Mauricio Pochettino fielded a makeshift back four as Eric Dier once again step in to replace key man Toby Alderweireld, whilst Ben Davies was handed a start ahead of the rested Danny Rose. Alderweireld's absence was felt from the get go as Hugo Lloris looked nervous without the Belgian centre half to protect him. Despite being regarded as one of the best in the world, the French 'keeper struggled to settle and was forced to play long, aimless balls up the pitch. Sitting in the crowd, I could feel the tension building as the Spurs defence continued to be the masters of their own downfall with stray backpasses, cruyff turns in their own box and weak, across-goal clearances (even in Sunday league you will hear the shout 'NOT ACROSS GOAL!' 3 or 4 times a game). With all due respect to Leverkusen, who didn't put a foot out of line all game, Spurs created more chances for Leverkusen than for themselves.
If there's one game that you don't want on the back of a 6 match win-less run and a humiliating defeat in front of 85,000 fans, it's the North London Derby. Arsenal are in phenomenal form so a Spurs win would rival Leicester's title win for an upset. It can't get much better for Pochettino without the names Tody Alderweireld and Harry Kane in the starting 11, so I, along with all other Spurs fans, will be praying that they can return for Sunday. However, one thing Pochettino can do is restore Danny Rose to the starting line up and realise that we can't seem to win without him. Ben Davies is a solid defender in the league but doesn't offer the same offensive qualities as Rose, which means the pacey Spurs attack that was so effective last term has been patchy to say the least.
Can it be fixed?
Pochettino will understandably point to injuries to arguably their two most important players in last season'a golden boot winner Harry Kane and the fans' player of the season last season Tody Alderweireld. There's no arguing that the return of these players will help Tottenham both get in amongst the goal and regain their tendency to keep clean sheets- giving them the sort of edge that turns draws into wins. He will, however, have some big decisions to make in regards to who starts and where. Having taken Dembele off for Jansen and reshuffled front 6 within the first half an hour against Leverkusen, it's clear he isn't sure how best to deal with a weakened squad. #Football #Arsenal #Tottenham Hotspur