Tottenham are yet alive in all 4 of the competitions they entered and have a tough fight ahead. What can we expect from Pochettino in the winter transfer window?
Tottenham are in the semi-finals of the League Cup, going strong in the FA cup and are yet alive in the Europa League. Sitting in 6th place Tottenham look at the final home stretch in hope of winning at least one silverware and securing a respectable position in the premier league. However with a host of 2-1 victories keeping them in the top half of the table are Tottenham really a strong contender in any of the competitions?
Four out of the last five victories for Tottenham have been at a 2-1 score line and one thing that has remained common throughout is the fact that unlike Bale two seasons ago, this year it is Eriksen who has bailed them out so far. Although credit has to be given to the team for they don’t look as shabby as they did when Bale was around. With such close calls that aren’t convincing victories for a top club, the question still arises whether Tottenham require personnel to come in from the transfer market as rumours Pochettino preparing to offload a few players surfaces.
The goalkeeping department seems to be taken care of with the presence of French stalwart Hugo Lloris. His heroics in every game has been a pleasure to watch as he manages to pull of the impossible and ensure Tottenham have no serious damage to their goal difference. However a defensive line that sometimes falls asleep has not allowed him to keep as many clean sheets as he would have liked to keep. The back-up keeper in the form of Vorm is no average joe either, having been used in the cup competitions has been a safe pair of hands in most games.
Tottenham had initially suffered a lack of choice in the right back department. With injured first choice Kyle Walker unavailable till December, Tottenham resorted to their new signing Eric Dier for the first few games when he was in blistering form, then shifted to a combination of Kyle Naughton and Vlad Chiriches. With the return of Kyle Walker and new arrival Dre Yedlin, Naughton has now fallen down the pecking order. Even as Pochettino ignored questions about the English defender a 5 million switch to Swansea is being arranged. The left back position is being well fought by Danny Rose and Ben Davies, However if either or both were to be injured, Pochettiono has Vertonghen and youngster Zeki Fryers who are more than capable to fill in.
The central defense is somewhat of a problem area, with a slow set of defenders, Tottenham have struggled to maintain a high line right from the time AVB was in charge. Kaboul the captain has been injure for a long time and is too slow to track back in a high defensive line. Struggling to find a regular defensive pair, Pochettino has had to make do with Fazio and Vertonghen who have been solid off late, however an occasional goal or two due to defensive errors are what Pochettino looks to avoid. Rumours of Tottenham being linked to Mexican Center back Hector Moreno have occasionally cropped up, nevertheless defense isn’t a priority for the manager as the only thing that needs to be worked on is disciplined defending.
Tottenham have somewhat of an overcrowded midfield line up. With almost 3 players for each of the 5 positions, it would seem madness to bring in more. However, Pochettino although having stated he would like to keep all players, looks to off load a few Spurs veterans. Initial offers for Saido Berahino included a switch of Lennon and Townsend to West Brom, however this news remained a rumour. However interest in Kevin Mirallas has sparked new debate for a cash plus Lennon deal for the Belgian Winger. Another winger lined up as a potential Surs target is Liverpool summer interest Yevhen Konoplyanak from Dnipro. The winger who dazzled Spurs in Europa league last season runs his contract out with the club end of this season. In order to prevent him from going for free Dnipro look to sell him for a figure at around 7 million. However with his arrival he will add to the list of wingers Pochettino could choose from and would mean some players are going to have sparing game times in the future. With Eriksen, Chadli, Lamela, Lennon and Townsend only the Dane has sealed a permanent spot. If Pochettino wishes to bring in either one or both transfer targets, he will have to rid two existing wingers and the weakest link happen to be Lennon and Townsend.
With the revelation of Ryan Mason this season and Nabil Bentaleb last season, Tottenham have found through their academy two hardworking exceptional central midfielders who have cemented their spot if fit ahead of the likes of Capoue, Dembele and Paulinho. With only two spots in the deep midfield role, Pochettino has prefers the Belgian and the Frenchman over the Brazilian. With almost no regular playing time, Paulinho’s future at Tottenham looks bleak and rumours of a loan deal with Corinthians are surfacing although Pochettino denies his player would exit. Tottenham have more than enough talent and needn’t buy another for the midfield role.
Tottenham have the players and the manager to obtain exceptional results, a change in defensive tactic is a more credible solution to improve their performance over revamping their squad, and that is exactly what Pochettino has stated to the press.