Christian Eriksen scored the only goal of the game against Bournemouth as Tottenham Hotspur claimed their maiden Premier League victory at Wembley Stadium. The Danish international struck in the 47th minute with a tidy finish, much to the relief of boss Mauricio Pochettino.
Spurs have won all four of their away matches this season but it has taken until mid-October for them to celebrate a top-flight victory at Wembley. The result keeps them third in the table, while Bournemouth remain in the relegation zone. Here are three talking points.
Tottenham finally break their Wembley duck
It wasn’t pretty, but Spurs’ Wembley hoodoo can now be consigned to the history books. They had already dropped more points at ‘home’ than they had in the entire 2016/17 campaign at White Hart Lane and this was reflected in the anxiety of the supporters.
Bournemouth were no pushovers and on another day could have left the national stadium with at least a point. However, Eriksen’s goal, which came moments after the second-half restart, was enough to separate the two sides. If Tottenham are to finish in the top four for the third season running, they’ll need to be much more consistent at their temporary base.
Bournemouth are flattering to deceive
The clocks are still yet to go back, but Eddie Howe will be more than a trifle concerned with his side’s precarious position. Publicly he is saying all the right things, but the hard facts are they have only one win and four points from eight matches. Crystal Palace‘s surprise victory over Chelsea means the Cherries are only one point above bottom spot.
Unlike previous battles, Bournemouth lined up with a five-man defence and made Spurs work hard. The visitors had chances to break the deadlock but couldn’t do so and were punished when Eriksen capitalised on poor defending. Howe’s attractive style is to be admired, but as yet this season it has not yielded enough points. The clock is ticking.
Spurs are not a one-man team
Pep Guardiola’s inflammatory comments that Tottenham were the ‘Harry Kane team’ clearly riled Pochettino, who hit back at the Manchester City manager prior to the Bournemouth clash. The Spurs boss will have been delighted that his side proved against the Cherries they are not reliant on one player.
Kane, back in a Tottenham shirt after scoring two in two for England during the international break, fired a blank against Bournemouth. He tested keeper Asmir Begovic on a couple of occasions but was unable to continue his fine scoring streak. Thankfully for Pochettino, though, Eriksen showed Spurs’ success is not predicated on one man.
Bournemouth move may help to get Danny Ings’ career back on track
The past few seasons have been full of frustration for Liverpool centre-forward Danny Ings, with injury set-backs continually hampering his progress after derailing his Anfield career only months after it began. Now, it looks as though he may have a chance to revive it with a move to Bournemouth.
The 25-year-old has made only three starts in 2017/18 and even in a campaign where Liverpool were overloaded with fixtures thanks to a Champions League cup run, he barely featured and at times was below even youngster Dominic Solanke in the pecking order, casting an unfavourable forecast for his Anfield career.
That could make a season, or more, at Dean Court an appealing proposition. Ings has shown that even when he is struggling for fitness and game time, he is still an efficient finisher.
With pace and strength, he certainly fits into the tactical mould that Eddie Howe likes of his strikers, much like Callum Wilson, Josh King and Jermaine Defoe.
Given that there are reports from The Scottish Sun saying that Defoe may well be on his way out after a single season back at the club, and a disappointing one too, there could be a spot in the Cherries’ squad for a player like Ings to get the game time he needs.
Stagnation is a real risk for Ings career after such a promising few years at Burnley before moving to Liverpool and picking up two serious knee injuries, but if he can find form whilst with Bournemouth it could be his ticket back to the top of the game.
West Ham should bring Jermain Defoe back to East London
The 35-year-old made just 11 appearances in the league this season.
However, one result doesn’t shy away from a season of turmoil and rebellion from Hammers fans, as the club finished 13th with the toxic atmosphere in East London directed towards the owners.
The future is also uncertain for David Moyes but, if the Scotsman is to start thinking about potential transfers, the 55-year-old Scot should consider bringing former West Ham forward Jermain Defoe back to East London.
The 35-year-old hit 37 goals in 93 games for Sunderland before re-signing for Bournemouth on a free transfer last summer, a move that seemed a brilliant piece of business from the Cherries.
However, Defoe has been restricted to just 11 Premier League games this campaign, scoring just four goals. And, while the Englishman hasn’t hit the highs of last season, he is still a goalscoring threat to be reckoned with.
Despite Rangers being labelled the bookmaker’s favourites to sign the former Tottenham striker, according to Paddy Power, West Ham should definitely consider swooping for one of the Premier League’s ultimate poachers.
West Ham have struggled with their forward options this season with Javier Hernández becoming frustrated on the bench, whilst Andy Carroll has also failed to hit the mark having struggled with injuries.
Defoe scored 18 goals during his time at Upton Park, quickly becoming a fans favourite, so should the Hammers bring back one of their former club heroes?
Considering Bournemouth have the likes of Joshua King and Callum Wilson in their forward line, they may be interested in offers for the 132-time Premier League scorer.
West Ham struggled for attacking firepower this term, with Marko Arnautovic largely relied upon upfront. Therefore, reinforcements are likely to arrive at the London Stadium during the summer.
When a player like Jermain Defoe shows even a slight sign of being unhappy, in this case, due to a lack of game time, it should then become the club-in-need’s priority to swoop.
Wolves must ensure Benik Afobe stays at Molineux next season
Wolves have secured their promotion to the Premier League in emphatic style. Registering 99 points as champions is a fantastic achievement for the Midlands side.
However, there is still business that needs attending to before returning to the promise lands of England’s top division.
Wolves striker and Bournemouth loanee Benik Afobe’s future is still undecided and the Wanderers have to act fast if they are to make the deal permanent.
According to the Birmingham Live, there are terms of their loan agreement with Bournemouth that state the club have until May 31st to decide on whether they will make the deal permanent.
Despite not being a regular feature in the Championship all season, Afobe still boasts six league goals from nine appearances proving he could have more to offer next season.
Also, considering his experience in the Premier League, the 25-year-old would be a useful addition as they prepare for life in the top flight.
Afobe endured a successful first spell at the Molineux Stadium before his move to Bournemouth, reported by BBC Sport to be in the region of £10 million.
His initial two years at the club saw 23 goals in 48 appearances and the former England under-21’s star quickly became a fan favourite before leaving for the Cherries in 2016.
He rejoined Wolves in the January window, on loan, leaving the striker “crying in his car with happiness”, according to BBC Sport.
The 6ft striker has 63 Premier League appearances under his belt, and for £12 million it is surely worth the expenditure to have Afobe leading in the dressing room next season.
The move would be ideal for both parties as Afobe has failed to establish himself as Bournemouth’s first choice striker, falling behind the likes of Joshua King, Callum Wilson and Jermaine Defoe in Eddie Howe’s side.
Wolves supporters were delighted to see their former hero return home, and with a full season ahead of him, Afobe could be the man to help fire the goals that could keep the Midlands outfit in the division next season.
Fans react on Twitter to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic performance
Fulham homecoming for Mousa Dembele would suit both parties this summer
Marcos Rojo considering Manchester United future; Everton should swoop
Rafa Benitez should plot Fernando Torres reunion at Newcastle United
Rectifying Patrick Bamford departure would be superb Nottingham Forest business
Manchester United11 hours ago
Fans react on Twitter to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic performance
Wolverhampton Wanderers7 hours ago
Goncalo Guedes and Andre Gomes would make Wolves top-six contenders
Everton21 hours ago
Everton fans react as Hirving Lozano puts Germany to the sword
Everton10 hours ago
Marvin Plattenhardt performance v Mexico will not convince Everton fans
Tottenham Hotspur23 hours ago
Matias Vecino is not the man to replace Mousa Dembele for Tottenham Hotspur
Leeds United24 hours ago
Leeds United should target Marcelo Bielsa teacher’s pet Stephane Sparagna
Newcastle United7 hours ago
Newcastle United should rekindle Miguel Layun interest after stunning World Cup performance
Tottenham Hotspur9 hours ago
Daniel Levy right not to splash £75m on inconsistent Anthony Martial