What We Learned – Tottenham Hotspur 2 Hull City 0

What We Learned – Tottenham Hotspur 2 Hull City 0 [VIDEO]


Tottenham Hotspur’s poor run of form ended with a much needed win against Hull City last night. The victory took them back up to sixth having been overtaken by Southampton following an earlier stunning 6-1 win over Aston Villa.

Hull desperately needed a win as their survival hopes get dimmer by the second. They started the game well and created a few chances. Their best effort came when Nikica Jelavic hit the post following a decent cross from Ahmed Elmohamady.

Spurs took the lead through a moment of quality just after half-time, Erik Lamela took the ball inside and waited and waited until playing a lovely timed through=pass to Nacer Chadli who rounded the keeper and slotted home into an open net. Spurs kept pressing and 10 minutes later, they got their second. If Lamela’s assist was good, Ryan Mason’s was outstanding. The young Englishman scooped the ball over the Hull defence to pick out the red-headed Danny Rose whose right-foot volley found the top corner. A timely win for Pochettino’s men.

Hull in serious danger

A summer which followed a good previous season – top 10 finish and an FA Cup final – was a big one for Hull. Their recruitment department were kept busy as the Tigers brought in no less than 10 signings as Steve Bruce tried to beef up his squad for a campaign in which European football would be played at the KC Stadium for the first time. In came experienced Premier League players such as Michael Dawson, Robert Snodgrass, Tom Ince and Mohamed Diame. They were joined by foreign imports in the form of Dame N’Doye and Abel Hernandez as well as young British players in the form of Harry McGuire and Andrew Robertson.

A £40 million+ outlay led to high expectations this time around. The Club fell well short of those expectations and is in serious danger of being relegated. Thirty-four points, a -18 goal difference and two points off safety with none other than Manchester United left to play and the future looks bleak for Hull. They were expected to finish comfortably above the relegation zone and they had the squad to do it but what the team has reemphasized this season is that football is not played on paper. A strong squad they may have but relegation looms for Steve Bruce and his team.


The renaissance of Erik Lamela

After an injury-hit first season, this campaign was effectively Erik Lamela’s first full run at Tottenham Hotspur and boy did he start it stupendously. Two assists against QPR in his first start at White Hart Lane set the tone. Assists in games against Arsenal and Nottingham Forest followed, as well as two goals at Asteras in the Europa League which included THAT rabona. Tottenham’s record signing had looked promising.

Then, as the Spurs squad started picking up form, Lamela’s dipped. An assist versus Leicester and a stunning goal against Burnley came in December, but his overall play, to put it nicely, was poor. In the New Year, he lost his place in the team to Andros Townsend which led to him not starting the Capital One Cup final with Chelsea. After seven games out of the starting XI, Lamela returned with an assist vs Newcastle on April 19th. He kept his place the following week and scored against Southampton in Pochettino’s return to St. Mary’s. He was Spurs’ best player in the 1-0 loss versus Man City and in Spurs’ final match at White Hart Lane, he ended as he started – a good performance as well as a fabulous assist. Spurs fans will expect more from their record-signing next season. He has been their best player this past month.

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It is time to start recognizing Chadli

Much like Lamela, Nacer Chadli had an injury-hit and underwhelming first season. Unlike the Argentine though, he enjoyed a period last campaign where he was producing the goals which included strikes versus Newcastle and Benfica at the end of last season. This time though, the seven million point signing from FC Twente has come into his own. He has 11 goals and 5 assists in the league this season, which is not miles off his country man and PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard, who has 14 goals and eight assists in the league. This is not to say that Chadli is as good as Hazard, who offers more to the league champions, Chelsea, than Chadli does to Spurs, but the club’s second highest goal scorer deserves more recognition than he’s getting. Chadli is still seen as a joke by opposition fans even though he has outperformed people like Phillip Coutinho who made the PFA Player of the Year shortlist. Shall he keep up his good scoring record going into next season, or better it even, it will become harder and harder for people to ignore the self-proclaimed “Dolphin”.

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