Well, Newcastle fans, the wait is almost over - it’s been almost three months since Newcastle has played a meaningful match and almost fifteen since we last saw black and white in the Premiership, but all of that comes to an end on Sunday, when United take on Tottenham Hotspur in a rematch of our last Premier League match (can someone remind me how that one played out?)
This season, Coming Home Newcastle will be connecting with our fellow SB Nation blogs to discuss opponents for upcoming matches. To kick things off, I caught up with Sean Cahill over at Cartilage Free Captain to get up to speed on how Tottenham’s offseason has been shaking out.
David Hatch, Coming Home Newcastle (CHN): Tottenham finished third in 2015/16 and second last season, but the top six clubs have made pretty significant improvements this transfer window. What areas need to improve to keep the year-over-year momentum rolling?
Sean Cahill, Cartilage Free Captain (CFC): This isn't quite the $64,000 question over on our site, but it's close. We pretty quickly identified the positions we need to add to: CB, RB, CM, AM. There's an argument for a winger as well, but those were the four we had pegged. The problem has been that Spurs haven't done anything other than sell Kyle Walker to Manchester City this window and we're all getting close to panic mode. Everyone in Europe knows that Daniel Levy loves to negotiate down prices to get his bargain basement specials, but this is the wrong window to be holding out on. Spurs are thin at a couple of positions and signings need to happen ASAP.
CHN: Tottenham has some key players still nursing their way back from injury. Who do you expect will be stepping up in their absence to open the campaign? Beyond that, who do you hope will show significant improvements in play this season?
CFC: As of this time, here's our injury list going into the season:
Kieran Trippier suffered an ankle injury in our final preseason match against Juventus. He's out for the season opener and probably for Chelsea as well. It doesn't appear to be serious, but we're left with Kyle Walker-Peters and do-everything-player Eric Dier to play RB, but Dier needs to be anywhere else besides fullback.
Victor Wanyama has a slight knee injury. He missed the Juventus game and it appears he's 50/50 to make the squad for Newcastle.
Danny Rose is out until probably September as he recovers from surgery.
Heung-Min Son is about done with his broken arm and has been in cardio training, reportedly close to getting back. He may be in the squad on Sunday.
Erik Lamela is still presumed dead or locked up in the basement of Hotspur Way. His cyborg will take over for him in October, or so we're told.
We just had an article about this and we have absolutely no clue how Spurs are going to line up on Sunday because of the injuries. We know that Ben Davies will start for the injured Danny Rose at LB/LWB depending on the formation. Eric Dier is going to start somewhere, but we have no clue where. It could be at CDM. It could be at CB. It might even be at RB/RWB!
If you had to put a gun to my head and tell me pick a formation, I'll say we go with some weird 3-4-2-1 that looks like this:
Lloris, Vertonghen, Dier, Alderweireld; Davies, Dembele, Winks, Sissoko/KWP; Alli, Eriksen; Kane
CHN: The transfer window has been quiet for Spurs. What's one rumored move that you hope to get done by the end of the month?
CFC: At this point in the transfer window, I'd take just about anyone. Honestly, could we swap you Sissoko for DeAndre Yedlin? It would give us an actual fullback who could do fullback things! (Editor’s Note: No you may not.)
Would you swap Yedlin for Sissoko?
This poll is closed
How dare you
Spurs have been linked to Ricardo Periera of Porto, Jeremy Toljan of Hoffenheim, and after Trippier went down, [insert fullback name here] seems to be what rags are running with. It's incredibly frustrating because we've also dealt with hilarious ITK saying that Spurs want Gareth Bale back (not happening in any realm of existence) and it just sucks the soul out of our body one minute at a time.
Right now, all I care about is getting a right-sided fullback and some depth in the midfield. I have no clue who these people. I'd be fine with either Periera or Toljan, but knowing Levy we're going to buy someone we don't need on deadline day and that'll be the end of it.
CHN: Finally, how about a prediction for Sunday?
CFC: Even with the injuries, Spurs are better than Newcastle. I've attempted to erase THAT game from my memory about a year and a half ago and pretend that it doesn't exist. Either way, Spurs looked good against Juventus in the preseason and our key players look ready.
Spurs get three points to start, 2-1.