Spurs 22/23: You get a transfer, and you get a transfer, and you get a transfer...

Kliq

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I didn't get to watch closely but I think Marseille is a good side, and Conte does have a bit of bend don't break (or as they say in the futbol world, we had to "suffer") to him. There was a piece I read this morning somewhere (CBS?) that basically said to everyone calling for a better passer in the MF, Conte DGAF about passing, those guys are primarily screeners for the D. So while there was space in Spurs' half of the field, I think the first half xG for OM was like 0.12? Spurs only mustered 0.24 or something like that, but I think there was some rope a dope involved and Spurs do look the part of a side that doesn't mind relying on some Perisic and Co. crossing for Kane, Richy, and others to head in.

A few other thoughts about the match. Bardi from the Extra Inch is a Hoj hater, and I among many others give him a lot of shit for it. Well, Hoj had the interception and pass to Kane before sending Son that led to the red card, and then he assisted Richy's second. Hoj is a rock in there and we're lucky to have him. Ben10 misplaced a few passes but I think was otherwise fine.

I thought the substitutions today were notable and very telling for the future. First, when Spurs need to chase a match, I think we can expect the front 3 of Son-Kane-Richy PLUS Deki at RWB to be the go-to move. Deki's so good, but also so versatile. He doesn't look fast at first glance, but he's not slow and he has long strides and endurance. Lenglet looks really good at LCB and his passing is superior to Davies'. I love me some Ben D and I think they'll both play a lot, but Lenglet offers a lot. Davies almost gifted away a goal at the end, but I think he dove head first and stopped the shot with his head. Does anyone have a video of this?!?? I don't know a single Spurs fan who isn't rooting hard for Japh to stick. So nice to see him come on for a recovering Romero and get some big game minutes. Really nice to see Doherty back in action as well. Finally, I feel like the Sess-Perisic balance at LWB will be heavily opponent-dependent. If the opponent is expected to sit deep, Perisic is going to be more valuable with his superior crossing. If the opponent is playing a higher line, then Sess' speed and ability to get in behind will be more valuable. Sess is obviously younger, fitter, and stronger, and likely a better defender, so if Conte wants to be more stout then Sess will play. The only issue I see with Sess in the XI is that it seems to render Son a bit less effective because Sess takes up some of the positions and spaces Son likes for himself. That's a good problem that can be sorted out though with Sess underlapping more, and figuring out how to attack the half spaces better.

Sporting beat Frankfurt 3-0, but this game was tight and tied 0-0 until an hour. Both sides had good chances, and Sporting in particular was very loose and error-prone in the back but kept getting bailed out by the keeper and last ditch defending. They did press well though. And they have quality up top.
The Ben Davies block looked CRAZY live but it was the last kick of the game and they never showed a replay.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Lenglet and Davies are interesting to me because they can both do something quite important for Conte sides (help progress the ball as CBs to offset the numerical disadvantage in MF), but are very different in how they go about it. Lenglet has passing range that Davies simply doesn't, but Davies can carry the ball and make runs like a so-so fullback in a way that Lenglet does not have in him. It's less a case of one of those guys simply being superior in all aspects of ball progression the way Romero is versus anyone on the right side, and it's more a case of different tools in the tool chest, so I expect that to be matchup dependent somewhat.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Is anyone else a little concerned about Sonny? It’s almost like he becomes Mackey Sasser when he has a chance at goal. I can’t imagine he’s lost it that quickly but I wonder if a front three of Kane, Deki, and Richarlison might not be a bad idea, with Sonny coming in off the bench.
 

scott bankheadcase

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Is anyone else a little concerned about Sonny? It’s almost like he becomes Mackey Sasser when he has a chance at goal. I can’t imagine he’s lost it that quickly but I wonder if a front three of Kane, Deki, and Richarlison might not be a bad idea, with Sonny coming in off the bench.
This has happened to him a bunch of times over the years though. Just normally goes through these patches in the middle of the season not at the start.

If he was crazy consistent, he’d be the best player in the league. He’s always had a bit of these patches to his game.
 

Kliq

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Son is very streaky; he will find his finishing boots soon enough. The OM game was the first game I recall him really pressing in, felt like he was just dying to see the net bulge and was maybe taking on some extra shots than normal.

I've also noticed perhaps an even deeper cynicism in fouls when he picks the ball up and looks to break. Teams know Spurs are lethal in that position and won't think twice about taking a yellow (or in the Marseille defenders case, a straight red).
 

DJnVa

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I can't decide if the games being postponed this weekend helps Spurs. Yes, Man City in a crowded schedule would have been tough, but it's still gonna be that way, and at least we're healthy now.
 

Kliq

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Spurs batter City every time they play so I'm not that worried about whenever we play them.
 

DJnVa

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That's the spirit!

And I guess hoping Haaland has a knock when we do play.
 

Zososoxfan

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I didn't watch the second half closely, and still want to rewatch it (I'm a glutton for punishment), but I thought Spurs did OK to weather the storm in the first half, although they were very nervy doing so, and they were wasteful in the second part of the first half. What did you all see as the problem(s) in the second half prior to the red?
 

SocrManiac

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Are Spurs fans hitting the panic button on Lloris yet? He’s still capable of world-class saves, but they seem to be coming at a slower rate than his gaffes (particularly those with his feet).

Conte’s system needs a solid presence between the sticks. Is he that guy right now?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Are Spurs fans hitting the panic button on Lloris yet? He’s still capable of world-class saves, but they seem to be coming at a slower rate than his gaffes (particularly those with his feet).

Conte’s system needs a solid presence between the sticks. Is he that guy right now?
Not really concerned, because it's nothing new. As long as I've watched Spurs he's been a great shotstopper, a good sweeper-keeper, an ehn-to-poor distributor, and he does have the intermittent howler in him. He still seems like pretty much that guy to me.

Spurs do need to get to succession planning there though, primarily because of age and contract status.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I didn't watch the second half closely, and still want to rewatch it (I'm a glutton for punishment), but I thought Spurs did OK to weather the storm in the first half, although they were very nervy doing so, and they were wasteful in the second part of the first half. What did you all see as the problem(s) in the second half prior to the red?
IMO, it was mainly a case of conceding a bad goal and then the team isn't really built to come back from behind, especially without Kulusevski. In the 12-13 minutes between the 2-1 and the red card Arsenal had most of the play and created the better chances. I think Spurs had one shot in that stretch, by Hojbjerg from outside the box off a long pullback from Richarlison. But there were only maybe 2-3 actual spells of real possession for Spurs in that period, there wasn't a lot of urgency to start coming from behind or trying to force the issue. I think its hard for Spurs in their standard setup to switch gears and more assertively attempt to control matches, at least without some subs and/or a change in shape. From what I remember, against Chelsea when Spurs were down in the second half Conte put on Richarlison, took off a defender, and went 4-2-3-1 with Kulu as the 10 so that may be the primary Plan B for trying to come from behind and take more control over a match. We never really got to see what Conte would have done if the match had stayed 11 v 11 against Arsenal. But he doesn't seem to have any faith in Gil at all so I don't know how he would have deployed that formation. Maybe he would have put on Bissouma for a defender and played a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 with Hojbjerg as the 10.

In terms of the 2-1 goal, it was a bad error by Lloris but also reflected a pattern in which Arsenal clearly tried to attack the Perisic-Son combo all match. Perisic does not seem capable of defending a quick winger 1 v 1 at this stage in his career and Son is frankly kind of a lazy help defender. The first goal was scored in part because Son was very nonchalant in help defense, which allowed White the time and space to perfectly tee up Partey. The second goal came off a Saka shot in which Son came late, got juked, and allowed the shot. And then a few minutes later Jesus had a chance to put the match to rest in a move that really started with Son jogging around and not recovering his part in the defensive shape after an Arsenal counter-press, which made Lenglet jump out into his position instead, and then White was able to put in a good cross against a back line that was disorganized.
 

Zososoxfan

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IMO, it was mainly a case of conceding a bad goal and then the team isn't really built to come back from behind, especially without Kulusevski. In the 12-13 minutes between the 2-1 and the red card Arsenal had most of the play and created the better chances. I think Spurs had one shot in that stretch, by Hojbjerg from outside the box off a long pullback from Richarlison. But there were only maybe 2-3 actual spells of real possession for Spurs in that period, there wasn't a lot of urgency to start coming from behind or trying to force the issue. I think its hard for Spurs in their standard setup to switch gears and more assertively attempt to control matches, at least without some subs and/or a change in shape. From what I remember, against Chelsea when Spurs were down in the second half Conte put on Richarlison, took off a defender, and went 4-2-3-1 with Kulu as the 10 so that may be the primary Plan B for trying to come from behind and take more control over a match. We never really got to see what Conte would have done if the match had stayed 11 v 11 against Arsenal. But he doesn't seem to have any faith in Gil at all so I don't know how he would have deployed that formation. Maybe he would have put on Bissouma for a defender and played a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 with Hojbjerg as the 10.

In terms of the 2-1 goal, it was a bad error by Lloris but also reflected a pattern in which Arsenal clearly tried to attack the Perisic-Son combo all match. Perisic does not seem capable of defending a quick winger 1 v 1 at this stage in his career and Son is frankly kind of a lazy help defender. The first goal was scored in part because Son was very nonchalant in help defense, which allowed White the time and space to perfectly tee up Partey. The second goal came off a Saka shot in which Son came late, got juked, and allowed the shot. And then a few minutes later Jesus had a chance to put the match to rest in a move that really started with Son jogging around and not recovering his part in the defensive shape after an Arsenal counter-press, which made Lenglet jump out into his position instead, and then White was able to put in a good cross against a back line that was disorganized.
Thanks for the response. The only thing I'd say, acknowledging I haven't rewatched the 2nd half, is that Conte may have instructed Son to let go of some of his defensive responsibilities in order to free him up to attack more. We've talked about in here about how Son's positioning in Conte's setup this season may have led to his struggles in part, and/or that Perisic takes up some of the same positions. I only say this because it may be faulty to ascribe something to Son's laziness when it may be an instruction that even we as fans have proposed as a solution.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Perisic is not a bad defender from what I have seen (he's wily and he is strong), but he is a very, very slow defender. Hindsight is as always 20/20, but I wonder if Sessengon wasn't the better choice against Saka, despite what Perisic gives you in more composed offense and in veteran winner intangibles.
 

DJnVa

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Yeah, it should be Sessegnon against pacey players, and Perisic against teams that will sit back and don't have the speed to counter.

The Spurs looked fine on the counter the first half, then the bad goal and the bad red and...well, yeah.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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The playmaking of the front three just seems off right now more often than not. I think that might the super boring answer behind all the online agitation about the system and Conte and substitutions and everything.

Makes more sense to me than the formation that was knocking in in goals just fine last season suddenly being utterly unworkable.
 

Zososoxfan

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The playmaking of the front three just seems off right now more often than not. I think that might the super boring answer behind all the online agitation about the system and Conte and substitutions and everything.

Makes more sense to me than the formation that was knocking in in goals just fine last season suddenly being utterly unworkable.
Don't underestimate Deki being out, and Son being off form (outside of that magical appearance against LCFC). Richarlison as the creative RW is a no go. I thought he was brought in to spell Son and Kane, and I think he's very good in either of those roles. But it's clear to me that Conte needs an alternative to Deki, and the only real option he has is Gil, who he doesn't trust yet. It's why so many of us were keen to bring Eriksen back. Sure, nostalgia's a part of it, but it's a real hole in the squad as well. Otherwise, I think you have a bingo.

That plus Perisic's poor defending, Romero and Lloris' drop in form, and Emerson's lack of output...

All that said, while not getting 3 points yesterday is frustrating, I think it's important not to lose sight of the fact that we're sitting 3rd in the Prem, and still have a very good opportunity to progress out of the UCL group. Vegasinsider still has Spurs as either the favorite to win the group or at least advance out of it (unclear to me exactly what they're capping).
 

DJnVa

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There's an Athletic article today about this. They're just not connecting in the final third. It could be just a "thing" that will self-correct or it could be Deki out. It's probably some of each.

Teams that overperform their xG will still have games where it doesn't happen--Spurs could've won that game 3-0 pretty easily.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Just terrible news. The beloved conditioning coach Gian Ventrone passed away suddenly:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/oct/06/tottenham-fitness-coach-gian-piero-ventrone-dies

He was well known in SK for his work with Sonny. Son was quoted as saying he learned not only how to better keep himself fit but also to live the right way and care for others.

In return, Ventrone was said to have become fond of Son in short time, due to the forward's work ethic and willingness to get better.
 

DJnVa

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Not sure if I accept Brighton as a top 4 EPL team, but they are a solid solid squad, so a win in their place is good. Coming off the Champions League slog and the North London Derby, getting a result is pretty good. Add the death of Ventrone to it makes that a really good result. Apparently Conte had a tough time and somewhat left it to the players to get themselves ready for the game.

One the field, with Kulu still out, Richarlison was on the bench and Bissouma got the start to help out in midfield and the Spurs played pretty well. Doherty was also back and got into some dangerous spots as well.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Not sure if I accept Brighton as a top 4 EPL team, but they are a solid solid squad, so a win in their place is good. Coming off the Champions League slog and the North London Derby, getting a result is pretty good. Add the death of Ventrone to it makes that a really good result. Apparently Conte had a tough time and somewhat left it to the players to get themselves ready for the game.

One the field, with Kulu still out, Richarlison was on the bench and Bissouma got the start to help out in midfield and the Spurs played pretty well. Doherty was also back and got into some dangerous spots as well.
I'm not sure if Pericic should ever start with Son, at least for more than a half. The heat map has Son covering for PR's spot as the wingback pushes forward as much as he is near the box.

The difference between PR and Sess was startling I thought. Sess pushes forward with little hesitation while PR dribbles and slows the attacking pace too often.

There's a report that Kante is being offered to teams, including Tottenham as Chelsea won't resign him. Kante is a great player and Conte loves him but the injury history is concerning.

Also this. Google is in talks with Levy for the naming rights to the stadium:

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2022/10/10/report-google-in-talks-to-buy-naming-rights-to-tottenham-hotspur-stadium/
 

67YAZ

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There's a report that Kante is being offered to teams, including Tottenham as Chelsea won't resign him. Kante is a great player and Conte loves him but the injury history is concerning.
I’ve read where Kante permanently injured his knee rushing back to play through the 2021 UCL run. Moving forward, it’s about managing a chronic condition. He’ll member be fully healthy again.

A couple years ago I’d assume PSG would just snap him up to collect a French superstar and rotate him frequently with all the world class depth to maintain his health. But PSG seems a little more prudent these days?
 

Zososoxfan

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Tough loss yesterday. I haven't watched the whole match, but I did have a few takeaways. First, the midfield was bypassed all day by United. This is rather shocking since there were 3 CMFs on the field. Regardless, on at least 2 occasions, United had the ball inside their half on the right flank, and they played a diagonal ball that beat multiple defenders. One of them will definitely jar your memory because it involved a nice Bruno dummy that ended up with Fred and led to a good chance. In addition, United had a lot of success just hoofing balls to their front 4 and skipping the MF altogether. Very unusual for a Conte side not to have the physical players to deal with this nor have a tactical approach to neutralize it.

Kane was dreadful yesterday. His touch was off and he misplayed passes throughout. He had an unreal vintage Kane diagonal ball to Doherty, which Doherty should've centered but instead he took a tough angle left footed shot to the far post. But Kane's chance at redemption with a volley from in close was saved well by DDG.* In comparison, I thought Son was terrific and threatened United more than any other player. Spurs really missing Deki and Richy ATM.

This isn't the end of the world--Spurs have lost exactly two EPL matches, away at Arsenal and United, and they've also drawn away at Chelsea and WHU. The WHU result is certainly the worst, but that's still a pretty good run 11 matches into the season. Spurs have a favorable remaining EPL schedule before the WC break (Newcastle, @Bournemouth, Liverpool, @Notts, Leeds). They shouldn't lose any of those matches, and I think the floor to keep pace is 11 points. If they want to make ground on Arsenal and MANC, they probably need 12+.

Edit: I wanted to add that Lloris had a terrific match and kept it from getting real out of hand. United had 29 shots with 10 on target (!), to Tottenham's 9 shots with 2 on target. That translated to xG in United's favor 1.7 to 0.6. EGADS!

*I asked this in the GW thread, but if the offside flag was up, why isn't the ref obligated to stop play and award United a FK? I don't think it's within the laws of the game to play advantage there, and this wasn't an instance of a player being in an offside position but not playing the ball. It's relevant since United scored their second on the counter to this Kane (offside) chance.
 
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OCST

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Give Utd credit. They are playing very well right no. What TH has done to get that squad all pulling on their oars in sync is beyond what I expected possible.
 

Zososoxfan

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Hard to say, but any time you get a BOGO Hugo especiale, it's in contention. I was off the Hugo train 3-4 seasons ago, which TBF was probably a season too soon. But not getting his replacement or at least a potential starter ahead of him in the summer of 2021 was a huge oversight. Some will clamor for a January transfer, but at this point just wait until the summer and get it right FFS.
 

Gunfighter 09

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I respect the heart and character of this team… but FFS Antonio, if today wasn’t the day to play Spence over Royal, what day is?

Perhaps giving us Gil in an PL match meant there was no way he could also play Spence.
 

Kliq

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It was really clear from the team sheet that there wasn't nearly enough creativity in midfield to make things happen when Spurs when in possession, and the lack of quality in the back was going to be very troublesome when Bournemouth countered. Spurs played right into their hands with that original lineup, with Spurs having a lot of the ball in the first half but lacking the ability to break down the back five that Bournemouth were playing to generate quality opportunities. The Bentancur/Perisic/Moura/Dier subs made a huge difference and turned the game around, thankfully.
 

Gunfighter 09

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That was awesome.


The twitter rumors are a fractured orbital for Son. KDB was playing again with a mask after 18 days with a similar injury. Other guys have been out for months. Seeing how he was in the post game locker room celebrations (looking terrible), I assume it is closer to a KDB injury than a really bad one.

At this point, they just need to limit the damage and get to the World Cup break. I assume 3-5-2 against Liverpool with Kane and Lucas up top, with Bryan and maybe Perisic as the extra attackers. Then play all kids for the Nottingham Forrest Carabao cup match and cobble together what every is available for Leeds at home. I assume 4 points from Liverpool & Leeds and who gives a shit about the Carabao Cup is the goal.
 
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67YAZ

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That was awesome.


The twitter rumors are a fractured orbital for Son. At this point, they just need to limit the damage and get to the World Cup break.
Oh wow. All of Korea’s hopes hinge in on that orbital bone.

Hopefully we’ll get a masked Son who can still go at full speed.
 

Zososoxfan

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What a rollercoaster yesterday. I know Lloris commented recently that Spurs have deliberately tried to pace themselves a bit, both within games and on a broader basis, but man these slow starts in defensive shells are terrifying. It's one thing to let Marseille have open season on Lloris, it's another when it's Mo Salah & Friends. Egads.

Also wanted to give special mention to Bentancur who has been on an absolute heater for a few weeks now. Guy has been nails.
 

scott bankheadcase

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I do wonder if the Kulu/Richarlison injuries have caused a more defensive stance. It's looked like Spurs went from a midfield press and counter team with a talented and rotating front 3 to a pure defensive posture.

Would really like to get back to the former (maybe after the World Cup).
 

Kliq

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I think it took some time for them to deal with Son coming off; they brought on Bissouma for him, so not a like-for-like swap, and I think it took them some time, and maybe some halftime adjustments, to hammer out how they were going to attack and what they were going to do in possession. In the second half we saw a lot more progressive runs from Bentancur and Hoj, which allowed for much more maintained possession in Marseilles half.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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What a rollercoaster yesterday. I know Lloris commented recently that Spurs have deliberately tried to pace themselves a bit, both within games and on a broader basis, but man these slow starts in defensive shells are terrifying. It's one thing to let Marseille have open season on Lloris, it's another when it's Mo Salah & Friends. Egads.

Also wanted to give special mention to Bentancur who has been on an absolute heater for a few weeks now. Guy has been nails.
I like a Conte 3-5-2 against this version of Liverpool. I could see the three man version of Spurs midfield actually winning that part of the pitch against Pool's disintegrating midfield.

Funny thing about the midfields also is that the best Spurs midfielders are guys who Klopp would probably kill to have right now (mid-20s, run all day workhorses) and arguably the best Pool midfielder is also the one kind of guy Conte likes in a midfield who is completely missing from this Spurs squad (imagine Thiago as a Pirlo/Brozovic string puller in a 3-5-2).
 

DJnVa

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They clearly feel as if they have the stamina to push late but man, those first halves are miserable. But with Kulu, Richarlison, Romero, and now Son out of course it's going to be a grind. Get 4 points out of these next 2 and then it's off to the WC.
 

DJnVa

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Pick your poison--it's Brugge or bust. Other options are Inter, Milan, Leipzig, or Dortmund. Yikes.
Yeah, but it should be tough now. By Feb/Mar hopefully we're healthy and have some reinforcements.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Sorry for Korea, but Son being forced to rest through the WC isn't the worst thing for Spurs.
Hey now.

There are trickles of hopeful news that Son may play in the WC. A local doctor looked at the videos of the eye and put out a guess that it wasn't as serious as we all feared.

I'd be devastated if he can't suit up for the Red Devils.
 

Zososoxfan

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Hey now.

There are trickles of hopeful news that Son may play in the WC. A local doctor looked at the videos of the eye and put out a guess that it wasn't as serious as we all feared.

I'd be devastated if he can't suit up for the Red Devils.
I hope for Son's sake he gets to play in the WC. It obviously means a ton to him, and he's given so much to Spurs that I hope he gets to compete.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I hope for Son's sake he gets to play in the WC. It obviously means a ton to him, and he's given so much to Spurs that I hope he gets to compete.
Me too. The news is a bit more hopeful than I thought. The surgery went better than expected and there's a decent chance he can participate.
 

DJnVa

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Richarlison is supposedly going to be on the bench tomorrow.
 

Kliq

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Getting run off the field in the EFL Cup at Nottingham Forest.