Forget Dortmund, Spurs just embarrassed Manchester United

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Anyone else getting a distinct whiff of Liverpool ‘05 from this Spurs side…?
Stu, Southampton


The world’s greatest left wing-back
Is it a bird?

Is it a plane?

Ashish S (Crazy night)


Cheers Son’s flying, nice one
Is there a first XI in the world that Son would not get into and improve?


Six conclusions
A couple of things that occurred to me when leaving Wembley tonight:

1. Are Dortmund really all that? Apart from one Lloris save I can’t think of a moment where they really threatened.

2. Is Sancho shining in a substandard league? To be fair he looked great in the opening half an hour but seemed a little anonymous after that.

3. In total contrast to point 1; Dortmund should feel confused that the match ended 3-0

4. Llorente’s celebration tells you everything you need to know about the man – good guy.

5. Vertongen is the most underrated wing back in world football, yes I know.

6. Dortmund fans are quite brilliant.
The Flan, North London 


Spurs embarrassed United
Now that was a proper European performance. Spurs just spanked the in-form German team with a strong, controlled, patient performance. If people had questions over what a top class manager looks like, just look at Pochetinho and what he did today, with the injuries he has, amazing.

Spurs may well lose at Dortmund, but they handled business spectacularly when they were expected to. If Dortmund win 4-0 at the Signal Iduna, I cannot fault them. Away nights in Europe are crazy nights. I could go into specifics, like how Pochetinho responded to the clear threat Sancho was, and how he utilized Vertonghen and pressed Witsel throughout, destabilizing the Dortmund midfield and defense, but that’s for other nerds to cover.

I don’t really care about clever tactics, I look at effectiveness and the optics. Spurs were generally comfortable after nullifying Sancho, which was a tactic made in-game, and were composed in the way they approached beating Dortmund in the second half. I didn’t need to know the tactics to see they were not being troubled.

The same cannot be said of Man U, who wet their pants and basically looked like amateurs against an injury ravaged team.

Most people will probably say Son, Eriksen were a 9 or 10 in terms of performance, but to me, they simply had far superior and easier to execute tactics. Compare that to Pogba who single handedly had to beat 3 players at each turn, or Rashford who had to beat the entire PSG defense. For me, that’s the mark of a top manager, one who creates systems that make is easy for the players to execute and thus makes the top players look even better.

When I see Messi having to pull off world class performances so Barca can win, I always think the manager is at best average. You look at Klopp’s players, and how average they look outside his systems, whether at Dortmund or Liverpool and you realize he is a special manager. They are not many of these going around, and if a top team has a chance to get one, they should do it.
Dave(Poch to Madrid, Conte to Bayern, Ole to Man U. There will be 2 winning teams and one in midtable), Somewhere


Well Spurs just made United look silly, didn’t they?


Morning all,

I rarely if ever write in after having been to the game, especially at Wembley (a 2-0 against Brighton, 2-0 against Watford, what could I add, and the 5-1 to Liverpool that I was so spannered after, again, I’m sure saner minds had more interesting things to say) but I feel compelled after tonight’s game.

We don’t get many level-headed Spurs fans in the Mailbox so here are my conclusions/opinions/match report.

After ten mins from my row six block 122 seat(right up on the halfway line) I saw Vertonghen win the ball and run it to the byline and attempt a cross and thought to myself ‘what the f**k is he doing there?!’ Fully aware we were playing a 3 at the back of Toby Sanchez and Foyth. Suddenly the tactical shape of our evening became clear and holy sh*t did I feel uncomfortable. This was not helped by Aurier’s 15th min yellow for a sloppy tackle and Foyths standard sphincter clenching Cruyff turn into two opposition players that we somehow managed to see out with no damage done.

But then Eriksen started to take the armband he’s destined for at Spurs and Son, well he just started to do his smiley duracell bunny thing. Moura had his wild swing that almost went in and Dortmund had little of note going into the break.

I’d say that Poch put a rocket up thier arse but I don’t think thats the case. I’m pretty sure he told em ‘keep on keepin on’ and so it transpired. 46th minute, two gin ‘n ts later and who else but SuperJan pops up, stunning cross from the left, Sonny canters in like a Unicorn and knocks it in. Cityesque some might call it.

A few missed shots later and on comes ‘Nando. A brave, attacking call from Poch. I know most of my fellow spurs wouldnt have held much hope but I did think to myself ‘this is his time’. Aurier cross, who else to meet it? Super Goddamnd Jan Vertoghen thats who, with that most brilliant of celebrations to match.

3 minutes later Eriksen takes the corner, ‘Nando steps up, and THERES THE BOY WE WANTED TO SIGN TEN YEARS AGO. Wembley in raptures, strangers hugging strangers, the deposited corner of ‘The Yellow Wall’ in silence and there are old men in tears on the tube home.

Football eh? Whatta game.

Poch gets it in the ear sometimes for his odd tactical decisions(Son at left wing back) but bloody hell did he get it right tonight. By the 5th minute of the second half Dortmund were Dunzo. Gone. Defeated. Swept aside.

No players, no depth, no signings, no home. A squad kept together with snot and rolling paper. And yet. Keep on keepin on.
TGWolf(That away support was ferkin awesome)THFC COYS


Did Spurs just beat the German league leaders while missing 2 of our best players and while playing Headers and Volleys?

Yes… yes we did!
Thom, Bristol-based Spur


The night Ole’s dream died
As a United fan I was fairly magnanimous regarding our outclassing by PSG in Tuesday, in the 2nd half at least. We simply couldn’t compete with the midfield and defensive class of PSG and given Ole is having to work with the absolutely shocking recruitment of his predecessor (seriously, only Pogba, Matic and Lindelof are actually working out, Jose should hang his head in shame rather than grumble about not being backed).

However, consider that Spurs have just taken apart an equally in form European giant with a right wing back who is often considered a bit of a calamity, a centre back at left wing back, a rookie centre back, a midfield pairing of a young England up and comer and a player previously considered a flop and finally a winger at centre forward. Could this be the result that swings things back in the direction of an approach for Poch? Whatever mitigating circumstances there are behind one result are reflected in the other. Dortmund under strength? So were PSG. Losing Lingard and Martial? Spurs were without Alli and Kane from the start.

Ole still has a chance with the big domestic games over the remainder of the season but it feels like this was the week that the dream started to fade.


From this.

To this.

In 46 days. During which time Spurs have gone out both domestic cups and are roughly the same distance behind the leaders. So basically based on one result. What a joke.
Howard (this isnt a spurs dig btw – I think poch is great. Only an observation of this website’s policy)


There was another game
I know Real Madrid (or any other non-EPL team) gets no traction, yet in the vain hope I send it in.

I’m sick of the 4-3-3. I know, I know. Real Madrid won last night but this formation just doesn’t work anymore. The three man midfield doesn’t work anymore as Kroos practically does nothing.

His passing stats mean nothing if he often picks an unmarked full back on the wing closer to halfway line than the penalty box. Where are the lovely through balls and even long balls which pierced the back line (see: Modric, Luka) instead of just “recycling”?

There is no point in playing so deep when Casemiro, an actual defensive midfielder, is on the pitch.

I hope someone rich in EPL goes crazy and brings him in. Looking at you Man Utd or Chelsea.

Dear Solari, why not play a 4-2-3-1? Pair Luka with Casemiro and put Bale as no. 10 (not as effective at wing anymore anyway) flanked by Vinicius and Lucas Vazquez. Much more balanced, I think.
Ashish S (The Tactical One)


Boiled Rice
The longer it went on the more it felt that West Ham’s CDM would officially declare to be an Irish English International. The questions will be asked and no doubt abuse will be thrown. Why didn’t Martin O’Neill Cap him when he had the chance? How could you play for England when your entire family is Irish?

As an Irishman it kills me that Declan has made this decision. Not that he is playing for England but more that he’s not playing for Ireland. He’s a quality player in midfield which is what we seriously lack at the moment. But from a personal perspective I can see why Declan has made the decision. Yes he has an Irish family but he has grown up in England with English friends and graduating through the West Ham system.

If he continues his rise at the current rate he could be playing international tournaments every second summer for the rest of his career (barring Qatar of course). Can Ireland give him that? Unfortunately not.

We have historically benefited from English player representing Ireland through the “Granny Rule” that Jack Charlton so famously exploited during his tenure as manager. It does feel strange to see the shoe on the other foot this time.

Just hope he signs for Liverpool so I can still like him.
Andy, London. (Contemplating moving home so my hypothetical son doesn’t play for Chelsea).


Declan Rice’s comments on switching his international affiliation from the Republic of Ireland to England have (predictably) contributed the final and most enlightened word on the whole sorry debate over his allegiance:

“Like so many people around the world, I consider myself to be of mixed nationality. I am a proud Englishman, having been born and raised in London. However, I am just as proud of my family’s Irish heritage and my affinity and connection with the country. I have equal respect and love for both England and Ireland and therefore the national team I choose to represent is not a clear-cut, simple selection.”

How silly it seems now, all those self-serious grown men squabbling the past 6 months over ambition and pride, running their pseudo-forensic cultural-genetic analysis that presumed to have authority over a 20-year-old’s national identity.

What Rice’s comments reveal most starkly, however, is the needlessly restrictive nature of FIFA’s regulations on the subject. Article 8.1 outlines that a player may change their national affiliation only once, and only then on the proviso that said player has not represented another country competitively.

Why is this rule in place? What is it we find so sacred about international football that we prohibit a player such as Declan Rice – who clearly holds and feels a strong affiliation for two countries – from switching his services between those countries as and when he chooses?

Competitive integrity could easily be preserved by only allowing players to switch national affiliations between each competitive cycle (the period after a World Cup / continental championship, before the next tournament’s qualifying phase).

Those desperately in thrall to vague notions of the intrinsic nationalism of international competition may cry lunacy – but surely that element would only be enriched by the knowledge that their players are there by choice, and not an archaic FIFA mandate that fails to adequately account for today’s mutable notion of nationality.

Alien as it may first seem to see a player represent 2 or more countries throughout their career, perhaps leaving one for another only to return to the first at a later stage, such a situation is surely preferable – surely more reflective of the real world – than the one we’re in currently, where a 20 year old who must barely know himself is being forced nail his colors to the mast for life, while in the background the people and press of two nation states aggressively court him over the apparent objectivity of his bloodline.
Errol, LFC


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