After Mauricio Pochettino questioned his side’s will to win at Monaco, in their midweek Champions League fixture, his charges gave an admissible account of themselves, grinding out a win vs David Moyes’ Sunderland, shading the fixture 1-0 through Harry Kane’s attempt. Tottenham are up to 3rd, displacing rivals Arsenal in the table and remain unbeaten. While Sunderland, well, it was close but no cigar.
Here are T4O’s 5 talking points from a cheery White Hart Lane.
#1 Son Is A Lad
Tottenham, for most parts last season, missed pace, power, and interplay from the wider areas, with neither of Christian Eriksen nor Lamela being traditional wide-attackers. In consequence of their languid approach to tracking back, and marking their men, opponents targetted the vacated spaces left by front-footed full-backs, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose. South Korean Son Heung-min, however, remedies that glaring weakness. His incessant running on and off the ball, rattled Sunderland’s on-loan defensive utility man, Jason Denayer, as did his steady stream of whipped in crosses and diagonal runs cutting in, that left most of the Sunderland defense in a tangle.
#2 Pickford For President
On the eve of the match, David Moyes confessed that 22-yeard-old, Washington-born, 6’1” goalkeeper can be the gold standard. On the back of his stellar showing vs Tottenham, it’d be all right to give the much-maligned manager the benefit of a doubt. A giant between the posts, and on most occasions, being the only reason why Sunderland were able to go back with their pride intact, from their sojourn at the White Hart Lane. Sunderland and Moyes have all the responsibility on their shoulders to make Pickford realise his very apparent potential as a potential England number 1.
#3 Sissoko Is Not A Winger
It’s understandable as to why the gaffer would prefer employing Moussa Sissoko on the wings, considering their susceptibility to intrusion from the wings – a glaring weakness that Everton and Liverpool tried best to exploit. While, like Son, Sissoko’s industry would provide the necessary safeguard for their attacking-minded full-backs, but it begs to question whether that utilises the Frenchman to his best of abilities. We don’t quite think so.
On the evidence of his escapades with the French national team, Sissoko was best-played through the middle, where like a bull in a china shop, he was allowed to galavant and surge forward with the ball at his feet, and an aura of disdain for those who tried to stop him.
Tottenham could best use his attributes through the middle, with Wanyama as the lynchpin, to impart a drive from midfield that the team lacks, dragging defenders with him, and affording all the time in the world to Harry Kane and Alli and the to waltz into attacking positions, unattended.
#4 Dembele Can Turn On A Six Pence
Going off injured, his absence will be a worry for Mauricio Pochettino. His penchant for turning on the ball apparells immediacy on their counters and makes the transition from defence into attack smooth as butter on toast.
#5 Janujaz Has A Long Way To Go
Adnan Janujaz arrived at Sunderland for a chance to redeem himself, and while there have been the odd sparks here and there, one minute to the other, he desperately lacks the concentration to apply himself throughout the course of the ninety, to produce the end product that his side is crying out for. His second yellow will be another red flag to his employers in Manchester. There’s a long way to go for Adnan to earn his stripes