Tottenham: Pochettino pleased with system; Man United midfielder linked; Davies ruled out
Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with how his side adapted to their experimental formation in their 1-1 draw against Arsenal at the Emirates. Expectations were sky high among the Arsenal fanbase going into this game; Tottenham had not one in their last six games and had scored just one goal from open play in that time.
However, Pochettino’s side produced a confident and composed display and arguably had the better chances to win the game late on. Kevin Wimmer’s first-half own goal gave them a half-time lead, but Moussa Dembele’s driving run drew a foul from Laurent Koscielny inside the box and the returning Harry Kane converted the penalty.
Both sides came close to a winner; Christian Eriksen bringing a fine save out of Petr Cech and striking the post with a free kick, while Olivier Giroud planted a header straight at Hugo Lloris. Pochettino said:
“When you have full-backs like ours, Danny Rose or Kyle Walker, they can play forward as offensive players. We tried to put them in a better position to try and play more like wing-backs. That was our idea, and then to play with two strikers. We worked hard preparing that game, and I’m happy and pleased with the way we played.”
Tottenham have struggled for goals recently, but carried a threat throughout yesterday’s north London derby. May will point to the returning Harry Kane’s goal and performance, but in truth it was the pace of Heung Son Min that caused Arsenal the biggest problem. The Gunners tried to press high in the early stages, but Tottenham kept finding a way out of pressure; often through the speed of Son.
Arsene Wenger spoke about Arsenal becoming stretched, and this type of game was always going to suit Spurs due to their superior athleticism. It was not the first time Pochettino has come up with a solution to stop Arsenal; the former Southampton manager is unbeaten against them in the Premier League as Spurs boss, albeit four of five encounters have ended in draws.
Elsewhere, The Daily Express are linking Spurs with a move for Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. Pochettino tired to sign Schneiderlin, who played under him at Southampton, in the summer of 2015 but the player moved to Old Trafford instead.
Schneiderlin formed a fantastic partnership with Victor Wanyama at St Mary’s, but has struggled to establish himself as a United regular. Tottenham though, are well stocked for central midfielders with Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier, Wanyama and Dele Ali and capable of filling the two roles in deep midfield.
Finally, Spurs left back Ben Davies will miss Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Serbia with an ankle injury. The former Swansea man suffered the injury in Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley last week. Davies will be a bigger miss for Wales than he is for Spurs, but he is reliable back up for Danny Rose. Moreover, Pochettino likes to rotate his full backs so Davies absence might disturb his plans a little.
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