We’re only two games in, but there has already been plenty to discuss regarding Tottenham’s recent performances, some things have improved and some things, like always, have stayed the same. Here I take a look at precisely what these things are:
1: Defence – It seems that Tottenham will never have a defence capable of not leaking goals every game, with the defence letting in two stupid goals during the weekend against Stoke with Toby Alderweireld (the supposed solution to our defensive woes) being at fault for both of them. It would be unfair to judge him as a player on that one performance, he was actually very good at Old Trafford but he will have to pick himself and play at a higher level next game if he to be the solution and not part of the problem. On a more positive note, Kyle Walker looks to have vastly improved since last season, despite his unfortunate own goal against Manchester United on the opening weekend, and its clear we miss Danny Rose at left-back. If we are ever to improve as a side and reach the promised land of Champions League football, the quality has to start from the back.
2: Harry Kane and the striker crisis – Nearly all Tottenham fans would agree that a striker is desperately needed, with Soldado gone and Adebayor on the way out, its expected that Saido Berahino will be brought to White Hart Lane in the coming days but should we not be in the market for another striker? The pressure of scoring goals solely relies on Harry Kane currently and such a burden is and will be affecting him mentally and performance-wise. Spurs looked fairly toothless at times against United and Pochettino will almost certainly need to bring more faces in, who can score goals. Kane has looked confident in his first two games, given how hard he has to work and surely the apparent injury he sustained on Saturday must force Levy into signing a striker to share the goals burden.
3: Midfield – Pochettino has clearly shifted the team around in order to incorporate the talented Eric Dier, into the side. At the expense of Ryan Mason, Dier has occupied the role adjacent to fellow youngster – Nabil Bentaleb and has so far proved to be an effective switch. Excellent physically and armed with a strong tackle, he has looked promising in shielding the back four, although his concentration does wane sometimes but this is a problem with young players and will improve with age and experience. Dele Alli looks an excellent prospect, exemplified by his double nutmeg in the game against Real Madrid, and also by his confidence on the ball and his willingness to take risks, a rare attribute for young midfielders. Moussa Dembele appears to have made a re-emergence in the squad, usually being deployed as a right-midfielder and seems to be making considerable improvements on last season. Christian Eriksen’s delivery appears to have improved evidenced by his fine assist against Stoke and Nacer Chadli is looking sharp, taking his goal against the Potters very nicely.
4: Erik Lamela – Now that Soldado has left, Lamela inherits the title of ‘The Most Frustrating Player’. A dreadful cameo against Stoke on Saturday drove many Spurs fans to lose their faith in him, and demand he be sold. Whilst I agree he was atrocious in his brief substitute appearance, I feel he needs more time. An extremely aggravating prospect to many a Spurs fan, with him being given 2 seasons and producing very little in the way of £30 million quality, but I think he has progressed as a player and I believe we should give him and Pochettino more time to try and get it right. As if we otherwise sell him for half what we bought him for, it may be a case of what could have been, if we were more patient in his development. I seem to recall many fans demanding the sale of Gareth Bale after a few very meagre seasons and the damning statistic that we’d never won a game when he’d played. I’m not saying Lamela will be the next Bale, (he does have the talent to be) I’m simply saying there’s no point in trying to cut our losses when we know that the Argentinian has potential.
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