Det vankas toppmöte i Premier League i morgon, i skrivande stund är vi serieledare och Tottenham håller den tredjeplats som de haft under en stor del av säsongen. Både vi och Spurs behöver tre poäng för att stärka våra positioner, så det borgar för en händelserik tillställning. Kevin DeVries(@kevrov), som leder podcasten EPL Round table, gästar oss än en gång i sin roll som Spurs-expert och han berättar här om hur han ser på läget klubben är i just nu:
1. With eight games left to play, Spurs are currently third in the league. How would you rate your season so far, are you satisfied with the team?
The past month or so has been rough, especially in the Premier League, but we’re about where people would have expected at the start of the season. I’m largely satisfied with the players that we have but things have obviously been difficult with no new signings for over a year now. There are certainly frustrations within the fanbase regarding the latter and the many stadium delays but while things could have gone better thus far, they also could have been worse.
2. Why do you think you have dropped off in the title race?
Because we were the third best team in the league coming into the season, and that finally caught up with us. For most of January I was saying that we were winning the race for top four rather than losing the title race and, though Manchester United and Arsenal have both closed the gap on us, that is still the case heading into the Liverpool match. As for the drop-off in particular, injuries and lack of depth have certainly been the main factor in our recent struggles and, unfortunately, that continues to be the case as we will limp into our match on Sunday without Harry Winks, Eric Dier, and Serge Aurier.
3. You are soon about to play your first game on the new stadium, how important do you think that is for you and how does it feel to have a new home ground?
It obviously will mean a lot more for the London-based fans that we will have our home back but, even as far away as America, you can feel the impact and lift it has given just about everyone at and around the club. Regarding the impact on the club itself, it is a huge step in the direction of Tottenham being able to compete in the financial sphere of the rest of the top six which will hopefully help us convince players to join going forward. In the short term, hopefully, the occasion of moving to the new ground will be enough to break us out of our recent struggles.
4. What do you think Spurs need to do next season to have an even bigger chance for the title?
Honestly, it’s very unlikely that we will have a bigger chance at a title chase next season. As things stand, it’s likely that both Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen will be playing elsewhere come September and even with money to spend in the window, it’d be near impossible to replace them with players of similar quality. Tottenham already needed to add a right-back and high-profile central midfielder and, assuming the two aforementioned players do leave, there will be at least four positions to address in the first team let alone adding to the depth at the club.
5. You play Manchester City in the Champions League in a few weeks, do you think that will affect the way you play in the league?
Considering the depth issues I’ve already mentioned, and our recent record against City it seems incredibly unlikely that we will be able to make it through our three matches against them unscathed. Our key players, many of whom who have been injured this season, will likely have to play in all of our remaining matches for us to have any chance at maintaining a top four place and potentially progressing in the Champions League, which likely means that our performance in both will suffer during the run-in.
6. Who has impressed you the most at Spurs this season and who has disappointed you?
In general the midfield, but specifically Harry Winks. With the club failing to sign a midfielder in either the summer or winter window Tottenham needed Winks to step up in a big way and become a regular first-team contrubutor and he’s done exactly at. Similarly, Moussa Sissoko deserves credit for improving so drastically this season and contributing both pace and power in the middle of the pitch. His end product is still entirely absent, but that’s not something that you should usually expect from a central midfielder. As for disappointing players, Christian Eriksen and Trippier have been the biggest disappointments. For a while now I’ve felt that Eriksen only plays well when we’re already playing well, and when we really needed him to step up, especially in the absence of Kane and Dele, he disappeared yet again. He’s still obviously an amazingly talented and technical player but it’s troubling that he’s incapable of steering the ship as effectively for us as he does Denmark. In defence, Trippier has struggled for most of the season and has frankly been a shadow of the player he was during the 2017/18 campaign let alone his World Cup heroics and will likely be told to find a new club this summer.
7. What kind of game do you expect at Anfield on Sunday?
A difficult one for Tottenham to be sure. As mentioned, Winks and Dier will both be missing in midfield while Aurier’s absence means Trippier will have to try and contain the red-hot Sadio Mane. With us likely to struggle in both of those areas of the pitch, it would take some heroics at the front from Kane, or at the back from Lloris in order for us to secure a result on Sunday, let alone pick up all three points.