The Premier League is officially is full swing and with the second round of matches came more lessons to be learned and more football to talk about. Arsenal showed again that they need a bit more time to hit the highs that everyone was expecting of them, Chelsea continued their onslaught on the title as they were impressive again against Leicester, albeit mostly in the 2nd half and West Ham improved again as they dismantled a manager-less Crystal Palace and perhaps most impressive was Tottenham’s taking apart of ‘Arry’s QPR at White Hart Lane.
1) AVB, Sherwood; It seems like it was all worth it.
Tottenham fans have had to wait a while for a game with that level of enjoyment. A game where the team played free-flowing, attacking football and every single player looked like they were enjoying themselves from the whistle. This is a strong contrast to the team under AVB and especially Tim ‘Ego’ Sherwood. The last game I can remember that I enjoyed so much was the 5–0 demolition of Newcastle in February 2012. That means Tottenham fans have gone over two years of unhappy players, depressed fans and angry chairmen, but based on yesterday’s evidence, it might all have been worth it. Pochettino’s system appears to be taking hold quickly, I lost count of the amount of times Lamela, Dier, Eriksen, Bentaleb and Capoue charged forward, pressurising the QPR back 5 and winning the ball back. It was an absolute joy to watch. Liverpool will be the proper test next Sunday but for the fist time in a while, I cant wait, because finally after 2 years it seems we have got our Tottenham back, we have had to go through a lot to get it, but based on yesterday, it may all have been worth it.
2) Lallana, Schneiderlin and Rodriguez were no flukes for Pochettino.
During his time at Southampton, Pochettino was famed for 2 things; his high pressing counter attacking football and his ability to get the best out of each player individually, shown by the immense rise of players such as Lallana at Southampton under Pochettino’s tutorship. Those two trends look like continuing at White Hart Lane. Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela were arguable the three most disappointing signings last season, however they were the three best players on the pitch yesterday. Capoue ran like a mad man, tackling and intercepting everytime QPR showed even a glimpse of an attack. Chadli looked like a new man, running the lines with complete freedom and getting into great positions shown by his two superbly taken goals. The most impressive however was no doubt Erik Lamela, his running was direct and caused all sorts of problems for QPR’s ageing defence and his willingness to run after and win back the ball will go a long way to make him an icon at White Hart Lane. Even Eric Dier, who sat for the most part in Sporting Lisbon’s reserves, looks like a £20million pound player. Tottenham fans will be hoping that the Pochettino effect will carry on throughout the season but for now lets just revel in the success he has had already.
3) ‘Arry Redknapp has a problem.
QPR’s last Premier League campaign was not one that anyone associated with the club will want to remember; big money was spent on the likes of Chris Samba, Stephane Mbia and Estaban Granero as players who would help QPR push for at least a mid-table finish. However it didn’t work out that way, by the end of the season QPR had failed miserably and found themselves back in the championship, a league that, with their quality squad, should be a breeze and yet again it didn’t quite work out that way. Redkanpp and QPR needed a 93rd minute Zamora goal in the Play-Off final to book their place in the top tier this season and Harry promised that they ‘would not make the same mistakes’. Again, however, it hasn’t seemed to work out the way they would’ve hoped. Signings like Jordan Mutch and Steven Caulker, who both were relegated last seasons (the former being the captain of that relegated Cardiff team) and 35 year-old Rio Ferdinand seem like the exact same mistakes that they made last time. Attracting players with big-money to a relegation battle doesn’t work, just look at the problems they had with José Bosingwa, and the evidence was clear again on Sunday as QPR got torn apart by a strong, fast and skilful Tottenham team. Capoue and Bentaleb ran riot against a midfield three of Leroy Fer (a brand new signing thrown straight into the team), Jordan Mutch and Joey Barton. While Lamela, Eriksen and Chadli’s quick interchange and willingness to swap positions throughout the game had the QPR defence running in circles leaving huge gaps behind the defence shown by the 4th goal and leaving them confused as to who they were marking, look at Chadli’s goals. Redknapp will have to change things up rather rapidly, with the end of the transfer window looming and a certain hot property called Tony Pulis currently out of a job, things are going to have to improve, and fast.
4) Is Harry Kane Pochettino’s second choice striker?
Two years ago it would seem unthinkable that Harry Kane would be preferred to Roberto Soldado in the pecking order of any club, and yet that is exactly what appears to be happening. Two games in a row now, West Ham and QPR, Pochettino has turned to Kane before his Spanish teammate and on current evidence you can’t really argue. Kane played the pass that Eric Dier latched onto to defeat West Ham and he scored a great goal against Limassol on Thursday night, although so did Soldado. Adebayor, as expected, seems like he will lead the line for the majority of games this season but Pochettino’s thinking looks like Harry Kane will be his understudy, and it makes sense; Kane is strong and good in the air, which offers the team a Plan B if A isn’t working, as well as being surprisingly good with his feet. At England Youth level he has always been a goal-scorer but it wasn’t until Sherwood gave him a proper introduction to the 1st team that he proved that to the Tottenham fans as well. With 3 goals on the back end of last season and 1 goal and an assist in 3 games this season with only 1 appearance, against Limassol, being a start, Kane has proved his potential and Pochettino seems to have seen it too.
5) Rio Ferdinand should have retired at the top.
After winning 6 Premier League titles at arguably the biggest club in the world, there was nowhere Ferdinand could’ve gone afterwards that would match that incredible trophy haul, but nonetheless going to QPR was a confusing decision one that I can only make of sense of if he moved purely for one last paycheck that no doubt Tony Fernandes is giving him. Agianst Tottenham Ferdinand was slow, lacklustre and disorganised as Adebayor and co. ran rings around him, finding space in the pocket behind him, finding it all too easy to run across him and anything else you can think of that a defender shouldn’t let happen, happened. It was almost sad, almost, to see this once great centre-half line up next to Richard Dunne in QPR’s defence. It was not where this great player should be and yet there he was, looking flustered and confused by the implosion happening in front of him as his team looked like they gave up after the 2nd goal. He made his choice and now will have to see through this year, however difficult it might get, perhaps thinking the whole time that perhaps the money isn’t worth it.
What was the most important point that you took from the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Queen’s Park Rangers? Let us know in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .