Érik Lamela’s sucker punch seals win for Spurs over spirited Brighton

Crisis averted. The vultures had been circling around Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham but, while this was hardly a sparkling display, they ended up short of fodder this time. Spurs came through in testing conditions thanks to Harry Kane’s penalty and a fine breakaway second from Érik Lamela; a fourth consecutive defeat, an ignominy that has eluded them since 2004, never looked especially likely and, as responses to adversity go, this will go down as a successful exercise. Pochettino had pointedly questioned his players’ resolve after the reverse at Internazionale and this looked an apposite stage on which to offer a response. Brighton had won three of their previous four home games against last season’s top six; this fixture started under portentous skies and amid hammering rain, offering few of the ingredients sought by anyone seeking a smooth confidence-booster. Continue reading...

Mauricio Pochettino tells Tottenham to toughen up for trip to Brighton

• Three defeats leave manager concerned about lack of desire
• Post-World Cup tiredness no excuse for slump, Pochettino saysMauricio Pochettino has demanded that his Tottenham players run harder and mark tougher at Brighton on Saturday as he expressed frustration at the complacency and softness that have underpinned their run of three successive defeats – the worst of his tenure. Pochettino detected the attitude after the 3-0 win at Manchester United – a game in which he felt the scoreline flattered his team – and they have since lost to Watford, Liverpool and Internazionale. Continue reading...

Pochettino, respect, and the ‘never kicked a ball in your life’ theory | Barney Ronay

The Tottenham manager betrayed English football’s disdain for the views of those who did not play the sport but when those dry up it will be time to start worrying Deep down, behind the club loyalties, beneath the professional distance, everyone loves Mauricio Pochettino. You can deny it. But search your feelings, you know it to be true. There is just something very likable about Pochettino: the barking laugh, the pouchy dimples, the way he strides around the touchline looking like the world’s most handsome oil rigger. Plus of course there is his success as a coach, which has come in the most interesting way, as a developer of players, the author of a style of play. Pochettino has been 100% successful in getting Spurs into the Champions League on a restricted budget over the last three years, which has always been the only realistic goal no matter how many Continue reading "Pochettino, respect, and the ‘never kicked a ball in your life’ theory | Barney Ronay"

Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham: match preview

Chris Hughton fears a backlash after Spurs’ three consecutive defeats but will also fancy his side’s prospects of piling on the misery. The key may be to avoid giving Tottenham a head start: Brighton have drawn 2-2 in their past two matches – against Fulham and Southampton – coming back valiantly on both occasions but a match that necessitates a repeat of Glenn Murray’s last-gasp penalty at St Mary’s on Monday would stretch nerves to the limit. Nick Ames Saturday 5.30pm BT Sport 1 Continue reading...

Strain of Hugo Lloris’s arrest ‘maybe created injury’ says Pochettino

• Spurs keeper ‘was under stress’ in Manchester United game
• Lloris targets return at Huddersfield on Saturday weekMauricio Pochettino has admitted that the “massive strain” of Hugo Lloris’s drink-driving arrest was a factor behind the thigh injury he sustained at Manchester United on 27 August and which has since kept him out of action. Lloris, who will miss Tottenham’s Premier League trip to Brighton on Saturday as he targets a return at Huddersfield on Saturday week, was stopped at the wheel in the small hours of 24 August. Continue reading...

Tottenham need forward momentum to make passing from the back work | Barney Ronay

Mauricio Pochettino may have grounds for adjusting Spurs’ style but needs to remember the key purpose of Fannying About Theory – to hurt opponents further up the pitch There was an unusual moment in the first half at San Siro on Tuesday night. With the score 0-0, the sky still deep blue above the stand, the game still to take its decisive shape, Mousa Dembélé burst the ball. Radja Nainggolan will claim an assist on this. Both men went into a slide tackle with full force. As they made contact simultaneously there was a deep booming noise, like the sound of a major World War Two ammunition dump exploding 50 miles away. For what it’s worth Dembélé just about won the ball, albeit at the expense of the ball’s good health. Nainggolan punted it off the pitch with a look of distaste. The game rushed on. And looking back on Continue reading "Tottenham need forward momentum to make passing from the back work | Barney Ronay"

Tottenham’s Érik Lamela: we need to be ruthless and ease burden on Harry Kane

• Lamela says teammates must ease pressure on leading striker
• Argentinian calls for ruthlessness after 2-1 defeat at Inter Érik Lamela has called for Tottenham to show greater ruthlessness in front of goal and he maintains that the burden ought not to fall solely on Harry Kane. Lamela had three presentable chances when Spurs were 1-0 up against Internazionale in the Champions League on Tuesday night only to fail to take them. Kane had earlier missed another opportunity when well-placed at 0-0 and the profligacy would return to haunt them as Inter scored two late goals to snatch a 2-1 win. Continue reading...

‘Don’t disrespect my players’: Pochettino angry at media after Spurs defeat – video

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has hit back at questions over his squad selection after they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Internazionale, despite leading until the 86th minute. Christian Eriksen put Spurs ahead in the second half before Mauro Icardi’s volley and a Matias Vecino header gave Inter the points. Pochettino was particularly irked at being asked why Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier were left out, interpreting it as disrespectful to those players who were chosen for the trip to Italy. The Argentinian added he was pleased with his team’s performance, but admitted they are suffering having lost three in a row Continue reading...

Mauricio Pochettino accuses reporters of disrespect after Inter’s late show

• Spurs manager loses cool over selection questions
• ‘You disrespect the players … it’s so painful to hear’Mauricio Pochettino accused journalists of disrespecting his players after Tottenham opened their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Internazionale. Spurs led through Christian Eriksen and the manager described the performance as having been the best of the season. But there would be a sting in the tail, with Mauro Icardi equalising with a sensational long-range volley after 85 minutes and Matías Vecino stealing victory in stoppage-time with a header following a corner. Continue reading...

Tottenham fail to heed clear evidence Harry Kane needs a rest | Barney Ronay

The striker has run out of puff, and failed to get a shot on target against Inter, but Spurs have no one in reserveWell, that escalated quickly. A goal up on 85 minutes: 2-1 down at the final whistle. Defeat for Tottenham to Internazionale in the Champions League makes it three defeats in three – Watford then Liverpool before this one – all of them by the same scoreline, all of them without a goal from Harry Kane. Muddled at the back and lacking energy in the middle: this is becoming a recurrent tableau. These cows can see the train coming but there doesn’t seem to be much they can do about it. None of this was Kane’s fault on the face of it. Spurs lost because they failed to defend properly at a set piece. Before that their biggest problem was repeatedly giving the ball away playing out Continue reading "Tottenham fail to heed clear evidence Harry Kane needs a rest | Barney Ronay"

Spurs stunned by Matías Vecino’s injury-time winner for Inter

Another game, another set-piece concession for Tottenham and another morale-shuddering setback, which will only intensify the questions about the team’s mentality. After the defeats by Watford and Liverpool that shadowed Spurs to Milan, this breakdown cut them to the core. A draw might not have been the worst result in the world and that was what Tottenham looked to have within their grasp as a slow-burning tie entered stoppage time. Continue reading...

Champions League: previews for the big matches this week

Form guide, fitness news and facts on Inter v Spurs, Liverpool v PSG, Manchester City v Lyon and Real Madrid v Roma By Martin Laurence for WhoScored Tottenham’s two previous trips to San Siro have been eventful to say the least. Eight years have passed since Gareth Bale announced himself on the European stage with a second-half hat-trick in Milan. Those goals weren’t enough for Spurs to avoid defeat on the night, having conceded four goals before the break, but they did go through as group winners – along with Inter. Spurs’ most recent visit to San Siro, for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie in 2013, ended in sheer relief. Spurs went into the game with a 3-0 lead from the first leg but again conceded four, only scraping through thanks to a late away goal from Emmanuel Adebayor. Continue reading...

Tottenham take inspiration from ‘the Bale game’ in rematch with Inter

Memories of a superhero’s one-man show in 2010 will be to the fore in Spurs’ Champions League opener at the San Siro Tottenham were 4-0 down after 35 minutes against Internazionale at San Siro and the situation was so embarassing even their opponents felt sorry for them. “I was up against Samuel Eto’o, my fellow Cameroonian,” said Sébastien Bassong, who played at centre-half for Spurs that night in 2010, “and I noticed he was steering away from me, he wasn’t running at me. I asked him what he was doing and he said: ‘I don’t want to expose you.’ He was giving me sympathy and pity.” Continue reading...

Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld omitted from Tottenham squad

• Key defenders did not travel for Internazionale match
• Mauricio Pochettino said it was a ‘technical decision’Mauricio Pochettino has omitted Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld from his Tottenham squad to face Internazionale on Tuesday night in the Champions League Group B opener in Milan. The manager, already without the injured Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko, said it was a “technical decision” to leave the two key defenders in London. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Ryan Fraser ran Leicester ragged; Neil Warnock will not tolerate more Cardiff mistakes; and Rafael Benítez needs a new plan Jürgen Klopp was asked to describe his emotions during stoppage time in the 2-1 victory at Tottenham. His dominant Liverpool team had led 2-0 going into it but they conceded to Érik Lamela in the 93rd minute to set up a nervy finale. “I would love to say it is the first time in my life I have been in a situation like that but it happens so often,” Klopp said. “My wife hates it.” The Liverpool manager would not have gone through the wringer if some of his players – Sadio Mané, in particular – had played in a teammate when they ought to have done. If there was one criticism of Liverpool’s best performance of the season it was the lack of ruthlessness and, even, traces of Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Harry Kane is struggling but Spurs have other worries too | David Hytner

Star striker’s form is just one of a growing number of issues for Mauricio Pochettino to contend with after Spurs’ limp display against Liverpool Harry Kane knows the drill. When things go wrong, the highest-profile players find themselves in the crosshairs. It is hard to overstate how badly things went wrong for Tottenham on Saturday in a chastening 2-1 Premier League defeat to Liverpool at Wembley. Mauricio Pochettino clung to the positives, the Spurs manager noting his players had fought until the end and that they almost had an unlikely shot at salvation. After the substitute Érik Lamela had reduced the deficit on 93 minutes, another substitute, Son Heung-min, ought to have had a 95th-minute penalty after he was clipped by Sadio Mané. The referee, Michael Oliver, was unsighted. Continue reading...

Champions League is back with Manchester City unlikely favourites | Paul Wilson

Pep Guardiola’s team have yet to reach a Champions League final but the bookmakers fancy them to halt Real Madrid’s hot streak and outpace Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United The Champions League is back this coming week, and easily the most striking aspect of the competition before the group stages commence is that Manchester City are the favourites to win it. With all respect to Pep Guardiola’s expensively assembled side, this seems odd. City have yet to even reach a Champions League final, yet bookmakers give them a better chance of carrying off the spoils this season than Real Madrid, who just happen to have won the last three finals and are looking to extend their record to four. Perhaps there are reasons for this lack of confidence in the standout European performers of recent seasons, the team who have shown they can win in any number of ways from Continue reading "Champions League is back with Manchester City unlikely favourites | Paul Wilson"