Tottenham: Pochettino pleased with 'domination'; Belgian linked; Alderweireld injury scare
Mauricio Pochettino says he was pleased by his team’s performance despite watching Spurs be held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at West Brom yesterday. Dele Alli’s 89th minute goal rescued a point for the visitors, who missed a host of first-chances and run into Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster in sparkling form.
That said, it looked as though Tottenham would leave with nothing after old boy Nacer Chadli gave Tony Pulis’ team the lead with eight minutes remaining. Spurs recovered to gain a point and remain as the only Premier League team still unbeaten this season.
Pochettino’s side have the best defensive record in the division, but if there is an area they can improve upon it is putting teams who ‘park the bus’ to the sword. Speaking after the game, Pochettino said:
“I’m a little bit disappointed because we dominated the game and created better chances, but we know every time we play West Brom it’s going to be difficult.
“In the first half we dominated but the same thing always happens in football if you don’t score. Foster was man of the match. It was difficult when we conceded the goal and the team showed character.”
It is not the first time West Brom have frustrated Tottenham; earning another 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane in the closing stages of last season, as Spurs stumbled over the line to finish below fierce rivals Arsenal in third. Their victory against Manchester City demonstrated what a strong and athletic outfit Pochettino has built, but it possibly lacks a little subtlety and flair in the last third.
As an attacking force, they flourish when there is plenty of cut and thrust in the game, which means they should do well in the games against the rest of the ‘Big Six’. However, they need to start converting their dominance into goals against deep-lying defences. Spurs had more draws than any other club in the top flight last year, and they need to convert more of these into wins.
Elsewhere, the Liverpool Echo are linking Spurs with a move for Lukaku, but not the one you might expect. They say that Pochettino is interested in Romelu’s brother, Jordan, a Belgian international left back who plies his trade with Lazio in Serie A.
Spurs are fairly well stocked for left backs with Danny Rose the undisputed first choice and the dependable Ben Davies acting as back up. Centre back Jan Vertonghen can also shift across and play there. However, Pochettino might want to add a more youthful option to put pressure on Rose. The Argentinian coach is also fond of rotating his full backs.
Finally, Toby Alderweireld suffered an injury scare during yesterday’s game and has been ruled out of this week’s Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen. The Belgian defender was stretchered off after a collision with his compatriot Vertonghen after which he landed awkwardly on his leg.
He is to assessed, but Tottenham fans will be hoping the injury isn’t too serious. Alderweireld has been outstanding since moving to north London 15 months ago, and has arguably been the best centre back in the Premier League.
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