Managers are sometimes reluctant to talk up their team’s chances, but Mauricio Pochettino had no such qualms following Spurs’ 1-0 victory over Sunderland yesterday. The Argentinian claimed his Tottenham team can ‘do everything’ this season, and the Lilywhites remain unbeaten in the league with Everton and Manchester City the only clubs who can also say this.
The home side had to be patient yesterday, but Harry Kane’s second-half breakthrough was full served as Spurs dominated proceedings throughout. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Pochettino said:
“Today the passion and attitude was fantastic and I am a little bit disappointed as we created a lot of chances, but we only scored at the end and it was only 1-0.
“We deserved more, but it was an important three points for us. We stay near the top and we believe we can do everything this season.”
Spurs have only scored five goals in their last five league games at White Hart Lane, so will need to find a bit more creativity and cutting edge if they are to live up to those high expectations. Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela were rested yesterday following mid-week exertions in the Champions League and their guile was missed. Moussa Dembélé’s return to the starting line-up was most welcome, and his physical presence and extraordinary powers of ball retention give Spurs so much more balance in the middle of the park. The one disappointment of the day was the fact he, Eric Dier and Harry Kane all went off injured.
The England striker departed with an ankle problem, and the replays showed he rolled the joint in quite a gruesome fashion. According to The Guardian, Spurs will find out the extent of Kane’s injury when he has a scan today. The Guardian’s report suggests it is likely to be weeks rather than months on the sidelines:
“The 23-year-old was later seen leaving White Hart Lane on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right foot. The fear at the club is that their key player could be out for weeks.”
Losing Kane for a sizeable chunk of the season would be a real blow to Spurs, despite their purchase of Vincent Janssen this summer. Kane has scored more than 20 Premier League goals for two consecutive seasons, and when he doesn’t score Spurs typically struggle for goals. Tottenham play with one striker, and this is a duty that requires a specialist and Kane is just that. It is a very difficult position to play, and whether Janssen has the wherewithal to take up the slack is doubtful.
Finally, news broke this morning that Dele Alli has signed a six-year contract at Spurs. Alli joined the north London club for just £5 million from MK Dons last summer, and has established himself as a Tottenham and England regular. Upon signing his fresh deal, Alli said:
“I can’t think of anywhere better with the fans, the manager and the young team we’ve got here – it’s a great place to be.”
With an impending stadium move, it is vital that Spurs tie down their key assets with budgets likely to be squeezed slightly during the transition to the new ground. Alli scored 10 goals in his debut season at White Hart Lane, and has made himself a real fans’ favourite.
He will certainly benefit from the return of Dembele, who gives the team added security with and without the ball and allows Alli to wreak havoc in the last third.
Featured image: All rights reserved by MekyCM