Tottenham – 2018/19 team & season preview
Tottenham were one of the most exciting teams to watch last season in the Premier League. They had an impressive start to the season but lacked consistency in their results. Spurs finished third in the League behind Manchester United and Champions Manchester City.
Spurs played all their home games at Wembley stadium due to the upgrading of White Hart Lane to a new capacity of 62,062 last season. This season they move back to White Hart Lane, but not until 15th September (against Liverpool), so they face a challenging start with away fixtures. However, this does mean though that 11 out of Spur’s last 19 games will be played at home.
Nine Tottenham players reached the semi-finals of the World Cup as the most represented club in the competition. Five from England, three from Belgium, and one from France. Their Captain Hugo Lloris was the man to lift the most prestigious trophy in International football.
Spurs are historically slow starters in the Premier League. In the four years since Mauricio Pochettino took over they have averaged 1.4 points in August. This, combined with the shocking stat that main goal scorer Harry Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in August despite 13 starts, means Tottenham are often playing catch-up.
Ins and outs
With just days until the transfer window closes, Tottenham have so far failed to sign anyone. One player who will feel like a new signing is Lucas Moura who the club signed in January but only managed to start five games in all competitions. The former Paris Saint Germain winger made 153 appearances for his former side scoring 34 goals before making a move to Tottenham for £25m.
Nicknamed the bald Neymar, Moura is fast with great dribbling technique and can play from both wings. The 25-year old Brazilian will have to prove himself to the manager though as the club has many options in the position such as Erik Lamela, Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko.
Aims for the season
The last time Spurs won a trophy was over 3,800 days ago on 23rd February 2008 when they beat Chelsea 2-1 to win the League Cup at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham’s main ambition would be to get a trophy as it has taken so long since they last won any silverware. Last year we saw flashes of brilliance from Tottenham – beating reigning champions Real Madrid 3-1 in the Champions League at Wembley and forcing a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu were particular highlights, before losing out to Juventus in that competition.
In the League Cup, Tottenham were stunned by West Ham in the Round of 16, leading 2-0 at the break but eventually beaten by three second half goals from The Hammers to knock them out.
They came close in the FA Cup, reaching the semi-final, but once again their failure to hold on to a lead would be their downfall. Dele Ali gave them the lead in the 11th minute but goals from Alexis Sánchez and Ander Herrera consigned them to defeat against Manchester United and further cemented their reputation of being football’s nearly men.
Strengths and weaknesses
Strength – Team Spirit. Spurs are a young team with a young coach that have developed together through the ranks. They have an ace up their sleeve in the shape of Harry Kane. Pep Guardiola of Manchester City once branded Tottenham the “Harry Kane team”. While the comment may have been tongue in cheek, there is little doubt that the Kane is one of the best strikers in the league. He shows great leadership qualities and consistently scores.
Weakness – Unable to see games out. The team lacks adequate experience to finish off critical games, starting matches well but unable to hold on to the lead for the entire 90 minutes. In all the competitions they were knocked out of last season, they had the early advantage but let the lead slip.
Most important players
Harry Kane – The World Cup Golden Boot winner with a record of a goal in every 96 minutes. He was second to Mohammed Salah in the race for Premier League top scorer last year with thirty goals, just two shy of the Egyptian. The England captain has been the English leading top scorer for the last four consecutive seasons. He is a great physical presence and a true goal machine able to score headers, long-range shots and has great positioning instincts to score from close range.
Christian Eriksen – Tottenham’s most important player going forward. He is clinical with great precision passes that create openings for the team. Last season in the Premier League, the 26-year old Danish international made ten assists, the same number as Delle Alli.
Where will they finish?
The odds for Spurs to win the Premier League are 18/1. The odds of winning the FA Cup are 8/1 while the odds for winning the EFL Cup are 15/2. The odds of Tottenham winning the Champions League stand at 25/1.
While Tottenham’s style of play make them an attractive team to watch and a favourite of the neutrals, the sequence of away games at the beginning of the season will be tough. Expect a strong finish to the season but we feel a fifth place finish is most likely for Tottenham.