Seven on the trot. 28 goals scored. Only 4 conceded. But for an Aurier moment of madness no hint of danger in any of them. The finest away streak since the days of Bill Nick. The competition can be faulted—Everton were the only quality side Spurs have faced in this run but on that particular day they were lacking. But that’s what good teams do. They bury the opposition. Our starting XI is every bit as dynamic as that of either Manchester club or the defenders. Our defence may be tighter than all three. After an international break where a variety of Spurs (Kane, Dele perhaps, Dier, Trippier, Eriksen, Lloris, Aurier, Sissoko, Sanchez) will be needed if their nations are to advance to Russia next summer, we get to address the Wembley League hoodoo vs Bournemouth and then into the storm. The Galacticos twice, Liverpool and Man Utd, the Hammers in a cup game, Arsenal looming at the end of it all. We’ll know just where the ambitions of this particular season will lie by mid November.
Huddersfield broke smartly, but Kane snuffed out any chance of an upset with the opener. Eriksen found Davies for the second, Kane showed his ruthlessness from his “weaker” foot for the third and in short of a half hour it was done. There were a variety of opportunities for more, chiefly Dele off the post, before Sissoko (perhaps) broke his Tottenham duck with a fortunate deflection near the end. We were simply much more clinical in the first half and basically saw it out in the second. Against a team like Huddersfield, Tripper and Davies showed the beauty of the 3-4-2-1 formation—the home side lacked the pace to threaten down the flanks on the counter. The October opponents won’t. The suspended Serge Aurier will be needed even if Danny Rose is still on the mend.
The same could be said for Eric Dier and Harry Winks holding in the middle, who handled things quite efficiently this afternoon. There will come games where Wanyama and Dembele will be needed, though it appears as if at least one of that pair, if not both, may miss most of the October action. It will be difficult to get through this next stretch with just 13 outfield players—Lamela cannot play against Real Madrid but perhaps he might return for Liverpool or Man United. Sissoko’s revival is welcome, Walker-Peters and Foyth offer depth in the back for at least the cup tie vs West Ham.
Pochettino knows how crucial the next six weeks will be. The Champions League games offer his team a chance not just to secure placement in the knockout rounds but demonstrate they belong on the highest stage. The League games will either place Spurs firmly into a four team fight for the title, or reduce our hopes to simply securing Top Four status. The Hammer game should send us in search of a first ever trophy in this era, even as the manager downplays its importance. Something tells me Harry and his band of brothers will be equal to the task.
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