Tag Archives: Dele Alli

NO TOP-FOUR SPOT FOR THE BLUES!!

The one game you would expect Chelsea to win. They have done so for the last 28 years. I’m not even 28, which means that all my life plus a year, Chelsea have been beating Tottenham in every game they have played against one another at Stamford Bridge. That is a spectacular record, people! But this Sunday, it all went up in smoke, boys, and girls, and Chelsea’s defense was to blame for the entire messy debacle.

But the Chelsea defenders are not the only ones to blame for their remarkable loss of form during that game. Chelsea’s main man, Morata, played horribly in the match. He’s not been having a very good season despite being considered the Blue’s biggest star signing. He gave his team hope by scoring the opening goal for Chelsea, but after that, the fireworks were extinguished. You could see him clearly struggling throughout the match, getting frustrated, missing chances, not connecting well with others, it was just a sad state of affairs for Morata this past Sunday.Β He has demonstrated a staggering lack of confidence in his own abilities throughout the season, which is surprising for a player of his stature. I also have the sense that Conte ringing in Giroud as a potential replacement for the No 9 exacerbated his esteem issues. If he had put up more of a fight in this game, the result would not have been so disastrous for Chelsea.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a young man has gotten his confidence and goal-scoring streak back. This must have been one of the most successful games for Dele Alli who scored a brace for Tottenham (in the space of four minutes), and before that, he had played a huge part in building up Eriksen’s goal. This was Alli’s 100th appearance in the Premier League, and what a way to celebrate it! And what’s even more incredible is the fact that he was still reeling from the announcement earlier in the week that his start in the World Cup for England was doubtful. I know his haters were absolutely taken by surprise owing to his brilliant performance. I hope he keeps it up because Tottenham is definitely stronger when he has the right attitude and he’s playing to win legitimately (i.e. when he’s not diving :))

On a side note, Antonio Conte, you need to go, dude, this ship is sinking and you need to save yourself quick. I swear I feel like if he stays one more day in the Chelsea camp, he’ll succumb to stress or end up depressed. It is that serious people, he needs to go for his own peace of mind! He’s expected to depart at the end of the season, but there is the little stumbling block of 9.5 million pounds that Chelsea would have to pay him if he leaves before his contract is complete. And I know you’re probably thinking that this is Chelsea, it’s always rich because its owner is Abramovich, a BILLIONAIRE!

However, it might prove difficult for Chelsea to dish out the 9.5m just like that. The Blues were unable to ring in some of their favored pursuits during the January transfer market because these pursuits were unaffordable for Chelsea. And now, some of their biggest stars such as Hazard and Courtois are aching for a move to Real Madrid where the money will be better. Chelsea management knows this and they are looking to save some cash so that they can attract the right names. Hence, they are not going to be dishing close to ten million pounds out just to let Conte go. However, this is a developing story so let us see how it goes.

What isn’t a developing story is Chelsea’s title hopes or clinching a top-four spot. Welcome to the club of despair, Chelsea, have your fans come and sit next to us Arsenal fans, hihihi!

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WILL TOTTENHAM EVER STOP SHOCKING ME?

Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my! Who saw Tottenham’s performance on Tuesday night coming? Who? Certainly not me! I spent an entire blog post belittling Spurs before their match against Arsenal last weekend, AND their Champions League match against Juventus this week (you can catch that post here). Little did I know how truly resilient Spurs can be.

I had to eat my own words after they completely outclassed Arsenal on Saturday, and now, I have to do the same thing again after their breathtaking performance on Tuesday night. Before this game, even before the week began, I was so sure that Spurs had no chance against the Italian side. On such a big stage? Pshhhh! There was no way they were going to hack it (I have to admit that some of the negativity stemmed from them beating us on Saturday). Boy, was I wrong! And, boy, was I glad to be so wrong.

For me, the match was not only entertaining, dramatic, and full-blown intellectual (the way Spurs was passing that ball was just incredible), it showed a different class to Tottenham. These boys are poised, organized, confident, mature even, and all this is evident in that amazing comeback from 2 goals down to a draw. This has not happened at the Juve Stadium since 2011, and for Tottenham (of all the teams) to be able to do that was just mind-blowing!

When Higuain scored the first goal (in the 2nd minute, mind you), I was like ‘Here comes the bloodbath!’, and then he scored the second goal, and for me, that game was over before Spurs could even blink. Two goals in less than 10 minutes of the first half of the first leg of the knockout stage of the Champions League, Tottenham was clearly way out of its depth here! To make it worse, they are the underdogs, they have less experience compared to Juventus across all competitions, Juventus have Buffon who is a matchmaker on his own, and Juve’s defense (BBC) was until most recently considered unbeatable, absolutely impenetrable! Talk about having all the odds stacked against Tottenham.

And yet, Spurs continued to play their hearts out. They kept attacking and they kept coming, and Juventus kept making mistakes. Higuain had two amazing opportunities to widen the score in the first half, one of them being a penalty that he missed right before halftime. Can you believe that? He and Mandzukic also missed seemingly straightforward goals in the early minutes of the second half. What were they thinking?

A special shout out to Kane for being so unafraid in front of goal. Did you see his goal? Did you see how he drew Buffon in, then darted from him, leaving the veteran goalkeeper completely floored, and then striking the ball into the net with his left foot? He did it so unassumingly, you wouldn’t believe that he had just done that to THE Gianluigi Buffon! I mean the cheek of it all!

That goal was special; that goal was the first goal that Juventus have conceded in 2018! That goal, along with the Eriksen one, could shove Buffon into retirement, people! There are already calls for the legendary goalkeeper to pack up his gloves and leave after his ‘not so good’ performance against Tottenham on Tuesday.

Personally, I do not think Buffon was solely to blame for the calamity that befell Juve this Tuesday. Tottenham ARE that good, and it was wrong for so many of us (I’m pointing at myself here) to under-estimate them!

And the beauty of this match was how every Tottenham player contributed immensely to that successful comeback. I’m talking about the likes of Dembele, who hands down, controlled that mid-field and single-handedly set the tempo for that entire game. He made incredible passes forward, he stole the ball, he dribbled, he tackled, he created chances, restarting lost ones, and he linked well with the others. He..was..UNSTOPPABLE!

Dele Alli was also quite impressive, mainly because he was absolutely instrumental in both goals. His possession was not as clear-cut as fans would have hoped, but, for me, he showed a bit more maturity than usual (in other words, I’m glad I’m not spending my post-Valentine’s day calling him out on his diving antics again).

The Spurs’ defense was a bit shaky from the start, but I liked how Sanchez continued to remain calm even with all the pressure. I feel like Tottenham fans are making too much unnecessary noise about Sanchez here. He’s been good so far, give the boy a chance (as I secretly hope he is your weak link and causes you to tumble out of the running for the top four spot in the EPL #COYG)!

One Tottenham player who will not be happy with his performance on Tuesday night is Serge Aurier. It was just a bad night for him, although, it is turning out to be a series of bad nights for him. Free loan transfer, anyone?

But that was a beautiful game, a wonderful show of sportsmanship, and I CANNOT WAIT for the return leg. It is going to be absolutely awesome, and I cannot believe that I am saying this, but I really hope Tottenham go through. Chances are they will, but this is football, and I know Juve will put up a strong fight! Good luck to both teams!!

What did you love about the TottenhamVsJuventus game? Leave your comments below and you can also follow me here, here, here, and here!