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8 Truths: Tottenham fans must stop moaning about Wembley plus Klopp in strop and Redknapp's blues

8 Truths: Tottenham fans must stop moaning about Wembley plus Klopp in strop and Harry's blues
By Eurosport

16/09/2017 at 21:09Updated 17/09/2017 at 09:09

After another action-packed day at home and abroad, here are eight things we noticed from watching football on a bumper Saturday.

1. Tottenham fans need to lower expectations

There appears to be a few unhappy faces among the Tottenham support following their 0-0 draw with Swansea at Wembley. After the high of a victory against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in midweek, they were brought back to earth at the national stadium by another disappointing stalemate.

The fans need to get real because their team are effectively playing 38 away games. Despite losing to Chelsea and being held to draws with Burnley and Swansea, there is no need to be overly concerned because they have played well in each match, and could easily have earned nine points from those three outings.

They remain fifth in the Premier League, and there is no real need to panic when you consider they are traditionally slow starters.

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2. The morning after the night before is a problem

Tottenham exerted so much energy and focus during their win over Dortmund that they had little left to play with when Paul Clement’s ultra-defensive Swansea side came to visit.

They lacked any real desire to break down their visitors in the first half as they produced a listless performance. Whatever Mauricio Pochettino had to say at the break forced them into action and they had more than enough chances to win the game after the restart as Harry Kane struck the post and Serge Aurier had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away.

But this was the first time Spurs had failed to score at home in 30 matches and the critics will, once again, point to the ‘Wembley Curse’. In truth, this dismal draw has little to do with Wembley and more to do with a lethargic performance brought about by the demands of competing in the Champions League.

Lukasz Fabianski, Swansea City, Tottenham

Lukasz Fabianski, Swansea City, TottenhamGetty Images

Spurs showed last season they didn’t have a large enough squad to seriously compete in Europe and the Premier League. The board did little to address the issue over the summer.

This performance was not bad, but it was a draw after a win in Europe. It suggests they may well struggle again trying to juggle the two. The Premier League is the priority despite the obvious joys of winning on a big European night.

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3. Barcelona’s transfer window wasn’t as bad as first feared

The exit of Neymar continues to cast a shadow over Barcelona. However, the players brought in to replace the Brazilian have settled in rather well. Ousmane Dembele suffered an injury in the win over Getafe and was withdrawn midway through the first half, but the Frenchman has impressed in the handful of appearances he has made for his new club.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez takes on Dakonam Djene of Getafe

Barcelona's Luis Suarez takes on Dakonam Djene of GetafeGetty Images

His replacement against Getafe, Gerard Deulofeu, has also become a key figure for the Catalans early on this season.

Nelsen Semedo has filled a problem area at right back, and then there’s Paulinho.

Barcelona's midfielder from Brazil Paulinho celebrates a goal during the Spanish league football match Getafe CF vs FC Barcelona at the Col. Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on September 16, 2017.

Barcelona's midfielder from Brazil Paulinho celebrates a goal during the Spanish league football match Getafe CF vs FC Barcelona at the Col. Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on September 16, 2017.Getty Images

No signing in European football was maligned like Paulinho’s this summer, but the Brazilian midfielder appears to have already given Ernesto Valverde's men another dimension to utilise, demonstrated by his winner against Getafe, bursting into the box to finish from a tight angle.

In hindsight, Barcelona’s transfer window wasn’t quite as bad as it was made out to be at the time.

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4. Roy Hodgson has three games to save his job? Right?

That, after all, is what Palace have implied with their behaviour already this season. Frank de Boer was given four league games, but not the funds or players to play as he has wanted for his managerial career. Hodgson has been given the same team after the transfer window, and with a squad not of his choosing.

Roy Hodgson arrives at Selhurst Park.

Roy Hodgson arrives at Selhurst Park.Eurosport

He doesn't appear to be an inspiring manager judging by the response to the 1-0 defeat to Southampton, nor a tactically astute one, so the Palace board could already be in trouble again.

If that is the case, the blame has to start resting with them.

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5. Pep Guardiola cannot let City fail in his second Premier League campaign

Watford weren't actually that bad against Manchester City, and held their own for much of the first half.

However, City were in ruthless mood, and are playing the kind of football that torments the opposition.

Man City

Man CityGetty Images

Of course, Pep Guardiola had City playing like this at the same stage of the 2016/17 season, but it does feel less brittle.

City were able to bring back Ilkay Gundogan to provide support from the base of midfield, and Yaya Toure has not been missed. City have shown that they have the talent to win the league, but we knew that last season.

Now might be Pep Guardiola's chance to succeed in England.

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6. More frustration for Klopp and Liverpool

Liverpool’s failure to overcome teams in the bottom half of the table ultimately cost them their shot at Premier League title last season. So it is perhaps understandable that both Jurgen Klopp and the home supporters were visibly frustrated during the 1-1 draw with Burnley at Anfield.

Last season, the Reds lost to relegated Hull, Leicester and Crystal Palace while also being held at home by Bournemouth and Southampton, as they almost surrendered a place in the top-four.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen KloppEurosport

Klopp brought in Mo Salah over the summer in an attempt to improve his attacking line-up - as well as somehow holding onto Philippe Coutinho - but it was the same old story on Saturday as Liverpool failed to find a way past Sean Dyche’s stubborn defence, despite having 35 shots at goal.

It is no coincidence that Liverpool’s form went downhill when Sadio Mane left to play in the African Cup of Nations in January, and they missed his presence again on this occasion. The suspended Senegal international will also miss the trips to Leicester and Newcastle, but Klopp will have to find a way to win without him if they are to have any chance of finally lifting the title.

Otherwise his furrowed brow will have much more to worry it.

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7. Back to work for Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho returned to Liverpool’s starting line-up for the first time this season, but he couldn’t inspire his side to returning to winning ways in their 1-1 draw with Burnley at Anfield.

And while the Brazilian wasn’t back to his brilliant best, he deserves some credit for the way he has handled himself in recent weeks.

The want-away playmaker could have sulked, kicked his heels until January and prayed Barcelona revived their interest in him.

Philippe Coutinho takes a free-kick during the warm-up against Burnley

Philippe Coutinho takes a free-kick during the warm-up against BurnleyReuters

But he has got his head down and worked hard to regain his fitness after recovering from a back injury.

Against Burnley, he showed his class in parts but was unable to produce the magic moment to unlock the opponent’s defence. Still, it was one positive which Klopp can take from yet another frustrating afternoon.

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8. Redknapp goes, but dodgy tattoo remains

Harry Redknapp knows the pitfalls of management. And when you are appointed to a job in the Championship, there is every chance that the sacking won't be too far away.

Redknapp saved Birmingham from the drop to League One after being appointed in April, but has been sacked in September after six defeats in eight matches - the 3-1 defeat to Preston being the final nail in his proverbial coffin with Birmingham second from bottom in the table.

The lifespan of a manager in the Championship is less than a year such are the demands to reach the promised land of the Premier League.

You just feel sorry for the Birmingham fan who decided to get a Harry tattoo on his leg following the £6m signing of Jota on transfer deadline day. Harry was a marked man, but never in this way.

Truths compiled by Alex Netherton, Graham Ruthven and Desmond Kane

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