Tottenham Hotspur have responded positively from just their second loss of the season by winning three consecutively; against Southampton, Norwich and Watford respectively. Pochettino has steered his team impressively through the busy Christmas period, gathering enough points for the team to push themselves into 3rd position, although it may only be temporarily depending on the result of Monday’s fixture between Manchester City and Leicester.Embed from Getty Images
Tottenham 3-0 Norwich
Harry Kane scored a brace and his third goal in his last two games to propel Spurs into the Champions League spaces. Young Tommy Carroll also grabbed a goal with a sublime finish on the 80th minute. Spurs fans were especially delighted as it was two ‘of their own’ who had scored.
- Kane back on form – Harry Kane now has an incredible 27 goals in the year 2015, eclipsing Tottenham’s club record set by Teddy Sheringham some years back. Kane has been on fire this year and he can only hope for more of the same come 2016 as he pushes to enter Hodgson’s national team. However, when Kane isn’t scoring, his work ethic and desire to work for the team, pressing high and always challenging opponents have made him a crowd favourite at the Lane (alongside the fact that he is one of our own)
- Impressive Alli – Dele Alli, once again, was hugely influential in the middle of the park, the English international fooling several of his opponents with incredible skill, including several nutmegs. When substituted, the fans support for Alli was highlighted by the fact that he was given a standing ovation when walking to the bench. Alli now has two goals and three assists from the past 5 games.
- Tom Carroll’s goal proves that Spurs don’t have to rely on Harry Kane for all goals – in fact he has only scored 11 of the 33 Premier League goals the London club have scored this season.
Watford 1-2 Tottenham
Son Heung-min scored an 89th minute winner with a superbly taken flick at the near post from an excellent Kieran Trippier cross to give Tottenham all three points against a battling Watford side. Erik Lamela had given Spurs the lead with a well taken goal, fooling former Spurs Gomes at which way he would strike. Ighalo equalised by stabbing home before Son’s 90th minute flick sealed the victory for the Lilywhites.
- A change of formation – Pochettino decided to mix up the formation for this tricky away test and in an attempt to stop Watford’s impressive Ighalo and Deeney, he went with three at the back with Eric Dier slotting into the defensive line as opposed to protecting it as he would usually do. This added security allowed Trippier and Rose to attack down the flanks and effectively be deployed as wingers, increasing the chances of a Spurs goal. And the formation worked for 40 or so minutes until Dier lost sight of the ball and Ighalo was able to steer home. Pochettino further showed his tactical skill by altering the formation when Ake was shown the red card by referee Anthony Taylor. Tom Carroll was substituted for Son Heung-min – probably the best substitution Pochettino has made this season with the South Korean forward grabbing the winning goal with a deft flick from Trippier’s excellent cross.
- Trippier given his chance – Kieran Trippier had only made 1 league appearance prior to this meeting due to Walker’s incredible form and the English fullback impressed. Although slightly shaky defensively, he was excellent in attack and earned himself an assist with a cross on the half volley. Trippier will definitely be great competition for Walker and this will, hopefully, bring the best out of the two English fullbacks.
- Clear unity – Pochettino’s skill at bringing the team together has been influential at Spurs as was clearly emphasised by the mass group celebrations after Son’s goal.