Tottenham: Pochettino sets new record; midfielder vows to improve; Former vice-chairman in dock

Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal was undoubtedly a positive result for Spurs in the context of this season, but Mauricio Pochettino also created a piece of Tottenham history. The former Southampton boss has become the first manager in the club’s history to be unbeaten after his first five to-flight meetings with fierce rivals Arsenal. Expectations were low going into the season’s first north London derby at the Emirates, because Spurs were without a win in six and struggling for goals from open play. It is now seven without a win and another game with no goal from open play, but the nature of Spurs performance was certainly positive. They started confidently, and carried a threat in the last third throughout the game.

Though Pochettino remains unbeaten against Arsene Wenger in the league as Tottenham boss, four of the five meetings have finished as a draw. This shows that there is not too much between the sides. Arsenal have greater individual quality and better technique in tight spaces, but Spurs have the edge on the physically and certainly have a formula for nullifying them at the Emirates; Pochettino’s three north London derbies at Arsenal have all ended as 1-1 draws. April’s return fixture is the final clash at White Hart Lane and, four games from the end of the season, could potentially be a pivotal encounter.

 

Elsewhere, £30 million summer signing Moussa Sissoko is confident he will improve and win over the doubters after a difficult few weeks. The France international had a very good game in Spurs’ 2-0 victory over Manchester City last month, but is currently serving a domestic suspension for his elbow on Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter. Sissoko was on the receiving end of some criticism for his display in the 1-0 Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley last week, but has vowed to work hard in an effort to adapt:

“I’ve had to adapt. Day by day, match by match, I feel better and better. It’s good. I’m learning alongside very good players. The more time that passes, the better my performances will be.

“I try to contribute with my qualities whether that be taking play forward, penetration, or my pace. I play to my strengths. That’s why the club brought me in.

“I don’t see why I would try to change my style. They know my strengths and that’s why they signed me. It’s up to me to put them at the disposal of the team so we can achieve our objectives together.”

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Finally, former Spurs vice-chairman David Buchler is currently in the dock at Isleworth crown court contesting a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Mr Buchler is accused of punching a fellow shopper in the food court of luxury Knightsbridge department store Harrod’s in a row over two croissants. He claims that an anti-Semitic remark was hurled in his direction. The hearing continues.

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