Sunday, April 22, 2018

Young guns earning their Spurs in north London

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has built a strong young team in north London

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has built a strong young team in north London

Tottenham recorded a 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium in the north London derby.

Such was the quality of their play against their local rivals those of the Spurs persuasion may be disappointed with a draw at their high-flying rivals.

Arsenal struggled to get going, despite the incentive of going top of the Premier League being dangled in front them.

The Gunners eventually found an equaliser through that goal machine Kieran Gibbs, who had been sent on off the bench more in hope than expectation by Arsene Wenger to inject some energy into a lifeless Arsenal attack.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino came out after the match and claimed that his side deserved to win and as a neutral he is right.

Such an impressive display

It’s difficult to remember many times where Spurs have produced such a good display at Arsenal. They were first to every loose ball and the midfield through the excellent Dele Alli controlled much of the game.

Tottenham’s midfield produced such a find first half display that Wenger had to react by bringing off the usually superb Santi Cazorla and bringing on French defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini at half-time.

That substitution was a huge compliment to Spurs and their sheer domination of the ball in the first half, which carried on for much of the second half.

Quite simply Spurs were the better team. There were extenuating circumstances regarding Cazorla’s substitution though, as it was later revealed that Cazorla had been experiencing dizzy spells throughout the first half, no doubt caused by the Tottenham midfielder turning him inside out.

Throwing off a reputation

Tottenham are a team who on their day have always been capable of beating the big boys, especially at White Hart Lane. Their fans demand that the team plays attractive attacking football and a lot of the time they produce.

However, in Gary Neville’s words, they tend to be a bit ‘flaky’. When they are up against it Spurs have a tendency to fold like a pack of cards. They always seem to finish in and around the top six of the Premier League, but have found it difficult breaking through the top four ceiling.

Boss Mauricio Pochettino has impressed with the work he has done at the Lane and under the Argentinian they could throw off that flaky reputation and start performing on a more consistent level.

Pochettino has needed time to clear out some of the deadwood from his squad and create the team that he wants. It would be fair to say that the team is finally his this season.

A gang of youngsters

Usual a gang of youngsters are associated with standing on street corners, annoying pensioners and causing general havoc, well in certain areas of England anyway. However, the only havoc that Spurs bright youngsters are creating is in the opposition penalty area.

Pochettino is building a team that is full of young players, who look hungry for success. The likes of the aforemtioned Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Heung Min-Son and even Erik Lamela are all relatively young, but they are all talented players with bright futures.

Tottenham have players with good technical ability, but the physicality of the Spurs team is also impressive. They are a big team, who can battle as well as play football, something Pochettino must have been aiming for in his recruitment.

Alli plays with a maturity beyond his years. When he was at MK Dons he was considered to be one of the finest players outside the top level of English football and this season he has not looked out of place in the top-flight.

I have to give a mention to Lamela. The 23-year-old looked to be an expensive flop for a good while, but Pochettino has managed to revive his compatriots Premier League career and he looks like he could go on to become a success in the Premier League.

This young Spurs team have a good chance of claiming a top-four spot this season and are odds of 7/4. The fact that Pochettino’s men are such odds illustrates the belief that surrounds the north London team at the moment.

The performance at Arsenal was not a one-off. Spurs are unbeaten since the opening day of the campaign and the talented young group of players look to have all the attributes to finish in a much-coveted top four position.

Finishing in the Champions League spots would be a big achievement for Pochettino and his players. Following yesterday’s display at Arsenal it seems that this Spurs team is ready to shake off that flaky tag and become a serious contender at the top of the Premier League table.

Can Tottenham claim a top-four position this season?


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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