It’s getting to that time in the season again where any points dropped will be crucial. Tottenham have come a long way since last season, but they have been less than convincing since the 4-0 beating of West Brom. Dominated by City and frustrated by Sunderland, the win against Middlesbrough was enough, but only just.
Attacking the final third needs to be clinical
The overall performance wasn’t bad, but there were moments when better decision making would have made the game a whole lot simpler. Eriksen was sloppy in possession. His passing wayward at times, and link ups with the likes of Dele were non-existent. Building up to the final third has never been a problem for this team, but it’s what happens next that is proving to be difficult. Too many promising attacks fizzle out around the edge of the area. That final killer pass is hard to come by.
Dele was his usual energetic self. A constant nuisance to the Middlesbrough defence, but along with Eriksen, struggled to create anything more than half chances. Our two best players have been playing some great football and winning games for us all season long, but this performance was disappointing. Most of Tottenham’s inspiration against Middlesbrough came from the wide men. This has become a theme of recent times, and without the exploits of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, the league title would have long been out of reach.
Sonny is a source of inspiration if nothing else
With Rose out of action, that responsibility was passed to Son. Sonny was incredible. He destroyed Callum Chambers in a fashion reminiscent of Gareth Bale, and all of his hard work down that left flank eventually won the decisive penalty. Beating his man time and time again, the number 7 posed a constant threat. I would like to see more of an end product from the winger. The only real chance he created was a cross that Harry Kane should have put away. Son provided flair and determination. Something that I felt was lacking from the likes of Dele and Eriksen.
Kane’s penalty ultimately sealed the points, but he should have scored two or three. The header was tough, but Harry has the ability and it should have been 1-0. At this stage of the season, chances need to be taken, a draw today would have been disastrous. He was unlucky at times, and the lack of service from his supporting players was frustrating. The scathing glare he directed at Son when yet another chance went begging betrayed his mood. Nevertheless, is scoring run goes on, and that will be vital for Spurs. Kane’s confidence will be key for any hopes of a title challenge.
Bossing the midfield
Dembele and Wanyama controlled the midfield once again. Those two are quickly becoming best central pairing in the Premiership. Dembele’s ridiculous strength and composure on the ball makes the game so easy for him. The stats say it all, his passing success is very rarely below 90%. Having a player that is so good at keeping the ball stabilises the whole team.
Along with Dembele, Victor Wanyama is the rock around which the rest of the team are moulded. The summer signing has been a sensation this season. After a slow start, Wanyama has become a guarantee on the team sheet and he is performing brilliantly. He is so solid defensively, winning the ball so early and minimising the workload of his centre backs. It’s easy to overlook his participation going forward too, he very rarely picks the wrong pass. I’m still waiting excitedly for one of his power-drives to hit the back of the net too. He needs to keep trying, one of these days he’s going to raise the roof.
Just keep going
The defensive record continues. The strong defensive line remained intact and saved their team from difficulty. There were moments when Tottenham found themselves stretched and vulnerable, but the efforts of Walker and Alderwiereld ensured their goal remained un-troubled. Those two were particularly commendable. This bodes well for the rest of the season. As long as the Spurs are able to keep performing and scoring, the results will keep on coming.
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