It may have gone under the radar somewhat – with television coverage of the game non-existent – but tomorrow Spurs will be competing in the first leg of the knockout stages of the Europa League. Our opponents AEL Limassol of Cyprus provide the dangling carrot of a spot in the group stage of the tournament.

Nevertheless nerves haven’t reached the players just yet who seemed in a jovial mood as they made their way to the airport this morning. And amongst the travelling party, the return of ‘The Beast’ will provide fans with plenty of excitement that this cult hero may not, as of yet, have his passport checked for a permanent move abroad.

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Well it wasn’t pretty, but in hindsight would you have had it any different? All the mistakes and sloppiness of Saturday’s game paled into insignificance, as Eric Dier rounded Adrian to pull a last minute winner out of the hat to regain Spurs’ dominance over the noisy East London outfit.

The game had started reasonably well for Spurs, with indications of a high pressing style and willingness to get forward quickly and effectively on show. However, ten minutes in, the tide quickly turned as West Ham began to get more and more time on the ball.

Then things took another turn for the worse when Kyle Naughton conceded a penalty on the half an hour mark, compounded when serial buffoon Chris Foy dished out a red card for a frankly harsh handball. Nevertheless Spurs survived the scare as Noble slipped his penalty narrowly wide, offering a lifeline, not that it was taken initially.

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At last, we’re back, and not a moment too soon. After a fantastic World Cup, the five weeks that followed have been desperately bereft of competitive football. All the same, the wait is over – at 3PM this afternoon, the first ball of our competitive season will be kicked as we aim to begin our new campaign in the best possible style.

To say that the Premier League have thrown us straight into the furnace would not be an understatement. West Ham may not be of the top echelon – in which the likes of United, City and Chelsea stand atop the perch – though the passion and fierce nature of this encounter is bettered only by the North London Derby. It’s a game of vital importance to the East Londoners in particular, who thrive off of the scraps we occasionally throw to them.

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So after days of knowing it was happening, Spurs have finally announced the signing of USA international DeAndre Yedlin from the Seattle Sounders. The 21 year old signs off the back of an exciting debut World Cup, with a reputation as one of the brightest young MLS stars currently emerging.

Yedlin will join in 2015 after agreeing to stay with the Sounders until the club choose to take up the option of completion in either January or next Summer. So with six months still to wait, here at SPURStalk we’ve provided a brief insight into our latest addition:

1) The young right back is blessed with rapid pace, which looks ideally suited to Pochettino’s tactical arrangement. This was developed from Yedlin being a regular track athlete during his academic years where he ran over 100, 200 and 400 metres.

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As the old adage goes, you can never take much from pre-season. It’s a time for monitoring fitness levels, beginning to mould philosophies and tinker with different systems. All the same, it provides the coaching team and us, the fans, the opportunity to gain a first hand look at how quickly players are returning to form and improving their sharpness.

With us on the cusp of yet another season of imminent intrigue, rivalry and highs and lows, it’s time to look at who shone and who disappointed this pre-season.

    Winners:

Erik Lamela - Unfortunate in his first season to see progression stalled by recurring injuries and unsettlement, this Summer was the first opportunity us fans had to witness the club record signing over a prolonged period of games. A star series of performances on the US and a prolific goalscoring record suggest he’s now ready to adapt his game to competitive football once more, and more importantly has brought attention to the forefront of Pochettinos mind. Expect the youngster to shine this time around.

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This year SPURStalk will again be running our own annual Fantasy Premier League. If you’d like to get involved, head to www.fantasy.premierleague.com and input the code: 687201-172462.

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See you there!