|Tottenham Hotspur 2 v 1 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Wednesday, 21st April 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Southampton V Tottenham Hotspur The Preview
Wednesday, 21st Apr 2021 13:08
We have to put the disappointment of Sunday behind us and get back to the job of getting a few more points on the board and making sure we aren't dragged into any late scrapes down the bottom, the question is will the departure of Jose Mourinho have a positive or negative affect on the Spurs team.
Ralph Hasenhuttl may well feel that the cup had distracted his team in recent weeks and certainly in the two defeats to Brighton & West Bromwich Albion the team did not appear focused.
But there is turmoil at Tottenham Hotspur with the departure of the Special One and the question is whether that will spark a positive or negative reaction from the Spurs squad.
Certainly there will be players who will be shedding no tears for the departure of Mourinho, Dele Ali who has started just 2 Premier League games plus another 8 off the bench has become the forgotten man both at Spurs and with England and will hope to get a start and maybe force his way back into Gareth Southgate's plans, likewise Harry Winks who has started just 7 and 3 off the bench in the League and made the same number of appearances in Europe as in the Premier League.
Tonight though no one knows what will happen Ryan Mason is in temporary charge and has little managerial experience above academy level, will he opt to stick with the same formation or revert back to what Spurs fans see as their traditional way of playing.
His choice might be limited for this one though as he has injury problems, Harry Kane looks to be out with an ankle injury and Ben Davies is likely to be missing if he is to stand a chance of playing in the League Cup Final on Sunday, Matt Doherty could return, but he too could be out.
But Mason does have the option of bringing in Gareth Bale as well as Ali & Winks, all three were subs in Mourinho's final game in charge at Everton and only Ali got on the pitch as a last minute sub.
So Although Kane will be a big miss, it is one that Spurs can more than cover.
Bit will Mason gamble, both on a complete revamp of the side after the week's turmoil and on the injury of other key players.
Saints will hope that Spurs will have an eye on the game at Wembley and they can capitalise.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will know he has to freshen things up a little, perhaps he will start at the back, the Bednarek/Vestergaard partnership has not been working of late, is it time to give more game time to Mohamed Salisu.
In midfield could Minamino come in in a wide position and up front Che Adams partner Danny Ings .
Saints need to get something out of this game, not particularly because they need the points to stave off relegation worries, but because they need to get the fans back on side after the run since the turn of the New Year.
We need to get some excitement going and hope for next season and what better place to start than this trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #48 by wessex_exile
“And now the end is near, and so we face the final curtain…regrets, we’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention”. Not quite right Paul Anka, probably more than a few, but otherwise a fair assessment of where the U’s are today. It’ll be interesting to see how we perform with the relegation monkey finally off their back – I’m not expecting miracles, particularly with Tranmere needing at least a point to guarantee making the play-offs, but they’ll certainly be more nervous than we will be, so can we make that count? This will be my last blog of the season, and not yet sure what I may or may not do for next season, but suggestions are always welcome.
Letters from Wiltshire #47 by wessex_exile
Here we are, at the penultimate game of the season, and our last game in front of the cardboard U’s faithful at the JobServe. It has been a long, difficult, and definitely strange season, which frankly I’ll be glad to see the back of. That’ll we’ll be here again in August is definitely going to be something to celebrate, but I suspect we’re facing a summer of significant rebuilding both on the pitch, and possibly off it too. I won’t be the only one, but the biggest oddity for me has been being able to watch every single game – not always easy viewing, but something I’ve never done before, and probably never will again. But it doesn’t really make up for not being there in person, the long train journey away-days, meeting fellow U’s and other supporters, and of course sharing a beer or three. Fingers-crossed we can return to the terraces in 2021/22.
Letters from Wiltshire #46 by wessex_exile
That was quite a week for us all then. In the space of four short but remarkably tense days we have gone from having to take shoes and socks off to check how many more points we need to guarantee survival, or whether we would even achieve it, to breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing we’re almost there. But close of play this afternoon, whether by our own actions or the failure of others, I am sure survival will be confirmed. Of course, Tuesday night not only all but guaranteed it, it also virtually condemned local rivals Southend United to non-league football for the foreseeable. Looking at the host of fully professional former football league sides currently battling it out for the two promotion slots out of the National league (including Hartlepool, Torquay, Stockport, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Notts County), it is not going to be a walk in the park for Southend to return any day soon.
Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
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