Mauricio Pochettino will have demanded a response as Spurs’ unbeaten run in the Premier League came grinding to a halt against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last week, and his team responded in some style, thrashing struggling Swansea City 5-0 at White Hart Lane thanks to braces from Harry Kane- the perfect toast to his new contract this week- and Christian Eriksen.
Son Heung-Min also got onto the scoresheet on what was a five-star performance from the North Londoners, and manager Pochettino couldn’t have been happier as his team closed the gap between themselves and Manchester City in fourth to just three points.
“We were excellent and I’m pleased, very happy with the performance and the three points to be close to the top is very important for us,” Pochettino told Spurs TV. “We needed to feel victory again after Monaco and Chelsea. We fully deserved it.”
Pochettino had stressed pre-match that his squad had really felt the benefit of a first week free of fixtures since August, which added up to valuable extra time on the training pitch without a midweek fixture, and more importantly, time for his players to recover after some jaded performances recently.
“I said on Thursday that you can feel when the players want to change their levels and it was a fantastic week, good for us to recover the energy and the feeling. It was a great victory for us,” Pochettino said.
“Everything pleased me. How we played, our concentration and determination to win the game. We were aggressive with and without the ball, always tried to play and today looks like Tottenham again. Yes, we played very well against Chelsea but today we confirmed that we’ve started to recover our feeling as a team.”
Going forward, it was easy to tell that the victory had re-ignited Pochettino’s optimism ahead of another hectic month of fixtures, and he didn’t understate that momentum which will be vital if Spurs are to achieve this season, particularly after the blow of exiting the Champions League last month following defeat at the Stade Louis II against group leaders Monaco.
“We have a lot of important games ahead and we’re in a good position. We’re out of the Champions League, unlucky, it was a very tough period last month, but I’m happy we’ve recovered our feeling and now we have to keep going.”
The performance also drew praise from a former Spurs forward and England international, in the shape of Clive Allen, who watched the game at White Hart Lane for BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. He lavished praise on the Tottenham performance, but didn’t understate the fact the visitors Swansea were horribly complicit in their downfall.
“This could have been double figures with the chances that Spurs created in the second half. There was a catalogue of errors from Swansea. It was an emphatic victory for the home side.”
Elsewhere, there have been some interesting rumours circulating on the transfer front, with a report in The Sun suggesting that the club’s first choice goalkeeper, 29-year-old French international Hugo Lloris, could up-sticks if Spurs fail to make the top four and thus qualify for the Champions League, and that the club hierarchy have eyed up Sunderland’s young shot-stopper Jordan Pickford as one of two potential replacements.
The report suggests that current No. 1 Lloris is being courted by Spanish giants Real Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain back in his homeland, and suggesting that there is enough risk of a move to warrant concern, the club has lined-up Pickford and rather surprisingly, Manchester City’s on-loan goalkeeper Joe Hart to fill his gloves in the event of a departure.
The reckoning in The Sun however is that Spurs may be unable to match England No. 1 Hart’s current wage demands at the Etihad, making Pickford the more realistic target, given the youngster has both age and contractual drawbacks on his side.
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