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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Ange could replace Solomon by handing £180k-p/w dud one last chance

Tottenham Hotspur fans will not forget Saturday’s victory in a hurry, with their late comeback win over Sheffield United just typifying the feelgood factor that Ange Postecoglou has returned to north London.

Of late it feels like their Australian manager can do no wrong, as he says all the right things, and has got his team playing some scintillating stuff on the pitch.

Even the most unlikely of success stories have begun to emerge, as if to emphasise the impact the 58-year-old has enjoyed in such a short period.

Manor Solomon was one such name, who shone in their win over Burnley whilst enjoying his first league start of the term since joining on a free transfer. The Israeli winger recorded two assists alongside a further five key passes, with his creativity unbridled on that left flank, via Sofascore.

How did Manor Solomon play vs Sheffield United?

However, he would not enjoy the same success against the Blades, failing to score or assist whilst being handed a 7.0 Sofascore rating, the third-lowest of any starting Spurs player, and well below their 7.27 squad average.

Despite again registering four key passes, an impressive haul, it seemed there was a lack of cutting edge that prevented these from being converted. That said, none of them were registered as a ‘big chance’, suggesting that whilst he remained a threat, the 24-year-old’s influence had waned against Sheffield United’s stern defence.

Therefore, perhaps as they prepare for their toughest test under Postecoglou yet, Solomon’s starting spot could be under threat by substitute Ivan Perisic who starred in their late turnaround, forcing the issue as the north London derby looms.

How did Ivan Perisic play vs Sheffield United?

When Perisic first signed for the Lilywhites under Antonio Conte, many thought the legendary Croatian would bring plenty of experience and trophy-winning pedigree to help spearhead their push for elusive silverware. After all, journalist Siavoush Fallahi had promised “magic” after highlighting one outstanding display for Inter Milan.

However, it is fair to say that the ageing whiz has failed to meet those expectations, even with his nine goal contributions last term marking a fine return. That did not stop writer George Sessions from claiming: “Perisic has offered very little from the left and his delivery has again been poor, in keeping with recent weeks.”

Such a torrid year had a damaging effect on many within their dressing room, so to see the former Bayern Munich star was linked with an exit over the summer came as little surprise. What proved most shocking was that he actually stayed despite interest elsewhere, with the £180k-per-week maestro having seen his decision vindicated with both his and the team’s early-season form.


Against the visitors on Saturday, as he watched his team struggle to find a goal against a staunch opposition, Perisic was thrown on to have a decisive impact. Given he would assist their 98th-minute equaliser with a well-placed corner, it’s fair to say that his introduction had the desired effect, with his busy display across just ten minutes impressing.

Winning 100% of the three duels competed in aided this notion too, which journalist Alasdair Gold supported in his post-match player ratings: “The Croatian also showed how much he can affect matches, grabbing the assist with his corner for Richarlison and then his quick flick put the Brazilian away to set up the winner.”

With experience beyond everyone else at the club, and talent clearly just waiting to be unleashed, perhaps Postecoglou could extend his seemingly never-ending wisdom to reignite one of the most technically proficient stars he has at his disposal.

After all, chances are running thin for Perisic, who came so close to quitting over the summer, and could very easily get lost amongst the red-hot talent being cultivated should he fail to capitalise.

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