Soccer

Being at Spurs is not all roses

  • Not splashing the cash: will the lack of transfer activity from Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham cost them in the title race? (Photograph by Frank Augstein/AP)

For students of a particular age in the north of England, the doner kebab pizza was a thing of beauty.

Much like the Premier League season, the initial thrill soon gave way to bloated excess and then, once consumed, nausea. And that’s if you were lucky.

Perhaps it was this pang of home that prompted Danny Rose to question Tottenham Hotspur’s ambition and declare he fancied a move back north.

His main reasons: he wants to win trophies and misses his mom. Oh, and he’s underpaid. All of which were probably the least of his worries at training yesterday.

Rose is, though, a mere speck on this summer’s transfer radar as everyone — apart from Spurs — has thrown their cash around.

Neymar aside, it’s a market where you have to pay $65 million for a right back (Kyle Walker) and $117 million (Romelu Lukaku) for a striker who has no Champions League pedigree.

Arsenal snapped up the impressive Alexandre Lacazette for $53 million and it feels like they’re merely treading water. Or maybe he will turn out to be this season’s star man, such is the joy and uncertainty of this time of year.

Only one thing to do: grab a slice and tuck in.

11am kick-offs unless stated

Today

3.45pm

Arsenal v Leicester City

Apparently, Arsenal have won their opening Premier League fixture only once in the past seven years. That should change this time, although Leicester won’t make it easy.

Either way, how soon before the first Wenger Out sign? Prediction: 2-1

Tomorrow

8.30am

Watford v Liverpool

Andre Gray’s signing has given Watford a boost ahead of the big kick-off, but Jürgen Klopp normally has his team straining at the leash after preseason.

Could get messy for Marco Silva on his first game in charge. Prediction: 1-3

Chelsea v Burnley

There’s been a lot of grumblings about the mood at Stamford Bridge with a host of players being moved on. Can’t help but think many are misconstruing Antonio Conte’s demanding nature for deep unhappiness.

Will be fascinating to see if Alvaro Morata can cut it in the Premier League. Prediction: 2-0

Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town

Allow some island bias here but this looks primed for one of those sunny days when the promoted side, so pumped up to be in the big league, hustle an established top-flight club into a shock defeat.

Palace surely have too much attacking threat to completely succumb. Prediction: 2-2

Everton v Stoke City

The tide of goodwill and optimism will carry Everton to their first win of the season. The roll call of new players alone will take the announcer most of the warm-up.

A new dawn at Goodison to get off to a flyer. Prediction: 3-0

Southampton v Swansea City

A tough one to call with Mauricio Pellegrino a fresh face in England and Paul Clement still relatively new to the Swansea job. Watching the impact of both will be fascinating.

Southampton have some real talent in midfield and the Welsh side will be without Gylfi Sigurdsson, who seems destined for Everton. Prediction: 1-0

West Bromwich Albion v Bournemouth

WBA have had a relatively quiet transfer window, while striker Jermain Defoe will likely be the focus of attention for Bournemouth.

Eddie Howe’s team to look good but fail to overcome a typically stubborn Tony Pulis side. Prediction: 2-2

1.30pm

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City

Fear for the new boys here. A delightful late afternoon kick-off in beautiful Sussex would appear to be the prime setting for an Agüero/De Bruyne/Jesus-inspired massacre. Prediction: 0-4

Sunday

9.30am Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur

It’s easy to forget, given their slow transfer window, that Spurs have one of the best squads in the league. They traditionally start the season slowly though, which gives Newcastle a glimmer of hope that they can get their season up and running at the first time of asking. Prediction: 1-1

Noon

Manchester United v West Ham United

There is something endearingly retro about West Ham’s new boys; Javier Hernández and Pablo Zabaleta feel like they are from a different era.

The away side, however, do not look equipped to deal with this heavy duty United team. Prediction: 3-1