Mailbox: How many signings do Spurs need in January?

Spurs really need some additions in January…though we think some of the targets sound a little ambitious.

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Succinct on Spurs
I really miss Eriksen.
Jon (and have had far too much of Sanchez), Lincoln


An ambitious Spurs wish-list
Despite the VAR officials denying us two stonewall penalties and Harry Kane’s 250th goal, I think there are plenty of positives to take from Wednesday evening’s game. We dominated a strong Chelsea side in the second half and Lo Celso put in an excellent and much needed performance. The 352 works better for us than the 343 as it gives us numbers in midfield and gives Winks the time and space to create.

This month is a big transfer window for us and I have put together a list of transfer targets that would improve our squad and suit Conte’s style of play.

The first is Adama Traore with reports that Conte has him earmarked for a wing back role. He has all the attributes to be a successful wing-back in a Conte side and will give us some much needed creativity out wide.

The next is Vlahovic from Fiorentina. He would provide competition for Son and Kane and could be an eventual replacement for Kane.

Another priority is a centre back and I think that De Vrij fits the bill. He has been successful under Conte already and would form a formidable central defence alongside Romero and Dier.

Lastly I would like to see us add a midfielder. Barela, another player who flourished under Conte at Inter that would add both bite and creativity to our midfield.

I believe these signings would see us to a top four finish this season with a title push on the cards next season.

As for outgoings it unfortunately looks like Ndombele isn’t going to work out which is a shame as he is immensely talented but he isn’t suited to the premier League. He should be sold along with Dele Alli, who needs a fresh start. There are rumours about Ajax signing Bergwijn but I believe we should keep him as he has huge potential.
Barry Fox


Players who didn’t get a decent crack
Seeing Gollini playing for Spurs made me wonder why hasn’t the poor sod given a chance to stake a claim for the first team spot? Lloris is 35 and rumours are linking them with Dean Henderson. And I started to think of other teams and players who are in the same boat.

Man United: Donny Van de Beek. Need I say more? Honorable mention: Diego Dalot. Every time I see him, he’s been good and yet never got a look in till Ole was at the wheel.

Chelsea: Pulisic. Scores some great goals punctuated with misses but overall seems to be a great player. Never figured out why he isn’t given a run.

Liverpool: Considering the last time we knew how to keep a clean sheet was when COVID lockdowns swept the world, I can’t wrap my head around the fact Nat Phillips never got his chance and lead the defence alongside VVD. Can’t do worse than our current options.

Leicester: Namplys Mendy. Seems like a solid bloke and whenever I watched him, seems to do a job esp if Ndidi isn’t available

Arsenal: Nketieh. Arteta seems to have given everyone a chance. But Nketieh never got a run of 7-8 games to stake his claim. (We’re counting the PL)

Everton : Godfrey at CB. Surely the lad can’t be worse than Michael Keane who has been the same defender he was 5 years back with zero development

Any suggestions of players who seemed good but never got a chance?


London bragging rights
Whiling away time in my current Covid isolation, I came across two curious stats for London’s ‘big six’ teams (apologies to West Ham).

Firstly, after over 1100 Premier League games, Arsenal (2nd) and Chelsea (3rd) are locked on 2107 points, albeit Arsenal have a game in hand and a 30 goal advantage. Presumably Arsenal have held top spot amongst London teams for at least 20 years, with Chelsea slowly reeling them in since the arrival of Abramovich. Spurs (5th) are a mere 258 points adrift, but can take pleasure in ensuring Arsenal lose these bragging rights with a 30-0 win in the NLD on Sunday (assuming Chelsea lose by the odd goal to City on Saturday). And then possibly give them back the following week with a win against Chelsea.

Speaking of which… More amazingly, for all top flight seasons , Chelsea (7th) and Spurs (8th) are separated by just 6 points over nearly 3500 games, with Spurs having played seven games fewer, three of those this season. If Sky don’t include this stat in their build up to their game a Super week on Sunday – when the gap might be down to 3 points – we really must conclude that they think football began in 1992 (conversely, if they do, we can assume they read the Mailbox). Arsenal (2nd) are 1650+ points better off from 700 more top flight games. (3 points for a win, btw).

Bonus fact – towards the end of last season, Man City moved ahead of Everton for total Premier League points, despite playing 8 fewer seasons.

Well I thought it was interesting.


AFCON is actually pants
So, this might ruffle a few feathers but here goes…

This competition has been absolute and utter pants to watch for years. It’s dour, boring, horrible football. Phew, there I said it and got it off my chest.

It’s been full of the most negative football I’ve ever seen for the last dozen or so years.

So far this tournament, we are 11 games in and there’s been 1, I said, 1 game only with more than a single goal in it. And that game had 2 pens scored in it ffs!!!!

Why does it get so much attention? It’s utter crap.

Anyway, looking forward to the next Premier League manager who sees someone score three goals for his team in the Tournament, and then paying £50+ for the next “Drogba”.

Eddie, it’s all yours.


Salah is a system player
It’s funny to me that people don’t seem to grasp why Liverpool are so competitive. Mo Salah is not Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo at their respective peaks. Salah is a system player and the system at Liverpool with the high press and playing in between the full back and center back benefits the two outside forwards immensely. So to read Sa’ad’s excitement that Salah has been shackled is somewhat annoying. Please be quiet and stop drawing attention to these sorts of things or else Real Madrid won’t pay Liverpool hundreds of millions of pounds for our players who will inevitably underperform away from a system designed to make them look like world-beaters.

As for Pete from Cape Cod’s question about players, I’d have to say Super Mario signing for Liverpool. It was the moment when I realized we were very far from competing for trophies. In the present day, all the rumors seem reasonable enough, but I dread the thought of us picking off players from struggling giants instead of where we’ve had success with recently relegated teams. For example, I much prefer us going for someone like Sarr from Watford instead of Sancho from Man United however better the latter might be. And if we’re asking about players we wish our clubs would sign, I always want to see Pulisic at Liverpool.
Niall, Bethany Beach


Greenwood not all that
Based on recent mailboxes, it seems to be a widely considered view that Greenwood is United’s best (or most promising) player at the moment.

Am I alone in thinking that he’s average at best as well? I know they aren’t performing well at all and there’s an enormous lack of cohesion, but this season, he seems to shoot from 30 yards every time he has the ball. Either Bruno has rubbed off on him too much or Arjen Robben is his favorite player ever.

I just don’t see what everyone else is seeing. The strangest thing is that fans of other clubs keep saying “No one from United would get into City, Chelsea, Liverpool sides bar De Gea and Greenwood”. Mighty generous I’d say.

Also, Kovacic is so good and I meant to write in after the Chelsea 2-2 Liverpool that some of his touches and control were sublime. He put on an absolute show even when you ignore his goal. With the premier league becoming more and more about effective, hard working players every season, it’s nice to see there are still some artists playing. He seems to fly under the radar 99% of the time and I wish he had followed in Modric’s footsteps to Spurs (and then Madrid). What is it about Croatian midfielders?

Greenwood bad, Kovacic good.
Pete, Cape Cod USA


Best Premier League right-back?
While frivolously compiling a PL all time 11, I noticed that while there are a whole host of obvious candidates for almost every position on the pitch, there remains one position where the potential nominees are fairly uninspiring. I’m talking, of course, about the right back slot. I mean, who is the the PL’s greatest ever RB and what are the criteria to consider when deciding on such an award. If you were to go by consistency and longevity of career, the Gary Neville is the obvious choice. But I distinctly remember Gary Neville, while being excellent defensively, was a bit shit once he crossed the halfway line. Trent AA is doing things that no right back has done before and amassing numbers of goals and assists that no RB in PL history can rival, but in contrast to Neville, he seems to be at fault for a lot of goals due to his defensive understanding of the game, not just because he leaves a lot of space in behind because he spends most of his time in the opposition half. There’s also the argument that he’s only been around a wet week and therefore shouldn’t be in consideration.

Kyle Walker is a fantastic defender who contributes plenty going forward with his speed but is prone to a lapse in concentration. There are other candidates for this hypothetical title who have a legitimate claim (I’m thinking Zabaleta, Azpilicueta, Sagna, Petrescu, Irwin et al) but there really is no stand out candidate. I challenge your readership to put forward a compelling argument for there no 1 RB in the PL era so I can put to bed this absolutely pointless argument that nobody really cares about for my own personal amusement.
John, LFC


Remember Herbert
Sorry Paul, Wenger didn’t preside over Arsenal’s most successful era – and it’s not even close.

Arsenal won the old first division 10 times. The only other club to get to double figures were of course Liverpool but Arsenal won half of their first division titles in a single decade.

The legacy of Arsenal’s greatest manager is the renamed tube station around the corner of our old and new homes, the marble halls and a statue of the great Herbert Chapman which sits between Highbury and the Emirates.

Chapman literally changed the game – numbers on the back of shirts were a Chapman innovation and there are a number of teams around the world such as Lokmotiv Moscow who wear red and white in tribute to Chapman’s Arsenal. He also changed the diets of the players – yep, nutrition was a thing in the 1930s and gave the world a team which provided SEVEN England internationals on one occasion.

Wenger was the greatest Arsenal manager of mine and many an Arsenal fan’s lifetime but Chapman, the former Spurs player, is Arsenal’s
greatest manager of all time and as we approach 100 years since his appointment, I don’t see anyone taking that mantle in the near future.

There is a rather brilliant book by Scott Murray which charts the history of the old first division title – it’s a brilliant read – particularly in its coverage of other clubs golden periods including Burnley, Sunderland, Wolves and Villa and how football hooliganism actually started in the 1960s.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London

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