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View from the enemy: Spurs transfer window frustrations, title ambitions, Wembley hoodoo

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

As is now tradition, I exchanged a few questions with ‘GN Punk’ of Cartilage Free Captain ahead of Sunday’s big game at Wembley. It will be Spurs’ “home” opener while Chelsea look to avoid a second loss in just as many games to start the season.


WAGNH: What's the verdict on your summer of inaction? Is Daniel Levy being the smartest or the dumbest guy in the room?

CFC: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Time will tell on that I think. We're all insanely frustrated with how the window has gone, given that our only real business has been to send Kyle Walker to the mercenary squad up in Manchester. Thankfully, it looks like Spurs are going to get Davinson Sanchez from Ajax (it may already be announced by the time this is published) and, reportedly, Spurs are targeting a few more players. There's still two weeks to go in the window, but I'd love to see Spurs start their business a hell of a lot sooner than mid-August just for once.

(Ed. note: Spurs confirmed this morning that an agreement has been reached with Ajax for Davinson Sanchez, with the transfer pending a medical and a work permit.)

WAGNH: Third two years ago, second last year ... first this year? What are the expectations for the season ahead?

CFC: Top four, though obviously we all want the title. Everyone has improved far more than they did last year so I'm not going to sit here and pretend that Spurs, while having one of the best Starting XIs in the league, can win the title without improving. United and City are ridiculous now so I think the final two spots are going to come down to Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool though I think we're all watching the Coutinho saga and saying "GO! GO TO BARCA! IT'S SUNNY THERE!"

WAGNH: Conte said that Harry Kane is basically the best striker in the league and while that was twisted into silly transfer rumor nonsense, how confident are you guys of keeping him and the other big stars (Dele, Eriksen, etc) long enough to allow the team to grow into its full potential?

CFC: It's funny but I have almost no worry about Kane leaving. He has said everything right and money doesn't seem to be a huge driver for him. It's the others that concern me.

Dele, at some point, is going to leave. I'm sure Spain will come calling in the next couple of seasons, whether it be Real or Barcelona, though I doubt he is excited to jump ship and play with Paulinho...

Christian Eriksen has been linked to Barcelona and finally came out the other day with comments saying he is flattered but they are nothing. He's happy in north London and will more than likely get another pay bump this season if he continues to perform as he has. It still blows my mind that he's only on £65k/week.

WAGNH: Should we submit the £50m Danny Rose bid before or after Sunday's game?

CFC: At least wait until after, but also don't expect anything other than a picture of Daniel Levy with both middle fingers extended.

WAGNH: How much are you dreading Wembley? And how did the stadium not sell out for the home opener against a big rival?

CFC: I don't buy into the Wembley narrative. Spurs have been training on a larger pitch for some time now and they had a run of unlucky results last season. Honestly, only one of those matches I felt Spurs played like garbage in. The others were mostly fine but just couldn't nick the result.

Regarding the non-sell out, here's your answer. Basically those extra tickets were going to be general sale and the Brent Council realized that meant anyone could purchase them. Fearing that there may be pure anarchy in the stands, the club is standing pat at 70,000. Funny enough, the Burnley match is going to be a sell out.

WAGNH: Spurs seemingly had Chelsea's number last season in the head-to-head matchups, but how did that FA Cup semifinal go wrong and what lessons have Spurs learned from that for Sunday?

CFC: I'm still trying to figure that out. Spurs controlled the possession in that match, but I look at Sonny being played out of position as a wingback (see: the first half penalty), Matic somehow unleashing that screamer, and Spurs having to push hard at the end to try and get the equalizer. It is what it is.

WAGNH: Predicted lineup for Sunday?

CFC: I had a Starting XI all ready to go until the news came out that Kieran Trippier is being assessed ahead of the match. I don't expect him to start, but it's Poch so who knows? This is a total crap shoot, but here you go:

(3-4-2-1): Lloris (C); Vertonghen, Dier, Alderweireld; Davies, Dembele, Wanyama, Walker-Peters; Eriksen, Dele; Kane

WAGNH: And a scoreline prediction, a.k.a. is Harry Kane set for anything other than a hat-trick?

CFC: Harry could have easily had a brace last match, so I'm guessing he is itching to get a couple here. I'm going with Spurs 3-1 with approximately 15 cards between the two sides.

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