Can Spurs Go All The Way?

As far as first halves of the Premier League season go, Spurs under Jose Mourinho have a lot to be optimistic about. They lead the table on the approach to the January transfer window, with a single loss, and the best goal difference in the league. Conceding only nine goals speaks to a new style and organisation that Mourinho has adopted. It’s not even a particularly radical defensive line-up compared to those in past seasons. Jose’s success so far seems to come down to two things: the signing of Pierre Emile Hojberg as a central defensive midfielder and the telepathic chemistry of his two best attackers, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane.

These are really the major differentiators that are letting Spurs play a refreshingly organised and focused playing style. Whether they choose to continue to invest in January or stick with what they have almost doesn’t matter to Spurs fans. So long as the form continues – and the wins over bitter North London rivals – they won’t be complaining. Spurs boast an 11/2 chance of winning the Premier League outright, one of the lowest odds of any team, according to the latest football betting valuations. The confidence the bookies have in them is triggered by a string of victories that, far from gritty 1-0 wins, have been dominant performances over the Premier league’s very best.

Source: Unsplash

Hinging on Hojbjerg

Mourinho respected the Southampton midfielder Hojbjerg long before he became manager of Tottenham. The physical Dane was always something of an enabler on the field. From his days at Bayern to his introduction to the English game, Hojbjerg rarely got on the scoresheet or orchestrated the assists to team-mates but his impact came in being the pivot player sitting behind the attackers. A master of positioning, timing and tackling, Spurs likely wouldn’t be able to pull off the counter-attacking football they apply today with the same success without him. They’d be caught out anytime possession flipped.

With dynamic creative members like Frenchman Tanguy Ndombele and Argentine Giovani Lo Celso liberated from all their defensive duties, the team were able to pick apart teams like Arsenal and Manchester City despite conceding a lot of possession to those opponents. He wouldn’t be caught attempting step-overs or 40 yard passes. It was effective, consistent defending from the middle – no flash and no flair. Mourinho said it best in a recent Goal interview about the Dane; ‘simplicity is genius.’

Source: Unsplash

An All-Timer and a Star Striker

Heung-min Son is one of the Premier League’s most lethal attackers. A combination of pace, agility and technique make him unpredictable – fun to play with and a nightmare against. This is someone who can score from 25 yards on the dribble, as he did against Arsenal, or jinx his way through an 18-yard box. In the twenty or so matches he’s played, Son’s 13 goals and 6 assists is a testament to his work rate and creativity. However, Son alone wouldn’t put Spurs top of the table. It’s his strike partner, and possibly one of Europe’s very best players that make this team work.

Harry Kane is breezing through the season with 14 goals and 13 assists, many of which have been to Son. The duo are closing in on the all-time Premier League record for goal combinations. They currently have 31 and only Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard have more, with 36. Kane’s hold-up play is savvy, streetwise and incredibly effective. If he doesn’t offload to wingers Son or Steven Bergwijn, he draws the foul. Whether they can continue that form into the new year will be critical to going the distance this season.

Tottenham came within touching distance of a Champions League trophy in 2019, and perilously close to a Premier League title back when Leicester City claimed their own historic win. Everyone at the club is aware that performances and wins only go so far. Silverware cements legacies and puts their name in the history books. Captain Harry Kane will know it, as will Jose Mourinho. Neither are strangers to the upper echelons of football, and neither will accept anything less than a league title or a European trophy. It’s been a long time coming, but that wait might finally be coming to an end.

Best Up And Coming Stars In The Premier League

The Premier League has always been a farm for some of the best footballing talent in the world and has been the creator of some of the biggest names in the sport like Cristiano Ronaldo. Because of this, it has become a hot spot for some of the biggest talents to come to the league and develop and so today we look into some of the players currently playing in the Premier League that have huge futures in the sport.

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First of all, we will start with some homegrown talent in Manchester and that is Phil Foden. Dubbed as the Stockport Iniesta, Foden has been recognised as one of the best up and coming player out of England right now. Having played with some of the best players at Manchester City including Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, and under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, Foden certainly has the foundations to become one of the best. Having made his England debut just a couple weekends ago, he has just recently scored 2 goals when he came on as a substitute against Iceland.

[Image: The Times]

Furthermore, and still on the English hype train is from the red side of Manchester and this is Mason Greenwood who could go on to be the long-term number 9 of the Red Devils. Greenwood has a lethal eye for goal and certainly knows how to break the back of the net. Many experts and pundits have highlighted him as being something “special” with many comparing him to club legend Robin Van Persie. Greenwood like Foden might struggle to claim a starting place straight away, but time will prove just how good these players really can be.


And finally, we look as a French Under 21 who has just joined current leaders Leicester City from St Etienne for a reported $40 million that is Wesley Fofana. Many football fans didn’t know who the 19-year old was before he joined the Foxes this summer but since his arrival he has been seriously impressive and has one of the highest ceilings in terms of the position centre back in the league.

A Way Too Early Assessment of Leicester City’s Summer Signings

Leicester City’s most recent summer transfer window? was largely consumed with the tiresome Harry Maguire to Manchester United transfer saga. 

When the dust had settled on that farcical episode though, many pundits speculated that the Foxes had quietly conducted some of the most intelligent business in the Premier League. 

Their strong start to the season, in which they have managed to win half of their games so far, seems to corroborate these evaluations. 

But just how much have Leicester’s four signings contributed to the Brendan Rodgers’ side early success? 90min have assessed each of the club’s new arrivals’ starts to the season.

Youri Tielemans 

Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans – a man described as the ?biggest bargain of the summer in July has continued to impress at the King Power Stadium. Joining permanently for £40m following a loan spell last season, the central midfielder has not missed a league game so far this campaign. 

After getting off to a bit of a slow start in the Foxes’ opening few fixtures, the Belgian has found his feet in recent weeks and was extremely impressive in his side’s 2-1 win over ?Tottenham. Against the Lilywhites, Tielemans was combative and creative in equal measure, contributing significantly to ?Leicester winning the midfield battle. 

The 22-year-old’s standout performances however came against ?Bournmeouth. Tielemans scored and provided a beautiful one-touch pass to assist ?Jamie Vardy’s second of the game in a 3-1 win. 

He’s vital to Brendan Rodgers’ playing style, conducting the Leicester orchestra from midfield. Spurs and ?Manchester United will both be kicking themselves that they couldn’t sign him in the summer. 

Grade: A-

James Justin

James Justin

Another player tipped as a real ?bargain this summer, James Justin has had his playing time restricted by the impeccable form of Ricardo Pereira.

Brought in from Luton Town after helping the Hatters secure promotion from League One, Justin is comfortable on either defensive flank and is a real threat going forward. 

He demonstrated this recently in his only start of the season in a Carabao Cup game against, ironically, his former employers. Continuing a run from right back, Justin snuck in behind the Luton defence and finished off a sumptuous 35-yard pass, from fellow new arrival Youri Tielemans, with a calm side-footed strike.

His performances that day demonstrated that he has tremendous talent. Justin will surely be afforded greater involvement in the first team in the near future.

Grade: C+

Ayoze Perez

Ayoze Perez

?Ayoze Perez’s signing came somewhat out of the blue. In a rare occurrence in the current transfer market, rumour became fact in a matter of days, much to the ire of ?Newcastle United fans. 

Perez’s versatility has meant he has been shoehorned into a number of positions in Leicester’s front line, limiting his effectiveness so far.

Always a willing worker, when playing out wide Perez has a tendency to drift inside which can often leave the central half spaces congested. However, it does allow Ricardo Pereira to overlap which has been an abundant source of chance creation for the Foxes this season. 

Perez is probably best suited to playing behind the striker and he created Leicester’s equaliser against ?Liverpool playing in this area. With James Maddison performing so well though, the 26-year-old will probably have to make do with competing for a wide berth for the foreseeable future. 

Grade: C-

Dennis Praet 

Dennis Praet

?Brought in on transfer deadline day to little fanfare, Dennis Praet’s start to life at Leicester has been a pleasant surprise. 

Critics questioned where Praet would fit into the team owing to the Foxes being well equipped in midfield already, but the Belgian has played his way into contention with a string of elegant performances. 

Praet carries the ball forward with confidence and his passing is always positive and probing, as he demonstrated in his side’s 5-0 demolition of Newcastle United. 

One of the latest products that have come out of Genk, where Kevin De Bruyne, Divock Origi and Thibaut Courtois all received their footballing education, the Belgian already looks at home in Brendan Rodgers’ side. 

Grade: B- 


Details of Paul Pogba Injury & Return Timeline Revealed – And it’s Not an Ankle Problem

?Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is rumoured to have been suffering from a cracked bone in his foot, rather than a recurrence of an earlier ankle injury as had been widely thought.

Pogba missed three games in all competitions after picking up an ankle problem against Southampton back in August. He returned to action when United faced Rochdale in the Carabao Cup, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then revealed the player had taken another knock.

Paul Pogba

Pogba was unexpectedly back in the side a few days later to face Arsenal, but hasn’t been seen since. Some have cast him as a doubt to face Liverpool after the current international break, while other sources have painted a more optimistic picture of a possible return.

A report originating from L’Equipe – shared in English by Sport Witness – has claimed the reason for Pogba’s latest absence is a small crack or ‘microfisure’ to a bone in one of his toes.

The Frenchman is said to have sustained the problem against Rochdale and a subsequent scan apparently revealed the damage. But while United are said to have thought he would be fine to face Arsenal, it is claimed his appearance in that game made the pain worse.

Paul Pogba

In what will be a relief to United fans, the report notes that surgery is not being considered, with a more natural recovery being favoured as things stand.

United did confirm in the wake of the Arsenal game when naming their squad to face AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League that Pogba had been advised to rest. This week, the 26-year-old has been recuperating in the warm weather setting of Dubai, sharing a video via Instagram.

What is interesting is the potential timeframe for a return. L’Equipe suggests a seven-day period of ‘immobilisation’, followed by a further two or three weeks for a full recovery. There is no direct mention of when that may have begun, but if United were aware that Pogba needed rest prior to the AZ game a week ago, chances are he has already completed the initial stage.

Now for the alleged ‘two or three weeks’ of further recovery. If that is an accurate estimate, it would rule Pogba out of facing Liverpool at Old Trafford, which is now only 10 days away.

United could probably rush him back to fitness sooner than that, but it may be considered too large a risk if there is a possibility a further setback could keep him out of action for much longer.

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