Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Midfield Missing

Central midfield has not stopped being the overarching theme all season and the most recent games are no exception. Last time we checked in things were looking up with Mousa Dembele and also Harry Winks finding fitness at the same time. This was shortly followed by both defensive midfielders, Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama, becoming injured and then Mousa Dembele going down in some pain during the opening two minutes against Wolves.

All this combined to lead Pochettino starting a midfield duo of Harry Winks and Christian Eriksen against PSV midweek, a midfield thinness not seen since Tim Sherwood infamously played Nacer Chadli in the role.

Often, when mentality is discussed, and it is discussed often, it’s perceived as a singular aspect. “He was mentally strong”, “He was mentally weak”, “They had a winning mentality”, “They had a losing mentality”. Tuesday night’s victory over PSV seemed to showcase some of the complexity and nuance around the psychological side of the game. Read More

Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven

Tottenham vs PSV Eindhoven Preview: Spurs struggling with fixture pile up

Despite their best ever start to a Premier League season Spurs have found it difficult to get going especially with the recent fixture congestion.

Tottenham’s Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night will be their fourth game in the space of eight days and after not adding to their squad in the summer, Spurs are struggling to keep their players fit. With injuries to Dembele, Danny Rose and Eric Dier, Spurs will be relying on less favoured players over this tough period.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side were unconvincing in their 3-2 victory over Wolves, having nearly blown a 3-0 lead. Goals from all three of Spurs’ attackers (Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane) put Tottenham in a very comfortable position after 68 minutes. However, after conceding two penalties in the space of 11 minutes Spurs endured a very shaky last 10 minutes trying to hold onto the lead. Read More

PSV Eindhoven vs Tottenham Hotspur Champions League Preview

PSV Eindhoven vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Containing Chucky

In Tottenham’s first two games of the season Pochettino fielded a creative but lightweight midfield. In the opening 45 minutes Spurs created enough chances to gain a lead and in the second half the opposition realised they should take advantage of Spurs’ somewhat soft midfield and press back. On both occasions Pochettino brought Mousa Dembele off the bench to calm the game down and see out the win.

Saturday’s victory over West Ham was much the same affair, only with Harry Winks and Mousa Sissoko in place of Eriksen and Dele to form the initial midfield trio with Eric Dier. Read More