|DATE||Sunday 18th September 2016|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
2. Billy JONES
3. Patrick van AANHOLT
4. Jason DENAYER
5. Papy DJILOBODJI
6. Lee CATTERMOLE
7. Sebastian LARSSON
8. Jack RODWELL
9. Fabio BORINI
10. Wahbi KHAZRI
12. Mika DOMINGUEZ
13. Jordan PICKFORD
14. Duncan WATMORE
16. John O'SHEA
17. Didier NDONG
18. Jermain DEFOE
19. Paddy McNAIR
20. Steven PIENAAR
21. Javier MANQUILLO
22. Donald LOVE
23. Lamina KONE
27. Jan KIRCHHOFF
28. Victor ANICHEBE
29. Joel ASORO
44. Adnan JANUZAJ
46. Lynden GOOCH
With Sunderland stuck in the bottom three after a number of seasons
battling relegation, even new manager David Moyes says he expects to
be there for the majority of the season. The transfer policy
at the Black Cats has been a little haphazard and this summer has
been no different.
Former Spurs defender Younes Kaboul left to return south with Watford as he wished to leave the North-East, but incoming have been Chelsea dud Papy Djilobodji, Man United's young duo of Donald Love and Paddy McNair (neither of whom set the Premier League alight), Lynden Gooch - an American midfielder who not a lot of people had heard of, Victor Anichebe (because he was free, but not free from injury) and Steven Pienaar from Moyes' old club Everton and two Manchester players - Adnan Januzaj on loan from United and Jason Denayer on loan from City. Didier Ndong is a Gabon international and Mika Dominguez, a Portuguese keeper, who just about got through the transfer red tape this summer.
Many of the players remain from last season, when Sam Allardyce charted a course away from the drop, but some have gone. Wes Brown was released, along with forwards Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher and keeper Steve Harper.
The defence was exposed as poor against Everton in their last game, losing 0-3, with John O'Shea, having been linked with Tottenham surprisingly this summer, being as bad as anyone else. Patrick van Aanholt likes to attack and has scored a few vital goals, but his defending can be undisciplined sometimes, while Lamina Kone did well last season, but has been disturbed by transfer speculation linking him with a move away from the Stadium of Light. Love and McNair may find it hard to fit into a side struggling if they didn't make much of an impact at United last season, however disjointed that team was.
Former Spur Jermain Defoe will be looking to comply with the law of the Ex and notch against us, but it will need a good performance form those behind him to provide him with decent service. Jack Rodwell has faded from the scene faster than anything and is no longer a regular starter. The Ross Barkley of his day, injuries and bad career choices have seen him relegated to the fringes of a relegated haunted club. New January signing Khazri looked good in the run-in to the end of the season, but has been erratic this season. He can deliver a good ball and the sort that Defoe would make something out of, but needs to get some consistency in his game. Duncan Watmore made an impact when he burst onto the scene and puts a lot of effort in, but often lacks football intelligence when bearing down on goal, so needs to mature to be more aware of what is available around him.
Januzaj should add a bit of quality, but last season's experience when he spent a short time on loan at Borussia Dortmund before returning to mainly U21 games may have knocked his confidence. Injuries have robbed Moyes of Borini, Anichebe, Mannone, Larsson and perhaps Jones at the back, his squad already looks to be stretched thin.
Moyes had been looking for a big Premier League club to manage after his less than successful adventures at Man U and Real Sociedad. Sunderland will no doubt be a real challenge if he wishes to re-establish them as a big club and a good relationship with the chairman might help that, with Moyes' comments about the transfer policy and the realistic aims of the club this season might not go down too well.
Spurs come into the game off the back of a mid-week Champions League defeat by Monaco, but that game demonstrated the difference between the Premier and the Champions Leagues. The need for a win is important to keep tabs with the top five, as there seems to be a more defined separation between those challenging for the title and those who are happy to survive.
Dembele's return will boost Spurs and he may bring out the best in
the side, as his strength on the ball will frustrate the opposition
and he may be able to inject a bit of pace in the passing of the
side to open up a weak Sunderland defence. While it might seem
an easy game on paper, the win that Spurs should achieve will be
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 3 Sunderland 1|
|LAST SEASON'S MEETING||For a look back at the match report, click here.|
|RESULTS HISTORY||Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Sunderland|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Mousa Dembele is available for a Premier League match again after serving a six match ban carried over from last season. Danny Rose's hamstring makes him the only missing Spur from the squad.
SUNDERLAND TEAM NEWS :
Victor Anichebe (thigh strain) is unsurprisingly not available for the trip to Tottenham, while Vito Mannone (elbow), Fabio Borini (groin) and Sebastian Larsson (knee) are also out. Billy Jones (hip) may return along with Lee Cattermole and former Spurs midfielder Steven Pienaar.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Sunday 18th September 2016
White Hart Lane
Kick off 16:30
|Kane 58m 13s||None|
Davies (foul on Zanuzaj) 84
Manquillo (foul on Sissoko) 44
Denayer (foul on Son) 57
Ndong (foul on Son) 65
Cattermole (foul on Dembele) 62
Januzaj (dissent) 81
Djilobodji (foul on Janssen) 90+1
|Crowd : 31,251||Weather : Sunny with some cloud, mild|
|Referee : Mike Dean (Wirral)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Long; Mr. I. Hussin|
|Fourth Official : Andre Marriner|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 8 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Sunderland :||kit|
10 Harry KANE ( 9 Vincent JANSSEN 87)
4 Jason DENAYER
Paddy McNAIR 90+4)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : David Moyes|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : DafaBet|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : adidas|
After the disappointment of Wembley in front of a record "home" crowd, the return to more modest surroundings at White Hart Lane, saw a return to league action and a return to the unbeaten run the side have started the season with, albeit with strong support for the visitors despite it being a Sunday 16.30 kick off. One Harry Kane goal was enough to settle the outcome, but it failed to tell the story of a match that was highly one-sided, but then could easily have been lost.
73% possession and 31 attempts on goal for Tottenham show the dominance they had against a side sadly lacking much ambition or motivation. But the stats only suffice to show what Tottenham should have achieved in this game and a 1-0 victory was the very least they should have come out of the match with. Sunderland's defensive set-up with a 4-5-1 formation, leaving Defoe sorely isolated up front, indicated both their current league position and the truth sitting behind Moyes' comments about this campaign being another relegation dogfight. It just remains to see if his dogs of war are up for the fight.
Some were and that resulted in six bookings and another sending Adnan Zanuzaj off for a not so early bath late into injury time at the end of the match. A Manchester United prodigy, he sees his role as a loanee with a low lying Premier League side, who don't fit into his career path. Frustration born out of the lack of attacking threat no doubt contributed to his dismissal, but he will now miss the next game at least and his new team probably need someone like him to provide a piece of magic, but with the associated work-rate. He clearly didn't fancy a tackle against any of the Belgian national side he once graced, with Vertonghen and Dembele going in strong and Zanuzaj pulling out of the potentially painful challenge. To see him diving in late on Davies after being booked for giving Mike Dean some back-chat was unusual, but Davies had been booked for a dive in on him, so perhaps he wanted some retribution.
His one piece of skill had seen him dance past Dier in the box after a poor touch took the ball away from the Spurs defender and squared the ball to former Spurs midfielder Steven Pienaar on the edge of the six yard box. He scuffed his shot and Kyle Walker, who had got back onto the goal-line, managed to kick the ball away. That was just before half-time and had followed their only other first half chance, when a long goal kick got into the Spurs penalty area and Jermain Defoe got to the ball ahead of Kyle Walker and turned to shoot, forcing Hugo Lloris a nervy moment at the foot of his near post, with the ball almost going through his legs.
Apart from that Sunderland were intent on defending. And not all that well, being saved on a number of occasions by young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. He was at it early on, with diving saves from Kane twice at his near post after low crosses from Son and Sissoko, denying an 18 yard shot from Dembele with a dive to his left in between. His best came in the 16th minute, when Son's corner was powerfully headed at goal by Toby Alderweireld, with the keeper being in the right place to have his body behind the ball and hold onto it. Son had been having a good game. Putting in a couple of wicked crosses early on, then firing a couple of shots at goal in the first half, with one hitting Djilobodji before Sissoko had the follow up blocked by Cattermole and then Wanyama shot wide, and the second hitting the side netting as he tried to beat Pickford at his near post. Sissoko dragged another effort wide, Son cut in from the left to smack a shot against the foot of the post with Pickford getting a touch on it. From the corner by Son, which went to the far post, Djilobodji almost mis-kicked into his own goal but instead got the ball off for a corner behind him somehow, then Dembele's drive took a deflection taking it over the bar.
Sissoko had a near post header to a Son corner deflected wide and then came Sunderland's two chances, before normal service was resumed with Spurs on the attack.
There was little to detract from the Tottenham performance apart from the two chances they afforded Sunderland. Punished for that on Wednesday, the quality of the opposition today let them get away with it. Similarly on Wednesday, failing to take our chances against Monaco cost us dear, while here nine out of 31 shots on target shows they need to be more clinical in their finishing to ensure getting the victories they set out to achieve. Starting at a good pace pegged the Black Cats back in their own penalty area, but after Alderweireld had treatment for a knock in the nether regions, it seemed to take the wind out of Tottenham's attacking instincts and Sunderland enjoyed a period where they had some possession and shots on goal.
The formation with Wanyama alongside Dembele and Walker, with a back three of Jan, Toby and Eric seemed to work well, with Defoe limited to touches mainly outside the penalty area. This left the trio of Son, Alli and Sissoko to attack behind Harry Kane. There were few shooting chances for Kane, as he was well shepherded by the Sunderland defence, but it did leave space for others. The attacking system continued in the second half.
A long ball up to Alli on the edge of the box saw Kone have two arms around him as he went to ground, but on replay it looked a bit weak, although at the time in the ground, it looked like a foul. As it was, Son picked the loose ball up and hit a shot that was deflected over. Sissoko floated a cross to the far post, which Pickford flapped at, but Son could not gather in the ball as it dropped past the back stick. The South Korean was enjoying himself, striking a ball from the left side of goal when put in by Dembele, but only hitting the outside of the side-netting. He may have been better squaring the ball with Alli free in the six yard box, but next time he was in that situation, he put the ball across the six yard box, but nobody was there.
When the ball was worked out wide in the 51st minute, it looked like the Spurs move would once more go infield, with Walker playing it to Sissoko inside him, but when the ball came out to Kyle, he steadied himself, with no pressure on the ball from the Sunderland defence, allowing him to lift a cross to the far post. He had waited until the white shirts were coming in and Alli jumped highest to nod the ball down into the six yard box. It only fell to Djilobodji, who tried to control the ball on his chest, but it squirted off that part of his body and his swing at the ball as it dropped missed completely. Unfortunately for him, it drooped kindly for Harry Kane, two yards from goal. He took a touch and drilled it past the keeper to put Tottenham ahead. It was not undeserved, but they needed a bit of luck in front of goal and that came via the former Chelsea defender.
Dier almost set up Dele for a spectacular goal with a cross from deep on the right, which curled into the midfielder's path and his volley had to be stretched for a little too much and it went into he ground and Pickford saved easily. Watmore did threaten the Spurs defence with a pacy run down the left and an inviting ball across the six yard box, but it was way ahead of Defoe and the chance went untaken. Sissoko dragged a shot wide, then Dele Alli ran from almost halfway without being closed down and put a shot low to the keeper's left, which he just managed to push around the post with a full length dive. From the corner, the ball dropped to Dier, 12 yards out, but he screwed his shot wide of the keeper's right hand post.
A catalogue of defensive mishaps saw Kane slide in to take the ball off Manquillo for Erik Lamela to curl a shot that was blocked for a corner. Shortly afterwards, the Argentinian found himself in a similar position on right corner of the box and curled another shot for the far corner, only for Pickford to make a fine fingertip save, only for Dean to award a goal-kick !! Substitute Victor Janssen, who came for Harry Kane who twisted an ankle, looks desperate to get his first Spurs goal and when he and Lamela broke away on one defender, he took the ball form right to left and then unleashed a shot that flew high into the Paxton Road crowd. Son had one last shot, aiming high at the top corner as he came in off the left wing, but Pickford beat it out and the final whistle went shortly after. Apart from one Watmore header from a Manquiillo cross that went well wide, there was little to trouble Hugo for the majority of the second half.
So, three points gave Spurs a third place slot in the early league table and maintained the unbeaten record so far this season. It was not the fluid football that the team were playing last season, but a new system and new players still fitting in is making consistency difficult, but they are not doing badly. With the side creating lots of chances, the goals will come and when players relax a little more, that might come more easily. The strange formation paid off with the defence looking reasonably solid and the midfield supporting the defence and the attack.
Pochettino will make changes for Wednesday's League Cup tie with Gillingham, but that will be to give some fringe players a run out, especially with Kane, Dier and Dembele all being substituted with injuries here. Hopefully none are bad and that when the side gets back into Premier League fixtures at Middlesbrough next Saturday, a familiar XI takes the field at the Riverside Stadium to continue their good run..
Sunderland were a gnat's
whisker away from being named Hendon FC, as a group of dockworkers
started a team with Hendon being the nearest town. It was only
after taking a cheaper ground on the other side of the River Wear at
Roker Park that they settled in Sunderland.
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|West Bromwich Albion||4||West Ham United||2||Saturday|
|Crystal Palace||4||Stoke City||1||Sunday|
|League Table 2016-17|
|10||West Bromwich Albion||5||2||1||2||6||5||7||+1|
|18||West Ham United||5||1||0||4||7||13||3||-6|
Position before match : 7th
Position after match : 3rd
Position after the weekend : 3rd
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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