good morning! And welcome to another edition of Trending Up / Trending Down, where your dutiful hoddler-in-chief takes a look at who around Tottenham Hotspur is trending up, and who is trending down.
Ready, eddie? let’s get to it:
Ange Postecoglou: The man has done magic with what appears to be an ever-changing squad. Players out with injuries, suspensions or international duties? It doesn’t matter, it seems. Postecoglou seems to find a way.
Despite all these setbacks, Spurs are six points off the top of the table.
[Most of] The South American contingent: Rather than list Emerson Royal, Gio Lo Celso, Rodrigo Bentancur, Richarlison individually, I thought to lump them all together.
Bentacur is back after another prolonged injury absence, took the captain’s armband and seemed to not miss a beat since returning. Lo Celso has completely turned his fortunes around at Spurs, suddenly becoming a player who Postecoglou cannot afford to drop with James Maddison out.
Meanwhile, Richarlison has scored five goals in six matches (commentariat, fact-check this) even though he struggled in the FA Cup fixture.
Pape Sarr: A goal, and a new long-term contract? Yes, please! And it doesn’t seem like that injury of his is too serious. Chalk up all this as things we love to see.
Eric Dier: Oh boy. It doesn’t get any lower than this for Dier. He’s passed up for Royal and Daddy Davies at centreback. And when asked if Spurs can afford to lose both Dier and Davies, Postecoglou says “Yes”.
It’s a horrid ending to a long tenure at Spurs. Shame it has to end this way. Hopefully he’s out the door in January, for his sake.
Alejo Veliz: I hate writing this. It isn’t fair on Veliz because he looked so bright - including a goal against Brighton - and looked set to get more minutes amid Sonny’s absence.
Alas, it appears he picked up a serious injury and will be out for an indeterminate amount of time. That automatically drags you into the Trending Down feature here in Trending Up / Trending Down.
Were it not for the injury, he’d be mentioned in the same category as his South American comrades.
Djed Spence: I honestly forgot about Spence until Menno’s blog post about him yesterday. Banished to the U-21s after his loan spell is cut short, and is immediately placed back on the transfer list? I take back what I said about Dier earlier.
It doesn’t get any lower than this for Spence.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Oh Man, by Jain
And now for your links:
How the late Franz Beckenbauer inspired Germany
Michael Carrick, the Carabao Cup (forget that one?) and Boro
ESPN projects title races across the top five leagues in Europe