Three talking points from Saturday

Tottenham’s first London derby of the new Premier League season ended with home debutant Victor Wanyama as the unlikely match winner as Tottenham claimed a 1-0 victory over Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side.

Article by Harvey Simpson @Hotspur_Huddle

Spurs dominated the game, with Michel Vorm scarcely being called in to action, and grabbed our first three points of the season to push us up the table as they begin to prepare for the visit of Liverpool to the Lane this coming Saturday. Here I have outlined three things I have taken away from White Hart Lane in our first win of the season.

Janssen and Kane CAN play together

Vincent Janssen, making his home debut, impressed the fans with his willingness to chase down the ball and his constant pressurising of the Palace back four when they had possession. Pochettino opted to continue employing his 4-2-3-1 system with three attacking midfielders sitting behind a lone striker. Janssen played further forward this time, with Kane playing in the number 10 position.

Pochettino gave Kane the freedom to roam the attacking third of the pitch and he had several chances to score, most notably towards the end of the first half when he powered a shot just inches wide of the goal frame. Janssen also had several glorious opportunities, the best being when Alli put him through on goal with his first touch midway through the second half. Pochettino could experiment with putting Janssen in the number 10 position and having Kane as a number 9, as we know his ability in front of goal in the Premier League and Janssen loves to work hard off the ball. We know that both players will get goals and having them both on the pitch together ensures that we will always remain a threat up front.

Is Pochettino getting better at substitutions?

On the opening weekend at Goodison Park it was a Pochettino substitution that changed the outcome of the game; defensive midfielder Eric Dier was brought off for striker Vincent Janssen who played in the number 9 position with Kane slotting in behind him. Janssen provided Spurs with the energy they had perhaps been lacking in the game and he very nearly scored the winner had it not been for a superb save from Maarten Stekelenburg. This time against Crystal Palace it was Christian Eriksen who was substituted with the energetic Dele Alli being brought on in his place. Alli gave Spurs more pace, acting instinctively and not over-thinking situations, and Spurs ultimately snatched the win in the last ten minutes.

Some fans were understandably concerned at Pochettino’s substitutions last season, with poor substitutions contributing to late equalisers in both the 2-2 Arsenal draw and the 2-2 Chelsea draw. But in this campaign so far, Pochettino’s substitutions have changed the outcome of both games positively for Spurs.

An attacking midfielder is required before the end of summer

Christian Eriksen had a poor game against Crystal Palace and his afternoon ended with him being substituted in the 68th minute. Spurs lacked attacking options on the bench, with Son Heung-min still to return after his time with South Korea at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Nacer Chadli is evidently out of favour with Spurs boss Pochettino and young academy-bred Josh Onomah is still a developing player and probably isn’t ready yet for the Champions League. It is apparent that Spurs need to strengthen their attacking midfield options, and many media sources claim that the team are trying to address that area already. Several newspapers have claimed that the Georges-Kevin N’Koudou deal is back on and The Sun recently suggested that Spurs are readying an £18 million bid for Andriy Yarmolenko. We shouldn’t be surprised if we see another signing before the summer is out.

All in all, it was a good performance – we limited the amount of chances that Palace had, were confident at the back and created up front. However, we will need to play quicker and take our chances against Liverpool next week if we want to add another three points to our tally.

What’s your view? What did you take away from the Crystal Palace match? Who should Spurs sign next? Let me know in the comments section below or send me a tweet @Hotspur_Huddle

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  1. Good result but a few players are still to get up to full speed. Eriksen in particular but it is very early doors. Strange that he did not take free kicks as well? Liverpool next and it depends which Liverpool turn up I think. Another attacking signing is on the way I think and maybe a playmaker to push Eriksen. COYS

    1. HARVEY SIMPSON4:57 pm

      Sorry - I was meant to reply to you with the comment I posted below!

  2. HARVEY SIMPSON4:13 pm

    3 points is always good considering we are usually slow starters in the league. We did look a bit slow in the attacking third of the pitch; I think Eriksen was poor but Alli gave us more pace and excitement. Let's hope the Liverpool who played Burnley turn up at the Lane this Saturday. I reckon we will sign another attacking midfielder this week. COYS


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