Tottenham: Merson says Spurs have 'set example'; Wimmer frustration; Janssen stunner for Holland
It’s been a slow news week as the footballing public catches its breath during this international break, but Tottenham’s impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester City last Sunday is still causing ripples.
The result reeled City in at the top of the table, meaning that just two points separate the top four. It also shattered Pep Guardiola’s aura of invincibility; something that was building after an unblemished start to his City career.
Spurs pressed their opponents very high that day, and forced them into numerous errors in possession. Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal forward Paul Merson used his Daily Star column to argue that Pochettino’s side have set an example for their fellow title rivals to follow:
“The title race is wide open again because I think other teams will look at that and try to copy what Spurs did. You can’t let City roll it out and play from the back.
“You have got to press them high. They will keep on playing, take chances and lose it, and they will get punished.
“This isn’t Spain where you can get away with it. The tempo is higher. Teams will look at City now and they won’t fear them quite as much.”
That is a fairly ignorant view of La Liga (Celta Vigo defeated Barcelona last week by pinching the ball off them high up the pitch), but Merson has a point that playing City will no longer be viewed as mission impossible. Guardiola’s side were fantastic when they got the better of Manchester United at Old Trafford last week, but their other Premier League fixtures have pitted them against some of the worst teams in the league on form.
Sunderland, Stoke and West Ham sat off them and tried to defend in numbers; an understandable tactic, but one that proved fruitless. Spurs have themselves firmly in the chasing pack, and their defensive record will hold them in good stead as the season progresses.
Elsewhere, defender Kevin Wimmer has suggested he would be open to a move away from White Hart Lane having grown frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities. The defender signed a five-year contract in the summer, but has suffered with several minor muscular problems and has made just one appearance this season.
He has been left out of Spurs’ Premier League match day squad on several occasions, with Cameron Carter-Vickers preferred ahead of him. Wimmer, who filled in last season when Jan Vertonghen was injured, said:
“After last season, where I played towards the end quite frequently, I’m already down on other expectations for this season.
“That (the injury I had) has taken me back a bit. It is difficult at the moment but I am patiently waiting for my chance. I try to always stay positive.”
Finally, summer signing Vincent Janssen has been struggling for goals at his new club but scored a splendid solo effort for Holland last night as they condemned Belarus to a 4-1 defeat.
Janssen, signed from AZ Alkmaar for £18 million in the summer, scored his only Tottenham goal against Gillingham. The Dutchman has a chance to impress with Harry Kane out injured, but Pochettino opted for the in-form Heung Min Son at centre forward against City.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Serg Hoholok
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