Mails: Can Tottenham handle weight of expectation?

Date published: Thursday 26th October 2017 5:45

Another day, another Mailbox. Read it and send your views to


Summing it up
First half: It’s only West Ham.

Second half: Lads, it’s Spurs.
Michael C


Proud to be a Hammer
Wow what a comeback and they certainly looked like they were playing for the manager. Twitter and other forums were going mad when it was 2-0 saying West Ham are so bad and what an awful performance it was.

At 2–0 down West Ham were still playing the best they have played for weeks. They were keeping the ball nicely with nice triangles all the way from Adrian. The problem was there was no penetration with it but after not being able to string two passes together against Brighton it was nice to see them actually keep the ball for a while and knock it about.

The two goals were inexperience of playing the role from Kouyate and the exuberance of Rice wanting to impress. Once The nerves went there was only one winner and full credit to Slav and the players for turning that around. I really hope this could be a turning point for Ayew. He worked his socks off all night and deserves to play. I’d even play him up front working off Carroll. He’s such an underrated poacher and seems to score so many goals just from tapping it in as he’s in the right position.

Take that into to the weekend and beyond and they’ll be fine. COYI!
Chaz (Essex)


Here’s an idea…
….why don’t the Dildo Brothers threaten Bilic with the sack before every match? They’re on title-winning form after the past four sacking threats.
Kev (Andy Carroll’s #1 cheerleader), Bedford


No, I dumped her…
Didn’t want to win it anyway.
Luke, THFC, London (There should definitely be at least four articles on how Poch is a fraud now. Those MUFC fans won’t wind themselves up into a rage you know)


Can Spurs handle weight of expectation?
Are we now getting to the point where actually…Spurs are maybe even favourites to beat Manu at the weekend?

Now I’m not a gambling man so haven’t a clue what the actual odds are but he talk is that Spurs on are the crest of a wave, riding high etc, and Manu maybe about to crash into the rocks.

(The odds actually say that Manchester United are clear favourites at around 5/4 – maybe because Jose Mourinho always beats Mauricio Pochettino at home – Ed)

Spurs have been generally underdogs I would suggest (that/s not a slight at them just a perception of the wider world) but to Manu, at Old Trafford and all the talk seems to be about Spurs winning or at least Utd struggling to find confidence and form etc etc.

As we all know it’s easier to have a go when you have nothing to lose (see Huddersfield/Iceland/Haye v Valuev) but how will Spurs handle this expectation? Sure they put Liverpool to sword last week, but with a MASSIVE amount of help from both Lovren and Loris (okay more Lovren than Loris). but due to that the expectation now seems to be that (although some Spurs fans are, I’m sure, nervously excited) ‘we’ can win and win handsomely.

I truly hope Spurs annihilate Utd in similar fashion to Pool or worse would be nice… but I will be most interested to see how they handle the pressure and weight of expectation.

And if they do…and if they do…win comfortably and play with that air of belief rather than the air of a man whoss shirt is more like a suit of armour than breathable cotton and acrylics…

Then PLEASE can we give MoPo as I believe he is now called (by one in the mailbox) PLEASE can the FA give Levy ‘all the money’ and have him in charge at England! He has actually said he would be interested…
Al LFC but appreciative of a good team no matter who they are! (well almost no matter, obviously)


F365 is so very cruel to Manchester United
Lee is correct. It’s frankly outrageous that United fans having to endure so many critical words written about their club from the F365 crew.

After it, it’s not like Manchester United were being anointed as the only realistic title challengers to City before a ball was kicked at the beginning of the season. It’s not like Sky cream themselves into a seizure over the Super Sunday Manchester or Manchester-Liverpool derbies, match-ups so colossal they’re positively intergalactic. Not like the media spotlight is almost obsessively focused on Pep and Mourinho and their inevitable quest for Premier League dominance.

Remember, these poor Manchester United fans who had to endure their team dominating English football for pretty much all of the 90s, the 00s, and early part of the 10’s, and somehow deal with all the media praise that came with it. Fans that have only gotten to see their team play in every FA Cup game on TV for the past 23 years. Fans who have to suffer the annoyance of being linked to not only Tottenham’s players but pretty much most of the best players in the world on a daily basis, and often signed them too.

And now their ex-Chelsea manager – who Manchester United fans never criticised when he was there for being boring – is still playing defensive results driven football, despite spending a near fortune of players, you lot think it’s acceptable to dish it out and praise a club level on points playing braver football with a less decorated manager operating on a fraction of their budget.

How could you do this to them, you heartless bastards.
Gary (The Good Samaritan)


Luke Shaw is clearly not made for Man United
Have to disagree with Duncan Clowes, who’s worried about Luke Shaw potentially leaving. On the contrary, the sooner he goes the better at this stage.

He obviously has huge natural talent; on that basis alone he’d walk into the team. But hard work is also a pre-requisite. This is a young player whose competition for the left-back spot is Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian – a midfielder and a substandard player – and he still can’t get in the team ahead of them. That says a lot more about him than it does about them.

Mourinho isn’t the first manager to complain about his attitude. He turned up for his first day’s training under LvG overweight, and he still looks chubby even now – something is clearly wrong. Sometimes it’s not meant to be for players at United (Diego Forlan, Angel Di Maria, Falcao), and United would be better to cut their losses now, and he can try and reignite his career somewhere else. He clearly doesn’t have what it takes to be a regular for United.
Kevin, Dublin


…The Utd team that played on Tuesday included Tuanzebe, McTominay, Rashford and Lingard all local lads who the manager praised after the game. So it’s hardly about not giving youth a chance.

Shaw has had issues at UTd since he got here under LVG. So it’s hardly a Mourinho issue.

I know Jose has a bad rep despite being the one to actually give De Bruyne a chance at Chelsea instead of sending him out on loan but most of Chelsea’s issues with young players seem to smack of company policy.

My point is if it hasn’t worked out for him yet maybe it’s time for him to look inwards or for the team to cut our losses and start afresh.
Timi, MUFC


No, you are right to be worried
Duncan Clowes. You are worried (about Jose driving young talent away) and rightly so.

As a Chelsea Fan, I’ll give you three names that certainly make me think ‘what could have been’: De Bruyne, Lukaku and Salah

Genuinely makes me a little angry thinking that he didn’t trust them and let them leave. Especially when you see how good they are right now – playing for Chelsea’s direct rivals!
Neil (Salah was sold after Jose left, but had a clause in his loan contract allowing it – inserted under Jose’s management) somewhere over there


What do you want from your club?
Hi. With managers getting sacked for not getting the club/playing the XX way…what is it about your club that they should get? In particular playing style/attitude etc..

I’m a Sunderland fan. It’s tough to nail it down but I’d say there’s no real expectations of playing tiki taka/attacking football. But we want to see tackles going in, love a good winger/no 9 and like a bit of humility in the team.
Tom, Brockley

Who is the ideal man to replace?

In response to James (NUFC, London) question of best and worst managers to take over from I would have to say it depends on the manager.

If you are an attack-minded manager you would be best to take over a team that was good at the back but couldn’t score enough goals. An example of this would be Martinez taking over at Everton. He enjoyed a couple of seasons where his attacking mind coupled with Moyes’ defence gave the team a decent balance and the results were very good. After the initial couple of the seasons, results worsened as Maritnez had no idea how to coach a defense and he was eventually sacked. Koeman then sorted out the defence and their results improved in the next season but that too ended in failure as Koeman believed that having five slow no 10s on the pitch was the best way to score goals.

For example, if Pulis were to replace Allardyce directly would there be an uptick in form? I believe that a contrasting style of manager is the best way to get immediate results if a chairman was planning a managerial change
Oisin Dublin (If Bilic was sacked I wouldn’t know what type of manager to bring in because West Ham don’t do anything well at the moment!)


Are the kids alright?
We’re in the final! England last night beat Brazil 3-1 at U17 level to reach the World Cup final. It was a very good game actually and well worth the watch and the lost two hours of work time.

There were some very good performances from the likes of Foden (MoM) and Brewster and good performances all over the pitch to be honest. It would be great to see skillful players like Foden for the national team in a 5-10 years.

Because I like looking into things, I had a look at our 2007 World Cup squad and see where they are now. I took the squad that were knocked out to Germany 4-1:

Smithies – QPR
Ofori-Twumasi – Maidstone United
Lansbury – Aston Villa
Pearce – Mansfield
Murphy – Torquay
Gosling – Bournemouth
Woods – Hartlepool
Spence – Ipswich
Hoyte – Eastleigh
Plummer – Hereford
Franks – Hartlepool

Not great. Of the subs, Welbeck and Moses are recognizable, Danny Rose was also in the squad. So you could argue three of the squad that went to the World Cup 10 years ago play at the top level now. It wouldn’t be fair not to compare to Germany’s squad. This is where it gets really interesting. Only a certain Toni Kroos is remotely recognisable from the line-up.

Anyway, where were the England players learning their trade at the time:

Smithies – Huddersfield
Ofori-Twumasi – Chelsea
Lansbury – Arsenal
Pearce – Birmingham
Murphy – Arsenal
Gosling – Plymouth
Woods – Chelsea
Spence – West Ham
Hoyte – Arsenal
Plummer – Bristol City
Franks – Middlesborough

How does that compare with todays squad:
3x City, 4x Chelsea, 1x Tottenham, 1x Liverpool, 1x Fulham and 1x Wolves

So of the current crop, eight out of the 11 are playing at top six clubs, with some of the best coaching and facilities available in the world. This makes for much better reading and brings hope, so long as they don’t get trapped in the loan system.

Do I think we have a ‘Golden Generation’ coming through? No, I don’t think we have a Spain or Germany level squad coming through the ranks. But it’s certainly not a bad squad and I recommend watching the final as it should be a great watch.
Rob A (if we can’t get excited about youth prospects scoring two goals to win a s*** game, when can we?!?) AFC

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