Despite no summer signings, the season couldn’t have started any better with three straight wins which included a 3-0 away win against top-four rivals Manchester United. However surprising back-to-back defeats against Watford and Liverpool, begs the question as to whether key players such as Harry Kane should be rested judging on performances so far this season.
9 of our regular first team players were involved up to the last week of the World Cup and it is clear that this has had an adverse effect on the form of most of the team. Whether it be physical or mental fatigue, a change to the team should be considered based on what we’ve seen as we prepare to face Inter Milan in tomorrow’s Champions League Group game. Perhaps in hindsight Pochettino could have brought back certain players back into the team in the same way that Eden Hazard and Giroud have at Chelsea where after a successful World Cup, both players didn’t start any of the first few League games.
The expectation from many supporters after the surprising loss to Watford was that the result would spark a positive performance against Liverpool who many expect to be Manchester City’s closest challengers for the League title this season. Instead we witnessed a performance which was lethargic and completely the opposite to the last time we faced Liverpool at Wembley where we annihilated them with a display full of energy from the start in which the match was virtually over by the end of the 1st half.
With Hugo Lloris currently injured, Vorm had another opportunity to prove that he is the right man to be the number one deputy to Lloris however his failure to get a firm punch on his attempted clearance from Liverpool’s corner which led to the first goal, and failure to get hold of the rebound off the post for Liverpool’s second goal won’t fill supporters or our defenders with confidence. Third choice Gazzaniga was arguably Man of the Match against Crystal Place in our 1-0 win at Wembley last season but has not played again which leaves us with many dilemmas for what is a big week for the club to rebound from two defeats in a row.
Kieran Trippier enhanced his reputation during the World Cup as a wing-back and it is clear that he is far more effective in that position rather than being part of a back four which begs the question do we revert to three central defenders or trust Sergio Aurier who hasn’t won over the majority of fans with his performances since joining the club last season with rash challenges in the penalty box which could have proved costly against the likes of West Ham and Juventus.
Eric Dier’s diabolical performance against Liverpool where an attempted back pass presented Mo Salah an opportunity to score and his failure to head the ball away from danger for the first goal we conceded should surely allow Victor Wanyama an opportunity to start tomorrow’s game against Inter Milan who will add a more physical presence to our midfield and more of a goal threat as he proved when we drew 2-2 with Liverpool last season.
Christian Eriksen is an integral part of our team for his creativity and ability to score goals but by his high standards, he has also had a very poor start to the season where he has not looked anywhere near his best but there is no real competition for his position in the squad and the hope is that he will soon return to form.
Harry Kane is renowned for starting the season slowly but despite his goal against Manchester United, he also is far from his best form and the game against Liverpool highlighted how less of a threat he was with many supporters questioning whether he should be given a rest with perhaps Son Hueng Min deputising as he has done previously when Kane has been injured.
The last two League games have proved that there is a need to make changes to the team for what is the start of a very important week in our season where another defeat has to be avoided in what is a very tough Group with Barcelona and PSV making up the rest of our Group. We’ve got the quality in our squad to get back to winning ways and the hope is that Pochettino has learnt a lot from the Liverpool defeat and will select the right team.
My team to start against Inter Milan would be: Gazzaniga, Trippier, Davies, Vertoghen, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Wanyama, Eriksen, Dembele, Moura, Son (Formation 3-5-1-1)
Have something to tell us about this article?