Tottenham Hotspur Have An Equally Good Squad As Man City This Season And That’s A Fact
Infamously dubbed as the ‘squadsKane team’ by Pep Guardiola, Tottenham appear to be on a path to prove him otherwise. If Tottenham are to balance the challenges of this season, Mauricio Pochettino must reach into the depths of his squad – and that is what the shrewd manager has been doing already. After making quite an impact against Real Madrid, Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace might seem far less glorious but it demonstrated that Spurs have one of the strongest squads this season.
With Dele Alli suffering from a hamstring problem and Harry Kane struggling to return to his form from a similar muscle injury, and Christian Eriksen failing to rise above Palace manager Roy Hodgson’s tactics, it was Son Heung-Min who stepped up and scored the winning goal. Interestingly, he was subject to some criticism once the season began but his contributions of late have been significant enough to keep the critics at bay.
The South Korean, now the highest scoring Asian in Premier League history, is a pretty useful fourth option to call upon. This is a luxury not many sides can boast of. Son’s height, work ethic, pace and efficiency often save Tottenham from sticky situations – and that is an admirable quality in a player who is not the first or second choice.
While Manchester City also have strong squad depth, the fact remains that Pochettino never even had half the budget that Pep Guardiola enjoyed in the summer. And to build a team with such squad depth even while being financially restrained, is truly commendable. In the last two seasons, his starting XI was quite obvious and redundant but this time, things have changed for the better.
Competition is thriving and it is solely because of Pochettino. When it comes to full-backs, the manager has the likes of Serge Aurier, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies. Then there’s Mousa Dembele, who has always been viewed as an indispensable member of this Tottenham team. The rise of Harry Winks is remarkable too. Meanwhile, Davinson Sanchez has slotted right into the back three quite admirably.
Even when it comes to goalkeepers, Pochettino has so many quality options. Over the weekend, he had to play third-choice goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, with both Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm unavailable. He did get close to making some mistakes but Gazzaniga relentlessly fought on and put up a strong performance in the end.
No matter who they face, Tottenham seem to get the job done most of the time. In a week where the club made worldwide headlines, where Alli’s two goals against Real focused the spotlight on him, Pochettino needed the players to fight through some possibilities of getting complacent.
Of course, Kane would be irreplaceable at any club, but he was quiet against Palace and that was where Son came in, taking his chance well and scoring the winning goal. Thus, Pochettino has reached a point where he has enough depth to continue the club’s upward trajectory, but there will be tougher tests ahead.