Tottenham Hotspur: The Premier League’s Favourite Enigma

Spurs. Very much the enigma of the Premier League. Only Tottenham can go from the heights of a performance at Old Trafford to not wanting to mix it with the likes of Watford.

Many believe Spurs have over the last two years or so toughened that soft underbelly that used to be tickled every time they came up against opponents who battled and fought besides playing the game to win.

But that underbelly reared its ugly head over the weekend at a point where Spurs needed to prove that the dispatching of Manchester Utd just over a week ago can be matched by beating sides most would expect them to do.

Watford must take praise for the way they came back at Tottenham after conceding a soft own goal, their own impressive unbeaten start extending to four games and four wins.

But where do Spurs go from here? The international break kicks in now and Mauricio Pochettino will not see most of his stars for 7-10 days, but inside must be seething at the lacklustre performance from his players.

Having asked last week after the win over Manchester United for the players to put even more into their performance he was sadly let down.

Christian Eriksen is a renowned slow starter before bursting in life across the season, this year appears no different although he didn’t look entirely comfortable coming deeper far too often to get the ball.

Harry Kane may have burst his August scoring bubble but isn’t looking anywhere close to his natural sharpness. On the plus side for Poch Lucas Moura has looked hungry and full of desire to impress reaping the benefits of a full pre-season and Kieran Trippier appears to be continuing his World Cup form.

More often than not against Watford Dele Ali found his way into good areas but without hurting the Hornets defence, similar to his chances last week at Old Trafford.

Some will question Pochettino’s change from a back four to three centre halves which seemed to expose Moussa Dembele in the middle of the park especially once Watford found an equaliser and the late reactions to make substitutions to try and get a stranglehold back in the match had insufficient time to have any impact.

Many will point to a lack of options on the bench to change a game when it’s not going in your favour and the absence of both Erik Lamela and Asian Cup winner Heung-Min Son, either capable of a moment of brilliance, Spurs possibly should have looked to shore up the midfield area and then hit Watford on the break, players more than capable within the starting eleven to make this happen.

Once Watford were back in the game, it was crying out for Eric Dier or Victor Wanyama to come on, put in a tackle or two and drag Spurs onto another three points, but as it was Watford grew stronger and went on to gain much deserved points and leave Spurs fans with plenty of thoughts as to which Spurs XI will turn up after the international break.

Spurs are however two points better off than at this stage last season so it’s shouldn’t be all doom and gloom, just a missed opportunity to add to what has already been a positive start to the season, but there is plenty more football to be played.


Written by Trevor Knell

Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37

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