Teamwork makes the dream work

Ange should boldly bench 5/10 Spurs star who was saved by Johnson


Tottenham Hotspur supervisor Ange Postecoglou wakes up this morning with one eye fastened on Aston Villa’s journey to the Etihad Stadium to conflict in opposition to champions Manchester Metropolis within the Premier League.

Villa are on the sting of prime 4, one place forward of Spurs, however the fifth-placed facet could but rue the attacking bluntness that prevented them from securing all three factors in opposition to West Ham United the day earlier than, on Tuesday night.

Whether or not it is a level gained or two factors misplaced might be outlined later down the road. Manchester United path by 9 factors in sixth, albeit with a recreation in hand. The fifth spot within the Premier League could but cement a Champions League spot by new UEFA co-efficient rankings, although which means rooting for rivals like Arsenal and the Hammers on the continent.

It was that man Brennan Johnson who bought on the scoresheet to present Spurs a quick begin to match his lightning tempo, having turned in from shut vary after good work from loanee Timo Werner to get in behind and pump by a low cross.

Brennan Johnson’s recreation vs West Ham in numbers

Johnson has not all the time discovered a beginning berth straightforward to come back by throughout his maiden marketing campaign with the membership, however Postecoglou clearly trusts the pacy Wales worldwide and he has been rewarded with some stellar showings on the wing of late.

Brennan Johnson: Stats vs West Ham



Minutes performed






Correct passes

26/35 (79%)

Key passes


Dribble makes an attempt


Duels received


Possession misplaced


Stats through Sofascore

In opposition to the Hammers, he was efficient, persevering with a promising run of type that’s quick shaking off the doubters following his £47.5m transfer to Spurs from Nottingham Forest on switch deadline day in August.

Now with 4 objectives and three assists from ten top-flight matches (simply 5 begins) because the new yr, the 22-year-old is proving himself a worthwhile possibility and did so as soon as once more regardless of a lukewarm Lilywhites efficiency.

It left a lot to be desired heading into the enterprise finish of the marketing campaign, with James Maddison one of many chief culprits after yet one more detached show.

James Maddison’s efficiency vs West Ham

Maddison has now entered a poor patch of type however he has showcased his high-level potential on sufficient events this time period to shortly allay any fears that he’s throwing in the towel within the remaining stretch of the season.

Postecoglou has beforehand hailed Maddison as one of many membership’s greatest “leaders” and that is mirrored by each his conduct and high quality on the sector. Although he has undoubtedly dipped just lately and might want to choose himself again up shortly with a lot on the road.

As per Sofascore, the 27-year-old accomplished 89% of his passes in opposition to West Ham, taking 72 touches, succeeding with two of his three tried dribbles and successful 5 floor duels, additionally exactly inserting all three of his crosses.

Regardless of this, the £170k-per-week phenom created only one key move all night, solemnly summing up the struggles his facet have been confronted with on the London Stadium, having additionally misplaced the ball on 13 events.

Writing in his post-match participant scores,’s Alasdair Gold branded him with a 5/10 match score and stated: ‘Some good little turns and touches however one other recreation he has struggled to seize by the scruff of the neck as he was doing earlier within the season.’

One thing wants to vary quickly if Tottenham are to beat Aston Villa to that fourth and probably remaining Champions League qualifying spot, and whereas it might sound unthinkable to some, Postecoglou may be inclined to drop his elite playmaker.

Why James Maddison could possibly be dropped

It is harmful territory when a participant cultivates an air of invincibility, and that is not meant by efficiency on the pitch. Maddison is an excellent midfielder, he is been the free-flowing machine behind Postecoglou’s attacking verve.

Within the Premier League this season, the England worldwide has chalked up 4 objectives and 7 assists from 20 matches, finishing 87% of his passes, creating 9 large probabilities and averaging 2.3 key passes and 5.6 profitable duels per recreation.

Furthermore, he ranks among the many prime 7% of attacking midfielders and wingers throughout Europe’s prime 5 leagues over the previous yr for assists, the highest 9% for passes tried and the highest 1% for shot-creating actions and progressive passes per 90, as per FBref.

It is truthful to say that there is no one fairly like him down the N17, however that does not make him undroppable.

James Maddison: Current PL Participant Scores


End result

Participant Score

West Ham (A)

1-1 draw


Luton (H)

2-1 win


Fulham (A)

3-0 loss


Aston Villa (A)

4-0 win


Crystal Palace (H)

3-1 win


Sourced through

For instance, Giovani Lo Celso has qualities that enable him to achieve an attacking midfield place, however the best-placed stand-in can be Dejan Kulusevski, who has been out of kinds himself just lately however brings power and athleticism that would cost Tottenham’s assault and sculpt it again into form.

Admiring the Sweden worldwide’s distinctive attributes, Sky Sports activities reporter Jamie Weir stated: “Dejan Kulusevski actually is a particular particular participant. Works so onerous, covers each blade of grass. Hell of an engine on him, and simply a lot coronary heart.”

Kulusevski has additionally created 12 large probabilities from 28 Premier League matches this time period, crisp with an 82% move success price and likewise averaging 2.0 key passes and 4.1 ball recoveries per fixture.

Dejan Kulusevski celebrates for Tottenham.

Whereas Kulusevski is principally a large midfielder, barrelling up and down the correct flank to ship defenders in a spin and puncture backlines to open up house – house that, often, permits Maddison to thrive by his playmaking prowess – he has crammed in at No. 10 from time to time.

Maddison was positively electrical after finishing his £40m switch from Leicester Metropolis final summer season, successful the Premier League’s Participant of the Month award for August and main these such because the Instances’ Henry Winter to explain him as a “nightmare for defenders.”

However he is waned following a several-month-long ankle harm suffered again in November, understandably. Again in his absence, Kulusevski featured centrally, bagging a objective and help apiece in matches in opposition to Manchester Metropolis and Nottingham Forest again in December.


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Ange Postecoglou’s facet would make a surprising assertion of intent by getting this one over the road.

He is not fairly the elite creator that his English teammate is however there is no query that Kulusevski has expertise that make him a great match for all times within the centre of the park – once more – pushing and prodding into the ultimate third.

This might additionally enable fleet-footed flankers Werner and Johnson to wreak chaos, with dynamic striker Heung-min Son bringing all of it collectively, supplemented from behind by Kulusevski. It’d simply work out.