Is Poch’s Lack Of Rotation Starting To Show?
Mauricio Pochettino is renowned for expecting incredible levels of fitness from his player and at Spurs he most definitely has that. The high pressing and high speed game that his team’s play is crucial to his ethos and Tottenham looked a little off it here, despite the massive scoreline.
Sunderland were content to sit back and allow their opponents to have the ball. Breaking down a Sam Allardyce side is never easy but with the likes of Dele Alli and Erik Lamela looking a little weary, the manager’s insistence on sticking to his core players may have to be questioned. For over 60 minutes Spurs laboured.
The Argentine likes to stay with the players he trusts but his lack of fondness for rotating players could be having a negative effect on performances. After a busy festive period it may be an idea to dip into his squad and give his key players a rest. They got the win here but the warning signs were there in the opening hour and he had Allardyce's tactical mistake to thank for the size of the win.
Sunderland Have Been Allardyced And Should Stay Up
Sam Allardyce was brought to Sunderland to keep the Mackems in the top-flight. It won’t be pretty and no one outside the red and white striped faithful will enjoy it, but they should be a Premier League team next season.
Strange to say that when they’ve been hammered, but for 60 minutes this was vintage Allardyce. With a defensive pairing with a combined age of 70, the away side sat deep, reduced the space in behind and defended the crosses into the box well. That contained Spurs and made the hosts play in front of Sunderland. This was the first time there have been signs that he has shaped this team in his image, and until he opted to take off Lee Cattermole and then move to a back three his team were impressive. He made a mistake tactically, and he won’t do It again.
The ex-Bolton boss prides himself on stopping the big clubs playing and then winning games against the teams around his side. His successes against Newcastle, Aston Villa and Swansea are testament to that.
Mousa Makes A Diffefence
Dembele has arguably been Tottenham’s most improved player under Pochettino and this was his first start since just after Christmas. While this wasn’t Spurs’ best showing of the season my any stretch Dembele’s presence was a big factor in the victory.
His drive from a deeper role pushed the Lilywhites on as many of their better players this term laboured at times. He grabbed himself a goal, his third of the season, and generally looked to get his team on the front foot.
Spurs are a far better side with him involved.
Pickford Looks Prime For The Prem
The 21-year-old goalkeeper impressed on debut at Arsenal, so much so that his manager opted to thrown him into the furness of White Hart Lane for his Premier League debut. The arena or the stage did not seem to faze him at all.
A really early stop from Harry Kane saw him show excellent footwork to tip round the post, allowing him to settle well. And from then on he was assured and confident in everything from his shot stopping to his distribution. He could do nothing about the goals and the fact he conceded four should not be allowed to dent his confidence.
Pickford kept 13 clean sheets in 27 appearances at Preston earlier this season, including six in a row at one point. He is sure to get a lot of practice behind this current Black Cats back four but he looked up to the challenge here and Sunderland could have a huge talent on their hands.
Eriksen Loves Scoring Against Sunderland
Granted, it was via pretty massive deflection, but Christian Eriksen got himself on the scoresheet once against at White Hart Lane. Notching against Sunderland is something he has a penchant for. The Danish star has scored against the Mackems every time he has played against them.
It wasn’t just his goal that impressed. Eriksen’s passing was excellent and playing from the left in Pochettino’s system allows him to drift inside as the full-bac are given license to bomb on and provide the width, hence the exclusion of Andros Townsend.
Getting him in the team could be crucial if Spurs are to make the top four, or even challenge for the title and with him not playing as many games as the players around him his freshness will prove pivotal.