Farewell then, Tottenham Hotspur.
They came, they saw, they met a frosty-faced Senegalese who wanted a word.
Despite a dislike of them which has survived decades and has no basis – though maybe it had something to do with Glenn Hoddle’s louche hair and tight shorts – I do find them fascinating. In the 90s they took many a ropey midfielder off our hands just as they slowed down (Redknapp, Murphy, Leonhardsen) so I’m grateful for that, but they’ve always just annoyed me a bit.
Anyway, I thought their set-up on Saturday was interesting. I’m a Pochettino fan and it’s plainly clear that Jurgen is too. The man likes to defend from the midfield screen rather than through his centre-backs, which is often the best way. It’s telling that Toby Alderweireld has just one booking this season (Saturday) as a) his timing is excellent and b) a combination of Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele in front of him do much of his dirty work. We could learn a bit from that approach.
And yet, Saturday was mostly about Danny Rose – the man who wasn’t there. With Ben Davies filling in, Spurs lacked the pace and gumption to deal with Liverpool’s right flank with anything more than lip service.
I like Davies. He’s got something about him in a league where too many full-backs are merely frustrated wing backs or midfielders who have been shoved back just to get on the pitch. Davies can defend well enough, but he can’t stop hurricanes like Mane and Clyne who bullied him all day. Curiously, Pochettino did nothing but watch the bloody sacrifice unfold in front of him. That’s not normally like him. Still, thanks for the points.
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