Can bang average Tottenham Hotspur maintain their unbeaten Premier League record against bang average Swansea City?
Tottenham visiting Swansea sees two teams in bang average form clash in what will probably turn out to be a decent game.
Both have been underwhelming. Both have failed to live up to expectations. Wasn’t that long ago Swansea were playing some of the most attractive football in the league. Same could be said about Spurs if we dare to look back at the peak of Harry Redknapp’s tenure.
Spurs tend to play far better away from home. There is more onus on the home side to attack meaning we can counter. There’s also the in-game narratives concerning the return of Ben Davies to the Liberty Stadium and Gylfi Sigurðsson facing up to the team that couldn’t quite fit him into a consistent role.
Davies was signed during the summer with most expecting him to instantly replaced Danny Rose at left-back. What we got instead was a renaissance of form from Rose who accepted the challenge of competition and fought for his place whilst Davies appeared to struggle to make the breakthrough. Rose got injured and Davies has only recently began to start games. Rose is now available again.
Sigurðsson has gone back to Swansea where they’ve made him a pivotal part of their side. He’s been excellent, instrumental to their midfield with creativity and goals. At Spurs he was always an afterthought, shifted around in a variety of positions and never quite settling in one.
Spurs culture is to appease the more expensive signings but the other issue concerns our nature to sign players that find themselves downgrading their influence because they’re supposedly at a bigger club. They end up losing their mojo because they’re not entrusted enough to make an impact.
Clint Dempsey was brilliant at Fulham. Arguably a class player at an average club that stood out and was able to galvanise his team-mates. At Spurs he was peripheral most of the time. He wasn’t able to lead by example and have others follow him. How wonderfully apt that we could now argue that we’re pretty much an average side lacking the guile and vision of players that we’ve pushed out.
Sure, both are not of the quality we would aspire to when you remember Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Rafa van der Vaart and others but then very few of the players we have at the moment are ones that you can compare to our past either.
We’ve not lost against Swansea in the Premier League (jinxed it). The game will probably be one with plenty of open play and the team that seeks to attack with width might do enough to stretch out a victory. Would be good to see Kyle Walker start. Perhaps give Mousa Dembele a more progressive role like the one he had in the Europa League. Wilfried Bony is the key man for Swansea. Roberto Soldado is the one that has lost his keys for Spurs.
Would be grand for Spurs to win without relying on another red card. A loss with Sigurðsson playing a major part in our downfall would pretty much sum up our plight.