Toby Alderweireld is as important to Tottenham’s success as Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane.
During yesterday’s match against Everton, the Belgian international showed the Tottenham faithful yet again how defensively resolute he is; whilst also having an incredible ability to release long passes from deep that can create chances for our offensive players. In from Everton striker Romelu Lukaku ( aside from one lapse in concentration from Vertonghen and Davies) was kept very quiet during the ninety minutes.When Lukaku managed to turn and face the opposition goal, which happened a couple of times during the latter stages of the game as the match as the play stretched, both Alderweireld and Vertonghen successfully nullified the strikers threat and allowed Hugo to remain unused for large parts of the game.
Tottenham’s attacking substitutions do not have the right mentality
As Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen were replaced during the second half yesterday, Spurs’ defensive organisation from the front lacked shape. Heung-Min Son has not yet fully grasped the methods of manager Mauricio Pochettino, he can impact the game when his team are in possession, however the South Korean international often lacks discipline when the opposition is holding the ball. This change in line up could cost Tottenham as it did at the Emirates this season where it was noted how much more space was allowed on the left side once Erik Lamela had been substituted, to give way to Heung-Min Son. Nacer Chadli also seemed less willing to chase down the ball playing centre backs, John Stones and Funes Mori.
Christian Eriksen is playing out of position
Some Spurs fans in recent weeks have been calling for Mauricio Pochettino to rest or drop Christian Eriksen due to his reduced impact on games in recent weeks. I watched him yesterday and believe that the Dane does a great job of implementing Pochettino’s high press and turnover of possession. In addition, Eriksen, due to the formidable rise of Dele Alli, and impressive up turn in Mousa Dembele’s form has been shunted to the flanks in the attacking trio behind Harry Kane. It is obvious Eriksen has a far greater impact on the game when played centrally, as his stats reflect more goals and assists from central positions than on the flanks; but due to his comparable flexibility in offensive areas, he has been ‘sacrificed’ and positioned wider than he would like. Moving forward Christian Eriksen may well have to adapt his game so he can impact the play much more from wider areas as Alli and Dembele certainly don’t look like they will be giving up their position(s) in the near future.
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