Why Toby Alderweireld holds the key to Tottenham’s success against Brighton
Tottenham Hotspur will travel to Amex Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. Despite making a strong start to the campaign, the Londoners have failed to maintain their winning momentum.
In recent weeks, Spurs succumbed to losses against Watford, Liverpool and Inter Milan. Quite interestingly, Mauricio Pochettino’s men have lost all 3 games with a 2-1 scoreline.
Regardless, they face a tough test against Brighton, who ruthlessly subjected Manchester United to a resounding 3-2 defeat at home.
During the trip to face Inter Milan for their Champions League opener, Pochettino left out Toby Alderweireld from the squad. The towering centre-back, who is valued at £75m by the club, is one of Tottenham’s key players and his presence in the backline could go a long way in shoring up their seemingly porous defence.
Given Glenn Murray’s excellent start to the season, Alderweireld must be at his best. The 34-year-old striker has 4 goals to his name in 5 starts so far, and suffice to say, he must relish his chances of adding to his tally against the north London outfit.
Despite being 34, his pace and skills inside the box are unrivalled, making him an extremely potent threat. Tottenham must certainly not take him lightly and hence, Alderweireld will play an important role for the club.
To be fair, Alderweireld works best when paired alongside Jan Vertonghen. Both defenders have been instrumental to Tottenham’s successes for a long time now. While Vertonghen is defensively resilient and aerially powerful, Alderweireld is adept at contributing to counter-attacks as well.
Facing an in-form Murray will be a tough task but Tottenham must hope for Alderweireld to deliver his best on the field. Considering how poor the midfield has been in recent times, a lot of the responsibility will be riding on his shoulders.
The likes of Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier have been absolutely miserable so far. And Harry Winks has failed to impress in the limited opportunities he has received. Provided Pochettino deploys a 4-2-3-1 formation like usual, it is safe to suggest that the defensive midfield partnership is unlikely to offer adequate support.
In such a situation, Alderweireld, along with Vertonghen, must be at his best. The last thing Tottenham need is another loss and they must push for a victory at all costs. But Brighton are quite strong at home and Pochettino’s men must be wary of their attacking threat.