OPPONENTS AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Thursday 9th July 2020
PREVIEW No preview produced.
PREDICTION AFC Bournemouth    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2

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Radio :  
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Internet :
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Premier League Kick off 18:00
AFC Bournemouth  0 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)




Crowd :   0,000 Weather :  Drizzly to start, sunny later. Mild
Referee :  Paul Tierney (Wigan) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Marc Perry; Mr. Simon Long
Fourth Official :  Steve Martin Replacement official: Graham Kane.
Video Assistant Referee :  Michael Oliver Video Assistant Referee Assistant :  Sian Massey-Ellis
AFC Bournemouth kicked off and played towards the South Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 15 minutes.
Lerma (handbags with Sissoko) 31
Gosling (foul on Lamela) 88
Harold Wilson (foul on Son)  90+5


Sissoko  (handbags with Lerma)  31
Ndombele  (foul on Wilson)  87


AFC Bournemouth : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Aaron RAMSDALE

15  Adam SMITH  (17  Jack STACEY  63)
  5  Nathan AKE (c)
  Lloyd KELLY
21  Diego RICO

  -  Junior STANISLAS
  Jefferson LERMA     
  -  Dan GOSLING     
  David BROOKS  (22  Harold WILSON  66     )

  7  Joshua KING
13  Callum WILSON

Unused subs: 
  Artur BORUC
  3  Steve COOK
  6  Andrew SURMAN
14  Arnaut Danjuma GROENEVELD
16  Lewis COOK

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

24  Serge AURIER  (30  Gedson FERNANDES  90+1)

  8  Harry WINKS
7  Moussa SISSOKO       (27  Lucas MOURA  75)

11  Erik LAMELA
18  Giovani LO CELSO  (28  Tanguy NDOMBELE  45     )
23  Steven BERGWIJN

10  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
  Oliver SKIPP

53  Harvey WHITE
  Heung-Min SON


Manager :  Eddie Howe Manager :  Jose Mourinho
Sponsor :   Mansion Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Umbro Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

A dire performance can't be blamed on Eric Dier this time, as Spurs failed to get a shot on the Bournemouth goal in the whole match and had to rely on VAR to deny the Chrries a late winner, although it had also denied us a clear and obvious penalty.

Tottenham had some changes. Some were enforced and some were to shake things up.  Dier's suspension brought Jan Vertonghen in alongside fellow countryman Toby Alderweireld and Lamela and Bergwijn started with Lo Celso in between them.  The home side brought in young Lloyd Kelly (who they signed ahead of us last summer from Bristol City) for Steve Cook, who had a bad game previously and made some controversial remarks and Callum Wilson returned from injury.

Bournemouth’s much booked midfielder Lerma committed his first foul of the game within 40 seconds, so it was clear what Tottenham had to expect and when Josh King pushed Kane over with two hands on his back in the penalty area from a corner, it looked a nailed on penalty. That was without bargaining for Michael Oliver was in the VAR room (last time he was in the same place for the Spurs game at Sheffield United last week), who decided that it wasn’t.   Mourinho remonstrated with the fourth official Steve Martin, but he thought it was a laughing matter.  Following this incident, free-kicks were awarded elsewhere on the pitch for even less contact ! The home side had pressing priorities and were pressing back, winning a succession of corners, but they were repelled well.

The first half drinks break arrived with the goalkeepers not having to have a shot to save between them. The closest to a goal came from a free-kick for the Cherries, who swung it in from 30 yards out on the left and a far post header went down into the ground and Harry Kane had to rise high to head it behind as it looked like it might drop invitingly for the red and black shirts waiting. Aurier had put a cross along the six yard box without anyone reading the pass in the early stages and another low cross saw Lamela dive to head it, but Ake got there first at the expense of a corner.

Spurs had been guilty of giving the ball away too easily, which had allowed Bournemouth to push them back into their own half. Players who don’t normally give the ball away (Winks, Kane) were gifting it to home players, making any sort of pattern to the Spurs game impossible. Too often players were caught in  possession, as they had no option to pass to as well.

Spurs did start to put some passes together as the clock ticked over to 37 minutes and Aurier had space on the right side of the box, but his low cross was blocked for a corner, which was played straight into the goalkeeper’s hands. The referee’s poor decision making handed Bournemouth a free kick on their left wing when Lamela slid it to cleanly rob Rico of the ball and it was played in low to the near post, but ran to Lloris, who took the ball gratefully.

The inability to work moves or hold on the ball was because the Cherries were more determined and Spurs looked as though they were expecting to move through the lines without any resistance. It resulted in a half-paced, half-arsed performance ending with Lamela having a shot from 20 yards out that was too high.  Stanislas forced a save from Lloris, who dived to his right to push away a grass-cutter of a shot that Callum Wilson stepped over trying to deceive Hugo, but that was the only effort on target in the whole of the first half.

At the restart, Mourinho swapped Ndombele and Son for Lo Celso and Bergwijn and the Frenchman looked to show what he can do with a ball across the box and then a ball into Kane, but a little bit  behind him after shaking off his marker. A free-kick a few yards outside the box, right in the centre of the goal, for a foul on Lamela provided Kane with a chance for his 200th Premier League goal, but all he managed to do was pole-axe Adam Smith, who was in the wall.

Wilson went down in the Spurs box with Vertonghen holding his ground behind him to poke the ball away between the Bournemouth striker’s legs, so the VAR  decision was not a penalty and then Davies went in hard on Smith up near halfway, leaving the former Spurs defender down again, this time with a more serious injury to his head. I hope he will be ok, but after an eight-minute break, Spurs moved forward, with Ndombele pulling the strings and ending with Winks being unable to keep his shot from a cleared ball down.

Aurier broke away and put in a decent ball on the six yard line, but Ake reacted first to clear it out  ehind for a corner. It was headed wide by Alderweireld and from the goal-kick the home team broke with King getting past Aurier, but he was blocked out by Jan and Toby. It resulted in a corner and Josh King rose at the far post, but put it wide, never looking like he meant his header.  It was so frustrating watching blue shirt after blue shirt give possession to the other side, especially when Bournemouth looked less than threatening. At the drinks break Sissoko went off and Lucas Moura was introduced in an attacking move by Jose.

Tottenham were moving the ball quicker and Davies and Kane produced a move inside the left of the box, but a deflection took the ball a little behind Ben, but he won it back, the ball went out to Aurier on the right and his cross was headed wide on the stretch by Erik Lamela.  Tottenham were applying pressure in the last fifteen minutes of normal time and it was they who were winning corners now. One from Aurier’s blocked cross; another from Moura’s shot in the box; another from a ball that skidded off Ramsdale’s punch. All failing to find a Spurs player.

Bournemouth had the ball in the net on 85 minutes, but Wilson had been offside. When play restarted, it was a free-kick to the home side for a foul by Ndombele and a booking for the midfielder. From the free-kick, Spurs looked to break away but Gosling hauled down Lamela in the centre-circle, with what was a professional foul, although I understand they are now known as “tactical fouls”.

Another free-kick brought a last minute goal. A free-kick was given by the poor Tierney for a high boot by Vertonghen and when the ball bounced around in the box, Callum Wilson did an overhead kick with his boot very close to Jan’s head and the ball went in off King and Alderweireld. It looked like last season all over again, but VAR looked at it and King had guided the ball in off his arm and so it was wiped out. 

The board showed 12 minutes to be added on and Harry Wilson earned a yellow card for an unsubtle pull on Son’s shirt, but suddenly the Cherries broke down the left and a cross-field pass found Wilson in acres of space in the box, but Hugo was quick off his line and blocked the winger’s shot.

Players were going down left, right and centre. Davies was caught late by King and then Ramsdale went down off the ball with a hamstring problem minutes after trying to claim a cross from Son’s corner.  Harry Kane pulled the ball back from the dead-ball line for Moura and Gosling was in close attendance as  the Brazilian was floored (such was the apathy that it wasn't even looked at by VAR ... perhaps that was for the best), but neither side threatened after that as the game petered out into a goal-less draw.

Six straight defeats before this match meant Bournemouth were pretty low on confidence, but they know it is now or never and had a go, but looked as ineffective in the goal-scoring department that brought Spurs a second clean sheet on the trot for the first time this season. At the other end, the side failed to register a shot on target, perhaps hoping for yet another own goal, but that is not going to win matches on a regular basis.

Mourinho needs to make changes if Spurs are to move forward next season, as I think this season has gone now.  Lamela, for all his touch and running with the ball, fails to deliver enough. Harry Kane is on a starvation diet up top at the moment and needs quality delivery to him. Moura seems to have lost his way as well. The pace that ripped past defenders seems to have disappeared and too many touches give the chance for them to take the ball off him. Son has not returned to action the player he was (although he is not alone in that). His touch and passing are way off what he produced before the Covid-19 interruption to the season. I’m not suggesting that Sonny be discarded, as he has the quality needed, as has Tanguy Ndombele, as he showed today. His introduction from the bench gave Spurs a spark, but with players not on it 100 percent, it left the team looking shoddy.

Since Walker left, Tottenham have lacked a right back who can dominate the other side’s left back.  If Aurier is to be the full back who pushes on, then he has  to be able to beat a man, rather than turn back if there is a defender in front of him. His crossing can be good, but it is inconsistent and Spurs need to capitalise on creating good crossing opportunities.

The referee was as poor as the match and relied on VAR to come up with the tough decisions.  Much was made of Harry Kane's first touch inside the opposition box coming after 78 minutes, but his first could have been a telling on in the fifth minute, had the referee or linesman or the person on the end of the VAR television (who is on the pitch on Sunday !) been able to see what the rest of the nation had.  Anywhere else on the pitch ...

So we go into Sunday's match woefully out of form, with players missing through suspension and injury with little to look forward to next season at this time.

Glad I'm not paying to watch this in the stadiums at the moment !

Steve T (Southsea)

Match facts

Players took the knee before kick off.

Shirts had 'Black Lives Matter' and 'NHS' logos.

First time in the Premier League that AFC Bournemouth have not had a shot on target on their goal ... at the 186th time of asking.

Match sponsors -
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How the players did
Hugo Lloris Made a very good save, anticipating substitute Wilson's intentions when free with ten minutes left.  Otherwise, only slightly more employed than the Bournemouth keeper.
Ben Davies Solid enough and got stuck in.  Tried to go forward but the lack of movement off the ball made it hard to get much going on his side.
Toby Alderweireld Good performance from Toby.  Won a lot in the air at the back and had one chance from a corner in the other box.
Jan Vertonghen Jan played well in his first start after lockdown.  Will probably get a run because of Dier's ban.
Serge Aurier Played well, but crossing failed too often to pick out a blue shirt.
Giovani Lo Celso Looked the most likely to create something until he was subbed at half-time.
Harry Winks Solid and played lots of short passes, but not on his best games.
Moussa Sissoko Got involved with Lerma (doesn't everyone ?) and got booked.  A half-time withdrawal might have been because he was tired or being saved for Sunday.
Stephen Bergwijn Wasn't in the game too much.  Showed some strength in winning the ball and was involved, but the game was not suited to his style of play.
Erik Lamela Ran with the ball, often for too long and his distribution wasn't great.  Looking like a luxury player in a poor side at the moment.
Harry Kane Starved of service, his best work was in his own box and trying to create things from deep or wide positions.
Lucas Moura Didn't add too much when he came on.  Needs to be involved more.
Heung-Min Son Ran around a bit but gave the ball away too much.  Needs to get running at defences more.
Tanguy Ndombele Looked to create things going forward when he came on for the second half.  Showed glimpses of what he may be able to bring to the team.
Gedson Fernandes A late substitute for Aurier, who picked up a knock, but only had a couple of touches.
Paulo Gazzaniga Unused.
Davinson Sanchez Unused.
Ryan Sessegnon Unused.
Oliver Skipp Unused.
Harvey White Unused.


What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Woolwich Wanderers 1 Leicester City 1 Tuesday
Crystal Palace 2 Frank Lampard's Chelsea 3 Tuesday
Watford 2 Norwich City 1 Tuesday
Manchester City 5 Newcastle United 0 Wednesday
Sheffield United 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Wednesday
West Ham United London 0 Burnley 1 Wednesday
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Liverpool 3 Wednesday
Aston Villa 0 Manchester United 3 Thursday
Everton 1 South Coast Big Club 1 Thursday



League Table  2019-20
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Liverpool 34 30 2 2 75 26 92 +49
2 Manchester City 34 22 3 9 86 34 69 +52
3 Chelsea 34 18 6 10 63 46 60 +17
4 Leicester City 34 17 8 9 64 32 59 +32
5 Manchester United 34 16 10 8 59 33 58 +26
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 13 13 8 45 37 52 +8
7 Sheffield United 34 13 12 9 35 33 51 +2
8 Arsenal 34 12 14 8 50 42 50 +8
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 34 13 10 11 52 44 49 +8
10 Burnley 34 14 7 13 38 46 49 -8
11 Everton 34 12 9 13 41 49 45 -8
12 Southampton 34 13 5 16 43 56 44 -13
13 Newcastle United 34 11 10 13 35 50 43 -15
14 Crystal Palace 34 11 9 14 30 43 42 -13
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 34 8 12 14 36 47 36 -11
16 West Ham United London 34 8 7 19 40 59 31 -19
17 Watford 34 7 10 17 31 53 31 -22
18 Bournemouth 34 7 7 20 32 59 28 -27
19 Aston Villa 34 7 6 21 36 65 27 -29
20 Norwich City 34 5 6 23 26 63 21 -37

Position before match :  10th
Position after match :  9th

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