Three Positives from Brighton Win for Tottenham Hotspur

Brighton misses against Tottenham Hotspur. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Brighton misses against Tottenham Hotspur. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images) /

While the win over Brighton was not a thing of beauty, moving up in the table is, so what are some positives we can take away from the Tottenham win?

As a Tottenham Hotspur fan we want our team to play beautiful football. We want the game to flow, the passes to ping, and the players to express themselves. However, some games are tougher to play stylistic football in. To compete for Champions League places and ultimately trophies you must win those games same as you do when everything clicks. The fact Spurs took the three points was just one of the bright spots from the Tottenham win, so what else can we be hopeful about?

Building a Better Bench

To compete at the highest level of the sport, you must have a deep squad. In some matches you may not need that depth, but across the course of the season it is critical. It is critical to have that depth across the season, as you never know when you will need it and Sunday was one of those days. For the reach for reinforcements to work, those reinforcements must be there, which was not always the case.

One year ago, in the same fixture, Tottenham lost 3-0 to Brighton. From that days starting eleven two players are already gone – Vertonghen and Eriksen – and the bench is completely revamped. The only players who were on the bench for both fixtures were Lucas Moura and Harry Winks. The rest of the bench from that day were not available as Paulo Gazzaniga, Dele Alli, and Davinson Sanchez were all left out of the fixture, while the duo of Juan Foyth and Oliver Skipp are both out on loan.

Replacements this season included Gareth Bale and Giovani Lo Celso, who both played Sunday and contributed. Ben Davies started last season in the fixture and was on the bench and a late substitute to help hold the lead. The two Joes rounded out the bench this time with Hart and Rodon both there. Figure Tottenham still have Dele Alli, Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier, and Steven Bergwijn who were all available but did not get selected and suddenly you have a deep team with a bench that can change games. Fortunately for Tottenham Gareth Bale did just that with his game winning goal. Seeing the bench succeed is a good sign for Spurs.

Tottenham Winning Ugly

Yes, we love beautiful football, but if the game is about glory, sometimes you have roll up your sleeves and get dirty to earn that glory. Tottenham is learning how to do that with performances like the one Sunday versus Brighton. Whereas twice previously at home Spurs failed to hold the lead late, Tottenham managed the game out on this occasion.

Additionally, while the first 20 minutes or so Spurs displayed some good football, adjustment by Brighton made that difficult to maintain. Brighton are no pushover and even without Lewis Dunk or Neal Maupay they come to play. There was no defensive shell here and frankly the early goal from Tottenham just gave the Seagulls more resolve.

Finding ways to dig out goals, particularly from open play, and still win, even when you cannot play at your free-flowing best is critical for long term success this season. If Tottenham are going to do something they have not done before, we are simply going to have to accept that sometimes the games will be closer than we want, but the team can manage. Ultimately at this level they cannot all be laughers.

Three Points Is Big, Especially this Week

The Premier League can be a strange place and things seem to go in ebbs and flows. Remember when Tottenham did not have a draw for like an entire season. Well sometimes anomalies happen and this past matchday was one of those anomalies.

For the first time since Matchday 2, there were no draws in the Premier League. On Matchday 6 there were 4 draws and on Matchday 5 there were six draws in the 10 matches. However, on Matchday 7, there was not a single draw. This means that Tottenham kept pace with some rivals and got a big step up on some others.

Now that the matchday is fully complete, Tottenham sit third place in the table, a point above Everton, Southampton, and Wolves; but a point behind Leicester City and two behind currently first Liverpool. Had Spurs not won, not only would they be behind those five teams, but they would also be tied with Manchester City for 10th on 11 points.  That would mean looking up at Arsenal, Villa, and Chelsea, happy to have those points!

One week may not seem like much, but the league is won one week at a time. When you win when rivals like Everton, Manchester United, and Chelsea lose, you gain ground. When you win and rivals like Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal win, you do not lose any ground. Ultimately, the league is won three points at a time and when you can win when others around you fail, that is the path to glory and after all the game is about glory.