Do it’s important to imagine in Tottenham now?

They’re nonetheless right here.

We might not fairly but be within the “Why Not Us?” space but, because the Premier League season solely simply handed the quarter-over mark (not the quarter pole, as my horse-handicapping household could be very wanting to level out ought to I screw that up), however we’re shortly getting there. And Tottenham Hotspur are nonetheless prime of the league, and looking out fairly tasty.

Friday noticed them make the journey throughout London to Crystal Palace, which has been a reasonably difficult place for almost everybody up to now to get out of. And so they performed a reasonably sticky first half, creating precisely nothing whereas the vociferous Palace crowd began to imagine they had been going to be a roadblock but once more for extra illustrious opponents. Title challenges aren’t all the time destroyed on the properties of 1’s fellow challengers however at least anticipated locations. Arsenal’s final yr not solely got here undone at Man Metropolis or at Anfield, but in addition at Nottingham Forest. Selhurst Park can flip into a really noisy crucible.

And this was a match that felt for all of the world that earlier Tottenham groups would have withdrawn from and are available out with a dour 0-0 draw at greatest, and extra seemingly a dumbass 1-0 loss, seemingly giving up a aim off a nook that bounces round off three totally different defenders, or one thing equally silly.

Not this one, although. A pair subs, bringing on Emerson Royal at half for Ben Davies, and ultimately Brennan Johnson for Richarlison, and Spurs discovered two objectives after being near dire within the first half. Whereas most of Spurs’s earlier matches have been wonderful free-for-alls that they’ve come out on prime of and ordering one other drink on the bar whereas panting and bleeding and laughing wildly, this one felt like the primary that they’ve simply floor out. Possibly the earlier week too after they needed to survive a half with 10 males at Luton, however that’s additionally Luton.

Does it nonetheless really feel fairly skinny? Sure. Any harm that might see Heung-min Son, James Maddison, or Micky van de Ven miss a bit of time looks like it will be crippling. And van de Ven is beginning to really feel like crucial piece, as his velocity can get Tottenham out of any jam they discover themselves in, and is important to the excessive line they play. Any cock-up is erased by his capacity to chase down any striker that shakes free.

Besides, what if that doesn’t occur? Spurs don’t have any European commitments. They’re already out of the League Cup. Even when they max out within the FA Cup within the new yr, which means they’ll play a max of 45 video games this season. Get a pair straightforward attracts within the FA Cup, or bow out early, and people gamers solely have to fret about league video games.

We’ll should circle again to this in the midst of December after Tottenham undergo Villa, Metropolis, and Newcastle within the span of 4 video games. Nevertheless it positively looks like there’s a metal right here that wasn’t earlier than, which solely will get stronger with every passing week, and every handed check. Perception can take a workforce farther than you assume. Combine it with slightly luck and abruptly you’ve received a stew goin’.

What else went down in Spherical 10?

4. Man United simply don’t have sufficient dudes

As has been the case for an excellent portion of the final calendar yr, the speak was dominated by dialogue of what the hell Manchester United really are after they received their ass kicked as much as their ears by a workforce they’d wish to fake are their friends however are literally their superiors, and considerably so. This time it was within the Manchester Derby, the place Metropolis barely registered a Try Rating to get a 3-0 win.

And whereas everybody’s received a principle about what Erik Ten Hag is making an attempt or isn’t making an attempt to make them, the upheaval within the boardroom and maybe yet one more clearing out of the soccer facet, and all the cash spent, it may not be all that rather more difficult than trying on the lineup, and asking your self, “Who on this workforce is a dude?”

Marcus Rashford? Okay, in all probability. And that’s it, and he’s not enjoying like one in the intervening time. Rasmus Hojlund is likely to be one sometime, however it isn’t this present day. Anytime an opponent makes life in any method troublesome for Bruno Fernandes, he pouts, whines, and disappears solely to return up for air when it’s time to kick somebody and dare the ref to ship him off so he doesn’t have to complete the match. The backline was Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Jonny Evans, and Diogo Dalot. No dudes there. Christian Eriksen was a dude 5 years in the past. Not now. Sofyan Amarabat? Go sit down. They didn’t carry something off the bench besides an alleged serial home abuser who can’t do something however a tough Bruno Fernandes impression, no matter’s left of Mason Mount after Chelsea ran his odometer till the numbers peeled off, and Anthony Martial who can’t shout any louder that he can’t probably care any much less for a number of seasons.

The dearth of dudes is on Ten Hag and the board, as a result of a variety of these are the fellows they purchased. You realize who’s received extra dudes? Aston Villa. They’ve received a supervisor who turns guys into dudes. United’s ways could also be indecipherable, the entire membership could also be pulling in eight totally different instructions, however on the finish of the day, they only don’t have the dudes, nor any clue how one can discover, or develop them.

3. Everton might survive the penalty

The large information heading into the weekend was the Premier League recommending to the unbiased council that’s going at hand down the penalties to Everton for his or her FFP violations, i.e. being too silly to not blow $500 million {dollars} on a workforce that may’t do something, that the membership be docked 12 factors. Most within the know will inform you the Premier League requested for that understanding it’ll seemingly flip into six factors, which is what they needed ultimately anyway.

If it finally ends up being six factors…Everton in all probability nonetheless survive? Shedding six factors would have them in 18th, and in the event that they averaged the purpose per recreation that they’ve been would get them to 32 for the season. Does anybody see Luton, Burnley, or Sheffield United attending to 32 factors?

And in actuality, Everton in all probability get above the point-per-game charge that they’ve. Whereas their match with West Ham on Sunday was a on the extent of a snuff movie when it comes to enjoyment, they actually had been truthful worth for his or her three factors. In addition they received a aim from Dominic Calvert-Lewin lastly, and an actual striker’s aim:

As we’ve harped on, Everton have a plus expected-goal distinction and have been undone by a scarcity of ending. Trusting Calvert-Lewin to place a run of well being collectively is “shopping for a bridge” territory, however ought to it come to move they’ll get the objectives.

It’s if that -12 really hits that they’d be in bother.

2. Eddie Nketiah is very good for not being adequate

More often than not, we Premier League observers assume that Eddie Nketiah simply isn’t fairly adequate to steer the road for a title contender. He’s adequate to get that workforce by means of a couple of weeks to a month when the true man is damage. After which he has a contact like this one on his first of three objectives towards Sheffield United:

Or this dinosaur-killer:

Put it this manner, if Nketiah performed for Chelsea proper now they’re in all probability nearing the Champions League locations now.

1. One thing within the water this weekend, proper across the midway line

If I’m allowed to borrow from the Bundesliga, when was the final time we noticed two objectives like this in a single weekend round Europe? First Harry Kane:

And it was only some minutes later that Philip Billing did this for Bournemouth:

Should have one thing to do with the clocks altering.

Oh, and VAR:

Can’t depart this week with out extra VAR dialogue! Whereas there was a variety of mishegas round Hojlund’s foul on Rodri to offer Metropolis a penalty, it was a foul if not a tad harsh. That may be referred to as on nearly each set piece, and there’s an argument that it ought to be to get it out of the sport. Hojlund made it apparent by merely standing nonetheless and grabbing as an alternative of a minimum of making an attempt to appear like he was operating with Rodri. He made it clear he was crushed.

The actually galling VAR taking place this week was at that recreation in Bournemouth, the place Burnley had an equalizer by Jay Rodriguez dominated out for offside. The issue was that it took a full 4 minutes to return to that conclusion, as viewers at house had been handled to the replay officers repeatedly zooming in, and out of a nonetheless body with out ever producing the strains we’ve develop into accustomed to. The followers within the stadium wouldn’t have even had that.

At this level, it’s vital to remind everybody that the Premier League didn’t even carry utilizing automated offside, what you’ve seen in latest World Cups and the Champions League, up for a vote for this season. It’s not nice, however it additionally solely takes barely lower than a minute. That alone makes it higher than numerous refs making an attempt to determine how the zoom possibility works for 4 minutes.

Observe Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky

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