back from almost the dead to get into the Champions league final at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on June 01 as he gets his hat trick. Inspired 2nd half as Spurs tie up the aggregate to 3:3 and go thru on away goals, after trailing 2 down on the night and three down on agg until the London side turned it around starting with the first of Moura's goals in the 56th minute.

Eriksen made sure to congratulate Ajax on two fine performances in the semifinal legs. No question, until Moura's first goal the Cockerels looked massively second best, seemingly tired and lacklustre.

Already proud of the Lilywhites irrespective of the result. They came back from being played off the park to giving Ajax a serious run for their well spent money.

Lucas Moura is God! Two goals in four minutes. He's Tottenham Hotspur's inspiration in this game no doubt. One of the players that seemed motivated and desperate to perform from the word go. Llorente making a huge difference too, showing the same fanatacism.

Now let's do a Liverpool in the second half, lads. Do it for Bill Nicholson. Do it for your CV. Do it for history!

Half time: In a way it's the chickens coming home to roost where you have a club playing in so many competitions over the season with a threadbare squad and no reinforcements. You can't blame the players for the meltdown, they seem to be mentally and physically shot.

First Half: Sorry Spurs capitulated within six minutes, conceding from a corner, and then another deeper into first half. Spurs can't score goals any more, a slight problem for a football club hoping to be successful. How do we avoid a catastrophe in the final match of the season home to Everton? At this point, we could lose our 8 point goal difference over Arsenal and not make the Champions league. Almost impossible.... yes. But if a team is exhausted and demoralized, do you play a 2nd team [what 2nd team? --Ed.], or is that even more risky?

Three down on aggregate and away from home, what a diabolical disaster. The end of season melt-down is in full swing, and this time there's no Arsenal or Man Utd losses or meltdowns to propel us through in spite of ourselves, as in the Premier league qualification quest for Top 4 Euro champs -- that at least is still "almost" nailed on for us. Famous last words?

As usual recently, Lucas Moura running his azz off and fighting like a demon. Allie still a bit dodgy.

Preview: What an incredible comeback in the Champions league semifinals yesterday [Tues]. The only slight problem is that it was Liverpool not Spurs [at least yet] who achieved it.

But when you look at the 3:0 gap Liverpool overcame against Barcelona it makes our one-nil home deficit not seem so dire, albeit Ajax's away goal advantage seems to hang over us like a Damacles sword.

Pleas check back for this gargantuan midweek fixture. Only hours away and The Spur will be there every step of the way.


The Spur's Premiership
Job 99% done, Spurs!
United miss out on EC qual, AFC in doubt too
ManUre now
out of
Champs Lge
qualification
contention

Arsenal 1
Brighton & HA 1
Sun, May 05, 2019 (Ssn 20018/19)

Sorry for the insults during the game, Brighton, but in the end you done yourselves and us proud! Chris Hughton is God.

Arsenal would need to win, Spurs lose, and AFC make up an 8 goal difference in the last match to beat Spurs to 4th. Gooners only hope is to win the Europa, but Spurs are almost guaranteed fourth spot barring serious goalscoring by Arsenal and/or a total Spurs collapse with Everton raining in the goals on the final day, next Saturday.

BBC football: "A point at home to Everton next week and that's a full season in the Champions League booked in at their new ground. Even if they [Spurs] lose they're very likely to qualify."
So nice of our north London neighbours to take the pressure off ahead of Wednesday night. Thanks ever so much x  
rhubarbstick, Grdn. comments

The ref has chosen Arsenal, giving them a dodgy penalty [this ref is apparently known for flashing red cards like candy]. That said, Brighton may have freshly escaped relegation but they really do suck. Sounds like the gooners singing for a brief moment "We support the referee" but soon after the Albion fans respond "One nil & you still don't sing."

Had Arsenal lost, Spurs make Top 4. Chelsea move up to third place after easily disposing of Watford. Man Utd could only draw at Huddersfield and so fail to qualify for the Champions league next season.

Spurs could have avoided this going down to the wire but Spursy is what it is and only Arsenal being even more Arsey saved us stressing unduly for another week.


The Spur's Premiership
Cherries pick off Spurs
Spurs fall apart at season's most crucial moment
AFCB's game
plan sank
sorry Spurs

Bournemouth 1
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Sat, March 04, 2019 (Ssn 20018/19) Highlights
NBCSN TV match reaction

Reactions: What an absolute disaster for Spurs who succumbed to Bournemouth's game plan - close 'em down, disrupt, wind 'em up, and counter punch like a streak of you know what. Spurs fell for it hook line and sinker and frankly are not good enough when the pressure is on max.

There's no way to sugar coat that horrible performance - you'd have thought it was Bournemouth fighting for a Champions league place. They showed everything that we need but mysteriously almost completely lack - with our talent that's just bizarre. Qarabag FC watch out, we're coming for U.

By some miracle THFC could theoretically win home to in-form Everton [who, like the Cherries today, have nothing put pride to play for] and still nab a place in the Euro Champs for next season, but it's down to the wire, Son will be missing, and again, it's highly questionable whether Poch and the players can get another win this season. A Spursy end to the season? Won't be the first time. But the trajectory is for a calamitous scenario for the club's first full campaign in the impressive, astounding new stadium.

On the bright side, being relegated to European's second tier competition hasn't put ManUre, Chelsea, or Arsenal out of business, but it hasn't done them a whole lot of good either. For ManUre especially, it's dark days, replaced as the #1 club in Manchester with City now officially a more valuable property. Arsenal can thank Spurs that the same may not have happened in London, although THFC are also now a more valuable property, at the time of writing. Next season, that could change again. Unless...... and now Everton becomes our Cup Final, as I'm sure the jocular scousers in the away end will remind us.

Spurs had two men sent off, Son Heung-min and Foyth, and Sissoko could have sustained an injury.

Preview: This match is the most important of the season and could determine Tottenham Hotspur's fate for a generation. Getting into the European Champions competition for the incredible new stadium's first full season in action is imperative, and this is THFC's last chance when the scenario is still, just about, in their own hands, with a realistic outcome of being achieved.

A draw or a loss simply isn't good enough to count on squeezing through, and then it's almost certainly out of hands. To count on our competitors continuing to screw up is insane. Our final league opponents, Everton, are in form, including easily disposing of Burnley on Friday.

BBC Football's Lawro predicts a 1:2 win for THFC: "I actually think they will do alright against Bournemouth - the Cherries always concede a lot of goals and an open game will suit Spurs."

Guardian football glibly tempts fate: "A win, while it would be very useful, probably will not be necessary with the form of the other teams in the race for those four precious places." Zoe Burgess must be a Chelsea fan. Plus, we need 3rd place, no effing around, it's too important.

Opponent to watch out for: AFCB striker Callum Wilson has notched 14 league goals this season, three shy of Harry Kane. Wilson is a steal for around 3m quid from his hometown club Coventry City, helping the south coast club to gain promotion to the Prem. His high point was a hat trick against West Ham in 2015. He is the first Cherries player to score for England -- in November last year against the USA in a "friendly" at Wembley which England won 3:0.

Spur of the Moment, we hope: Son Heung-Min scored two goals in the home game against Bournemouth and has 12 goals and 6 assists in the Premier League so far this season.

NBC Sports you-tube match preview and a Victor Wanyama goal to get him fired up.

Lee the Dorset Spur's preview.

In the corresponding fixture last season, played in March of 2017, the Lilywhites cruised at a 1:4 triumph. Poch's side was sluggish first half, then ripped and roared back into action in the 2nd half to KO the chipper Cherries.


The Spur's Euro Champs
Ajax tame Spurs
Ajax are
on a roll
De Jong
on fire

Leg 1 Euro Champs SF: Full time
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Ajax Amsterdam 1
Tues, April 30, 2019 (Ssn 20018/19)
Online & TV: 11.45 PacUSA - various incl. TNT & fuboTV

Disastrous start for Spurs conceding within 15 minutes, being absolutely battered from the moment go. Ajax could have been several goals up by the break. After that, despite some second half pressure from the home side who changed their shape to a more diamond-like formation, that was the only goal.

In the end The Lilywhites were lucky to just go to Holland a goal down, so in that sense they dodged a bullet. But it's going to now be a major upset if the London side scores at least two goals without conceding, or one for that matter. The injuries [and suspension] to an already thin squad means the chicken has come home to roost. It's all finally catching up.

Now the question is, can Tottenham get over the line and nab a Euro Champs spot? Top 3 in the Premier league is really needed to guarantee that, but they could also do it with a Top 4 spot unless Arsenal or Chelsea, if failing to make top 4, win the Europa league final and thereby nick the spot that would have gone to the 4th placed team. The stuff of nightmares if that knocks out the Liywhites, but we've had everything in our hands, and still do, so it's still ours to screw up -- or not.

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur starting line-up: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Eriksen, Alli, Lucas Moura, Llorente. [Bench: Gazzaniga, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Davies, Dier, Skipp, Sissoko].

First time since 1962 that Tottenham Hotspur are featuring in the Champs league semifinals, but missing key players including their main strikers with Kane injured and Son suspended.

Ajax are a mind blowing success story proving that an incredibly well run club doesn't need to be a moneybags laundering machine to take on and beat the giants, having put Juventus and Real Madrid to the sword in their amazing EC 2018/19 League run.

In the domestic league, they, along with PSV, have left the other Netherlands clubs in the dust in what is a two horse race to the wire, with Ajax showing slightly the better recent form - which is mostly a string of glorious wins.

Just a few minutes until the first leg of the European Champions League semifinal with Tottenham Hotspur hosting Ajax. Please check back as we react to the match during and after the game, plus some build-up before.


The Spur's Prem
Hammers nail Spurs
THFC's first loss at the new stadium
April 27, 2019. USA live tv/web.
Tottenham Hotspur 0
West Ham Utd 1

Reactions: Reactions on the way as the weekend unfolds. Borderline disastrous for Spurs, now dependent once again on other clubs' results.

What we lack among other things is how to counter attack swiftly and decisively. Take a look at Bournemouth's first goal at Southampton today, their equalizer for 1:1 scored by Dan Gosling, but a stunning team effort, the counter starting around 19:29 into the game. This type of breakaway dynamism is what I crave for Tottenham but is glaringly missing currently. And we'll be facing Bournemouth soon in a match that could decide the Lilywhites' future for a generation.

In a search for something very worthwhile to be positive about: Congratulations to our neighbours down the road, yes, Leyton Orient are promoted back into the football league! They've been through the ringer these recent years but they're officially champions of the National league after winning the title today [with a draw] and up they jolly well go. Now for the hard part - staying in the football league. Actually, come to think of it, getting out of the National league, with so many teams and only one automatic promotion spot, is way harder than avoiding relegation from League Two.

Pre-match: Well the series of poor results from our rivals' for the Top 4 spots recent games continued even beyond those chronicled in the Brighton match reaction below, with new calamitous results for Arsenal, who got bollocked at Wolverhampton, and for the Rags who were swatted aside by the current champions in the Mancunian derby.

In the corresponding fixture last season played in January of 2018 Tottenham Hotspur nicked a late equalizer to save north London blushes with the match ending 1:1.

Two brilliant high energy strikers' drives into the top corners of each goal, first from West Ham [albeit a midfielder - Obiang] and then fourteen minutes later from Hueng-min Son, also a crackerjack video reel golazo, illuminated a scrappy, frenetic derby in rain-soaked north-west London's Wembley stadium.

The Hammers parked the bus and for them it worked: one shot on goal and only 29% possession. West Ham caretaker manager David Moyes' anti-football left Spurs to try to do the entertaining, but we didn't yet have the knack of our London neighbours Chelsea and Arsenal who can usually pull out a squeaked victory against negative visitors when really needed.

But for the East London visitors, unbeaten in three away league matches after this, Moyes had stopped the rot and they seemed set more for mid-table than relegation since his arrival as manager [which they did, but Moyes was not retained to lead the club into the next campaign].


The Spur's Premiership
Eriksen breaks deadlock!
FULL TIME - Spurs get three priceless points
April 23, 2019 (Ssn 2018/19)
Tottenham Hotspur 1
vs Brighton & HA 0
Tottenham Hotspur stadium, London N17
US live: TV=NBCSN; Net=fuboTV,SlingB,PlayStn. w/Rob Francis. 11.45am US/Pacific.

Matchday: A classic thirty yard scorcher from Christian Eriksen broke the tense, deeply frustrating deadlock. Again this season, Spurs stayed patient to the end and did not give up trying to forge that one moment to turn things upside down. Just when it seemed impossible, the moment of magic that THFC craved, and have the talent to create, sent the crowd into ecstasy without the need for MDM and an electronic trance mega-drop.

That goal - but don't underrate the perseverance -- was arguably the most important strike in recent Lilywhites history, giving Spurs the cushion so desperately needed, and putting extra pressure on CFC, AFC, and United who were already getting spooked and now probably suffering collective clinical anxiety.

Preview: We won this corresponding fixture 2:0 last season, played at Wembley on December 13 of 2017, when we really needed the points, and we need the points at least as critically now [coz we got a new stadium since then to showcase our new world stage status].

Everton & Palace do Spurs massive favor!
I watched as Man Utd abjectly folded at Everton [no disrespect to the Toffees who are turning Goodison into a fortress of late] and frankly it seemed like many of the Rags players didn't give a toss. Wow. Then I saw the Arsenal vs Palace result [highlights MOTD US version tonight, can't wait. NBC Prem round-up.] with the Eagles winning there 2:3 and now our loss at City was not the disaster I feared but kinda expected after our momentous Champs league win a few days earlier. Amazingly enough, on the Monday, Chelsea then only drew at home to Burnley, themselves on a momentous tear to avoid relegation, doing Spurs yet another phenomenal favour. You're all too kind, but keep up the good work.

So now it's really down to us. It doesn't matter any more what those two and Chelsea do as long as we grab all our points in our highly winnable remaining league games, starting with Albion home on Tuesday.

Please check back for more build-up, live match-day commenting, and reactions as they come in after the game. COYS.


The Spur's Premier
Final: City by only goal
Spurs have it all to do now to nab Top 4 spot
Sat, April 20, 2019 [Season 2018/19]
Manchester City 1
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Etihad stadium, Manchester
Spurs battle for Top 4 spot

An early textbook crossover double headed goal for Manchester City was enough but Tottenham Hotspur had some chances and played well, but City show why, apart from Liverpool, nobody else is even close to them in the league. Phil Foden scored his first Premier league goal receiving, literally, the nod from Sergio Aguero.

One of the TV pundits made a good point that, despite this loss, Tottenham are a solid side now and have developed the professionalism and cohesion to be up for anything against any opposition, but similarly the Cityzens have been at that level for a while and usually even beyond that level.

This leaves City in the driver's seat for the title while, to ensure Top 4, Tottenham probably need to win every game and then count on slip-ups from at least two of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd, preferably all of them, but counting on the others to flop, when in generally very good form, is a dangerous game.

It really is destined to go to the wire as to whether THFC bring Champions league football to the stunning new stadium for a the first full campaign since the magnificent structure's completion. Echoing the pundit's previously mentioned comment, Spurs have what it takes despite the limited squad and the injuries, but even a point today would have been worth its weight in gold with just four games left [five for Arsenal and Man Utd at time of writing].

On another day Heung-min Son could have nabbed at least one of his several chances but credit to City's amazing keeper Ederson who was simply up to everything the London club could throw at him. He, along with his teammates, had something to prove, big time, after the massive Champions league game earlier in the week that saw the Lilywhites ultimately triumph in truly dramatic fashion.

Preview [Beauty of Football]: Arguably as big or maybe even bigger than the City vs Spurs Euro Champs quarter-final simply because there's still a greater chance of getting back into the Euro Champs league next season via placing Top 4 in the Prem than the likelihood of winning the Euro Champs final itself - and that's the big prize, to have the new stadium hosting a full Euro Champs campaign [of course it would be nice to win the world's most coveted club trophy on the way, nobody's denying that, but we're talking chances, optimal odds, here].

It's an ultra early 4.30am kick-off on the west coast of North America but that won't necessarily stop many people watching it live, or maybe start at the beginning of the 2nd half and go back later to the recording of the first half action.

Whether it becomes a viral event like the Tuesday ECL quarter-final is debatable and frankly unlikely, but for both sides the points on Saturday are absolutely critical, Man City are battling Liverpool for the title and Spurs have three clubs breathing down their necks with a Top 4 spot for only 50% of the above mentioned candidates. What had seemed like a foregone conclusion for Spurs at one time, now is very much in play.

A win at the Emirates will put the Lilywhites in a strong position to clinch a Top 4 spot, but a loss will probably leave them needing to win all their remaining matches and their rivals seriously stumbling somewhere along the line. Going into the weekend, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea are almost neck and neck and United are only three points behind Tottenham.

THFC have the superior goal difference but the north London club has the worst form in the last five matches despite wins from both of their last two.


The Spur's Euro Champs
Spurs go VAR in Euro Champs
Glory Glory eve of a lifetime, & more to come in the semi's
Wed., April 17, 2019 [Season 2018/19]
Manchester City 4
Tottenham Hotspur 3
QF 2nd Leg, Final Agg.=4:4*
* Spurs go thru on away goals scored

An incredible watching experience with VAR adding a veritable parallel universe of drama layered on top of the expected, and delivered, tension and excitement. Holy smokes, what a match. City scored first but Son equalized right away, and three minutes later puts the Lilywhites ahead. Breathless start -- just the start -- and then the edge of seat nail-biting had begun in earnest for both sets of fans.

City have world class players and they dominated shots on goal and possession, much of the game featured tidal waves of City attacks rolling towards Lloris' goal. But somehow, some way, THFC stole the night.

"Spurs vs Ajax, the best CL semifinal ever. Well done Spurs!" -- savicevic10 [Leverkusen fan] Guardian reader comments.

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur take a one goal lead to Manchester City, whilst yesterday's elimination of Manchester United is still reverberating around England's third city. But the blue-tilting Mancunians will be, in spite of losing to a Heung-min Son goal in the first leg, a lot more confident of bouncing back than the Devils supporters were in Barcelona.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino assessed the situation accurately in a pre match interview describing the Cityzens as "clear favourite to win the premier league and the champions league." Still, the Lilywhites have a credible chance against arguably the strongest side in the world right now, and very much in form. Yet Poch is strangely more relaxed during the build-up than the normally suave Pep Guardiola, "whose pre-game demeanour", noted a Guardian writer, has been "intense" and "uptight".

Tottenham are of course back at City's place on Saturday for an equally critical encounter as the Londoners vie for a Top 4 place to return to champions league play next season -- just in case they don't win it this time around!

So yes, it's big, monumental days ahead for the Cockerels and we fans will certainly have had enough of Moneybags City by the end of two such emotionally draining encounters. Let's do it, Spurs, let's give it our best shot. The globe is watching, including tens of thousands of Lilywhite faithful all over the watching world.


The Spur's Premier league
Moura that, Lilywhites!
No Spursy-ness to spoil the party
April 13, 2019 [Season 2018/19]
Tottenham Hotspur 4
Huddersfield Town 0
US TV: Pac/USA NBCSN. Online: Fubo, Sling, Playstation
Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Highlights

Moura that, Spurs and we're in the Top 4 to stay! All hail the new stadium - 100% record so far - and now we can add the first hat trick to the great new stadium's sizzling start, courtesy man of the match, Spur of the Moment, Lucas Moura.

Elsewhere it looked like West Ham were at least going to hold, or even beat, Man Utd at Old Trafford but disappointingly a Pogba penalty wins it for one of our rivals for a Top 4 place.

Tottenham started with Lloris in goal; Jan Verts, Davinson Sanchez and Foyth at the back; Davies, Wanyama, Walker-Peters in the middle with playmakers Eriksen and Sissoko linking to strikers Moura and Fernando Llorente.

Spurs probed and passed but Town seemed happy to run down the clock from the get-go with the occasional counter thrown in, but the lively Victor Wanyama seems to be fully fit and up to his old self again, breaking through to score a skillful first, about half way through the first half. Two minutes later Sissoko releases Moura on the right and Lucas blasts it into the Paxton goal. Impressive stuff and the desperately craved breakthrough is well and truly made.

Town made an effort to bounce back but Spurs were marching on to the finish line, and with just a few minutes to go another wonderful team and individual goal with Eriksen supplying a sublime cross that Moura stabbed under control to unleash his second score, this time into the Park Lane net. Heung-min Son's decoy run helped the cross to reach its target and this was an inspired way to go three up.

Lucas nabbed his hat trick, this time a deft thru-ball from the marauding high speed Son to give Moura, in terrific form, another chance to use his right boot to slam his third into the top far corner - great pass, quality strike.

Check back for more reactions as they roll in. Check back for more reactions as they roll in. Check back for more reactions as they roll in.


The Spur's Premiership
Historic Lilywhites win
First senior match @ Tottenham Hotspur stadium won!
April 3, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Crystal Palace 0
New stadium debut, NBCSN Highlights

More reactions: Very stirring article from Barney Ronay in the Guardian football section on Tottenham Hotspur's first official senior match at their "astonishing" new stadium. Brilliant and uplifting in a world otherwise gone haywire.

Match: Now it's two -- Kane brought down in the box but, from the rebound [before the ref had a chance to decide whether it was a penalty for Tottenham or not] Eriksen swivels his body to connect a left footed thwack of the ball to the net, and there's the massive sigh of relief from the faithful, and the craved two goal cushion.

Recording the match and only getting to look in once in a while and great to see we're one up with a Son goal to break the new home's scoring duck, Arsenal won on Monday and Chelsea are running away with it today so this keeps us firmly in the pack for the Top 4 run in.

Great result and every possibility of Euro champs football at the new stadium next season but of course it's all to play for in the last few games and other than Man Utd's loss to Wolves our rivals for Euro champs football all won.

Back to react as soon as possible with other stuff going on as well. Come on you Spurs.


The Spur's Premiership
Two blunders sink Spurs
Sunday, March 31 (Ssn 20018/19)
Liverpool 2
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Match over

Final result. Unbelievable what happened and yet.... so Spursy.

Sensational Tottenham equalizer created by a quick Harry free kick ending up with an Eriksen assist, on a plate, for Lucas Moura to slam in, putting the Lilywhites level after trailing since the 17th minute. But talk about two blunders sinking Spurs.

With about six minutes to go the breath-taking, brilliant Tottenham counter attack that should have led to Sissoko scoring the winner saw him sky the ball with Son waiting for the unselfish pass that never came that would have won this.

Then disaster really struck. At first it looked like a "brown bag under the St Pancras arches" own goal by Toby. Coupla mil from Boston for that favour? He'd actually played a great game overall - Spurs in general were surprisingly competitive for an away day at in-form Liverpool - and this wan't his fault. Spurs keeper Lloris, instead of catching, parried it right at him as he was moving back so it was impossible to control. He then stuttered for a split second because it looked like Ben Davies was going to boot it clear. In the end both left it and watched frozen in horror as the ball sauntered impudently over the line.

Preview: "It will be a game of two halves, the lads will give 110% and at the end of the day football will be the real winner." -- 90291 spur

Sky preview.


The Spur's Premiership 2018/19
Saints explode to win
Spurs fall apart in 2nd half. FINAL SCORE.
March 09, 2019
Southampton 2
Tottenham Hotspur 1
St Mary's Stadium, Southampton

Verdict: Even Mauricio Pochettino thinks Spurs are too Spursy to win anything. Poch - you're in good company. We fans knew that all along but we so wanted to believe in them [under you] that we hid our doubts from you, so that you wouldn't doubt the players, or yourself.

Unfortunately you've discovered the the truth. You're no longer in denial. So our hope of jumping over onto your side of the fence has, alas, turned the other way round, you've already jumped onto our side. Still, we can wheel out the usual shrugs: it's only football, it doesn't affect the rest of our lives, we won't have our houses repossessed over it, it's all just an illusion anyway, etc.

Meanwhile let's hope Arsenal vs Man Utd sees a draw and masses of injuries to players from both sides, nothing that hurts them of course, but that does take them all out for the rest of the season and renders them unsaleable.

Then a long break from the Prem, and then it's... Liverpool.

Second half: Saints equalize in second half and then a perfect free kick ultimately sinks sorry Spurs. After a strong first half it seems the rigors of the Euro Champs run is costing Tottenham a bundle in the Premier league.

First half: Dele Alli's back and the dynamic duo do it again with Alli supplying Harry Kane at the far post with his 200th goal in a game that the Lilywhites have dominated for the first quarter of the game. As usual Kane's control to shape the cross into a goalward strike is lethally quick and precise. Moments later the Saints keeper hs to tip an Alli shot over the bar to concede the first corner of the match.

Preview: Southampton are in a serious relegation battle which is nothing new for the south coast club. Despite giving Man Utd a serious run for their money at Old Trafford, they lost there 3:2.

Meanwhile Tottenham Hotspur seriously need a win to stem the tide of their prem season unraveling, despite being super successful in the Euro Champs league and making the eagerly anticipated quarter final.

BBC predictor Lawro says "Southampton have only won one of their past six games and I can't see them ending that run this weekend."

However, BBC reminds us "Spurs have gone three Premier League matches without a win for the first time since a four-match streak in November and December 2017".

So one of these two legendary English clubs has gotta step up to the plate and get back to winning league ways.


European Champions League Rof16
Borussia
Dortmund
On the road to Euro glory
Quarter-final home leg could be new stadium opener
B. Dortmund 0:1 Tottenham H. [KO 12n Pac/USA time]
March 05, 2019 [Ssn 2018-19]
TV=Gala. Net=B/R
Match song: "Spacer" by Sheila & B Dortmund. By Rob Francis. 1st leg match highlights from B/R.

Hugo Lloris dominated the highlight reel, making save after save to prevent the German side from getting back into this tie.

The other highlight was of course the goal. "Harry Kane's deadly artistry fires Spurs past Dortmund and into last eight" said The Guardian. Sissoko's assist that led to Kane's winner was a classy goal. BBC Football: "Latching on to Moussa Sissoko's pass, the England captain clinically lifted the ball past home goalkeeper Roman Burki into the right corner."

Meanwhile, following Tottenham's glorious progression into the next round of the knockout stage, came the news that the Lilywhites are set to host their quarter-final as the showpiece drama for the very first match to be played at the brand new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Amazing how THFC's season has reignited spectacularly after a spell in the doldrums suggested it was prematurely petering out.
The mentality was good and I'm so happy for the players and the fans. It's so important to be in the quarter-final, but you need to show more if you want to be at the next level.  
Mauricio Pochettino

The match-ups will be revealed on March 15 with the actual legs to be played April 9 or 10 and 16 or 17 respectively. This means that the massive ECL QF tie is vying with the home Premier league match with Hudderfield Town, another important game to be sure, as a match that will be remembered as an historic marker for the club long after this season is over.

For me, a business meeting starting earlier than originally planned put the mockers on watching this game live, but the result is what matters and it was good. This second leg victory adds up to an impressive 4-0 aggregate triumph. Impressive. The 2nd leg match highlights.

Next up Southampton on Saturday.

Preview: "Only once have they [Spurs] reached the Champions League quarter-finals," writes Davi Hytner in his Guardian preview piece.

First Leg Flashback: Two terrific volleys and a strong header from a late corner saw Spurs, after a worrying first half, take pretty much total control after the break and the globe could see just what this side is capable of. Magico.

It was early doors second half and, capping a nice build-up to release Jan Vertonghen out wide, the Belgian international sent the cross in for in-form and on fire Son Heung-min to guide it in with his usual talented professionalism.

This led to Son being knobbled shortly thereafter from the same scenario - Verts on the left flank crosses in, but the Dortmund wide-boy nails him. Fortunately he's not seriously injured and can play on. So one up and still early 2nd half, when after a disappointing opening half, THFC have entered their stride and have the critical home lead.

83rd minute: Man of the match Vertonghen volleys home a terrific second and unbelievably crucial goal. If we can take a two-nil lead to Germany we're in dynamite shape. But wait, holy smokes, now a third from an Eriksen corner with Fernando Llorente getting a commanding insistent head on it. Goal #3. Absolutely cracking 2nd half.


The Spur's Premier action March 2, 2018 (2018/19)
Vertonghen proved
fit for Saturday's
north London derby
Lloris saves Lilywhites
Somehow Spurs find Unai antidote
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Arsenal 1
Highlights. USA Live=NBCSN, Uvo, fuBo, Sling, P/Stn

Usual intense NL derby, more highlights here. Fans eye view and here.

I must have been watching a different game to Poch who claimed that Spurs were better than Arsenal in every respect. They weren't [except at taking penalties] - the lads eked out a hard fought draw, but nonetheless they prevented in-form Arsenal from steamrolling three points and stemmed the bleeding for an out-of-sorts THFC side that needed something, anything, out of this. End of the day, they got it.

And let's not forget that, if people accuse Spurs of getting a fake penalty [Harry offside - but see next paragraph], Arsenal also got a fake penalty - Au-bummer-yang was not fouled. Justice was done, Au-bummer-yang seemed to realize it was undeserved and hit a tame spot kick, but it still required Lloris to be sharp enough to block it [and Verts blocking the follow up], in that late moment that decided the match - a spectacular climax to a riveting but tough game, as a Lilywhite loyalist, to watch.

Going back to Harry being offside when being awarded a penalty the following rule actually states that it was a legit penalty - amazingly enough someone actually thought of this scenario before. Where "a player in an offside position is moving towards the ball with the intention of playing the ball and is fouled before playing or attempting to play the ball, or challenging an opponent for the ball, the foul is penalised as it has occurred before the offside offence." It's pretty clear. We were the aggrieved party as Arsenal's penalty really was, like, bogus dude, ours was legit as it turns out.

Amazingly, though, Spurs had 60% of possession, with an equal amount of on target shots [two each], maybe it was the paranoia of being a Spurs fan watching a north London derby but the stats seem hugely encouraging given what eyes and emotions experienced during the game.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were lively off the ball in creating spaces by pulling Arsenal's central players away but the absence of Dele Alli to run into those gaps was sorely missed. Even if just one of the "fab four" is missing it takes the magic out of Tottenham's creative threat and most of the possession doesn't subsequently add up to much.

Post-match Unai Emery: "Lads, it was Tottenham!"

PREVIEW: Last time we played Arsenal at senior level was in the League Cup quarterfinal and Spurs avenged their Premier defeat to make it honours even so far this season.

Arsenal have hit form at the right time while Spurs could be on an all too familiar seasonal home stretch slump, which so far culminated in a toothless effort at Chelsea midweek.

BBC Football reminds us that "Mauricio Pochettino has never lost a home derby to the Gunners" or suffered three consecutive league defeats as Spurs manager. If Tottenham win they will "register three consecutive top-flight home wins against Arsenal for the first time since 1961." Wow. Go for it dudes.

the huddlefro, not-606 "Some players are coasting because they know they are guaranteed a pick and are already mentally gone to their next club, some players are being rushed back to a starting slot out of necessity, and teams have worked us out tactically."


The Spur's Premier action
Spurs slump threat
Final result ends THFC title bid
Feb 27, 2019 (Ssn 2018/19)
Blue Racists 2
Tottenham Hotspur 0

US online live: Fubo, Sling etc. TV = NBCSN, Universo; by Rob Francis.

Match: An embarrassing back pass that became an own goal by Trippier underlined the fact that it was not a night to remember for Tottenham Hotspur, and now it's the north London derby on Saturday as the big games keep on comin'.

Poch changed the formation to try to get Spurs going but they still didn't have a shot on target, though Winks hitting the crossbar early on, and it was amazing to see Chelsea bounce back so convincingly from all the weird stuff at their League Cup Final loss over the weekend, whilst Spurs completely missed their chance to take advantage of their neighbour's travails.

Four away losses in a row including all competitions suggests a Spurs run-in slump is already happening. Now there's a
Word is that 1st home game at new stadium = Brighton April 7  
Word up
lot of pressure to beat Arsenal and at least stay strong enough to get a top 4 spot.

What's with Sarri refusing to shake Poch's hand at the end?

BBC Match tracker: "Pedro does brilliantly. He turns inside Davinson Sanchez and just slides it through Hugo Lloris' legs." Then Pedro defies Eriksen at the other end in what was Tottenham's best chance so far, followed by another great Spurs move that led to a wide shot. Overall though Chelsea the better side. Meanwhile Arsenal and Liverpool slaughtering their opponents and Man Utd narrowly ahead at Selhurst Park.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Harry Kane. He's not fully fully match fit or even fully recovered. He still showed great hold up play and a refusal to back down from any battle.

Preview: Should Sarri drop Kepa from Chelsea after that fiasco when the Pensioners failed to win the League Cup last weekend?

Meanwhile Sarri is as good as gone back to manage Inter, certainly psychologically, ready to blow the big bucks being injected into the Italian club by their new Chinese owners. CFC by contrast are banned from the next two transfer windows!


The Spur's Premiership
Burnley see off Spurs
What went wrong?
Burnley 2
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Feb 23, 2019. By Rob Francis
USA Live 4:30a-->LA/SF. Live TV = NBCSN, Universo. Net = Fubo, Sling, PlayStn

Reaction: Ended up watching it on Universo and, whilst grateful to be able to see it in Spanish if not English, this was a massiver disappointment for THFC in any language. Stellar goal from Kane, though. Shame it didn't mean much in the end.

What's worrying is that this was a strong Tottenham line-up, not victim to the decimating injuries that have recently plagued the overworked over-fixtured squad, and we're back from a long break. In theory, this should have been a chance for the real Spurs to shine, even with the hosts in good form after a disastrous previous spell that left them only 3 points from the drop zone.

By the time Ashley Barnes stubbed in the winning goal, Burnley players were lining up to get their name on the scoreboard, such was their confidence that it was not if they would score, but who would get their name on the goal.

So what happened? That's what we're going to focus on as the weekend unfolds.

Is three at the back working for Spurs? Not like it should. Tottenham's current players often seem to be unable to adapt to the opposition and change their style to stay better. So a scrappy but relatively unsophisticated side like Burnley can boss a game without much response from clearly more individually talented visitors.

Another strange effect of Harry's return, despite a great goal and playing well, the lads have been playing differently [and successfully] without him, and at times seemed to be over-reliant on feeding Kane's tall frame up front, but the crosses were off and BFC responded to the predictability of that approach.

Preview: Cartilage Free Captain writes: "Hooray, team news is out! Tottenham Hotspur travel to Turf Moor for their first match in ten days to play Burnley in the Premier League, and the injury list is as small as we've seen it all season.

"First, Mauricio Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference that Harry Kane is indeed back and will be a part of the match day 18, confirming that the striker has returned to fitness from his ankle injury a few weeks ahead of schedule. However, Dele Alli is still not ready, and Danny Rose is also questionable due to illness.

"Everyone else, however, is healthy. It's a bit miraculous."


The Spur's Premiership
Son scoring
in reverse fixture
& scored again today
Sonday worship
Feisty Foxes denied in thriller
Sun, February 10, 2018 (Ssn 20018/19)
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Leicester City 1
5:30am. US TV = NBCSN. Net = fuBoTV, Sling, PlayStn
by Rob Francis

Match reaction: Got to see this on playback some eight hours delayed, managed to avoid the score beforehand, though did see that Man City absolutely rodgered the blue launderers!

This was an amazing match and on another day Leicester could have won this, they matched and even outdid Spurs in many ways but couldn't deal with some sublime Tottenham goals, and Vardy's first kick of the match [on as a sub], missing the controversially awarded spot kick, was really the pivotal point when it appeared possible that, for all their high energy marauding, it was going to be THFC's day, not theirs.

Vardy did score a typically hungry poacher's goal later for the Foxes to halve their deficit but, right on cue, the new hero of Tottenham Hotspur, Son Heung-min, scored a third beauty for the London side to take the game out of the visitors' reach. Let's also applaud that great pass from Sissoko, arguably a clearance but a winning assist, that sent him on his wonderful way.

All three goals from Spurs were excellent, starting with Sanchez from an amazing ball delivered by Eriksen, then Eriksen himself with the goal of the match, and, right on script, our South Korean global sensation.

There's more reaction on the way so feel free to check back as we enjoy reflecting on an action packed win, as we keep up with the Liverpool and Manchester City ongoing surges, plus starting to nail on a European champs place aided by Chelsea's heavy defeat.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Yes, just like the reverse fixture, the Spur of the Mo' was Son Heung-min. A brilliant and thrilling late breakaway goal that finished off a valiant Leicester comeback. Eriksen a close 2nd - great goal and sublime assist. Hugo 3rd.

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur won the reverse fixture 0:2 at Leicester back on December 8th with Son Heung-min in the first half and Alli in the second, with Son providing the cross for Dele Alli's headed goal. The South Korean was awarded the coveted Spur "Man of the Match".

As a result, the Lilywhites moved into the top three.

The Foxes brought on Shinji Okazaki who has been dangerous against us in past games, but mainly when they were fully loaded with their title winning team from a few years ago, long since broken up.

In the first half Son Heung-min did what he does best - break the deadlock, and his typically powerful and accurate shot just seconds before the break proved beyond Leicester's defensive capabilities, even though they had held Spurs stoutly and done plenty of taking the game to Tottenham up to the interval.

Vardy, Leicester's game changing ace and biggest name, was not available to them due to injury.


The Spur's Premier league
It's Sonny again amid the rain
Patient Spurs finally break thru, ascend to #2
Sat, Feb 02, 2019 (Ssn 2018/19) 4.30a Pac/USA online fuBo, Sling, Playstn. & TV = NBCSN
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Newcastle United 0
NUFC fan forum

Reaction: Congratulations to Spurs for a new Premier league record - longest amount of games without a draw - twenty-nine. Beyond that, as Saturday winds down, Spurs proudly ascend to #2 [temporarily?] leapfrogging Manchester City and only 4pts shy of Liverpool, but of course both those sides have a game in hand. The point is that Tottenham are, perhaps for the first time in most people's minds, credible title challengers, not just Top 4 material, though that's important too.

It was a 4am start so a lot of the thousands of Lilywhite faithful on the Pacific coast time-shifted this match but it was worth the wait to witness our South Korean superstar Son Heung-min score yet again at the crucial moment. Llorente chested down the ball well [accusations of handball, or arm-ball according to accusers] to lay it back to Son who unleashed, but straight to the keeper.
Second in a two-horse race we're apparently not in.  
Mitch, Guardian poster

But as we say in tennis, sometimes it's just about getting it over the net, you're still alive and in the point and you might see an unforced error from the other side. It happened here: what should have been a routine stop for Martin Dubravka turned into a Geordie nightmare. Astonishingly the keeper lowered his hands way too early to scoop up the imaginary ball and a second later the real ball arrives and sails right through. It almost looked like a deliberate theatrical fluff -- surely it wasn't, but it really did look like a brown paper bag in a dark alley moment.

Credit to Llorente for another assist, of sorts, but it was Son's on-target effort that made it happen, albeit with massive co-operation from the Slovakian in the gloves.

You've got to credit the entire Tottenham side though, which goalscorer Son was quick to do in his post-match interview, they kept the pressure on, they didn't allow frustration to lose their shape, and also to manager Mauricio Pochettino who made the right adjustments to deal with the stubborn defensive efficiency of the Geordies, but also kept faith that Llorente and Son might combine to make the difference. They did.

Please check back here at The Spur for more reactions as they come in.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Son Heung-min, as he so often does, unlocked the critical moment, even when it comes to sides who park the bus as blatantly as the Geordies did.


The Spur's Premiership 2018/19
Llorente heads Spurs victory comeback
Sonsational return of Heung-min
Son Heung-min
returns from
Korean kalamity
to lead
Spurs revival
Wed, January 30, 2019 at 12p USA/Pacific
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Watford 1
FINAL RESULT. Rob Francis reacting
Live US online NBC Sports Gold [Eng lang]; Universo [Span]

Match reaction: Spurs bleak descent seemed to be spiralling ever downward as Watford took the lead and the clock ticked relentlessly onward, the home side trying in vain for so long to get anything back.

But then returning Son Heung-Min, to the adulation of the home supporters, finally changed all that just as things seemed to be slipping completely away.

And then an even bigger moment, the one we all hoped against hope would maybe happen - Fernando Llorente finally earned his Spurs and made his mark on the scorecard. For so long had he struggled to lead the line in place of the injured Harry Kane, and without exaggeration Tottenham's season was in danger of imploding.
Bournemouth 4 Chelsea 0. Demolition job puts pressure on Sarri.  
Guardian Football

Joy and belief is back for the Lilywhites because that was a glorious header of a goal that any top striker would be proud of. Euphoria mixed with massive relief surged through the Spurs players, management, coaching staff, and fans alike. It was so good.

Check back for more reactions as the night and rest of the week unfolds.

Preview: One of those rare Spurs appearances in the States on the NBC Sports Gold channel, THFC normally getting the top tier billing level on one of NBC's TV channels and online with one of their sub-lessees [getting too technical at this point and not claiming to follow the complexities of TV and online rights] like fuBo, Sling, and Playstation. But anyway, for today, it's plain and rarely visited Sports Gold online. Whatever it takes.

Three different online subscriptions ultimately required for Stateside cord-cutters to watch all Spurs games - Prem and Cups - and that makes The Spur real fans by signing up for the bloody lot [again I'm not 100% sure but I think even old school satellite or cable diehards will need at least one online subscription in addition to their beamed-in TV package]. Yes, the media companies are milking it. But then again, if I think of what it would cost to be going in person if still in the UK, including some away traveling, it's still extremely inexpensive.

Tottenham will of course be missing some key stars including Harry Kane, but Son Heung-min could be back in time, if he's better at fighting jet lag than I am. It's a heck of a turnaround for him.

Watford had the luxury of resting what seemed to be their entire first team regulars from starting against Newcastle in the FA Cup - they still won - so confidence is higher than ever at the Hertfordshire club who go into Wednesday in ninth place with Spurs in third.

In the corresponding game last season Spurs had a hard time overcoming Watford but managed to score one in each half to get a result when in truth Watford were at least as good - and certainly better in the first half. "Hungry Harry is back" was our headline and it was Kane that scored very early in the 2nd half to add to Alli's first half tally.

Had Watford not squandered all their chances it could have been a different result and Watford dominated the first half. Then things changed dramatically as the 2nd half progressed. Spurs really came to life and were in almost total possession for significant spells, passing the ball from player to player, oozing confidence.

The first half goal had highlighted Alli's lightning quick reactions, allowing him to score with accuracy following a melee as the Watford keeper lost control of his catch and the ball eventually dropped for the England international: it was as good a goal as Kane's later tally after the break. Both well taken.

So this match last Spring was a hugely important win for Spurs with Chelsea so close behind, restoring a five point lead for THFC [just a two point gap was too nerve wracking for the fans].


The Spur's FA Cup
Eagles devour Cockerels
THFC bounced from both Cups within days
Sun, Jan 27, 2018 (Ssn 2018/19)
Crystal Palace 2
Tottenham H. 0 [FINAL RESULT]
Selhurst Park, London BBC preview
US live online: ESPN+ w/ Jonathan Pearce, Clive Allen

Match as it unfolded: Holy cow, Connor Wickham is still alive and well and just scored against Spurs, injured and crocked [Wickham that is] while the match was barely ten minutes gone. Gotta like the inspiration of Palace's Jeff Schlupp to create the shock goal. Congratulations: we just got Schlupped!

So far Wilfred Zaha, back for Palace, hasn't needed to do much as Palace seem to be cruising, but when he gets the ball Spurs are putting up to four players on him!

But a long long way to go before Spurs can be written off. For the Eagles, not bad for a club whose top priority is, overwhelmingly, staying in the top flight. Maybe without the pressure of the league's trench warfare they can express themselves and just enjoy the day, which they are, so far. Spurs haven't even had a shot on target with over half an hour gone.

Tottenham are in trouble with all the injuries. Son is on his way back from his brief international trip, Eriksen is resting, but both should be available for Watford in the even more crucial Prem game midweek.

Meanwhile Palace go two up with a penalty successfully taken by ex-Spur Andros Townsend, who doesn't celebrate after scoring, after Walker-Peters concedes a blatant handball to block a cross in the penalty area.

In the final first half humiliation, Trippier does what he does best - misses another penalty after Foyth got hacked in the box [sounds painful]. Half time.

Hopefully Palace rest some of their players with their focus totally on the Premier league.

Second Half: Spurs seem to be lacking confidence. Llorente had a golden opportunity from a Dier cross but he just couldn't stick it in the way Kane or Son would have.

Props to the away fans with the faithful in full voice despite being two down and a pretty bad performance. A small consolation is that Arsenal and West Ham got knocked out, too.

Gotta hand it to Roy Hodgson, current manager of Crystal Palace, he's been in the biz a long time, but more than a journeyman manager, he gets the best out of players and squads without any fanfare and no matter the circumstances.

As for Spurs, we're supposed to be legendary FA Cup participants but you'd be hard pushed to know it on this display. Oh well -- the quadruple trophy dreams are whittled down to two -- but now London's #1 club can focus on winning the bigger fish of a Prem title and the Euro Champs league, causing London Bridge to be renamed Pochettino's Rise.


The Spur's League Cup Semifinal 2nd Leg
Spurs spot kick shocker
Moura dier penalty flubs by Spurs
Thurs, Jan 24, 2019
Chelsea 2
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Stamford Bridge, London
Rob Francis to react. USA Live online = ESPN+

PENALTIES: It all goes pear shaped on the penalties. Spurs miss two [Dier, Moura], Chelsea 100%. Pity about Moura's kick being saved because he was one of the best players out there for the Lilywhites today.

So Spurs miss out on a League Cup final vs Manchester City. See you at Palace for the next game - another Cup affair with the FA Cup tie at Selhurst Park.

Second Half: Looks like it's going to penalties. Not long to go. IT'S PENALTIES.

One back for THFC. Brilliant cross by Danny Rose and yes Fernando Llorente has scored, this time from the header, into the right goal.

Half Time: 2:0 on the night, 2:1 overall.

First Half: In progress with a second Chelsea goal and now they look to be the faves to go thru and meet Man City in the final. Spurs will need much more - this could be a pasting otherwise.

A possible injury to Ben Davies but right now playing on.

A Chelsea goal from a powerful mid range shot from Ngolo Kante. Nobody available to close him down as the ball rolled out from the melee into his path for a well struck opening goal that, of course, makes the overall situation even at 1:1 over the two legs so far.

From the start the home side created more pressure but several nice fluid counter breaks by the visitors show potential. Lamela looking lively.


The Spur's Premiership
A Nod & a Winks
Late Winks header supplied by super sub "GK"
January 20, 2019
Fulham 1
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Craven Cottage, London. FINAL SCORE
TV = NBCSN. Online: fuBo, Sling, PlayStn.

Second Half
Within moments of the restart a terrific chipped cross from Eriksen gives Alli the headed equalizer. One all, cracking but error filled match. But an injury [hamstring?] to Dele Alli, if serious, is a major blow for the player and the club. We'll see.

In the final seconds of stoppage time a header from Harry Winks crossed in superbly by Dele's 87th minute replacement Georges-Kevin N'koudou ["GK the Nod"] who combined to make the Men of the Match - home grown Spurs youth talent Winks and French youth international N'koudou - snatching a profound win for the north London club. The Cameroonian providing the assist will surely invite France to consider him at senior level and certainly must boost his chances to succeed at football's top level.

What a fantastic climax to a rip roaring capital derby on the banks of the Thames. "Chaos behind the goal as Spurs celebrate with their fans." -- Luke Ready, BBC.

"Wow...those Spurs fans know exactly what that means. They're going absolutely wild," says Jermaine Jenas, adding: "It's a big, big moment in Spurs' season. Everything was negative with regards to the players missing. But they kept plugging away, they kept getting the ball into the box and it was one of their own in Harry Winks that saved the day today."

First Half
With Spurs sharpshooters Kane and Son not available, Fernando Llorente was the man Spurs were looking for to score, and he did. One almost hesitates to mention the minor caveat that it was in the Spurs goal not Fulham's. Minor point but one hopes that this particular wrinkle, by no means insurmountable, is ironed out before the day is done.

Preview
Fulham are back in the Premiership but it looks like not for long as they languish second to last in the table going into this weekend's fixtures with the worst goal difference in the Premiership. All is not lost as, for a while now, seven clubs are all within reach of being relegated. But nonetheless it doesn't look good for the west London outfit.

They just signed a name player, Ryan Babel, from Besiktas, and that could give them a boost right off the bat. Another factor that gives FFC a glimmer of hope is that both Tottenham Hotspur's goal machines won't be on the pitch, with Harry Kane injured and Son Hueng-min playing for South Korea in the Asian Cup.

But Spurs are heavily favoured to win this match and need to get all three points to stay in the title race, and also to avenge their home defeat to Man Utd.

Claudio Ranieri is the Fulham manager for this the 50th top flight meeting between the two clubs [which covers the First Divison era and the Premiership]. He can point to Fulham's recent form at Craven Cottage for comfort, losing only one of their last five home league games.

Please check back for more as we build up to the trip across London for Sunday's match.


The Spur's Premiership
United get in Gea
Kane injury alarm
Sun, Jan 13 (Ssn 20018/19) 8.30am US/pacific
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Manchester United 1
Wembley US TV= NBCSN; Online = fuBo, Sling, Playstn.
by Rob Francis

VERDICT: One goal decides it, massive repercussions for both sides, and now Harry Kane injured in the final moments - how bad?

With Ole Gunnar-S breaking records for United as their interim manager, the irony of this result is that it may predicate his promotion to full time Red Devils gaffer and thus result in Poch continuing his stellar career with a Spurs side that he's transformed from mid-table filler to one of the most promising sides in the world right now. Only United keeper David de Gea kept out the Tottenham tirade but it's enough to propel Ole to cement himself #1 choice to helm the "biggest club in the world".
David de Gea

And yet, in turn, this match also demonstrated why Mauricio is the #1 sought after manager globally, and he won't find a better squad than he's nurtured in N17 but needs to be given the money when necessary to push the Lilywhites over the top and into trophy winning nirvana.

SECOND HALF: Here we go, Act II. Kane denied by the foot of Utd keeper David de Gea. Moments later, Dele Alli's header denied. Sizzling start by Spurs. De Gea yet another save from Kane off a corner, and now again from Alli. Wow. Now with his foot as Toby on target from a corner. This time de Gea fairly easily from Kane free kick just outside the area. De Gea this time stops Alli. 4 mins to go and de Gea's tenth save this time denying Kane. Deranged linesman. Llorente not sharp enough to beat de Gea.

HALF TIME: Spurs seem to be struggling when United break very fast and no time for Spurs to regroup. There's an element of panic at the back and Ole seems to have set up the visitors to take advantage of Tottenham's high pressing tactics. The strain of the cascading mid-winter fixture list is leaving Spurs' overly thin squad exhausted. But a dynamite goal from the visitors. Spurs trailing with it all to do second half.

FIRST HALF: First half in now over, Eriksen on fire, Son marauding, Winks skies. Spurs on top so far, but United breaking dangerously. Entertaining stuff but a stress test for fans of both sides. Kane "scores" but the near-side linesman's flag is stuck in an upward position against Spurs. Then a goal just before halftime from Marcus Rashford, great pass from our nemesis Paul Pogba, and THFC have their work cut out for the 2nd half.

PREVIEW: Poch is a marked man - by the evil Red Devils of Manchester Utd who have decided to build their world around our manager becoming theirs, and so are unwelcomed visitors indeed.


The Spur's FA Cup
7 Up in the Cup for Spurs
Goalfest includes Llorente hat-trick & Aurier brace
Spurs thrash
Tranmere in
the FA Cup
Fri, Jan 04, 2019 (Ssn 20018/19)
Tranmere Rovers 0
Tottenham Hotspur 7
Prenton Park, Birkenhead. FULL TIME SCORE
Online: ESPN+

Shots on target 2:12. Completed passes by Dele Alli 89%.

SECOND HALF: "Spurs are on their way to Wembley" is the chant from the away block as Dele Alli feeds sub Harry Kane for a fine goal #7 for Spurs in a riotous scoring frenzy for the London side.

It's going crazy with an avalanche of Spurs goals -- Llorente just completed his hat trick with two more Tottenham goals this game, now totalling six for Spurs - Aurier's brace and Son's goal adding up to a shellacking for Tranmere.

THFC midfielder George Marsh makes his senior team debut around the 65th min as Son departs, to a standing ovation, to play internationally for South Korea. Of course he'll be missed by Spurs.

It's #4, they couldn't handle Son Hueng-min's charging style as he barrels forward leaving the home defence in disarray and pumps in another trademark goal.

Aurier bundles goal number three and a brace for him, he was involved in the second goal too, what a player.

Son with a perfect cross for Llorente and it's the second goal and Tottenham two up, taking advantage of loose defending from the hosts.

FIRST HALF: Deep into the opening half a beautiful sliced curler from Serge Aurier's outside right boot, with the possible help of a very slight deflection, left the poor Rovers keeper completely stranded. One moment of sizzling skill dents the Tranmere dream of progressing, but Tottenham have been in control, albeit with few other chances so far, and are successfully choking the home side's efforts to break out and really play.

Preview: Match is about to kick off. Tottenham Hotspur have bigger fish to fry but we are tantalizingly close to a trophy this season with two domestic cups in play, namely today's FA Cup encounter, and also the League Cup is a serious possibility. Of course, the Premiership and the Euro Champs league are also winnable for the Lilywhites and a quadruple would be a nice way to start decorating the new trophy cabinet.

Tranmere are a mid-table side in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, so this is definitely a welcome dash of pizzaz to their season, although they are theoretically in with an outside shot of a promotion run - three points shy of a playoff spot but with 8 other clubs in a better position to go up, and only 4 total places available.

Rovers are located in a decent sized chunk of ex-urb Merseyside, but with Liverpool and Everton close by, and Man Utd and City not much further, there's choices for the locals. With new owners they've clambered back into the football league after a recent second brush with near extinction.


The Spur's Premiership
Cardiff City 0:3 Tottenham Hotspur
FINAL SCORE
"We need to be
prepared for a
big battle and
we're looking
forward to it."

THFC manager
Mauricio Pochettino
Tues, Jan 1, 2018 (Ssn 20018/19)
Cardiff City 0
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Cardiff, Wales. Live USA: 9:30a Pac/USA
TV:NBCSN. Online:fuboTV, SlingB, PlayStnVue

After the Wolves collapse this turned out be a routine professional sweeping away of a side that had no "putaway shots" as tennis players would say.

Harry Kane got one so early against the Bluebirds that some of us hadn't tuned in by then, but what a great assist from Son Hueng-min to Eriksen for the second, and the third was just as consummate - another team and individual effort for a great goal with Sissoko and Kane playing a pivotal role with Harry's first touch setting up Son to score with style, as usual, for 3 nil up.

Preview: This was among other things the club where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, current interim gaffer at Man Utd, flopped in his debut as a Premier league manager. Back then The Spur noted: "The media has really being hyping all things Cardiff City for some reason: Vincent Tan sells copy and attracts eyeballs, it seems, plus the spectacularly ineffective start to Ollie Gunnar-S's managerial career, eyeing the fake reds [Cardiff under Tan's enforced red colour scheme] as his stepping stone in which he would dazzle the world with his 'out of the gate' success and then takeover the real red devils, Manchester United, but it's all gone pear shaped."

BBC Football notes Tottenham Hotspur's injuries: "Victor Wanyama, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela are set to miss out again."

Spurs have dominated meetings with Cardiff City and should be favorites to win again, but yet Cardiff won their previous Prem match while Spurs were stunned at home by Wolves. A strong element of unpredictability has entered this season's top flight fixtures just as it seemed to be getting a bit too much like rich clubs beat poorer clubs, thank you and goodnight. Not always like that every time - it still holds true that, even though the majority of outcomes follow the usual norm of form based on investment, there's still no guarantee that the obvious winner is pre-ordained.

Cardiff have had a really hard time scoring against Spurs, but their defence has tightened up and they haven't been giving much away at the back, perhaps suggesting a low scoring result? Yet both teams like to attack and fancy themselves on the break too. In other words, who the hell knows. But if you want a prediction: Spurs to scoop three away points.


The Spur's Premiership
Wolves feast on Cockerels
Final score
Dec 29, 2018 (Ssn 2018/19)
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Wolverhampton W. 3
Wembley, London - 7am PacZone/USA
US live. TV: NBCSN. Net: fuboTV, Sling, P/Stn. by Rob Francis

Congratulations to England captain and Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who is appointed by Her Majesty an MBE, which probably means "Most brilliant ever". He celebrated by scoring in the 23rd minute and Spurs hanged on to that slim lead until Willy Boli's headed equalizer around minute 72 from a great Joao Moutinho assist. Note: That's how to take corners, Eriksen. Big final phase of the match coming up.

Zonal marking is already being blamed for Tottenham's dilemma in this match. No matter how bad a rap "zonal marking" gets, it seems every team is required to employ it for at least a certain minimum percentage of their seasonal playing time in order for experts to have something to point at when the wheels come off a team and when pundits need a time saving hack.

But wait, it just got worse. Wolves get a second, Raul rolls it into the net with Hugo Lloris doing a slow motion impersonation of a late goalkeeper reaction, reflecting the lethargic second half by Spurs with Wolves dominating since the break.

But wait, it just got even worse. Number #3 for Wanderers. They're playing like Spurs do on a good day, which this isn't.

Instead of blaming zonal marking, I'll point to the incredible overload of matches with a squad too thin to make it all the way thru to the end of the year without borderline collapsing. They finally ran out of electricity. Yet there is no time to take a needed break, just plug in and try to recharge somewhat before the trip to Cardiff.

Cardiff won their match with a sensational only goal at Leicester in an amazing Saturday of action so far - check out the Fulham v Huddersfield game for a storyline. Now Spurs fans have the dilemma of watching Liverpool host Arsenal in a match that for THFC, both teams must lose at all costs! Well, a draw with loads of red cards and bust ups will have to do.

MAN OF THE MATCH: The entire Wolves team. This is a promoted side that doesn't park the bus. They play like they intend to win every match, home or away. Often it works.

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur are on a serious run of success. Now the club has graduated from competing for a top four spot to being involved in a three horse race for the title.

Thing is I recall, a few years ago, THFC being in a two horse race for the title with Leicester City and managing to finish that race in third place. So maybe we'll finish second in a three horse race which is where we stand in the table going into this game. I'm not a betting man so I'll leave the final decision on where to place your hard earned cash to those in the gambling community, or just predict here yourself for fun.

There's so much that can change as we cross the half way point of the season, so to borrow the response of the vast majority of managers when tackling this issue in an interview - let's take it one game at a time and just focus on beating [insert opponents here, in our case Wolverhampton Wanderers] this Saturday.

Stay tuned for more preview for this match which, on the north American west coast, turns into an early morning kick-off on the NBC sports network TV & online.

Recently promoted Wolves are doing well so far, but after an almost spectacular start to the campaign they tailed off alarmingly for a while but now seem to be entering a phase of mid-table stabilization.

They're in 10th spot [although West Ham could bump them down a notch if the London side beats Southampton at St.Mary's later today] going into this game [Spurs #2nd], with a minus 2 goal difference [Spurs +24]. Wanderers just drew 1:1 away at Fulham, previously losing 0:2 at home to Liverpool but beating both Bournemouth at home and Newcastle away before that.

Please check for more build up as we enter another weekend of action packed football with our final match of the year being this one at home to Wolves, but back again on Tuesday with the New Year's first THFC match away, at Cardiff City, also on the NBC sports network TV & online, to make New Year's Day even better.


The Spur's Premiership
Very Hot Spurs
Cherries doing
well in Prem
but destroyed
by in-form THFC

Final score as THFC chew on the Cherries
Tottenham Hotspur 5
vs AFC Bournemouth 0
Wed, Dec. 26, 2018 (Ssn 20018/19)
Online: 7am pacUSA time - NBC Sports Gold

Reaction: It's over and the Spurs rampage continues with an even bigger win than three days earlier, this time a five goal margin. Surely Poch would be insane to leave this amazing Lilywhite project for the dodgy doings of the Manchester rags. Or maybe it's gonna be the noisy neighbors with all the riches of black gold as City sputter.

Shots on target 7:4, not as one-sided as the final score, but the game was.

What a tragedy it would be to lose Poch and for this one-in-a-million alignment of the stars: close to perfect manager guiding a young squad that's now almost completely in synch and ready to claim the footballing world as their own. Just imagine if we actually continued to strengthen the squad depth rather than have the entire shebang poached by inferior, but richer, clubs.

Man of the match yet again: Son Hueng-min. The most popular person in South Korea? Not a K-Pop expert but outside the teen population the answer is assuredly yes. A large chunk of the population tends to turn popular humans into gods so maybe when he hangs up his boots he can lead the next Moonie-type cult.

I think Kyle Walker-Peters shares the MOM honors with three assists.

Trying not to squint at any other scores 'til they show all the other goals but from the crowd reaction sounds like there's other results going our way, too.

Alright, time to switch to fuboTV and get behind the Seagulls to kick the gooner Arse. Well, if Brighton continue to put the ball on a plate for Arsenal to score it could be a cricket score against the south coasters.

Pre-match: Eddie Howe would be my pick to replace Poch if the awful time came that ManUre poached our Argentine superhero manager. So it's no surprise to see BBC Football's preview mention that "Eddie Howe has been tipped as a potential Pochettino successor, and with Bournemouth's much-needed win over Brighton moving the Cherries up to eighth, he says this is now a game 'they can really attack'".

Howe always has the right answers to media questions and the BBC preview goes on to report him responding as to whether he's moving to Tottenham: " It is absolutely foolish of me to think of anything other than this club. I am absolutely committed 100% to every minute here."

Bournemouth's Up The Cherries site writes: "Pochettino has been the Spurs manager since May 2014 after leaving Southampton after one season in charge. In his first season Spurs finished in 5th place. Since then they haven't finished lower than 3rd. In the Summer his club made transfer history by being the first Premier League side to not sign anyone in a Summer transfer window since it was introduced.

"Spurs Team News: Eric Dier out with appendicitis, Jan Vertonghen thigh strain, Victor Wanyama knee injury, Mousa Dembele ankle injury, Vincent Janssen foot injury. In the game against Everton, Dele Alli went off with a thigh injury."


Premier (Ssn 2018/19)
Spurs 1 Burnley 0 [Final]
Eriksen, Kane assist! More reactions soon
December 15, 2018. Rob F reacting.
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Burnley 0
US TV: NBCSN. Online: Fubo, Sling, Playstn

Instant reaction: It seemed like the goal just wasn't going to happen - even more so than the climax at Barcelona - until the patient professional probing of the talented Spurs side finally broke through, this time in stoppage time, and with only the third shot on goal in the entire match from either siden [Burnley had none]. For all their intrepid and frustrating defending, it wasn't ultimately enough for the Clarets, and in a saving grace for this sport, otherwise nobody would bother to watch; justice was done.

Preview. They are Burnley from the North, as the song goes, but they are struggling in the league this season. Not quite in the relegation zone going into the weekend's fixtures, but only 2 points clear of 18th placed Huddersfield, and one of seven sides all eager to avoid being the unlucky bottom three of those candidates.

Sean Dyche has been a terrific manager for the club so far. For a club in a small town with a limited budget they've punched way above their weight. But this season has been tough and playing Tottenham Hotspur away would, on paper, be one of their tougher assignments. Burnley are a team known for being "built from the back" under Dyche's watch, but this campaign they've conceded lots of goals. That's what's gone wrong, along with their scoring ace from last season Chris Wood losing his magic touch, almost completely.

Check back as we're only hours ahead of KO being viewed globally, and in the US on NBCSN and the usual online suspects.

Meanwhile the club reveals that the move-in date to the new Spurs stadium is now being pushed beyond the Man Utd home game on Jan 13 with no specific date in mind yet until the safety certificate is issued. Bets on Feb or March, anyone? What would be the best opener for such a huge occasion? I'm betting on the visit of Ars*nal on March 2nd.


The Spur's Euro Champs League (Ssn 2018/19)
Lilywhites go thru!
Spurs/Inter both draw, Kane+Moura combine to save Spurs
December 11, 2018, HILITES
Barcelona 1
Tottenham Hotspur 1
US TV: TNT. Online: Fubo, Sling, Playstn

Second Half. STOPPAGE TIME IS OVER and Tottenham Hotspur are into the knockout phase of the Champions league. Brilliant and totally professional way to come back after a shocking early doors concession. This is a team transformed by Mauricio Pochettino over the last few years and they never lost their heads. KWP, who'd made the error to allow Barca the lead, went on to play a confident unruffled game and it was impressive to see that, once again this season, the Lilywhites patiently but purposefully battled back.

As it stood before that moment of magic, Spurs were going out because Inter equalized home to PSV, leaving THFC with a tense 18 mins or so to get at least one from Barca, and then with just 4 minutes of regular time to go, Kane slides into Moura who steamrolls it into goal. Awesome. 1-1.

Brutal start. 1:0 down after 7 mins. Ousmane Dembele a class beyond our defence on that one, Walker-Peters in shock on his Champions league debut. Now we need PSV to beat Inter [PSV 1 nil up with a 13th min goal], or get into this game. Okaaaaay.... come on you peasants [nickname of PSV].
The spirit was fantastic. We deserve it. The fans made such a noise that I knew we had gone through.  
Hugo Lloris, THFC keeper

Preview: The deal is that Spurs must do at least as well [at Barca] as Inter do [at home to lowly PSV]. With all due respect to the well run Dutch club PSV they simply don't pose the same threat, especially being the travellers in Milano Italy, compared with mighty Barcelona playing at their fortress Camp Nou.

That said, Barcelona are already through and while, technically, it's a dead rubber for them, and not a matter of urgency, the Catalonian side's pride, and wanting to give their fans value, will persist, not to mention the loaded talent they can bring out. But that might not extend to Messi making an appearance which would be great for us, much as we like to see his silky skills.

So it's Barcelona vs Tottenham Hotspur in the final game of the Euro Champs group stage. The odds are against us but there's enough possibility to make it a tantalizing prospect, and at one point earlier in the group stage we looked almost dead and buried, but our win over Inter showed the mettle of the current Spurs group of players, and so don't count us out until the fat lady hits that glass breaking top note!

Earlier in the group stage, back in early October, it was a six goal extravaganza but, despite goals from Kane and Lamela, it was really the Lionel Messi show as Barca triumphed 2:4 at Wembley.

Messi is a world class legend and, though he may be slowing down a bit of late, he's still outstanding even in two line-ups this talented. Tottenham played well but the gap in class was as wide as it was between Spurs and Huddersfield the previous weekend.


The Spur's Premiership
Win bound from minute 10
Lilywhites in scoring mood with Kane, Moura & Son on target
Wed, Dec 05, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Southampton 1
12n US/Pacific. Online: NBC Sports Gold

Second Half: Saints give Lucas Moura two opportunities to blast at goal - with a handball in between to boot - but Moura's second whack at the cherry proves fruitful and Spurs get the two-nil advantage.

Moments later a beautiful Kane pass feeds Son Hueng-min whose first timer bounces into the net. This is an impressive way for Tottenham Hotspur to respond to the blow of a one-sided north London derby defeat. Brilliant, albeit Saints a side in crisis and for the first hour lacking self-belief. So Spurs up with half an hour to play.

Lloris makes his second top-shelf save, Southampton have hit the goal frame multiple times, and finally Austin "beats" the offside trap [it was offside] to pull one back, but the result is in the bag for three valuable points, three nice goals [admittedly involving errors from the opposition on two of them] and above all showing their mettle and ability to go marching on.

First Half: Early doors tap in from Harry Kane from a disarming Eriksen pass parallel to the goal line from almost the corner flag and behind the So'ton defence. Just what the doctor ordered after the debacle at Arsenal. Saints had a couple of chances, Stuart Armstrong had what looked an easy score, but Tottenham stay the course until half time.

Preview: The first midweek of December and here we are with Tottenham Hotspur, needing to bounce back from a pasting by local rivals Arsenal ending a great Spurs winning run, hosting a visiting side that's just fired their manager, even though the Saints just drew with Manchester United.
I don't see the point in trying to get too much into their heads. They're professional boys.  
Kelvin Davis

Anyway we can see from the table that the top five have broken free of the pack with Spurs at 5th going into Wednesday, vying for a Top 4 place to guarantee UEFA Champs league action next term. On the plus side, Man United are not one of them and are now borderline too far behind to catch up, so there's likely to be fewer competitors than usual.

It looks like Southampton haven't won a match in any competition since September 1st [!] and have only won two matches in all competitions this season, beating Brighton and Crystal Palace earlier on before things went seriously wrong. Going into the midweek fixtures they're in the relegation zone, third from bottom, amassing only 9 points, 21 less than Tottenham.

On the bright side for them it seems there are seven sides in the relegation fight, so unless something dramatic changes, they have every hope of surviving if the new manager can give them the lift they desperately need. For now, Kelvin Davis [Senior First Team coach and former Saints keeper] is interim manager.

BBC Football notes that "Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier returns after a groin injury but Jan Vertonghen is banned following his sending off against Arsenal. He could be replaced by Toby Alderweireld, who was rested on Sunday."

Our own manager Mauricio Pochettino is of course closely connected with the Saints and his success there was one major factor in him being poached to successfully steer moden day Spurs to a whole new level.

Southampton Saints web forum.


Euro Champs League (Ssn 2018/19)
Kane pivotal in 2nd half comeback
Great Euro Champs match recovery, Spurs!
BBC match tracker
November 6, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur 2
PSV Eindhoven 1 [FINAL SCORE]
Live: US/TV=Gala. Net=fuboTV.

Second Half: it's 2:1, oh yeah! Very nice second goal. We're in the lead. Is this side professional or what? Serious celebrations worldwide. Tremendous cross from Ben Davies. Kane does enough to guide it goalwards but it's the deflections on the way that leave PSV's keeper stranded. Final whistle and what can you say? Terrific comeback, and we'll find out what you, and the world, says as the post-match reactions unfolds.

It's 1:1. Great ball control by Fernando Llorente, receiving from Harry, who lets the ball drop and with a first time guide tees it back to Kane who makes no mistake with burying it low and deadly. Tasty equalizer and at least we're back in the game and never giving up.

First Half: Almost the end of the 1st half. Spurs dominating but cannot produce an equalizer so far. HALF TIME.

28' in: Just witnessed Eriksen and Alli shooting close-up at the PSV keeper after a nice build-up but the visiting keeper and one of his defenders were quick to react to that brace of near goals. So near yet so far from an equalizer.

3' in: PSV get a very early goal [de Jong @ 2'] from a headed corner. An endemic problem for Tottenham is inability to aggressively defend headers. Read the danger sooner, attack the ball, jump faster, jump higher where necessary, and work those neck muscles. Spurs Euro jaunt.... is hangin' by a thread.

Elsehere or in the future: Looks like Liverpool got their azz handed to them by Red Star Belgrade. For us, it's away to Crystal Palace in the Prem next.


The Spur's Premiership
Thrown to Wolves, Spurs survive
From 3 up, total tenterhooks as the game climaxed
Nov 03, 2018 (Ssn 2018/19)
Wolves 2
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Molineux, Wolverhampton
Highlights
US live online: TV: CNBC, Universo. Net: fuboTV, Sling, Playstn. 12.45p PacZone/USA by Rob Francis

Wow. Only Spurs could make being three goals up and cruising turn into such a cliffhanging finale! Another way of looking at is: well, for all the ups and downs, the Lilywhites are notching up points like almost never before.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tough choice, Lamela perhaps? But Wolves were amazingly good and Hugo Lloris pulled off a number of Pat Jennings level saves that made the difference.

Preview: By beating Wolves at Molineux, Tottenham Hotspur can take another significant step towards securing a Champions league place for next season, a massively necessary way to celebrate moving into a breathtaking new stadium fit for a club that deserves to be part of the world's biggest soccer stage. Actually these very words were cut and pasted from last season's Spurs-Stoke match report but, with a few name changes, seem eerily appropriate for this upcoming Saturday fixture. We're still anticipating, salivating even: a full league season in a brand new home with the Champions League on the menu. How times don't change [as quick as we thought].

Of course the move-in should come sooner, it's hoped, but let's get next season set-up the way it should be, so we can say we did it right, in the end.

Stay tuned for more preview for this match which, on the north American west coast turns into a lunchtime affair with the UK clocks already changed but not yet Stateside.

Newly promoted Wolves, after four long years in the second tier "the Championship", are doing spectacularly well for their first season back, sitting in the top ten after ten matches played going into this weekend's games, and with a neutral goal difference. Spurs are fifth, also 10 games played, with +8 goal diff.

In their prior four Prem matches, Wolves most recently failed to score against either Watford or Brighton in two losses, but previously beat Palace away [which Arsenal couldn't do] and Southampton at home without conceding a goal.


The Spur's League Cup 20018/19
Son & Llorente score for Spurs victory
Son brace sparks North London QF clash
Wed, Oct 31, 2018 FINAL SCORE.
West Ham Utd 1
Tottenham Hotspur 3
USA live online: ESPN+

That's it! A victory. The QF draw pits Spurs vs Arsenal. A rare chance for Arsenal to experience Wembley.... oh wait, they're playing it at the Emirates. Boro get Burton at home, and Chelsea get Bournemouth at home. Leics/So'ton vs Man City/Fulham.

2nd HALF: Second West Ham fan invades the pitch, meanwhile the ref maintains Wanyama blocking a West Ham player in the box is not a penalty. "VAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!" -- New Jersey Hammer. Son almost bags a hat trick.

Now it's Tottenham's turn to score from a corner -- the invisible man Fernando Llorente right in front of the goal, unmarked, guides it in with improbable ease to surely sink the Spammers.

Uh oh, dodgy keeping from a corner and West Ham are back in it with a goal.

Alli and Son working well together again, allowing the Korean superstar to double his tally.

1st HALF: They've got some very quick players have the Hammers, Antonio being one of them, and in the latter stages of the first half they're causing Spurs some real problems by outrunning the defenders' offside line. They just can't convert. The visitors need to reassert themselves. Rumour has it that Llorente is on the pitch somewhere for Tottenham.

Early doors: Hammers finding opportunities down the right flank. Son Hueng-min scores, about 15 mins in. Great strike and nice feed along the center from Dele Alli. Quite an interesting game so far. Elswhere, Derby have scored four goals already, the downside being that two were into their own goal, otherwise they would be taking Chelsea to the cleaners on their own turf!

Preview: It's started and as usual The Spur is here every step of the way with you, from cradle to grave, your one stop need.

It's on ESPN which is good because unlike fuboTV [or possibly the Comcast/NBC-owned channel feeds that comes thru fuboTV] it's been super reliable, great picture, and just generally better for real-time watching. Fubo has the edge on quickly accessing saved matches, but ESPN has never let me down with buffering, washed out feed, and worst, stopping and skipping. Via fuboTV, such glitches happen during about one in 7 or 8 of games shown via Com/NBC, and inevitably at pivotal moments, without fail.

I thought I'd left Comcast behind many years ago when I dumped cable TV but then they bought NBC and a chunk of the internet, too. But by feeding into fuboTV, fuboTV itself comes across a bit like a Comcast subsidiary, even though it's not, at least not admitted to.


The Spur's Premiership
City breeze past Spurs
Full time score
October 29, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Manchester City 1
Live US TV: NBCSN, Universo. Online: fuboTV, Sling B, PlayStn. 1p US/Pac.
Wembley, London. Zap Gremlins reacting. NBC & ESPN previews.

Manchester City did no more than they had to do to ease past Tottenham Hotspur by a sixth minute Riyad Mahrez goal and then did a moneybags job of keeping the score firmly set in place.

For their part, Spurs did not get embarrassed but were simply not quite up to the level of their visitors despite a highly competitive effort that should give us fans some optimism moving forward despite the defeat.

Lamela could have equalized but it was not to be and frankly Spurs don't have the key to unlock City more than once or twice a game, so those rare chances just have to be taken.

The difference in class, despite the talent of Tottenham's team, was always there to witness, and it's rare that I'd consider Spurs a "dirty" side, in fact I recall we've usually done very well in the "fair play league", but I can see how a neutral or City supporter would have been indignant over some of the home side's ways of coping as they struggled to match the world class assemblage of visiting talent.

Preview: Wishing all the best to Glenn Hoddle and family, one of Tottenham Hotspur's most amazing players in the club's history.

Monday's match sees Spurs taking on the best side in England currently [yes, even over in-form Liverpool] -- Moneybags FC.

BBC's Lawro predicts a Manchester City win: "Wembley, with its wide open spaces, I think is a stadium that suits them." Lawro feels the visitors will be too much for Spurs, especially with Kevin de Bruyne back from injury.

In the corresponding match last season Manchester City celebrated being the runaway Premier league champions with a 1-3 win at Wembley, the win making it mathematically impossible for them to be caught by crosstown rivals United. So congrats to them, runaway Premier league champions - we gave them a decent fight.

The Spur's view was that "The Lilywhites of this Poch era are still a great team, ultimately likely to be legendary. You can't win every game. We just beat the current champions Chelsea on their ground by the same margin.

"Until City got their third goal the atmosphere seemed terrific. But with time running out, and approaching the last 15 minutes, it all seems a bit too much for Spurs as City asserted themselves after a strong Tottenham start to the 2nd half.

"It was a game in which the Lilywhites found it hard to get at City without leaving themselves very exposed on the break. Despite being in sensational form, having won five out of five of their preceding games, Tottenham were still unable to truly match one of the most expensively assembled sides in football history who were also in great form [winning 4 out of their last five]."

Back to this Monday's game, and keep in mind the clocks already changed in the UK on Sunday, but not yet in the USA, so it's a late lunchtime start for American Pacific coasters and one hour later than normal throughout the continent.

The build-up has only just begun so check back.


Euro Champs League (Ssn 2018/19)
PSV 2:2 Spurs [Full time]
Last chance saloon for THFC's Euro Champs hopes
Philips Stadion
Oct 24, 2018
PSV Eindhoven vs
Tottenham Hotspur
Live: US/TV=TNT Net=fuboTV, Sling, Playstation

Hey there, Rob Francis, back from tennis, watching on delay. Exciting match so far, Spurs 1:2 up in the 2nd half. In my reality, we're 75 mins in so this could be a lifeline victory for Spurs allowing the club to cling on to its European presence.

"Suddenly, the whole game has changed" are the words of the commentator, straight red card for THFC keeper Hugo Lloris but foul wa not in the area so it's not the end of the world. Quality save from the free kick by subbed in Dutch international keeper Michel Vorm, back in his own country, to save Spurs, for now. A few more saves like that and he could Vorm his way back into the Spurs #1 keeper spot! [Groan! --Ed.]

OMFG -- De Jong flicks it in the net to equalize with Tottenham down to ten men. Bye bye Euro Champs.

So it's all over, baby blue, the Lilywhites with a mountain to climb halfway through the group stage.

Preview: Almost ready for kick-off as Spurs fans in the USA cancel their tennis matches, tell their bosses to take a running jump, steam the breakfast spinache and brocolli, and prepare to roar on Tottenham's slim hope of progressing beyond the group stage.

PSV vs Spurs, it's what Wednesdays were invented for. Check back with The Spur because we're now switched on for the duration. Weather in Eindhoven 5pm local time: a mild 59F [15C], usual NW European clouds, perfect footie weather, and we should beat the incoming moderate rain due in a day or two.

Looking at the Eredivisie league table PSV are five points ahead of the nearest competitor Ajax. They are, in summary, kicking Ajax and Feyenoord's sorry asses. They haven't lost a single league match. Their goal difference is +33. Whoh. Stroll aboard, brother. Who's the manager? Mark Van Bommel. He's The Bom. PSV is a sports club, it's a lot more than just football. But in fitba, it totally rules. That said, the Dutch top division is not very competitive, three big clubs and the rest are just padding, sort of a Portugal north.

Pour the coffee, make the tea, steam the rice, and we're good to go.


The Spur's Premiership 20018/19
Spurs burst Hammers' bubble
"He's a fine fine fella is that Erik Lamela"
Sat, Oct 20, 2018 FULL TIME.
West Ham Utd 0
Tottenham Hotspur 1
USA live online: fuboTV/SlingBlue/PlayStn. TV: NBCSN.

After the match, Tottenham Hotspur move up to third in the table [could be brief - Liverpool and Arsenal still to play at time of writing, and both likely to win] equal on points with Chelsea and only trailing Man City by two points.

Whatever the Gooner and 'Pool results, we're seeing five "super clubs" emerging that seem poised to break away at the top end from all the rest: City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Spurs. Obviously, ending up fifth in this group is disastrous, and unfortunately none of the other four look likely to seriously stumble on present form: Chelsea arguably the only ones showing any slightest sign of wobbling. Still, this win is massive, keeping us in the "super league" and not getting drowned in the sea of also-rans.
I thought one of the best bits was when West Ham activated their bubble blowers in celebration of being offside when they finally buried the ball in Tottenham's net. "They fly so high, 'til they reach the sky, and like West Ham they fade and die!"
  
Ryebrook

A fine headed goal from Erik Lamela from an excellent Sissoko delivery, along with a series of top class saves from World Cup winner Hugo Lloris, made the difference for the glorious Lilywhites, with a special mention to Luca Moura, emerging as an eye-catching possible overall Spur of the season.... and Christian Eriksen is back fit and treading the turf again, to big applause and chants from the travelling Tottenham section.

"A proper dig-in of a performance - professional," said Radio 5/Live after the game.

Guardian report excerpt: "It is a good sign for Mauricio Pochettino and the club that they are winning without truly dazzling. This game marked the start of a gruelling run of seven matches in 21 days and Spurs will need all of their powers of endurance as they resume on Wednesday at PSV Eindhoven in a must-win Champions League tie.

"Lamela is not an automatic selection; this was his first Premier League start of the season. But he is becoming increasingly influential and he now has five goals from eight appearances in all competitions."

Please check back with The Spur again as this site, and the globe, continues to react to Tottenham Hotspur's magnificent victory at West Ham's London stadium.

Pre-match: Please check back as this long-time pulse-raising local derby approaches.

Both clubs are in good form going into this big London feud with some solid results and wins, despite Tottenham's home loss to Barcelona, and West Ham's loss at Brighton.

In the corresponding match played last season Spurs won an eventful match and a thrilling contest by 2:3 in front of around 57,000 supporters, with Eriksen [who scored] and Kane [scored a brace] among the shining lights as the game threatened to get out of control towards the end.


Premier League (Ssn 2018/19)
Wonderful, Spurs
Just one goal seals all three points
Singin' the Blues
Sat, Oct 06, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Cardiff City 0
7am Pac/USA TV=NBCSN Net=fuboTV, Sling, Playstation HILITES

Full time. Spurs win.

Early goal from Eric Dier. Joe Ralls red carded around 59mins. THFC's keeper Hugo Lloris showed he's still up for it after recent problems, superbly saving Spurs from several great Cardiff chances to get level.

Pat Nevin on BBC 5 Live: "Look in terms of quality, the right team in Spurs won. If we're talking in terms of spirit and determination, Cardiff should of got a point today but Neil Warnock will be very proud of his players today." Should of? Grammatical howler much beloved by Americans now perpetrated by a Scotsman. Shocking. Still, if Scotland gains independence and remains in the EU, I might become a Scottish citizen so maybe that will become part of my language, too.

Massive possession for Tottenham but finding goals hard to come by, so far failing to score even with a man advantage over the second worst side in the league, although they've had to play us, City, and Arsenal so it's been a tough start.

Nice rendition of the Welsh national anthem from the traveling supporters. Ref blows the pip. It's three points in the bag for "job done" Tottenham.

Preview: It's great that the Bluebirds are actually blue again after the foreign owner's daft and damaging efforts to rebrand them in red as the Welsh Dragons ultimately failed. That same owner just said that his team needs to "shoot more". Maybe they do that in Malaysia, but not in Cardiff, mate.
Mourinho to exit Red Devils for Cardiff?
  
Wild Speculation

Now they've got another serious problem. They are second to bottom of the table going into this match and, though they've been brave and daring, they've also been consummately outclassed so far this season, the worst a 0:5 home clobbering from visitors Manchester City.

They've tried to take it other teams, so props for that, but what worked in the Championship [2nd tier] is not usually the best approach one level higher playing against world class talent in the opposing side. So they've left themselves vulnerable when losing possession, and that's why many managers other than Neil Warnock would opt for a more "park the bus" philosophy.

They haven't won a league match yet this season, and unless Spurs really are in trouble, enduring a patchy period themselves, the London hosts should gobble up all three points.

Tottenham Hotspur vs Cardiff City is at 7am USA-Pacific time on NBCSN TV channel and Fubo, Sling, and Playstation, and also Spanish language TV and online options. Following on a lot of people will stay online, or on TV switch over to NBC for another must see match: how will Man Utd get on at home to Newcastle in the battle of the fallen giants?

Sunday has a London derby and hopefully Fulham will put a stop against this Arsenal revival nonsense at Craven Cottage, but don't bet on it. Then "the one they're all talking about" [as the cliche goes] features the two best teams in England currently, meeting at Anfield. City's slight superiority may be canceled out by the Reds' home advantage.


Spurs in the League Cup 2018/19
Watford first victims of THFC's Carabao campaign

As the fixtures keep coming in droves, we had a midweek League Cup game against Watford [at Milton Keynes stadium] with Erik Lamela hitting sensational form and what seemed another match winning goal to make it 2:1, but Watford equalized with minutes remaining. Both teams down to 10 men.
Watford 2:2 Spurs [League Cup]. Spurs, superb in the penalty kicks & saves, go thru.  
The Spur

So penalties to decide and THFC didn't miss a single one, with Tottenham's Argentine keeper Paul Gazzaniga in great form for the spot kicks -- Spurs thru to the next round, with Dele Alli clinching the deciding penalty against his old club from his home town.

Very nice to see this on ESPN+ who are really delivering the goods these days to US footie supporters.


Premier League (Ssn 2018/19)
Spurs survive frenzied finish
Harry pen & cool Coco goal enough
Amex
stadium
Sat, Sept 22, 2018
Brighton & H.A. 1
Tottenham Hotspur 2
FULL TIME. Hilites

2nd half: A new half can often be very different, but in the first half Albion were comprehensively contained and outclassed. Tottenham's #3 keeper Paulo Gazzaniga wasn't tested at all in the 1st half. But there's only a goal in it so far, and THFC's recent history makes that a potentially dangerous score.

Oh yes. That's the ticket. Spurs under lots of pressure for most of the 2nd half so far until an impressive series of passes with the center finding Eric Lamela who exploits the gap on the far side of the goalmouth for a precision finish. Great goal of combined and individual flair, and the neutrals witness some magic while Spurs fans have the "insurance goal" that we craved. Coco's worth his salary and cost just for moments like that, ones that make the difference when the side needs it most.

Late goal from Brighton after Kane misses a great chance kept the game intense and Albion had one more golden opportunity seconds before the whistle that would have leveled it, but Spurs squeak through to break the losing streak and stay competitive for the season, taking the club, for now, up to fifth place.

1st half: NBC must be cursing both clubs for such an uninspiring [for neutrals] spectacle on their flagship channel, but for Tottenham Hotspur supporters it was very easy on the eyes: the visitors dominating possession and pegging back the south coast side, ultimately forcing a costly error with a Brighton handball from a free-kick that Harry Kane converted with brutal efficiency.

Preview: Following the bitterly disappointing group stage Euro Champs match against Inter on Tuesday, the club visits Brighton for the next league match on Saturday.

In the corresponding match last season Spurs drew 1:1 at Brighton with Kane the visiting scorer.

Former Spurs hero and now manager of Brighton, Chris Hughton was a very happy man, a draw helped their survival in the Prem, and their fans were on cloud 9. It was a lost opportunity for Spurs but in the end Tottenham did nab a Euro Champs spot so no worries ultimately.

The massive relief of Kane scoring and putting Spurs ahead did not last more than a couple of fleeting minutes. Great work by Hueng-min Son to find and keep the ball in play and cut back to the England striker running in.

But that was quickly countered by a dodgy penalty award at the other end. Serge Aurier deemed to bring down floppy Jose Izquierdo.


The Spur's Euro Champs League 2018/19
Spurs nightmare continues
Total Tottenham meltdown at end
September 18, 2018 (Ssn 2018/19)
Inter Milan 2 [FINAL]
Tottenham Hotspur 1

Post game: Paolo Bandini: "I'm not sure there was any real logic to this one. A sensational individual goal by Icardi, a mood change in a full stadium and a nervous Tottenham team that has problems at set-pieces. Huge win for Inter."

TFTB, not606 forum: "For me it started with us trying to get the second with just a few minutes left. We've got 4 players in their area. It wasn't needed. We just needed to see it through. However, just like against Juve at Wembley, United in the semi-final, Watford a week ago, we didn't have the head or heart to guts it out and see it through. There's no ****ing organisation, no fight or determination. Nobody's leading and they all lose their heads. It's pitiful to watch it happen over and over again. Uphill battle now."

Second half: Oh wow again. We collapsed. It's all over. Spaletti is God! Inter have their first win of the season. Time for lunch. From Spaletti to spaghetti.

Oh wow. Just as Inter seemed gormless, a golasso of major proportions. Holy ****. Five more mins to go. Kane off with Rose on, just a minute of reg time to go.
For the first time since Pochettino took over at Spurs, his side have lost three consecutive games.
  
The Guardian

Previously.... Since conceding the goal Inter's fans are getting on their players' backs. Great for us, but they are lacking. That said, they just put a nice move together but the finishing was atrocious. How long will their manager Luciano Spaletti last playing like this, even with the nice sun tan?

Oh that was nice. Gooooool! Eriksen [scorer] and Kane combine to rip up the Inter defence and the ball loops skyward from a deflection and drops below the crossbar and over the line. They all count.

Will that infuse the lads with some confidence? Thanks Inter. You're just what we need at the right time.

OK, this could be a win for us. Inter are not that good, in fact, what on earth has happened to them? Rebuilding? I thought they already did that. Inter foul a lot, ref needs to take control, but we've gotta find some form.

Half time: We're seeing two mid table domestic teams with Europa league ambitions having a bash at the Champs league, while it lasts. Both teams have been told to play from the back but aren't very good at it so far.

First half: Great header by Sanchez. Almost scored. Minor problem, aiming at wrong goal. Saved by Vorm. Chant: "We're only Vorming up." To be fair, he had another header more or less on-target moments later at the other end, eventually grabbed by their keeper.

Some crazy amateurish defending by THFC but the hosts can't punish anything.

Great thru pass from Eriksen to Kane who bursts loose, one on one, but can't control the dribble. That's one he would have scored back in the day.

Preview: So far this season Internazionale are struggling in the Italian Serie A with only four points from four games and without a home league win yet, losing over the weekend when lowly Parma visited the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and stunned the blue and black bedecked crowd by scoring the game's only goal.

Back in October 2010 Spurs went to Inter in this competition and had the most diabolical start in the club's European history leaving the London side 3-nil and a man down inside around fifteen minutes.

Only a hat trick from the man of the match Gareth Bale restored some Lilywhite pride, and it finished 4:3.

"Welsh star retrieves Lilywhite pride" was one of The Spur's headlines and that was the main theme of the match. Bale was spectacular. Come back, mate!

In its reaction, The Spur asked: "Before the game, would you have settled for a respectable loss at the San Siro and a crucial Premiership win at Fulham on a day when CFC, Villa and ManUre stumbled to draws, and Liverpool lost" the vast majority of people would have said "Och aye the noo" or something similar if they were not from the Scottish Highlands.

Spurs did surprisingly well in the Euro Champs that year under Harry. Let's see what happens at Inter under Poch. Certainly, it'll be hard to match the seven goal thriller of 8 years ago, but we'll be even more thrilled to get at least a point. But we won't have Gareth Bale to help out, of course.


The Spur's Premiership (Ssn 20018/19)
Towering Liverpool march on
Spurs fight back too late
Sat., Sept 15. Hilites
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Liverpool 2

Tottenham Hotspur were unable to rise to the biggest challenge of the season so far with the visit of 100% Liverpool, anf frankly the Reds were clearly classier.

Suddenly the "why didn't we buy anybody in the transfer window?" questions are back as Spurs, after flying high for the first three games, now seem a bit stale and at times lost. What fell apart beyond the often mentioned fatigue from the club's sizable contingent of World Cup players? That is a good question and we'll see what people's opinion are.

Liverpool by contrast are absolutely on fire, that's a team working as one very impressive unit. Great individual skill and team cohesion means Juergen Klopp is arguably the best manager in the league.

Statsbomb preview.

BBC Fantasy Football comments: "Liverpool's trip to Tottenham on Saturday gives fantasy football players the chance to get some early points on the board. The lunchtime kick-off is an intriguing one as well, not least because the 149 goals scored in meetings between the two is second only to Arsenal v Everton for Premier League goals scored.

The Reds, in particular, have a healthy recent record in the fixture. They've only failed to score in one of their past 12 meetings with the men from north London - a 0-0 draw in Jurgen Klopp's first game in charge in October 2015.

But which of Klopp's men should you look to for a goal? Well, Mohamed Salah scored all three of his side's goals against Tottenham last season. If you want a slightly more left-field suggestion, how about penalty-taker James Milner? There have been more spot-kicks awarded in Premier League matches between these two (22) than there have in any other fixture in the competition's history.

That also brings Harry Kane into focus. He has been directly involved in seven goals in seven Premier League appearances against Liverpool (five goals, two assists), including four in the past two."


The Spur's Premiership 2018/19
Son doesn't
have to
leave Spurs
for full term
military service

Hornets sting Spurs who lose perfect record
Watford march on to Old Trafford with 100% points tally
Watford fans gather at Vicarage Rd
NBC Sports Gold. NBC hilites
Watford 2 [FINAL]
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Reacting to US coverage is Rob Francis

THFC lose their 100% run after being a goal up and bossing most of the first half. The Hertfordshire hosts conceded an own goal but a brace of top shelf headers [that Troy Deaney is immense in stature and in commitment] ensured a headline grabbing victory for the home side that leaves them rubbing shoulders with Liverpool and Chelsea for premier supremacy at this still early stage of the campaign.

Sat news: Son Hueng-min's soccer career saved
On a contrastingly welcome dollop of smashing news we learned that yesterday [Sat, Sept 1] South Korean super Spur Son Hueng-min can continue practicing as a world class professional footballer, an integral part of the lovable Lilywhites these days, rather than pound the freezing North/South Korean border with a pair of binoculars and a machine gun. So despite the alarming loss at Vicarage Road, the mood is still upbeat overall. Son did it by virtue of S. Korea winning the Asian Games when they beat Japan in the final, and you can see it means a lot to him. Great guy and top pro. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Spurs fans take the Emirates for an under-23 match. Goner security look like a right miserable lot. "Shit ground no fans" as the chant goes.

WATFORD PREVIEW: The Hornets are no ordinary side these days winning all four of their matches this season, three in the Premier league where they've scored seven goals and only conceded two, and a comfortable League Cup victory at Reading midweek.

That said Spurs are the first of the English giants they've faced so far, and after us the Horns will be trogging up to Old Trafford, so the easy ones may be over! Still, they beat Brighton in their opening game and the Seagulls beat Man Utd, so..... 'tis funny ol' game, int 'it ludd.

BBC Football: "Watford boss Javi Gracia will restore his first choice XI after changing his entire team for the Carabao Cup win over Reading in midweek. Gerard Deulofeu could be on the bench following his return from injury, but Tom Cleverley remains out.

"Tottenham are without Hugo Lloris due to a thigh injury and Moussa Sissoko with a hamstring problem. Son Heung-min is absent on international duty while Erik Lamela faces a late fitness test."

Guardian Football: Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has cautioned his players not to get too big headed after the media frenzy over the 0:3 win at Manchester United in the league last Monday. "Pochettino said there was a difference between the perception Tottenham were flying after three wins from three Premier League matches and the reality they could just as easily have lost to United after a poor first-half performance."

The match kicks off Sunday morning at 8am west coast USA time so check back with the super soaraway Spur constantly. Both sides are aiming to maintain their 100% records of triumphant wins this season, so something's gotta give somewhere.

A draw still means unbeaten of course but let's be real, to lose our winning streak for this campaign at Watford, very good side though they are, would be majorly disappointing.

Please check back for more match build-up and enjoy your Sunday no matter what time it starts in your regional zone. For us, it's a nice leisurely breakfast experience, a great way to get going before hitting the tennis courts on the coast in the afternoon. Tada for now.


The Spur's Premiership 20018/19
Kane breaks August duck
Brighton beat our next opponents Man U.
August 18, 2018
Tottenham Hotspur 3
Fulham 1
Wembley nat. stadium, London. [FINAL SCORE]
Match hilites, Online: Fubo, etc; TV: NBCSN

Brighton stunned Manchester United, our next opponents, on Sunday, and Mourinho's team looked wobbly and uninspired -- morale seems low there right now. Admittedly, ours will be an away match, not the atmospheric and partisan den that is the Seagulls' home, but we are on a roll with the talent and results to make this an eminently winnable proposition next Monday at Old T.

And for poor old Arsenal, Sarri seems to be the hardest word as the new Chelsea manager engineered the second defeat for the Gooners in two matches and no points on the board for Arsenal's struggling new manager Emery.

SECOND HALF: Complete change from the first half. FFC came out guns blazing, dominating possession. Early doors: Fulham's Alex Mitrovic forces an early save from Hugo Lloris, and shortly thereafter equalizes.

It takes a sensational free kick from Kieran Trippier to give Spurs the lead again, and then, the big moment when Harry Kane scores a goal in August! Win for Spurs. Check back as the reactions pour in over the weekend.

FIRST HALF: Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Moura had a stellar preseason and it's translated successfully into the campaign itself, this time with an impressive first-time freestyle strike at the end of the first half, curling in off the post, that broke the deadlock and gave Tottenham Hotspur a golden breakthrough to show, once again, that the somewhat atmosphere starved cavern of Wembley need not distress such a talented and well coached outfit.

Moura is on form at the minute, and had several previous chances.

Pre-match: BBC Five Live's Big weekend preview pod features ex-Spur Jermaine Jenas with the first segment being our match against Fulham plus a general discussion of the state of Tottenham Hotspur going into our first "home" game.

So back to Wembley it is, as THFC's "real" home stadium awaits completion, and the hope is to continue the surprising success that the club enjoyed at their temporary home last season, even as many believed they'd struggle there, as previous European level matches suggested could be the case.

But the Wembley experience was fine as it turned out and of course the Lilywhites are favorites to beat newly promoted Fulham, a side who suffered a reality check home to Palace in their opener.

Amish
Fulhamish, not a Fulham site for Amish supporters by the way, but an up 'n coming addition to the YouTube world and seeking their first 1,000 subscribers, features a fan of both sides previewing the game.

Worried for Fulham
Meanwhile Lawro of BBC Football is worried that "Fulham is easy on the eye and play nice football, but where are their goals going to come from? It is going to be very interesting to see how they get on in the next few weeks." He predicts a two-nil win for Tottenham.

Spurs will test Fulham
The Guardian preview believes that despite not being particularly on their game at Newcastle "Mauricio Pochettino's team should still be able to test the solidity of Fulham's central defensive partnership, which may not be strong even when Callum Chambers and Maxime Le Marchand are fully settled in."

Pressure on defiant Poch
Meanwhile a Guardian article linked by Yahoo Sports discusses the daunting task Tottenham's whizz kid manager Pochettino faces this upcoming season, with Spurs on the cusp of big things yet with so much that could go wrong, no new signings, and a new stadium not yet ready to host home games.


Spurs stuttering stadium shocker

The home Stadium delay, by Rob Francis. Wow. For months I read the informed comments from some observant viewers, on places like Chris Cowlin's YouTube site, that doubted the club could get the new stadium ready in time [including interior, safety clearances, the myriad final details] and recently even I began to scratch my head when I saw the work left to do. But the club seemed so confident. Until all of a sudden, the headlining announcement on Aug 13. Delay in opening day, not gonna be Liverpool's visit, and no firm commitment to a specified date, though "Tottenham may open their stadium against Manchester City on 28 October. On that day Wembley is already booked for another NFL fixture." [Guardian].


World Cup morphs into English football season

The World Cup 2018 is over, and among all the terrific stuff we also witnessed a clutch of world class goals. And now the English football season is already upon us, and the question everyone is asking is: will Spurs buy any star players? And should they? They've done amazingly well under Poch by gelling the existing talent. But that doesn't satiate the addiction to new shiny toys.

World Cup farewell notes

Well, the World Cup is over and I'm joining the majority reaction here in agreeing that it was one of the most interesting and worthwhile ever. I'm a club man, not much of a national team type of guy, so for me it's something to watch between club seasons, but I actually got drawn into this one and remained spellbound until almost the very end.

It would have been until the very end but I watched the final at a friend's house with other tennis players and neighbors so the socializing and anti-Trump talk put the actual game itself a bit on the back burner -- right next to the sizzling hash browns [awesome by the way]. Seemed like a decent match and just to be clear: had one of the teams I really cared about been in the final I would have told everyone else to bloody well shut up and watch [or switched the volume up to eleven].

Still, we [Tottenham Hotspur] had Hugo Lloris representing us in the final and although he almost blew it, overall it seemed he was doing a good job and since France won, well, any indiscretion he may have committed was easily overlooked and completely forgiven. He helped win the friggin' World Cup for god's sake.

Spurs were representin' mainly for Belgium and England and so it was heartening to see them both making the semifinal stage.

It's a shame that we now go one from one corrupt bid-winning host Russia to another highly inappropriate location, Quatar, but making up for that is the following host of this amazing sporting spectacle is a combined North American bid -- "football's coming home" -- to the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Get in there!

On a final note, great to learn that Germany is holding onto its national coach [manager Joachim Low] despite their disappointing overall underperformance in Russia. Even then, we saw glimpses of what their side can do and they're a work in progress. Like France [though to a slightly lesser degree] they've got talented young players coming through the ranks and to do what England and many other countries would have done and fire the gaffer in a knee-jerk reaction would have been a big mistake.

Germany calculate wisely and look to the future potential of those already being assembled, which is partly why they are a long-term powerhouse in almost everything they do, including football. When needed, they stay the course.


Croatia nicks it
Spurs star Trippier scores
Semifinal, July 11, 2018
England 1
Croatia 2
FINAL SCORE

FULL TIME: England, down to ten men with an injury and no subs left, bow out at the semifinal stage to a professional and talented Croatia, a small country who typically punch well above their weight, who go though to meet France in the final.

30min EXTRA TIME: OK into the final 15min segment of extra [tie-breaker] time, and, heartbreak, Croatia score [Mario Mandzukic with an assist from the ever threatening Perisic, surely man of the match].

Brilliant header from Stones cleared off the line. So close to England joy, denied. England have steadied the ship and all square by the time of the additional time break but not before another big save by Jordan Pickford, his 4th in the game.

Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose and Dier have come on as subs joining for most of the additional tie-breaking half hour to give Spurs almost half the total of all the England talent on display [Kane, Alli, Dier, Rose, Trippier], and if Walker hadn't left for Man City it would be pretty much "England Hotspurs". Will this extra 30 minutes develop into the edge of the seat stuff of the regulation second half or will it calm down a bit?

Well this is knife-edge stuff. Could go either way but England need to mentally and physically re-calibrate and regroup because they were overrun since conceding the equalizer. Not on ly that, Croatia looked like they're just getting warmed up, England look punch drunk and spent. But things could change. We 'ope.

2nd HALF OVER: England all over the shop, including moments of actual panic like a dangerous back pass intercepted. It's stressful stuff to watch for Englanders as it turns into Pickford vs Croatia. The England outfielders are are in shock. Seriously weird.

Since the equalizer this game has exploded. The tenseness of the crowd has turned into fever pitch. England need to find a way to stop the almost total Croatian dominance since the equalizer, including Perisic hitting the post.

England croaks, Croatia equalizes. The opponents have shown they know how to play, crisp passing, good vision, know how to create space, and it led to an impressive headed equalizer from Perisic. Walker having taken a bad knock may have contributed to his inability to foil the scoring header, but Croatia never looked worried about being a goal down, they seemed like they knew they had what it took to turn it around, and they did.

END OF 1st HALF. Talking of Kieran Trippier, he scores from a free-kick within five minutes! "Bending, dipping, over the wall..." "Such precision...." "Kieran Beckham!"

This Cup final has catapulted Harry Kane into global household fame even beyond his already massive status among football fans the world over. Tottenham's Kieran Trippier and Dele Alli also in the starting line-up.

Exciting times, let's hope it's a more stimulating match than the other semifinal.

It's kicked off. The biggest match England's played in a very long time and a chance to make the World Cup final, with France having made it already by beating Belgium yesterday.


Swede result, England
The Three Lions meet Croatia in Wed's semifinal
Quarter final, July 07, 2018
England 2
Sweden 0
match highlights
World Cup 2018, Russia

AFTER A 28 YEAR WAIT ENGLAND ARE BACK IN THE FINAL FOUR with goals by Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli and Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, whose recent rise to stardom has been meteoric. Congratulations to manager Gareth Southgate, he's melded a talented group of players into a cohesive side that knows how to go deep into the World Cup for what is already a sensational tournament for England. Since taking over the national side, Southgate's eye for promoting new talent and motivating more established players has been laser-like.

The England manager told BBC Five Live radio: "we feel we're in a good place."

No matter what happens on Wednesday it's an England side that everyone can be proud of. And..... what a great chance now to make a World Cup FINAL. But first to the semifinal versus Croatia, who found the antidote to the Poisoners.

Everton's Jordan Pickford
in top form for England
The Guardian was as overjoyed as anyone with the win, but an insightful report from Daniel Taylor also cautioned: "If we were to be picky, a legitimate argument could be made that, yes, England will need to play with more finesse if they really are to harbour the most serious of ambitions in this tournament. They will have to pass the ball with greater efficiency and maybe, in possession, show a touch more arrogance, in the manner of a side that really believes they can do it. France, for example."

So the the huge showdown on Wednesday is Croatia vs England, following on from Tuesday's France vs Belgium.

Oh, and well done to England women's cricket team on their runaway one day international victory over New Zealand, while we're on the nationalist tip.


Spurs legend Alan Gilzean dies

Tottenham Hotspur and Dundee FC legend Alan Gilzean, inspiring the welcoming match-day Park Lane chant "Gilzean, Gilzean, Gilzean, Gilzean, Born is the King of White Hart Lane", has died. An inspirational player who, along with many others like Jimmy Greaves, Pat Jennings, Dave Mackay, Cliff Jones, Mike England, Alan Mullery, Cyril Knowles, Jimmy Robertson, to name just some, caused me to find myself, without having to make any conscious decision, a lifelong fan of the Lilywhites of north London.

Watching Gilzean's exceptional individual talents along with his selfless non-egotistical style including a breath-taking attacking partnership with Jimmy Greaves caused me to spend way too much time on the school playground pretending to be one of them.

Alas, though I did score or set-up a few that he might have complimented me on, I could only dream of being as talented as him. He made football come alive for me, and by all accounts was an exceptionally nice guy. Happy travels to Alan in the Pureland and next life.


Swede result, England
The Three Lions meet Croatia in Wed's semifinal
Quarter final, July 07, 2018
England 2
Sweden 0
match highlights
World Cup 2018, Russia

AFTER A 28YR WAIT ENGLAND ARE BACK IN THE FINAL FOUR with goals by Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli and Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, whose recent rise to stardom has been meteoric. Congratulations to manager Gareth Southgate, he's melded a talented group of players into a cohesive side that knows how to go deep into the World Cup for what is already a sensational tournament for England. Since taking over the national side, Southgate's eye for promoting new talent and motivating more established players has been laser-like.

The England manager told BBC Five Live radio: "we feel we're in a good place."

No matter what happens on Wednesday it's an England side that everyone can be proud of. And..... what a great chance now to make a World Cup FINAL. But first to the semifinal versus Croatia, who found the antidote to the Poisoners.

Everton's Jordan Pickford
in top form for England
The Guardian was as overjoyed as anyone with the win, but an insightful report from Daniel Taylor also cautioned: "If we were to be picky, a legitimate argument could be made that, yes, England will need to play with more finesse if they really are to harbour the most serious of ambitions in this tournament. They will have to pass the ball with greater efficiency and maybe, in possession, show a touch more arrogance, in the manner of a side that really believes they can do it. France, for example."

So the the huge showdown on Wednesday is Croatia vs England, following on from Tuesday's France vs Belgium.

Oh, and well done to England women's cricket team on their runaway one day international victory over New Zealand, while we're on the nationalist tip.


The Spur's World Cup [Quarter-final match-ups above]
Spurs players spot kick their way to triumph
Spurs boast Alli, Trippier, Kane, Dier, Rose for Eng., Sanchez for Col.
July 03, 2018 (World Cup 2018)
England 1
Colombia 1
match highlights
Moscow, Russia. by Rob Francis

PENALTY SHOOT OUT: Uh oh. Here we go again, England....... [intense moments].... Tottenham players execute incredible spot kicks -- Eric Dier kills 'em off, Harry and Kieran also score!

Glory glory Tottenham Hotspur and England! Absolute joy. Amazing. Well played, lads! Special extra mention to the incredible penalty save by Everton's Jordan Pickford [the keeper turned down by next door neighbors Liverpool FC before joining the Toffees two years later from Sunderland for GBP30m].

Final 15 min segment: Come on you Spurs, I mean, England. This right now doesn't look great for England, who look deflated. One thing is the Spurs players did a great job bouncing back from adversity this last season, so maybe the Tottenham players can inspire the other clubs' players to turn this around. An "emotional mangle" says the Scottish commentator.

Vardy gets a shot in but not a problem for Colombia's keeper. England seem a bit lost now. Right now I'd say 60%-40% win probability in favor of Colombia. That said, Danny Rose almost scored!

Additional 30 mins of play: Spot kicks here we come. Guardian in-play: "You know who's lovin' this. Sweden. That's who's lovin' this." Momentum is dramatically with the south Americans. England manager gambled on taking the flair of Alli off for the hoped for stability of Dier. A gamble that didn't pay off but all is not lost, but we've been driven back to Dunkirk at this point.

Are we going to bring on another Spur in the form of Danny Rose? Yes. How often do Spurs players practice penalty kicks? We'll soon find out.

Even Falcao has come out of a deep coma for Colombia and that's bad news. Right now, if he comes fully alive we're burned.

Second half is done. A penalty from Kane puts Inglaterra in the driver's seat.

Colombia want to play rough, THFC's Kieran Trippier happy to oblige. Guardian in-play: "Colombia are putting on some pressure but their lack of a high-calibre final ball is plain. They are missing Rodriguez badly."

Spur for Spur: Eric Dier replaces Dele Alli. Cuadrado breaks free from former Spur Kyle Walker but balloons way over the crossbar. Their golden chance just happened. Hopefully the last one from these thugs, but there'll be more of both foul play and a chance or two, no doubt. Bye bye Colombia. Don't come back soon. Good luck with your newly elected Trumpesque populist government. Keep the drugs coming for the Republicans.

F*** it. They just scored from a corner! In stoppage time.

First half highlight: Tottenham pair Trippier with the deep run and cross, and Kane with the header, give Colombia a scare about 15 mins in. No score at half time.


Oh wow. Did you see Japan vs Belgium?

Oh wow. Belgium and Japan in match of the tourney? Which, on the subject of Japan, makes me grateful I'm a dual American citizen by not being Japanese, because they won't allow it. There's a move, especially by younger Japanese or spouses thereof, to try to get their homeland to get with the program in this era of cosmopolitanism. Since the Japanese population is dwindling by not reproducing, sheer necessity may prod them into the brave new world, better sooner than later.

Meanwhile, the match is over. Japan, two goals up, lose 2:3. Despite a series of amazing quick reaction saves from the sometimes erratic Japanese goalkeeper, star studded Belgium powered back -- just in time -- with the winning goal from ex-Spur Nacer Chadli. So Tottenham Hotspur's Belgian defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen [who also scored] live to fight another day. The announcer/DJ seemed to like Gala's "Freed from desire" as the musical way to celebrate, but I thought she was Italian-NewYorker, if that matters. Oh wait, it went to #1 in Belgium.

With world class players including Manchester City's De Bruyne and Vincent Kompany, Manchester United's Lukaku, and Chelsea's Eden Hazard, alongside THFC's contingent of Belgians [which also includes the hugely popular midfielder Mousa Dembele], I had them pegged as the dark horse winner of the World Cup. But perceived as a small and unglamorous country, with perhaps only techno and trance fans recognizing the amazingness of its citizens, this thrilling win is getting them the attention they deserved a lot earlier. Sorry to lose Japan, though.

More reaction soon.

Was the goal that majorly helped France beat Argentina [to go thru to the quarter-finals] perhaps the best goal of the tournament? Well, of course there have been some absolute crackers and otherwise wondrous goals to behold, but this is gonna be a lot of people's pick so far. Benjamin Pavard unleashes a stunner and he's one of the new heroes of the French [although of course Kylian Mbappe's amazing game for Les Bleus garnered even more media hype]. France seems to have a pipeline of many up-'n-coming talents and that bodes very well for the nation's futbol future, even as so many of the other national giants of the game [Spain, Argentina, and Germany to name but three] have fallen by the wayside before even the quarter-finals, with Italy failing to even qualify.

Just caught the last 15 minutes of Argentina's thrilling late win over Nigeria. It'll be a heck of match-up against France in the start of the knockout stages. What a winning goal from Marcos Rojo in almost the last few minutes. Along with Mexico's unexpected win over Germany, these have been the two most atmospheric moments of the World Cup so far, admittedly I haven't been able to watch it all.

From a Tottenham Hotspur viewpoint, the sensational Hueng-min Son goal wasn't enough to keep South Korea alive but it shows, yet again, the explosive talent of this player, who unfortunately has national conscription looming which could shatter his career.

The other highlights for Spurs include the success of England and Belgium in the group stages with both national sides incorporating key players who ply their club trade for Tottenham. Also, France thru to the round of 16 everyone is talking about, with THFC's Hugo Lloris in goal. Lionel Messi knows it's gonna be tough to get one past him.

2018/19: Spurs KO vs Geordies, Fulham & Utd

Tottenham Hotspur's new fixture list is interesting, but does the side keep having to traipse up to Geordieland to get into the August new season groove? Apparently so. Still, it's not Everton again.

A "home" opener with Fulham at Wembley follows [so much for the fond farewells], and then a massive showdown at Manchester United.

So we gotta wait until hosting Liverpool on Sat, Sept 15, that's when history will be made as legions of lucky THFC supporters will experience the club's first ever appearance at the "new White Hart Lane". Sounds like a plan.


Spurs players in World Cup 2018

Twelve Tottenham Hotspur players are expected to play in World Cup 2018 according to Oli Stein, Spurs fan and American rules football player, at Realsport.com, identifying these six as the ones to watch: Christian Eriksen [Denmark], Harry Kane [England], Dele Alli [England], Toby Alderweireld [Belgium], Heung-min Son [S Korea], and Jan Vertonghen [Belgium].

The Ringer reminds us of why club football is far more compelling than the World Cup to those of us who follow the game on an ongoing basis, whilst still tuning into the international scene if only for this tournament and the UEFA European Championship [next one starts Friday, June 12, 2020 if anyone is still around and not overly glowing from radioactive fallout].


The Spur's Big Match
It's all gone bonkers at Wembley
Spectacular farewell to a year in NW London
Sun, May 13, 2018 @ 7am Pac/USA (Ssn 20017/18)
Tottenham Hotspur 5
Leicester City 4
FINAL SCORE. US TV: Bravo. Radio: BBC London

Just as it was turning into the Erik Lamela show -- a brace [coulda been a hat trick but one deemed an own goal], a keystone cops punch-up, he's really saved it all up for this one match, the final game of the season, but then Leicester equalize. But woh hoh, Harry Kane scores a wonder goal -- 5 effing 4!

What a sensational way to say goodbye to the national stadium at Wembley.

Very early second half sees Erik Lamela get a brace for the Lilywhites along with an LCFC own goal so it's 4:3 in a goalfest that's got the fans munching popcorn.

Amazing stuff as Spurs, who trailed at the half, storm back to ignite our last game at Wembley before returning to "true norf" London and a brand new White Hart Lane, transformed from a pwopa bricks 'n mortar ground to a futuristic 21st century glass, steel, and sleek panelled stadium. Hugo Lloris pulls off a Jennings-class save to keep the Cockerels ahead.

Spurs are of course already guaranteed a place in Europe's biggest competition next season, but Chelsea are getting tonked at Newcastle and will not be playing Euro champs football. Great day even though Man U, Arsenal, 'Pool and West Ham, all the clubs we don't like, are winning [apart from Chelsea's disintegration, which outweighs all the other stuff].

Swans down.

Preview: Spurs lost the reverse fixture at Leicester as they feasted on the Cockerals. Erik Lamela's long awaited introduction from injury raised this game to fever pitch as Spurs finally kicked in and started playing some quality football, but it was too little too late.

It was another bad day at the Prem office for the north London side.

The Foxes were left in charge of the hen coop and ate up the opportunity. This is a long way from the six-one walloping Spurs dished out at the King Power stadium last Spring.

Mahrez and Vardy were back to their title winning best for Leicester City who, against most other opponents this season have looked well below their potential.

By contrast, Spurs were outplayed by a hungrier side and failed to successfully press the opposition -- the Foxes broke loose too easily.

The Foxes closed down most of Tottenham's efforts to construct anything useful.

Eriksen seemed to have disappointingly reverted to aiming set pieces to the opponents' first man defending, which won't help, but the player does have a great way of releasing teammates for opportunities in open play, but none were capitalized on so far.

The only encouraging thing for THFC was our away support remained loyal and vociferous.

Elsewhere Man Utd looked like the Devils of old, which didn't help us, and the other big clubs also mostly won their games, usually convincingly.


The Spur's FA Cup
Spurs nab FA Cup Semifinal spot
Trophy opportunity beckons
US TV, various online
March 17, 2018 (Ssn 2017/18)
Swansea City 0
Tottenham Hotspur 3

Verdict: A consummate victory for Tottenham Hotspur. Lamela and Eriksen showed great understanding as they combined to create the first goal, with a strong finish from the Danish midfielder dispatched from just in front of the penalty area.

Lamela turned from provider to scorer for the second and again his deft skills were on display for all to see. Worries that his previous injury had robbed him of his talent proved, thankfully, unfounded.

Spurs added the final goal in the 2nd half with stellar and unselfish work from Lucas Moura to provide Eriksen with his brace. Very nice goal as well.

Second half: Swansea only had one effort in the 1st half which wasn't even on target but holy **** did they unleash a cracker about a minute into the 2nd half calling for a double-save from Dutch keeper Michel Vorm.

But things soon got worse for the struggling Swans as Eriksen buries another A-grade goal to put THFC three up and now a brace for Christian and counting.

First half: Watching on delay about five hours later we've reached half-time and Spurs in complete control with two quality goals [and Lamela was one of 'em] and proof yet again that the cliche of Spurs=Kane is not true, once again adding that Harry Kane is a world class player, and not just a great goalscorer and striker but all round team player. Right, that's that sorted. Now let's enjoy the 2nd half, just don't go Spursy on us!

Pre match: Tottenham Hotspur have shown they're not a one man team so, although it's a massive blow to be without Harry Kane for this and future matches, they've got so much talent all over the park it's not disastrous.

The real danger for the London visitors to the Liberty Stadium is their manager Carlos Carvalhal because he's turned the Swans from bottom of the table no-hopers to 14th in the table [prior to this weekend's action] and among the less likely of the many relegation fight candidates to go down. Along the way he's picked up some stunning Premier league results including wins over Arsenal and Liverpool.
Spurs have never played Swansea before in the FA Cup  
Fun fact

Previously, in the league game in Wales, Swansea's few chances came around the middle of the second half with a spell of serious pressure, but a sublime Spurs second goal, with a laser guided cross dug out by Harry Kane and served, as if on a plate, to Dele Alli, whose second attempt to capitalize found the Swansea net. The vociferous travelling Tottenham fans behind that goal, having endured monsoon-like conditions along with the locals, erupted in delight.

We've got a great record against The Swans and that has continued so far in the league this season. One issue of concern in the away Prem game against them was the inability of some of the Spurs players to stay onside at crucial moments.

But when you win with such a classy second goal in such lousy weather, it was not a time to be overly critical, but of course Harry won't be there to dig for us this time. It's down to the rest of our global talent.

Planet Swans forum


European Champions League 2017/18
1st Leg
was 2:2
2 Amazing sides, only 1 could go thru
Rob Francis reacting
Tottenham Hotspur 1:2 Juventus
March 07, 2018
Can Spurs eliminate Juventus?

Well somehow my entire reaction to this huge match got accidentally deleted somewhere in the blogosphere never to be retrieved.

Since I can't rewrite that masterpiece owing to time constraints, I'll get to the gist of it with a bullet point summary:

* Another amazing leg against Juventus full of dramatic twists and turns.

* The more experienced side won. Both teams were great to watch but you have to give it to the Italian side, brilliantly coached, talented players playing superbly as individuals and as a unit.

* Spurs can be very proud of both performances against Juventus. It shows that Poch has done an outstanding job in putting Tottenham Hotspur on the modern world map.

* We absolutely need to get back into the Champs league and so making Top 4 in the Prem is essential.

* We have been told that unless we win a trophy it will split up the team and lose us our world class manager. Actually, Top 4 is more important. But winning the FA Cup would be immense, too. Let's do both!

I'm not pushing my luck and adding more right now because time's run out and I just blew my afternoon tea-break on the previous masterpiece.

More soon. The season goes on.

Pre-match: It's the big one to decide whether Spurs go thru to the next round which would be a giant step towards an unbelievable ultimate possibility: a Champions League final.

Still a few steps left, a win "only" gets us into the quarter-finals, but we're now center-stage again and in the global spotlight. Few real fans of the game will dismiss us as also-rans if we knock out this Italian club football colossus who boast such sweeping recent domestic success.

We're in a strong position.... theoretically. Seriously, two away goals at the Allianz stadium in a 2:2 draw is a brilliant achievement in itself. Of course, that alone is not enough. But it forces Juventus to take the initiative, to take risks, and Tottenham can be impressive on the counter. Could go either way, but it's ours to win, for sure.

In the first-leg we saw a tremendous show of resilience and self-confidence from the Spurs side after getting shellshocked by a snappy two goals in nine opening minutes from Juventus which had their fans in raucous mood.

The Allianz stadium got gradually quieter as Kane pulled one back with a super run around the keeper after an Alli feed followed by a magnificent free kick from Christian Eriksen, interspersed with a Juve spot kick miss and a penalty denied Spurs when Kane was upended. By the end, it was only the traveling Spurs fans that were making noise.

Juve fans were stunned not just by THFC's comeback but by the way we grew into owning this match on their patch with 67% possession, outshooting them 12 to 9, and more shots on target than them. Very impressive. Juventus tactics explained.


FA Cup 2017/18
Another win to
crow about
Six of the best for Spurs [Final]
NeVAR again? How not to use technology
Tottenham H. 6 Rochdale 1 [Cup replay]
Wed Feb 28, 2018, USTV=Fox sports 1; Online=Fubo etc. Rob F reacting.

Second Half: Well I got busy at work so I just learned we got a sixth goal. Double wow. Since I have to leave again that's all for now, but brilliant win in unbelievable deep winter conditions, and more reactions to this, plus looking forward to the next game, very soon.

Soon after the break Spurs go ahead, but Llorente doesn't stop there, notches a rapid hat trick. Hueng-min Son making so much happen -- they surely share man of the match award -- and then Son scores from a Lamela pass with Moura also involved to make it five. Wow.

First Half: Overall certain aspects of video recall to make decisions is a great and overdue idea, but the long and frequent delays of the first half in this snow blizzard of a match means there's work to do to get it right.

Technically it looked like the Ref/VAR combo got the decisions right. But this was all a bit farcical, taking way too long, and now the crowd cheers replays not goals. Seems weird.

Spurs went ahead with Son but Dale equalized. Earlier, Tottenham had a goal disallowed.

More soon.

Pre-match: Since the drawn FA Cup match at Rochdale, the Greater Manchester side have continued to struggle in League One and only a brave human would bet money on them avoiding the drop. They drew 0:0 at home to Milton Keynes and lost by the only goal at Wigan [yes, the team that beat Man City also in the FA Cup].

It's truly hard to believe how well they did against us at Spotland given their dismal results in the league. The FA Cup still does retain its magic because this sort of stuff still happens reasonably often to keep the romance of the underdog alive, which is the main surviving justification for the knockout contest's existence.

The final score was of course 2:2 in the original game at their ground.

An amazing late equalizer for Dale from Steve Davies who pivoted and found the pocket with a crackerjack to stun Spurs and earned the relegation bound League One side another payday with a replay trip to Wembley.

Alli added to the diving controversy surrounding the club [a bit unfair as most of the accusers support clubs that also have dodgy records in this department] as Spurs feasted on a technical ["soft"] foul in the box with Harry Kane blasting in from the spot.

Earlier, THFC's equalizer came as Llorente fed Lucas Moura, making his first starting debut for Spurs, to equalize soon after the break. "You can hear the Spurs fans and what it means to them," wrote Chris Sutton.

There had been very few clear cut chances in the first half for either side although it was a compelling and absorbing David-Goliath Cup clash. The best move by far led to Dale's goal from Ian Henderson, a Bury St. Edmunds native who was on the verge of quitting football, just before the interval.


Spurs win so
it's Rochdale next
The Spur's FA Cup
Spurs ease thru to 5th round
Full time
Rob Francis reacting
Feb 07, 2018 (Ssn 2017/18)
Tottenham Hotspur 2
Newport County 0

Second half & Reactions: The real story was the first half. Spurs guide the match safely to victory without any trouble. County make some much needed money from their terrific FA Cup run.

The Lilywhites prepare for some daunting upcoming games against Arsenal and Juventus, along with the next banana skin in the FA Cup at Rochdale, but a great chance to go deep into this season's FA Cup and possibly win it, who knows.

First half: Spurs were struggling until a County defender deflected a Sissoko cross into his own net and that turned the tide.

Spurs could have gone two up when Fernando Llorente supplied a sublime through pass to Hueng-min Son which was dispatched narrowly wide, but it was a sign that Spurs were taking control and that County had perhaps missed their early narrow window of opportunity.

The actual second goal was a beaut and showed a nice build up involving several Spurs players interacting seamlessly together culminating in a Hueng-min pass to Erik Lamela, who had a scorcher saved moments before, whose pinpoint shot left County no chance. Loco Coco is back, pop pickers. Two-nil going into the break.
Alderweireld & Rose returned from injury for Spurs  
BBC Football

Preview: Another theoretically kind draw sees tonight's winner basking in the glory of a visit to Rochdale and another pwopa though somewhat bedraggled old school ground.

The moment that mattered in the match at the Rodney Parade ground in Newport [Wales] was Kane's tap-in from a corner kick, deflected brilliantly by Hueng-min Son, to save major embarrassment for the lackluster Lilywhites. "Newport are on their way to Wembley, Tottenham's gonna do it again" [only hopefully better, and win].

Newport did the opposite of parking the bus, they totally went for it, and not only managed a draw but got so close to winning. They deserve massive credit even though this was close to being deeply embarrassing, even distressing probably for those that don't meditate.

Newport County forum.

When Newport County died [the original club].


European Champions League 2017/18
Real
Madrid
Glory Glory night
3:1 to Spurs, who go thru to KO stage
Tottenham H. vs Real Madrid 3:1
November 1, 2017
Live on SlingTV, Fubo, etc.

Second Half: It's all over. We beat the world's greatest team, or at least they were, 'til Poch-powered Tottenham arrived on the scene.

Now let's not lose at home to Palace this weekend. Seriously though, it's great to be able to focus on the Prem without the pressure of the Euro Champs league temporarily off. But there's not much time to recuperate and with Toby hamstrung that doesn't help.

But for now, and forever, it's a massive result and the real edge of the seat stuff begins when we trot out for the knockout stage knowing that from then onward it's do or die, in a competition where we could actually get to the final -- on present form.

Uh oh. Ronaldo gets one back, 10 mins to go. Nail-biter special as of now.

On a plate for Alli to get his hat trick but couldn't get the right head to it, but the classic old "Grand old team to play for" song goes up.

Amazing third goal, Kane unselfishly feeds Eriksen who blasts in the third. Spurs on the way to qualifying for the KO stages tonight. Almost done and dusted, lads....

Dare I ask it? #1 team in the world? To do is to dare and to dare is to do, and the Lilywhites dared to.... well.... do.

Alli nabs his brace, and a lucky deflection doesn't lessen the fact that's Alli ducking and diving between the Madrid defence was a world class player in full poetic motion.

First Half: Oh what a nice goal. Winks with a great long ball to find Trippier, marauding along the right hand side, who centers to Alli who prods home despite being flanked on either side by Real defenders. There were probable offsides by Tripper and Alli when Winks launched upfield, bound to be a talking point especially by Madrid fans.

Meanwhile at the other end the Spanish megaclub have had some chances to prize open the THFC defence, and no question Real will create plenty more danger as the game unfolds [looks like they're trying to replicate the Man Utd winner last weekend] but so far the sometimes breathtaking talents of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema & Co, whilst evident, have not yet been enough to beat Hugo Lloris.

It's mesmerizing stuff, this one. This is oppo that doesn't mess around, but Spurs look well up for it.

Pre-match: Drawing at THFC and then tonking 'Pool got us all flying but it's been unfruitful after that with elimination from the League Cup at home to West Ham, and then a narrow league loss at ManUre.

But Real Madrid at Wembley is a match to get the excitement and adrenalin flowing again and this is not a multi-tasker appointment, this is glued to the screen stuff.

A draw at the Bernabeu was a fantastic achievement. It was a test of where we're at currently when it comes to really big ones, and we now know that there's no reason to think that we can't mix it with the best of them.

As the Guardian points out: "While it's true that Tottenham just need three more points [to go thru to the KO stage], the first opportunity to get them comes against the European champions. These are the occasions that the champions of Spain live for."

And don't forget.... we've got Sissoko.


The Spur's Premiership
Martial lore
Spurs denied a result at Old Trafford
Sat, Oct 28, 2017 (Ssn 20017/18)
Manchester United 1
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Old Trafford

Tottenham Hotspur will be accused of over dependence on Harry Kane after this one, but as The Guardian points out "Even without Harry Kane, Tottenham held the upper hand for much of this closely contested game, though Manchester United are no mugs under Jose Mourinho and they stuck grimly to their task to pick up an important win" and "in the nick of time United came up with a textbook route-one winner to confound their opponents."

It was a jammy one at that, as the BBC tells of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho referring to Anthony Martial's winner as a "bad shot that was genius". Martial may be entering Red Devils folklore labeled as the luckiest sod in soccer.

After the West Ham game it leaves Spurs on a rollercoaster from the previous high roll of results to what we hope is now the lowest depths of this cycle with losses to West Ham in the League Cup after being two ahead, and now this one, destined to be a creditable away draw at Old Trafford, never to be sniffed at, but crashing and burning at the last.

To be honest it's well tiresome losing at Old Trafford. On the plus side, last year in this fixture we were outplayed and outclassed in the one-nil loss. We were not this time. But boxing points aren't awarded for this improvement. Had I been there, I would have started a chant "if it wasn't for Harry Kane you'd be dead" but like many chants it's not necessarily a completely accurate reflection of reality.

Pre-match: Writing this about five hours before kick-off with the possibility, nay certitude if the UK media ain't BS-ing, of Harry Kane not yet match fit.

Excerpt from The Guardian's preview of today's game: "The loss of Harry Kane is a blow for Tottenham and a huge boost for Manchester United. As Manchester City are five points ahead of United and Spurs, second and third respectively, a draw is surely undesirable and given the loss of Spurs' star striker the onus is on Jose Mourinho's men to go for the win. Considering Mourinho's use of cat-and-mouse tactics it remains to be seen if he will instruct his side to do so."

In the corresponding fixture last season The Spur wrote: "I gotta hand it to Mourinho -- I was wrong. He may be the right person for United. They only waited for this game to kick in, and in the process made Spurs look decidedly second best. What looks on paper like a narrow one-nil home victory was in fact a clinical outmaneuvering. I dread to think of life without Alderweireld.

"I can only recall one real chance for us, when Wanyama failed to convert. Other than that, United closed us down, meanwhile playing a convincing passing game with an understanding, cohesion, energy and penetration that by contrast was glaringly lacking in Poch's crew."

Meanwile, in a thriller last weekend a global audience watched Huddersfield defeat Man Utd, but now the Devils have the home advantage and will relish a pop at Spurs with Kane out of the picture.


The Spur's Premiership
Park the bus, Jacks
All aboard the
special to Wembley
for another
home match

Premier hoodoo woes continue for Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur 0
Swansea City 0
Live on NBC
Sat, Sept 16, 2017

Rob Francis got to understand a little Portuguese but was multi-tasking, as from early doors the game had nil-nil written all over it. A bunch of Welshman known collectively as the Jacks used Wembley to park their bus for a weekend in London. And they didn't even need a jack to change the tyres. It gave us something to do.

I thought it would be, every time at home, that the visitors would play as if it was their Cup final, a chance to shine. That notion was a little too romantic and totally underestimated the esteem in which Tottenham's current side are held by the likes of Swansea. Apart from the lavishly funded "super-clubs" of ill-gotten gain and fame, like Chelsea for example, the rest will be using the national stadium as a bus park.

Meanwhile Spurs remain the Premiership hoodoo gurus of the home turf.

I'll watch the day's prem highlights when BBC's Match of the day comes on, but I'm guessing they'll shift thru this one as quickly and painlessly as possible, but maybe I missed some exciting moments that might have translated better in Englgish, sorry, English, than they did in Portuguese. The program will have added interest for me because I only know one other result so far -- watched a bit of Burnley nabbing a point at Liverpool -- so that gives me hope that maybe some other upsets may have happened too.

Pre-match

The Guardian: "Tottenham are flying after burying their Wembley jinx in the Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund while Swansea City have been gripped by introspection following their failure to perform against Newcastle United. Paul Clement can take heart from how his team have played away from home of late. He knows he needs something special."

Cartilage Free Captain: "The smart money is on Spurs, but there's a bit of hope for Swansea. It will come to nothing. 2-0 Spurs."

Sportsmole.co.uk: "Victory against a talented but profligate Dortmund side, courtesy of a couple of Kane strikes and one from Son Heung-min to open the scoring, was just the second the Lilywhites have claimed at Wembley in 12 attempts stretching back nearly a decade since it opened.

"They must now prove that they can perform in the vast bowl when it comes to league matches as, after losing late on to rivals Chelsea and somehow throwing away two points against Burnley, they cannot afford to slip up in any more of their winnable home games."

Swansea fans forum.