With Spurs suffering inconsistent spells during the last few weeks, the question of “What is Tottenham’s best starting XI” carries more weight.
Tottenham Hotspur suffered a 2-0 loss to their bitter rivals Arsenal last weekend, coming off the worse of the two teams, and not just on the scoreboard.
Mauricio Pochettino named one of his customary starting lineups for the match, including some usual rotations, while sticking with his top producers.
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The manager, as has also become customary, lined up with three across the back – Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen. With Toby Alderweireld out until after Christmas, Dier has dropped into Spurs back three with measured success.
Dier is a key part of the first team, his versatility allowing him to play in many positions. However, the question remains if the young English international should remain in midfield. Pochettino, with little other choice, has employed Dier to stand in at the back. Once Alderweireld is back, Dier should be swiftly transitioned into the heart of Spurs midfield permanently.
The manager also went with the fullback pair of Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies instead of Danny Rose and Serge Aurier. Fullback rotation has been a huge part of this Tottenham team for a few seasons now. All top teams must rotate to keep players fresh for the duration of a gruelling campaign. But when should certain players be deployed, and others rested?
Rose has endured many issues this season, ranging from off-field behavioural issues to a long-term injury layoff, making Davies the right choice. And the Welshman has undoubtedly deserved the gaffer’s faith.
All four wing backs offer a wholly different dynamic, a fact Pochettino is continuously reassessing. While Davies is the more secure defender, Rose’s attacking prowess is helpful against teams that are tough to breakdown.
Then again, Davies has proved he’s proficient going forward, chipping in with two Premier League goals this season along with numerous key passes. And with Rose having the aforementioned issues this campaign, Davies should remain as Pochettino’s first choice.
Spurs left Germany with top spot of their Champions League group secured, courtesy of a solid comeback win against Borussia Dortmund.
The manager named a slightly different team to the one in the North London derby, and this XI enjoyed more success.
Harry Winks, continuing his stellar Champions League campaign, came into the side and partnered Christian Eriksen in midfield. Winks helped control the match and kickstart Tottenham attacks. He successfully completed 94 percent of his passes, a truly staggering total.
Winks only managed 28 minutes against Arsenal, but changed the complexion, even with such a short shift.
Winks and Eriksen were far more successful against BVB than Moussa Sissoko and Mousa Dembele were against Arsenal. Dembele is a fantastic player when fit, but injuries have plagued him his whole career, so it’s now Winks’ spot to lose.
The fullbacks were also rotated, with Aurier and Rose starting on the right and left . After a rough first half, Rose grew into the game and managed a strong comeback performance, primarily in attack.
Spurs have four solid fullbacks and a wealth of proficient midfielders. They are, however, still a little short up front, expecting far too much out of Harry Kane.
But the question still remains of whom Pochettino should start in the biggest fixtures. It’s a polarizing topic, but I like the following team.
Until Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela show their first-team worth after long injury layoffs, I’ll leave them out of the equation.
What’s your current top Spurs team? I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether you agree with my team.