Scouting For Pochettino: The Best Starting Midfield Combination For Tottenham

Tottenham are slowly becoming a threat to the top 4 and one of the main reasons for that has been their central midfield. With abundance and probably an excess of options in the name of squad depth, Pochettino has the variety and time to experiment with his central midfield pairing in the past.

Belgian Mousa Dembele is the most experienced CM in the squad as he enters his 4th season in Spurs’s squad and he has been promised a very crucial role in the team by the manager. Injuries has kept him out on various occasions throughout his stint at the club and as he is slowly making a comeback to the lineup, will he make it over the established duo?

Eric Dyer
Eric Dier

Or does Spurs have an established CM pairing? Eric Dier and Delle Alli are commanding the position now but out of the 2 players, one of them is strongly interested to become England’s 1st choice CB in the recent future and is sure to protest to play back in the position he prefers though he looks perfect for the CDM role that Pochetino has him playing at the club. Dier signed from Sporting last season and was surprisingly the better of the players to come into the club in the Argentine’s first year in charge of the club. He went on to make 31 PL appearances, which came as a surprise to many all over the world, but if you see his performances, you could not raise a single question as to why he did play so many games ahead of bigger names in the squad. In fact, the burning question was as to why he didn’t play more often.

Delle Alli, Spurs new young star who joined from MK Dons in January but has been training at Spurs only from July, has been having a stellar season so far. He is a player who has gone to surprise everyone and this includes even the England NT manager, Roy Hodgson who is more than delighted to call up the young CM to the senior squad for the upcoming international fixtures. Still only 19, there is much more to obviously follow and Spurs will hope he doesn’t dip.

Nabil Bentaleb
Nabil Bentaleb

The young brigade in the Spurs CM shall continue and this time in the form of Nabil Bentaleb. The Algerian has been out got over a month due to an injury he suffered in the international break, but when he is fit, Poch is going to have a huge headache as to who to pick in the CM role. Both Bentaleb and Alli are quite similar in style of play. Both want to win the ball, both run ragged for the team, with impressive work rates. The only point that Alli has in his favour is that he is safer with his passes and does more forward passes than Bentaleb but that is an aspect of a player’s game that can easily be worked on. Bentaleb has a lot of competition and he will not want to let go off his place in the side as well.

Talking about competition, here is another England international who has been making a good name for himself in the Spurs side. He is a youth product and has the pride and passion for the club. Yes, you guessed it right. It is Ryan Mason. Currently injured but when he is fully fit, Alli and Bentaleb will probably have to step aside. Mason is hard working and is brilliant as a deep lying playmaker. Mason and Eric Dier have forged a good partnership just before his injury and probably Poch will want to continue the combo once he has his midfielders fit again.

Dele Alli
Dele Alli

But will and should Tottenham change a winning formula? The combination of Alli and Dier was the one that helped the side win 4:1 over Manchester City. This was the lineup that has been part of most of the PL wins this season for Spurs. IT would be totally cynical to change a winning formula and I am sure Pochetino would not want to either. In my honest opinion, I think Spurs should continue with Alli and Dier as their main CM pairing until sides have figured out how to dismantle the duo. In the cup competitions, though, Poch can use the other CM options like Dembele, Mason, Bentaleb, Caroll and Winks. When the tide is helping you, one does not try to sail the other way. That is exactly what Spurs should follow. Continuing with Dier and Alli is the best and most sensible option right now.

Written by Alankrith Shankar

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