Friday, 14 April 2017

Rival Lines: "How much would King cost us?" asks Spurs' Stat man

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Spurs v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Spurs Stat man
Twitter: @SpursStatMan

Spurs have had a terrific season. I just wonder what their aims should be now having pushed in two title chases and failing to inspire when playing in Europe. Is Pocchetino really doing as well as he can or has he made some errors? I thought I'd better speak to Jack Pettiford at Spurs Stat man to find out some answers.

CC: If Spurs don't catch Chelsea, what games will have cost Spurs this season?

SS: The stand out result for me would be the 0-0 draw away at Sunderland in January. A frustrating result considering how poor they've been this poor but apart from that it's hard to be too critical - this from a Spurs fan who has endured years of the likes of Raziak...

CC: Harry Kane is back, but is the team not as reliant on him as they have been in the past? - ie you have still been winning games without him?

SS: Definitely, largely due to the prolific goal scoring from Son, Alli & Eriksen. That's not to say we're not a far better team with Kane in the XI, but we're certainly not a 'one man team' like we were with Bale under AVB.

CC: Do Spurs need to win a trophy this season to make them feel that they have truly progressed?

SS: I think this squad has got one more season where they can go without any silverware before anyone can really criticise a lack of trophies - a NLD FA Cup final this season would be a dream though.

CC: The comeback against Swansea City showed us just how much Spurs want the title but have you got to win every game to win it now?

SS: If I'm honest I can't see us catching Chelsea, they're just not going drop that many points between now and the end of the season regardless of whether or not Spurs win all their games.

CC: Has Mauricio Pochettino made mistakes this season?

SS:  He's often criticised by some for the lateness of some of his substitutions and I think there were some legitimate questions to be asked about a few of his decisions to rest players in the Champions League. Apart from that, signing Sissoko for £30M...


CC: Does the prospect of playing at Wembley next season enthuse you much and what do you think is needed to help the players win games there?

SS: Not particularly, that stadiums meant to be about Cup Finals and England matches, so watching Spurs there every other week will definitely take the edge off any future cup games there, but it makes sense commercially. I think the whole 'Spurs can't play at Wembley' narrative is a red herring, it's more of a case that Spurs can't play in Europe.

CC: Which player has been the best defender for Tottenham?

SS: Our best defender is Toby Alderweireld, but Jan Vertonghen has been our best defender this season (just). What a pairing they are though.

CC: What do you make of Bournemouth's second season in the Premier League?

SS: I haven't watched many Cherries games, but the usual comments about how Eddie Howe has you play still apply. From my perspective, a lovely club playing lovely football. How much would Josh King cost us?

CC: How do you expect Spurs to line up against Bournemouth?

SS: I think we'll be at full strength apart from Rose who looks like he'll be back in another week or two:


Dier Alderweireld Vertonghen

Walker Wanyama Dembélé Davies

Eriksen Alli


CC: What is your score prediction?

SS: 3-1 home win (Kane x2, Alli)

CC: I'd better answer that question about Josh King. Well, I'm not sure he is for sale to be honest. While I'm not surprised that people are starting to look at Josh King in a more favourable light these days having reached scoring double figures in the Premier League, I suspect that Eddie Howe is unlikely to want to cash in on him this summer. If he was for sale, it would have to be offers around the £20m plus mark I'd guess. Mind you if Spurs paid £30m for Sissoko, King is probably worth £35m. I have been impressed by Tottenham and while they were my pre-season favourites to win the Premier League I'd say anyone following them has had a petty enjoyable season - Arsenal have at least been beaten into submission again. But I still believe Tottenham to win something to really put a marker down - I know there's time yet. But would it hurt too much to have one blemish on that 2017 home record, if they could possibly have an off day on Saturday?

Many thanks Jack for your answers. You can read a match preview of the Tottenham v AFCB game on the Sport Stat Man blog.

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