The Premier League season is finally upon us. And with the start of a new campaign comes the start of our Q&A series with Everton’s upcoming opponents. First up, Tottenham Hotspur.
Sean Cahill from fellow SB Nation site, Cartilage Free Captain was nice enough to take some time and answer a few of our questions about his Spurs.
Also, make sure to check out our responses over at CFC (that does not mean Chelsea Football Club by the way, it really irritates them to be compared to the other Blues. To be fair, it irritates us that the Stamford Bridge side are also called the Blues).
RBM: The summer transfer window has been interesting to say the least. Spurs got themselves some contributors in Vincent Janssen and Victor Wanyama; do you expect them to sign anyone else in this window?
CFC: Well, there's this little saga going on between Spurs and Olympic Marseille. Three weeks ago, it broke that Spurs had inquired about OM winger Georges Kevin-N'Koudou to help shore up the attacking band. A couple of days later, he had talks with Spurs and had apparently gone through a medical but OM needed a replacement. Spurs' attacker Clinton N'Jie suddenly became part of the deal but we didn't know to what extent, whether it was a loan with option to buy, a regular loan, or a sale. The story kept changing depending on the time of day. As of now, the deal is in flux. OM are an absolute mess with a change in leadership and nobody really knows what's going on. We'll have to wait and see.
Besides N'Koudou, we're not expecting much else. Spurs might need another CB after sending Federico Fazio on another loan. Cameron Carter-Vickers isn't quite ready for the Premier League and there's an expectation that a loan is in his future too, probably to the Championship. That leaves Spurs with the DBZ fusion dance combo of Janby Aldertonghen and Kevin Wimmer as the third CB. Other than that, there isn't much else that's needed as Spurs are loaded in the attacking band and suddenly have a deep midfield.
RBM: Is DeAndre Yedlin ever going to turn into a Premier League regular?
CFC: Short answer would be he could definitely be a regular, but it probably won't be with Tottenham.
I'm a big Yedlin fan, but I'm also a realist. Yedlin's future with Spurs is probably going to be decided in the next couple of weeks. He's looked good in the preseason and had a decent Copa America but the fullback position is not a major need. Kyle Walker is locked in at right back and Kieran Trippier has been his competition for the second spot. Trips didn't have the greatest of seasons last year, but he's competent to be a rotational player. Personally I'd love to see Yedlin get a chance early on in either a league match against a lower table club or a cup tie, but that probably won't happen unless something catastrophic happens. Sunderland reportedly want him back as they have next to nothing at right back and, if he goes back to the Black Cats, he would be a guaranteed starter for them.
RBM: Tottenham are coming off of a big year and many expect them to be near the top of the table again this season. Where do you see them finishing? Any chance of hoisting the Premier League Trophy?
CFC: I think their best chance was to win it last year. Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea are not all going to have the same issues this season as they did last season. Pep Guardiola scares the heck out of me at City and Jose Mourinho just got United to open up the coffers and spend a ton of cash on guys like Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Chelsea have Antonio Conte, and he seems like the perfect fit. It seems as though everyone has strengthened and the race for the top should be as exciting as ever. Personally, I have City winning the title with Spurs finishing second, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them finish as low as fifth or sixth, given all that's happened in the transfer window. A title would be great, but I think a Top 4 finish would be a success.
RBM: How will the club respond to the rigors of Champions League football in addition to their other competitions? Do you expect them to go far?
CFC: Honestly, I think Spurs are well suited for Champions League. When you've spent the last five seasons playing in Europa on Thursday nights with trips to Azerbaijan and the Arctic Circle where there's no sunlight for four months (Seriously. Tromso IL. Look it up), playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays against better competition but generally closer trips will probably not add much more stress. Pochettino had three solid preseason matches lined up against Juventus, Atletico Madrid, and Inter Milan. He mixed in a lot of youth and second teamers against all three.
While we don't know what the draw is going to be, and there could be some nightmare draws in there, Spurs are deep enough for at least making the knockout stages. A dream draw for me would be CSKA Moscow, maybe Napoli or Sevilla, and then Celtic. No matter the draw, though, I would say the quarterfinals would be a great success.
RBM: Do you have a prediction of the match? How about Man of the Match?
CFC: Spurs absolutely thrashed Inter Milan last week, 6-1. While Inter are in a state of flux, that's a team that will be in Europa this season so it's nothing to downplay. Watching them play last week, there's an edge to this team. They won't be bullied around and they are focused, so I expect them to come out on Saturday and play like their hair is on fire. Couple that with Everton's changes under a new manager and it's a recipe for success.
I've got Spurs winning 3-0 with Kane nabbing a brace and MOTM honors.