Thursday, 8 December 2016

Spurs rejected City winger

Manchester City's on loan inverted right winger Patrick Roberts has revealed he was rejected by both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea because of his size, he is 1.67m (5' 5") tall.

City brought Roberts for £12.75 million (€14.94m - AUS$21.47m - US$16.11m) and sent him on loan to Celtic for regular first-team football to aid his development. They also wanted to do the same for Ante Coric by sending him to Spain but he refused to be sent out on loan so that deal fell through.

The 19-year-old (20 next February) was a regular in the Celtic side for the then manager Ronny Deila last season and under former Swansea City and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has played 1,099 minutes so far this term, scoring 4 goals and having 6 assists. 546 of those minutes have come in the Scottish Premiership.

He was disappointed and surprised at being rejected by the Chelsea and Tottenham owing to his physical stature. Smaller players like Xavi Hernandez Andreas Iniesta and Lionel Messi have achieved a lot but Roberts isn't in their calibre.

“I love watching Messi, he’s always been an idol of mine. As a kid I was criticised and disregarded for being too small, but he’s showed that size doesn’t matter. 
“I was overlooked by several academies in London because of my size — Chelsea, Tottenham, Watford, QPR — but the likes of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta showed you don’t have to be big to play football. Fulham gave me a trial in 2010 and I’ll never forget that day. I’m almost crying about it now. When I got signed by Fulham it was a great moment for me and I’ll never forget it.”

Roberts went on to spend four years at various levels at the London club, now a Championship side, before finally making his appearance for the senior team in 2013. He caught the eye of Manchester City who signed him in the summer of 2015.

The arrival of new boss Pep Guardiola this season coupled with several big names signings made it almost impossible for Roberts to break through, as many a youngster before him have found out.

You can find plenty of Spurs stories at

Spurs eyeing Sandro and Pulisic


A report in Italy suggests Arsenal are sounding out the availability of 18-year-old (19 next September) Borussia Dortmund attacking midfield starlet Christian Pulisic. The USA international (3 goals in 11 caps), who can also operate as an inverted winger, has been heavily linked with Tottenham Hotspur, PSG, Real Madrid and Liverpool in recent months.
Source: Calciomercato
Tottenham are keen on snapping up the services of 21-year-old (22 next July) Spanish Under-21 striker Sandro Ramirez, commonly referred to as simply Sandro. The former Barcelona man was transferred to Malaga in the summer and they will not want to lose him but Premier League sides, and Tottenham are just one of a number of clubs who would like to sign him, can offer him increased wages, which may attract him.

Prising him away from Malaga after only a few months will be difficult and clubs are likely to try again next summer if they are unsuccessful in January. he has attracted attention with 6 goals and 1 assist in 13 games.
Source: Variuos

Confidence makes a diference

Fans tend to go overboard, we are either brilliant or useless. We have just played two awful sides and taken them apart, yet just a couple of games ago we were apparently if crisis if you listen to some of them.

Confidence has been dismissed in other quarters, clearly from someone who has never played any sport at any sort of level. Confidence is a massive factor as it frees you to play in a manner that you don't play with when you are down on confidence.

When lacking confidence you fall back into default mode, you play to not make mistakes and that means more sideways passing and less risky creative passing. We could see it with Eriksen yesterday. He was chipping over the defence and playing far more creative balls than previously. When you are confident you don't mind making a mistake, when you lack confidence you play not wanting to make a mistake, which puts you in a safe defensive mindset.

Confidence is key in any sport. You only have to look at a striker going through a barren patch. Soldado has banged in goals his whole career, but as a bit part player he totally lost confidence and snatched at sitters, Janssen is going through the same at the moment, harry Kane has been through a couple of barren spells, the last one ended when he was in the right place for a tap-in.

Mauricio Pochettino felt confidence was returning prior to this game and was happy with the performance at Wembley.

"We are starting to show our real quality. We struggled in the last month and a half because we have some problems, but we have all the squad nearly fit and we are stronger. 
"You can feel the team is recovering that feeling that we can win every game. We have recovered that feeling maybe that we lost when it's true, it was a bit of a struggle to compete. 
"We need all the players fit to be strong and to compete in tough competitions like the Premier League and Champions League and it was unlucky that our struggle arrived in a busy period with important games. 
"I am happy. The performance was good, the fact that we won here was important for us, to change that feeling that we had after Monaco and Leverkusen was important and I think we are much better, we are playing better and starting to show our real quality. 
"We need to look ahead and continue to play more games here to make Wembley our home, that is very important."

You'll find plenty of further news at

Player Assessment

Tottenham received an early scare, going behind against the run of play, but eased to victory against CSKA Moscow at Wembley to secure UEFA Europa League football in the new year. How did they perform individually?

Hugo Lloris, 7
Can’t be blamed for the goal. A second successive game in which the skipper had very little to do. Made an important save when we were 2-1 up before we went on to secure the game with a third.

Kyle Walker, 8
Covered so much ground and played his part at both ends of the pitch. Seems to be increasing in confidence all the time, exemplified by a clever back-heel pass in the build up to the equaliser. Put in a superb cross for Kane against Swansea and further good crosses against CSKA. His defending has improved, but so has his crossing.

Eric Dier, 6
Failed to track goalscorer Dzagoev for CSKA’s opener and looked a bit uncomfortable at centre-back until Spurs settled. Eventually found his feet, and should return to midfield now Toby Alderweireld is back. The TV pundits felt his mind was still in defensive midfield role rather than centre-back. Has shown too many lapses in central defence but it will help his education.

Jan Vertonghen, 7
Far too easily beaten in the build up to the CSKA goal, he should have won the header against a weak player in the air, but that was merely a blip in another assured performance from the latest Tottenham player to commit his future to the club.

Danny Rose, 7
His perfectly weighted low cross set up Harry Kane for the second goal. That is the type of pass we have been missing, first time without having to control the ball first, it made the difference and created a goal. Similar to the Swansea game, Rose was outshone by Walker on the other side but still did his job convincingly.

Victor Wanyama, 7
Could have protected the back four more effectively during CSKA’s sporadic dangerous spells, but didn’t do much wrong per se, although his first two touches of the game were to give the ball away to the opposition. His passing was on point and he helped Harry Winks in midfield with his strength and positioning.

Harry Winks, 7
Grew into the game after a bit of an anonymous start, eventually becoming one of Spurs’ strongest performers. Appears to be earning Pochettino’s trust with each and every impressive outing, this was his 13th appearance of the season.

Christian Eriksen, 8
A brilliant Eriksen performance that only lacked goals and he should have scored in the first half, he was through on goal but shot at the centre of the goal making it easy for the keeper. The Dane made the first goal, contributed to the second and was generally involved in everything Tottenham did well. Was playing far more creatively than of late.

Dele Alli, 7
Curled in the equaliser beautifully and forced the third goal by being in the right place at the right time. Alli’s final product is still hit and miss, but he’s doing the right things to become more consistent. He keeps getting in the right positions but missed four simple chances. Must improve on that 1 in 5 strike rate.

Heung-Min Son, 6
Threatened with his customary direct running and tricky footwork, but his efforts didn’t result in much. Was substituted on the hour, but continues to look dangerous when he receives the ball.

Harry Kane, 7
Was in the perfect place to tap in the crucial second goal. Held the ball up effectively and set up Alli for the third with a pinpoint cross. Spurs will be delighted to have a fully fit Kane back in form. His expansive passing was an added bonus.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, 6
Was introduced on the hour. Looked confident but his finishing was wayward. Looks as though he could be a dangerous player in time. Has plenty of improving to do.

Toby Alderweireld, 7
His much-anticipated return begun with a beautiful cross-field pass that provoked cheers around the stadium. He had a couple of headers over the bar from set pieces.No sign of rust here.

Josh Onomah, N/A
Played just seven minutes plus stoppage time so no time to assess him.

Young, Badelj, Dembele, Begovic, Fellaini


Manchester United winger Ashley Young is a target for Watford. They are one of several Premier League clubs weighing up a move for the 31-year-old (32 next July). Everton, West Brom and Swansea City are all in a race to sign him.
Source: Daily Mirror

AC Milan and Chelsea are battling to sign 27-year-old (28 next February) Fiorentina and Croatian midfielder Milan Badelj. He has 18 months left on his contract and is available for a cut price £5.98 million (€7m - AUS$10.07m - US$7.54m).
Source: Corriere dello Sport

Chelsea, Manchester City and Ajax all want to sign 13-year-old (14 next February) Celtic forward Karamoko Dembele, with the English and Scottish Football Associations also competing over his international future. It isn't easy signing young players though, there are many other things that have to be in place apart from the football side of things.
Source: Independent

West Ham United want 29-year-old (30 next June) Chelsea and Bosnia and Herzegovina goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on loan next month. The experienced Premier League keeper has only played 3 League Cup ties this season.
Source: The Sun

The Hammers are also planning to move for 29-year-old (30 next November) Manchester United and Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini during the January transfer window.
Source: Daily Telegraph