Monday, July 16, 2018

Pochettino faces first real test at Tottenham

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has a lot to contemplate after Spurs six-game winless run

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has a lot to contemplate after Spurs six-game winless run

Tottenham suffered a 1-0 defeat at Wembley against German side Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The defeat leaves their qualification hopes in the hands of other teams.

The defeat means that Tottenham have now gone six games without a win in all competitions. Spurs current form is in stark contrast to their bright start to the campaign.

Lacking in confidence

It can happen to the best of teams. One minute you are winning games, scoring goals and taking accolades. The next you are struggling to score in a brothel. The current Tottenham squad is relatively young, so these disappointing results are bound to have an effect on the player’s mental state.

A team that is not winning tend to find it hard to pull themselves out of a rut. However, good teams find a way. This run is probably the first real test of boss Mauricio Pochettino and his team. It is easy to forget that Spurs are still unbeaten in the Premier League.

One win would no doubt lift spirits at the north London club. Achieving that first win is easiest said than done, though. At the moment Tottenham do not look like they could buy a win.

The absence of England striker Harry Kane has had a big effect on Tottenham’s attacking threat, which has resulted in poor results.

Summer signings disappointing

Tottenham had a good campaign last season. For most of the campaign Pochettino’s men were competing with Leicester to win the Premier League title. Spurs form dipped towards the end of the campaign and they finished third. It was not a terrible result at all.

Everybody connected with the club knew they had a talented young team. However, I am sure most knew that the teams that have become accustomed to challenging for the top-four would strengthen their teams and squads this summer. That meant Spurs had to do the same.

Unfortunately only three players arrived in Vincent Wanyama, Moussa Sissoko and Vincent Janssen. While Wanyama has performed well so far, the jury is still very much out on Sissoko and Janssen.

Sissoko was signed for £30million from Newcastle on deadline day from under the noses of Everton. Boy was the majority of Everton fans relieved. For every Toffees fan that was disappointed he joined Spurs, there were two who were glad that the Merseyside club did not sign the 27-year-old.

The French midfielder is highly inconsistent. On his day he can produce spectacular displays. The probably is he has too few of those days. It seems the majority of Newcastle fans were also ecstatic to see him leave their club, especially for £30million.

I am not quite sure what to make of Vincent Janssen. He had a great goalscoring record in the Eredivisie last season, but that does not mean much, remember Alfonso Alves Boro fans?

At 22-years-old the striker still has time to come good, despite not scoring from open play in his 16 appearances for Spurs since his summer arrival from AZ Alkmaar.

Janssen is unfortunate in the fact that he has had to fill the boots of Kane at times. Unfortunately for him he is fighting a losing battle. Hopefully he can improve at Spurs, but on his recent performances he seems doomed to failure in north London.

A trip to Arsenal up next

On paper you would think the last thing that Tottenham needs right now is a trip to face in-form neighbours Arsenal. However, that is their next game on Sunday lunchtime. Pochettino’s men are underdogs to win the north London derby at odds of 11/4.

Fortunately for Spurs the old cliché about form going out of the window in derbies does ring true at times. There may be some positive news for Spurs in the fact that Harry Kane could return to their squad for Sunday’s clash.

However, Pochettino has stated that the striker is unlikely to start the game at the Emirates Stadium. The sooner Kane is back the better for Spurs.

Last season’s successful campaign and the bright start to the campaign could be a distant memory if the men from north London do not rediscover their winning ways in the near future.

There would be no better way to return to form than winning at the Emirates. However, if I was a Spurs fan I would not be relishing this weekend’s derby.

Can Tottenham win at Arsenal this weekend?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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