Thursday, Friday, Game Day, not long to go now before we start, it's been a wait, the World Cup gave us something to do, then the USA & Canada pre-season tour, then a couple of friendlies.
We have been ticking over but now the real stuff starts, pre-season counts for nothing. Saturday 3pm (there's a rarity for us) UK time it all starts. Mauricio Pochettino is going to have to make a few decisions, none more so than in defence.
When Younes Kaboul went off against Schalke the captains arm band was given to Hugo Lloris, an indication it's still Dawson, Kaboul as captain and vice-captain but then Hugo Lloris instead of Aaron Lennon this season? Depend who is going to be left in 3 weeks, both Kaboul and Dawson may not be at the club, although I suspect Dawson will be and Kaboul won't.
Naturally Hugo Lloris will start in goal.
At right-back with Kyle Walker out injured Kyle Naughton has to start. He has been reasonable in pre-season, no glaring errors and some very good blocks and covering tackles. Solid and unspectacular thus far.
The rest of the defence is open to debate, if we assume Jan Vertonghen is going to start then it's a straight choice between Dawson and Kaboul. If we are going to give Vertonghen a rest and ease him in to the season then it will be Dawson and Kaboul.
Both weren't great last season, both are good in the air, Kaboul is quicker but is also still making silly concentration errors, there were two more against Shalke after 70 minutes that could have resulted in two goals, we can't afford that away to West Ham.
The there is the transfer situation to consider, both are available for sale, yet reportedly neither wants to step down a grade of club. Dawson has two years left on his contract, Kaboul has one, which puts the club in an awkward situation.
Kaboul can't be allowed simply to run down his contract and leave on a free so do you play him? What if he gets injured? You are stuck with a player with consistent injuries who you are not going to offer a contract to. He has done nothing to warrant a new contract at the moment.
More suggested interest from Italy
Spurs defence stronger without changes
Tottenham News Shorts - Issue 52
Third Party Ownership Dier & Musacchio
Pochettino needed time to assess the Spurs squad
Pochettino on squad, targets & overseas player problems
Pochettino's first dilemma
If Dawson is injured then he has to play, Dier can't be thrown into a league game straight away, not one of this importance. In pre-season Dawson looks as though he has been favoured when Lamela, Eriksen and Lennon have been playing, does that put him in pole position, possibly it does. If Dawson is fit, then despite his lack of speed he probably has to play but it's not an easy call.
If we move to left-back then still there is a choice to make, do you pick Davies and immediately signal to Rose he is second choice or do you pick Rose and say to Davies, you have to fight your way to get into the team?
Danny Rose performance against Shalke was the best we have seen from him and the best we have seen from a left-back in pre-season. Should that be rewarded and the man in form get the nod?
What has happened in the past is irrelevant, bias is irrelevant, all that matters is the here and now and who is the best man for the particular role right now.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 Spurs vs West Ham