Lucas Moura

Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images

Smooth Spurs slice through Burnley

Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur was at its very best in blowing Burnley out of the water with a 5-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Kane scored twice and added an assist as Spurs moved into fifth place with 23 points, while Burnley slipped into 13th via goal differential on 18 points.

It is the first clean sheet for Jose Mourinho as Spurs boss, but this was all about the goals. Kane’s goal were both classy to join a sensational Heung-Min Son marker that had the Internet abuzz. Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura also scored, with Dele Alli getting two assists.


Three things we learned

1. Kane at his very best, Dele keeps up form: Harry Kane entered the game on pace for an 18-goal league season, which might surprise you given how quiet he’s been. There was no problem with the volume on Saturday, as he scored not one but two simply wonderful goals straight out of his career highlight reel. If Kane can return to dominant force status, than there is no reason to believe Spurs cannot challenge for a Top Four space.

And Dele Alli, what can you say? He was far from incredible, especially given how good Son, Kane, and Lucas performed, but another two assists on the day give him three goals and three assists in four PL matches under Mourinho.

2. Maradona cloned in South Korea: We know Son is very good. We didn’t learn that, but we did learn that people in the year 2019 are still capable of full-field, Maradona/Messi level dribbles. Holy smoke, Sonny.

3. Burnley abject again as Spurs get rare clean sheet: The Clarets were up against it, yeah, but this was another performance that Sean Dyche will find it hard to stomach. The goals conceded hurt, but there was absolutely zero threat against a Spurs team which hasn’t been at its best in defense. Burnley now has seven shots on target in its last three games, which is not a good total, and the defending on Sissoko’s goal was pitiful and oh-so-easy.

Then again, the idea with Mourinho is that things would tighten up at the back, and the Portuguese manager trusted the same back line (including Serge Aurier) in getting a much-needed zero on the home scoreboard.

Man of the Match: Kane.


This was all Spurs from moment No. 1, and we wouldn’t want to be the Clarets when Burnley boss Sean Dyche shows film and takes training; The defending was terrible.

But take nothing away from Spurs, who scored incredible goals.

First Kane scored one of two trademark goals from distance (the second just inside the 18), and Dele set up Lucas Moura for fine second goal.

The third goal was Son’s incredible dribble goal, which is going to be on loop and really should be a favorite for Goal of the Season.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Kane struck again (at bottom), and Sissoko rolled in the fifth goal with a calm finish after a scything 1-2 with Kane between Burnley’s poor defenders.

Here’s is Kane’s second:

WATCH: Harry Kane’s emphatic rip from distance puts Spurs up

Leave a comment

If Harry Kane is about to find his best self, then the Premier League should be quite concerned that Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur may return to its finest form.

On evidence of this strike versus Burnley on Saturday, it’s possible.

[ STREAM: Spurs-Burnley + every PL match ] 

Kane absolutely pummeled a shot from distance past the excellent Nick Pope on Saturday, the first of two early goals (Lucas Moura) as Spurs are making a quick rebound from a midweek set back at Old Trafford.

Heung-Min Son perfectly settled a long ball to Kane, who was in space and cognizant of the goalkeeper’s position. The Englishman bashed the ball home for his eighth league goal of the season and 14th in all competitions.

Tottenham’s hero ballboy reacts: ‘It has made my life!’

Getty Images
1 Comment

Tottenham’s hero from Tuesday’s night UEFA Champions League win against Olympiacos wasn’t Harry Kane, Jose Mourinho or anybody connected with the first team squad.

[ MORE: Spurs fans warm to Mourinho ]

Ballboy Callum Hynes, 15, who has been a ballboy at Spurs over the last six seasons, threw the ball in quickly to Serge Aurier and his throw-in allowed Lucas Moura to cross for Harry Kane to make it 2-2 early in the second half.

Hynes played a key moment in Spurs’ comeback from 2-0 down to win 4-2, as new manager Mourinho hugged and congratulated him on his home debut and had high praise for him after the game.

“To do that you have to be a very good ballboy. I was, between 10 and 15, 16-years-old, a very good ballboy. He is a very good ballboy, understands the game, reads the game,” Mourinho said. “He’s not there just to look to the stands, the lights or the scarves. He’s there reading the game and playing the game very well. In the end, I wanted him to come back to celebrate in the dressing room with the players, but he had gone.”

Hynes retold his side of the story, as he left the stadium as soon as he could to get back to school for a math exam on Wednesday and that was why Mourinho couldn’t find him at the final whistle.

The ballboy then spent his entire car journey home studying for his exam, which was subsequently switched to a Thursday.

“It’s all a bit surreal. I was just doing my job and I still can’t quite believe what happened,” he explained. “I didn’t even see the goal! I was busy getting the ball that had come off (after Masouras tackled Serge) and then I heard the cheer. I turned around and Harry was celebrating. I looked at the replay on the screen and watched exactly what happened. You can see from my smile it was just unbelievable. Jose didn’t have to do that. It was really nice of him to come over to me. It’s made my day, my life, really! I love Spurs and it was an amazing moment I’ll never forget.”

Safe to say Callum will be catching up with Jose and the players in the coming days, and he will be given a heroes welcome the next time he takes up his position on the side of the pitch at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham reach UCL last 16 thanks to stunning comeback

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON — Jose Mourinho has lift off at Tottenham Hotspur.

After falling 2-0 down in the first half, Spurs rallied to beat Olympiacos 4-2 at home on Tuesday, as they reached the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Youssef El-Arabi gave Olympiacos the lead, the Ruben Semedo doubled it soon afer, but a goal just before half time from Dele Alli sparked Spurs into life.

Harry Kane equalized early in the second half and then Serge Aurier got the go-ahead goal before Kane finished things off on a triumphant, in the end, home debut for Mourinho at Spurs.


3 things we learned

1. Spurs’ shaky defense has to be priority: Spurs have conceded four times in Mourinho’s first two games in charge and he will not be happy about that. Olympiacos’ first was a fine individual goal but the second was after sloppy marking from a set piece. Spurs need to sharpen up defensively and they once again started slowly, which is nothing new this season. Olympiacos are a solid UCL team but nothing more. Keeping compact as a team and being tighter at the back has to be the first big project for Mourinho as Spurs manager. Going forward they will score plenty but they can’t keep shooting themselves in the foot.

2. Positive vibes for Mourinho: Somewhat surprisingly, the overall vibe towards Mourinho from the home fans was a positive one. Before and after the game. Spurs fans want one thing: To win trophies. They’ve accepted that wasn’t going to happen under Pochettino and have moved on very quickly. Mourinho is a winner and back-to-back wins to open up his time in charge of Spurs proves it. The overall message is that Mourinho is welcome at Spurs, as long as he wins a trophy.

3. Holding midfielder/right back key for January: Eric Dier was hooked off after 30 minutes and Eriksen came on to give Spurs some extra attacking impetus, but it was probably because he was having another shocker, just like Saturday at West Ham. He’s rusty and it showed. If Mourinho doesn’t start using Victor Wanyama as a holding midfielder, he needs to go out and get a new one in January. He probably needs a new right back too as Aurier was all over the place positionally, erratic in possession and Mourinho needed to bring Sissoko on to give him more protection defensively. A new right back and holding midfielder is a must for Mourinho’s January wishlist.

Man of the Match: Dele Alli – He scored one and grabbed an assist, as he continues to shine under Mourinho. Clever flicks and tricks stole the show and he has that nasty streak back.


Olympiacos took the lead with their first effort of the game as El Arabi brilliantly turned and smashed a low finish past Paulo Gazzaniga to send the away fans wide.

Heung-Min Son‘s flicked header then produced a fine save from Jose Sa in a rare Spurs attack, but it was Olympiacos who looked more likely to grab a second. And they did.

Things then got worse for Spurs as a corner was flicked on and Ruben Semedo tapped home to make it 2-0 and spark scenes of utter disbelief among the home fans.

Mourinho responded by subbing off Eric Dier with less than 30 minutes on the clock as Christian Eriksen came on to try and help Spurs salvage the situation.

Right on half time Spurs were gifted a way back into the game as a cross to the front post was missed by Yassine Meriah and Dele Alli tapped home.

Game on.

Five minutes into the second half Spurs drew level as some quick work from a ball boy found Serge Aurier, his quick throw-in found Lucas Moura who crossed for Kane to slot home as Mourinho celebrated wildly, and with the ball boy, on the sidelines.

Olympiacos poured forward and threatened on numerous occasions as Spurs creaked at the back, but Tottenham got the win their flowing attacking performance, in the second half, deserved.

Dele Alli’s ball to the back post found Aurier who hammered home as Mourinho celebrated wildly on the sidelines, while Kane nodded home Eriksen’s free kick to seal the win in style.

Mourinho is off to a flying start at Spurs, but there is plenty of work to do to repair the damage of the past 12 months.

Which Tottenham players have most to prove?

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jose Mourinho has a heck of a job on his hands to turn things around at Tottenham Hotspur, but the initial signs were encouraging in Spurs’ 3-2 win at West Ham on Saturday.

After that clash at the London Stadium I hosted a live video answering your questions (watch that back, here) and one of the questions was a belter: “Which Tottenham players have the most to prove?”

Simple answer: A lot of Tottenham’s players will be feeling guilty about their recent displays which ultimately led to Mauricio Pochettino and his staff losing their jobs.

A more detailed answer is that the trio of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura have all struggled massively at different times and contributed to Pochettino’s dismissal, and an intriguing new player trading platform has the stats to back it up.

Via the team over at SportStack, this graphic below shows how the value of some of Tottenham’s most influential players have plummeted over the last 12 months.

How does it work? Players will earn and lose value during a match according to SportStack’s Scoring Table which gives a score of 0-100p per game based on pre-determined metrics including tackles won (+2p), shots on target (+5p), goals (+20p) and hitting the woodwork (+5). A pay out of the total amount will happen at the end of each match in line with the Scoring Table.

 

There’s no doubt that Mourinho got the most out of Kane, Alli and Moura at the weekend as Moura and Kane scored plus Alli played a key role in Tottenham’s first two goals.

And with both Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen said to be on their way out with contracts ending in the summer, it is certainly damning that they have both seen their values fall considerably, according to SportStack. Harry Kane is also in there, which probably says more about the players around him not creating the chances for him to finish than it does about Kane’s displays.

Right now every Spurs player will feel like they have something to prove to Mourinho in the coming days, weeks and months, but the list of players above will feel even more responsibility to dig deep.

It is time for Dele Alli and Lucas Moura to stand tall on a regularly basis, while Vertonghen and Eriksen need to move on as quickly as possible if they aren’t going to sign new contracts.