Five things we learnt from Sundays defeat to Manchester United:
“It was a close game, they were more clinical than us in the boxes and it’s for that reason we lost the game. It’s always the case in football and when you play a team like Manchester United, it’s always important to be clinical when you have the opportunities to score. It was a very competitive game, a game where we’re disappointed with the result but not the performance.”
Sunday was a disappointing day for us Spurs fans with the Lillywhites losing by one goal to nil against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester united at Old Trafford. Pochettino’s men were by no means disappointing but they simply weren’t good enough against an incredibly well structured Man United side. Mkhitaryan‘s superb finish gave Man united all three points, but it was a game where the Spurs players will feel that they should have picked up a point. The lads were lacking in creativity and failed to produce any real clear cut chances, but there’s no time to ponder for Pochettino and co, as this week the Lillywhites have two must win home matches at the lane, against both Hull and Burnley respectively.
- 1) The creativity just wasn’t there: Man united may not have dominated Sundays match, but Mourinho’s side were far more creative than us. Our attackers produced little to trouble a tenacious Man United defence, with Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones making Kane almost anonymous up front with such tight defending. In addition the likes of Eriksen and Alli were not on their game on Sunday and failed to produce anything of note, the team as a whole lacked the energy and spark that they had demonstrated on occasions this season.
- 2) Pochettino’s side are missing Erik Lamela big time: Erik Lamela has been out injured for almost two months with a hip injury, with the Argentina internationals last appearance coming against Liverpool in late October. Lamela is the creative spark that we have dearly missed in recent games; Lamela’s decisive runs and superb vision is a wonderful asset to the team. I reckon Lamela would have had a big impact on Sundays match had he been available; the Argentine is in my opinion one of our most influential players. Lamela could return in time for our league match against Southampton on the 28th of December.
- 3) An encouraging performance from Moussa Sissoko: He may not have had the best of starts at Spurs since transferring to White Hart Lane for a club record fee in the summer, but Moussa Sissoko really impressed me on Sunday following his second half introduction. Sissoko looked like the player he was at the Euros for France, the Frenchman terrorised United defender Darmian down the right wing, beating him for pace on numerous occasions. Sissoko was without a doubt our best player in the second half and I have belief that Sunday’s performance will be a turning point in his Spurs career. Hopefully Sissoko will start on Wednesday against Hull; it’s easy to forget the winger didn’t have a pre-season in the summer following his late transfer from Newcastle.
- 4) Is it time for Pochettino to spend in the January transfer window?
Many pundits and fans alike have voiced their concern on the depth of Spurs’s squad, and I personally believe that it would be hugely beneficial to the team if we were to bring in another attacking player. However, there are few players available around January but if Pochettino and his scouting team were able to identify a suitable and affordable player that would bolster our side then it would be a huge bonus.
- 5) Is it time to promote Kyle Walker-Peters and Shayon Harrison to the first team?
Both Kyle Walker-Peters and Shayon Harrison are well known academy prospects that have been on the fringes of Pochettino’s squad for some time, but with a lack of depth in our team wouldn’t now be a good time to give them some first team exposure. Walker-Peters has been exceptional for our under 23’s this season putting in some wonderful shifts at both right back and right wing, and I thoroughly believe the England under 20 international is ready to make the step up. With his searing pace and wonderful dribbling ability, Walker-Peters could bring a lot to Pochettino’s side. Shayon Harrison has already made his senior debut for Spurs, coming on late in the second half against Liverpool in the league cup earlier on this season. With Janssen set to miss the next couple of games through injury, it would be nice to see Harrison named on the bench and if so I believe he could help us out up front, Harrison has scored six goals in the PL2 this season.