Mousa Dembele has reacted to the release of the 2017/18 Premier League fixtures this week.
The Tottenham midfielder says that ‘It is never easy at Newcastle’.
Despite playing in 29 of the 38 Premier League matches of 2015/16, Dembele missed the 2-1 Newcastle win at White Hart Lane and the 5-1 demolition job at St James Park on the last day of the season.
The season just ended saw the influential midfielder feature in 30 Premier League games, as Spurs ended last season with 12 wins in their final 13 Premier League games, only failing to win the league because Chelsea were so good.
Their 86 points total would have seen them Champions the previous year, five points above Leicester.
That sums up the quality Newcastle will be up against in their first game but Mousa Dembele says that the Magpies ‘will be motivated to start the season well’.
Past years have shown that for Newcastle to have a decent season, it invariably comes after making a decent start.
Tottenham have Champions Chelsea at home in their second game, whilst Newcastle travel to Huddersfield – arguably not the ideal time to play them, as the home team and fans will be well up for what is their first ever Premier League game.
Since that Newcastle 5 Tottenham 1 match, Spurs have only lost four of their next 38 Premier League games, less than any other club including Chelsea.
A bit like it not being ideal to play Huddersfield so early, I think Tottenham will feel the same way about Newcastle. Hopefully Rafa and his team will have a right go and any points from the game will be a definite bonus.
Mousa Dembele talking to the official Spurs site:
“I am happy with those fixtures.
“It is never easy at Newcastle and they will be motivated to start the season well – but that’s the case with everyone.
“To be honest, I don’t mind who we play first.
“I really believe in our own power and our own quality, like we showed last season and the season before.
“We know we can make it difficult for everyone and I’m sure that everyone has respect for us.
“We just want to start the season well.
“We will all look to have a good pre-season and we all know with this manager and staff we’ll be fit and our aim will be to start the season in the best way. That’s something we can be sure about.”
Mauricio Pochettino rates Dembele very highly and had this to say about the player in the past:
“I always say, ‘Mousa, in my book, you will be one of my genius players that I have been lucky to meet.
“One was Maradona, then Ronaldinho, Okocha and De La Pena. He is a genius too, Moussa Dembele.
“We always told him, ‘If we had taken you at eighteen or nineteen years old, you would have become one of the best players in the world.’ I would have loved to have taken him on at 18.”