As long term readers may know, I have a large amount of Spurs fans in my life, unfortunately. One of them is my friend and football team mate Bill Brown, who gave us his views last season ahead of this same fixture -he predicted Town to cause Spurs some problems...
So we caught up with him again ahead of this latest fixture to discuss all things Spurs including their recent form, how they will deal without Christian Eriksen and how their season is going so far, enjoy!
Morning Bill, Spurs were in crisis mode last week. Pocchetino had lost the plot, Harry Kane wasn't scoring and you were destined to go down. This week everything seems rosy again, how would you describe your season so far?
"When we lose, draw, or scrap our way through a game, its spun as we simply watched our rivals strengthen as we rested on our laurels in the summer. When we play well and beat United its because they somehow contrive to be even worse than ourselves on the day. Little credit is given when the media/ idiot fans perceive you to lack the ambition of signing marquee players or, if your Arsenal, the 7th best keeper in the Bundesliga.
"For all the doom and gloom, we are sitting 5th, and as Watford will inevitably explode at some point, its really 4th…. I'm fairly buzzing about our season thus far actually. With Colonel Son returning from the Asian Cup unscathed its another massive bonus people don’t talk about!"
Over the past three decades Spurs have been mediocre at best, the occasional cup win has brightened things up, but other than that it's been pretty much mid-table. Would you say that your recent success has raised the expectations of your fans too high?
"It’s a tough role playing the neutrals favourite you see, John. As everyone’s ‘second team’, we have a certain responsibility to play football the right way. Note that’s the ‘right way’ and not the ‘West Ham way’, which is the wrong way, but somehow worse. In all seriousness, expectations are certainly high right now, Champions League qualification is honestly fast-becoming a must.
"That being said, its precisely the same for Arsenal and United. Priorities change really fast in football; 6 years ago a good cup run would have been enough to keep most fans content. The same fans today would happily start Llorente and Gazzaniga and take our chances."
Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm appear to be injured for Saturday and most Town fans won't have heard much about third-choice 'keeper Paulo Gazzaniga. Can you tell us a bit about him?
"Aside from my quick Wiki check, no…. I was briefly under the illusion he was named Brad if that helps? Not much scandal or fun anecdotes to recite about Paulo unfortunately, but seems a decent keeper all things considered so fairly confident with him."
Christian Eriksen is another player that looks set to miss the game through injury. How much of an effect will that have on Spurs' chances and where will your creativity come from?
"Harry Winks MBE 2023. In all seriousness, between Winks, Sonny and Erik Lamela I am more than happy we have enough creativity and guile to break through most teams. What we do honestly lack is any real genuine pace aside from Lucas."
I suspect you answered 'Harry Winks' to that question, can you tell us why on earth you think he's the best young player in the world?
"As you said above, we are missing Christian Eriksen from tomorrows squad, undoubtedly in the top few midfielders in the Premier League, depending on how you class Hazard etc…. With that, you will hopefully see Winksy get the chance to dictate the tempo of the game, which is his real strength. He is a youngish player who loves to get his foot on the ball, isn’t afraid to get stuck in, and possesses a fantastic range of passing."
As one of my friends, you perhaps know a lot more about Town than you had ever wished to. What do you think of our season so far? Are we relegation certainties?
"As explained, there is a certain Premier League snobbery where many fans never really take interest in teams from below the top division until they appear one day, so sorry about that. I actually think you have been relatively unlucky at times. Despite this, and I hate to say it, but I definitely believe you are right in that relegation mix. Realistically, it's Cardiff plus two this year and from anything I have seen I just think you will be desperate for goals. Maybe a January loan move from Vinnie Janssen?!"
This time last year I was full of hope that we'd give you a good game at the John Smith's and erm, that didn't turn out so well for us did it? Are you expecting a similar result?
"We actually are not playing too convincingly at the minute and nothing is really gelling just yet. That being said your own form is………."
If you were Pochettino what team would you pick for tomorrow, bearing in mind that Lloris, Vorm and Eriksen look likely to miss the game? And that Harry Winks is bang average.
Paulo Sanchez Verts Toby Trips Rose Winksy The Mousse Lamela Sonaldo One of our own
Is there even one player in the Town team that worries you, or are none of them capable of troubling Spurs?
"Depoitre is exactly the kind of big bustling striker we tend to struggle against so, if we allow the service in to him, that could cause problems."
Right, score prediction?
"3-1 Spurs mate."