Ahead of the next round of Premier League fixtures, MyBettingSites caught up with former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Darren Anderton. The former England international shared his thoughts on why Paul Pogba is a bad egg at Manchester United, Aubameyang has let Arsenal down and how Spurs can break into the top four this season.
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Harry Kane is a better striker than Romelu Lukaku
“This Sunday sees two of the best strikers in the league face off against each other, in Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane. For me, Kane is the better overall player, however, Lukaku’s strength and his brute force is astonishing.
“Harry Kane is obviously very strong but regardless, I would hate to mark Lukaku put it that way. He’s so strong, and an absolute beast. To be fair to Chelsea, what a signing. To go out and sign him back there could be the final piece of the puzzle for them. He’s an absolutely top drawer professional and he’s taken a lot of stick throughout his career, so you have to give him credit for the way that he just keeps his head down and keeps doing the business, as they both do. They are two of the best strikers in the world.”
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Tottenham should win the Europa Conference League with their second-string team
“Tottenham will look to rotate their squad for the Europa Conference League, but all the squads nowadays, especially the top six or seven in the Premier League, are so strong that they should go win a tournament like that with their second team. It’s an opportunity to win it as such.
“But the disappointment of not being in the Champions League is a real thing. Since the Champions League final, it’s been a bit of a downward curve I suppose and not being back in there despite being in that lovely new stadium, it just doesn’t feel right to not host those big nights at the Lane. That’s the main concern for Spurs fans and, but also all Spurs fans want the team to win a trophy so there’s an opportunity for that as well.”
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Spurs could finish in the top four this season
“Spurs definitely have a chance of finishing in the top four this season, but you have to look at the teams above them and acknowledge the difference in quality between them and Spurs. Chelsea will be the team that challenge Manchester City this year, more than anyone else.
“Liverpool had a bad season last year but still managed to get in there. Spurs are going to need a big push to do it. They started the season well, they’re in a decent position and a new manager tends to bring positive changes and Nuno has done that.
“Harry Kane is staying as well so we do definitely have a chance. If Harry had gone then we would have been really struggling so that is certainly a positive. So, a chance? Yes. Would I expect it? At the moment, probably not. They’ll probably be out of the top four.”
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Getting back into the top four takes priority over winning a trophy for Spurs.
“As a player, you want to win trophies for sure. Spurs fans do as well, but the Champions League is what it’s all about and you’ve got to get in that top four. And then, if you were to win the FA Cup or another Cup, that would be a massive bonus as such.
“It’s always a difficult one to know but I miss watching Champions League football and it’s such a shame to not have Spurs involved in it because, all around the world, that’s what people talk about; the Champions League and the Premier League, and being over here in America, of course, you know, all those games are on here and it’s a real shame not to be able to watch the boys playing it.”
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Nuno is the right man for Spurs
“I’m excited to see what Nuno Espirito Santo can do at Tottenham, if he’s given time. The reality of the situation is that we are so lucky to have had Mauricio Pochettino now and I didn’t agree with getting rid of him. Under Mourinho, it was a disappointing time, going from watching excellent football and being involved in great matches to being a Mourinho team. It was dire to watch and that’s okay if you win trophies and win matches, but that wasn’t happening either so that was tough.
“Nuno was such an important appointment and Spurs got a lot of stick for how long it took and everything else, but they did the right thing in taking their time because it’s such an important appointment and they got the right man.
“People say that he wasn’t first choice, but I believe that he is a top manager. I love what he did at Wolves and the way that his teams played football, the sort of players he brought into the club were outstanding, different class so I really do believe in his judgement in players and his ability as a coach.”
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Liverpool are the team Spurs need to overtake to get into the top four
“Tottenham have never had huge financial power, so the manager has always been important. Look back, before we got into the Champions League it was really tough to break into and no one really saw it coming but then we had a great young team that came through with a great manager, and then we were in it every year.
“Over two or three years we were the most consistent team because Leicester won the league one year but then the following year, they were around mid-table, but we were second and third in those two years and were in such a good place. Now we have to go and do it again. The reality is that it’s very difficult, but we’ve done it before and we can do it again.
“The Premier League is so tough, but if you get on a run, it’s possible. Liverpool went on a hell of a run at the end of last year but that’s the team we’re going to have to finish above if Spurs want to get into it. It’s definitely not impossible, with the group of players that we have, if they performance as they should, week in, week out, they won’t be far away.”
Read More: Bet of the Day
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Aubameyang and other senior players have let Arsenal down
“It’s a pretty big gap between Spurs and Arsenal! Arsenal had a tough time of it and the manager has received a lot of stick at times which is harsh as it’s down to the players. Watching the game against Brentford at the start of the season, that’s down to players not doing their jobs and not performing.
“Take away the Arsenal job and I hope Arteta does well as a manager because he’s a nice guy and they still try and play nice football. There were times last year where I watched them and thought they had a chance with all the young boys coming through in Tierney, Saka and Smith-Rowe. They have good young players and there are the foundations in place there.
“It’s down to the more experienced players who have been letting Arsenal down and that includes Aubameyang. He’s signed a big new contract and he hasn’t really played well since and it’s down to the manager to get it out of him and make him perform as he should. But also, it’s mostly down to the player.”
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Paul Pogba is a “bad egg”
“You’d think Manchester United will get rid of Ole on if United don’t win anything this season because that’s just the nature of the beast. Manchester United win things and they always have done and that’s what they’ve been judged on. I do like the fact that Ole is still there because there are times where I watched United and I was worried for them in terms of the way they played, the way they defended and the way they crumbled at times. But they’ve got a very good team good and a good squad. The players respond to him.
“There have been times where I’ve been a bit worried. How do you get the best out of someone like Paul Pogba? He’s now saying he wants to stay and he’s such a top player but also, he can be a bad egg within a football club. If you can get him on the right side, then he’s going to be a positive influence and that’s where he is now.
“If they get in the top four, they will stand by Ole. The squad is getting stronger and stronger, and they have a very good chance of winning something this season.”
Darren Anderton Exclusive: Liverpool are the full package
“Liverpool’s start to the season has probably justified their lack of summer spending. The reality is if you can’t buy players that will strengthen your squad, don’t just do it for the sake of it. Jurgen Klopp is that sort of guy who will do what he believes is right for the team. He won’t be pushed into signing someone just because it excites the fans.
“I’m sure the board are happy with that, and they have Virgil Van Dijk back and you’re not going to buy a better centre-back anywhere in the world.
“They’ll be looking to get that front three firing again and they brought in [Diogo] Jota who is an unbelievable player. He’s been on fire there since day one.
“They might want to strengthen in the centre of the park just due to some ageing players but, looking at them there, they have pretty much everything that they need. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are class full backs, and they are still a top team. They’ve shown that with their start the season and they are going to be up there and have a better season than last year.”