The Midfield Masterplan

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Image: SpursWeb

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has made it clear that young England International’s Dele Alli and Eric Dier are the fulcrum of his side, along side the more experienced head of Mousa Dembele. With an unrelenting fixture list,the Argentinian will be made to rely on his squads strength in depth. With Ryan Mason, Tom Carroll, Nabil Bentaleb and Josh Onomah waiting in the wings surely this young and athletic Tottenham side will have enough to challenge for the top four come May?

After falling to a disappointing loss in front of their home crowd last night Tottenham Hotspur sit just one point ahead of West Ham and a handful of points ahead of a collection of teams, the majority of which are in good form and capable of putting a run together to achieve a top 4 place. The second part of this trilogy of games against the midlands outfit for Tottenham Hotspur showed that whether it be through determination, organisation or indeed talent, Leicester City have every right to be in the top 4.

Fans will immediately point out the lack of offensive reinforcements when discussing why the team may struggle in the second half of this Barclays Premier League season, but it is more than that. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is going to have to utilise his midfield strength in depth if he is to compete through until May in every competition.

In recent weeks the use of all of the clubs full backs, the inclusion of Kevin Wimmer in cup games, and the change in formation in some games (Watford away) has provided some rest bite for the defensive players; yet Mauricio Pochettino seems to be playing the same two or three midfielders in every fixture he can. Tom Carroll admittedly has played recently but that has only been because of injury to Mousa Dembele, Ryan Mason and the lack of match fitness of Nabil Bentaleb. Once Mauricio Pochettino has every midfielder fit again he is going to have to rotate in the central positions as Eric Dier and Dele Alli will begin to tire. Josh Onomah has proved he is capable of playing at this standard and should be given 90 minutes during games in Europe and the FA Cup. Also the Argentine has the benefit of Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason, two players he knows how to utilise, looking fresh and prepared to keep the Tottenham engine room working for the final twenty or so fixtures this season.

This is not to say that Pochettino should follow the managerial style of opposition coach Claudio Ranieri (altering players and formations consistently but not in a major way), but it is key that Mauricio Pochettino looks after his players as he has them running 13km and more in fixtures so it is naturally going to have an adverse affect on his regular starting eleven.

To conclude,Tottenham Hotspur’s chances of succeeding in their pursuit of a top four finish depend on the rotation and care given to the clubs midfielders (alongside the addition of a new centre forward). Mauricio Pochettino may have a difficult five months ahead of him, but his strict pre season routine should show that with rotation, the club can achieve their primary aim, Champions League football.

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