Coming off the draw against Everton, in a match where Spurs offense struggled to click, Mauricio Pochettino decided that changes needed to be made – which came in the form of dropping PFA Young Player of the Year Dele Alli in favour of new signing Vincent Janssen.
For the first time in years, Spurs would start a match playing with two strikers.
With Lamela on the left, Eriksen on the right, and Wanyama and Dier in between, the setup gave Harry Kane the chance to play a role he is very familiar with, the same role that he played when his rise to fame began, behind the number 9.
Despite a quieter game from Kane, he still played very well and opened up a lot of space and chances for other players, earning him a well-deserved assist as the boys snatched the points late on with Victor Wanyama scoring on his home debut.
The Manager’s post match interviews
Pochettino happy to secure first win of the season.
Pardew reacts to another frustrating loss.
Vorm- 6: Quiet game from the Dutchman, not needed to make any big saves.
However, he does share one trait with Hugo Lloris… Some occassionally poor distribution, must make better passes.
Rose- 7: Had a golden opportunity inside the box to shoot and put Spurs ahead, but struggled to pull the trigger.
He did well as always to get up and down the pitch without tiring out and dealt with Zaha beautifully today.
Alderweireld- 8: Through two games we’ve seen a very offensive and willing Toby Alderweireld. The odd run up the pitch with the ball adds another dimension to Spurs attack.
He should’ve done better to score off a corner kick, as he headed right at the Palace keeper.
Vertonghen- 7: Made a potential game saving block in the second half on a wide open Palace chance at the top of the box.
Sometimes Jan tends to switch off in games and his lack of pace on passes is the evidence, he needs to be more accurate with passes into the midfield.
Walker- 8: Since the start of last year’s campaign Kyle Walker has emerged into the league’s best right back and hasn’t stopped since.
He glides up and down the right flank without losing an ounce of pace and constantly threatened Palace all game, not even to mention pocketing any Palace player on his side on the defensive end.
If you don’t think Spurs’ fullbacks are the most crucial part of the attack, you are wrong.
Dier- 7: Very quiet game from Eric Dier… Which means it was a great game for him.
He paired with Wanyama much better and like always, slotted right in between Jan and Toby perfectly, allowing Rose and Walker to get forward.
Wanyama- 8: This was the performance that was needed from our new signing.
Last week he and Dier played too much like each other, creating a very stale attack against Everton.
This week, Wanyama bossed the midfield much like our friend Mousa Dembele would. He ran box to box, faster and stronger than any of the Palace players. He then topped it all off with the late winner due to great positioning.
Well-deserved Man of the Match.
Wanyama’s late winner
Lamela- 6: A solid game from Lamela, but something wasn’t clicking with him. With him playing on the left flank, Erik couldn’t cut inside onto his favoured left foot.
This often lead to him stopping in his tracks to either hit an overlapping Rose, or turn the ball over as his right foot is significantly weaker than his left. However, you can never ever question the man’s work rate.
Kane- 7: Playing in the number 10 role, Kane goes from behind Roberto Soldado to Vincent Janssen and the improvement went very well.
With Kane’s high defensive work rate, he was given the freedom to drop in deeper than he normally would, which opened play up for the rest of his teammates.
He shot just inches wide with an attempt that he would’ve scored last year. Made up for it by earning an assist as he soared above the Crystal Palace defenders to win the header that led to Wanyama’s goal.
Eriksen- 4: Another disappointing showing from the Danish Magician.
He just can’t seem to get his touches right and his passing failed him time and time again. An argument could be made that he may be dropped for Alli, but we all know what Eriksen is capable of with just a few moments of magic, he just needs to find his groove again.
Janssen- 8: Janssen would have a perfect 10 if he just would’ve put one of his many chances in the back of the net. His positioning and ability to play off of Kane’s movement is something amazing to watch.
Janssen is almost a more physical and quicker version of Kane, and the pair up front were brilliant.
All he needs to do is score. It’ll be interesting to see what Poch does with him next match.
Dele- 7: Almost seconds after entering for Eriksen, Dele Alli played a beautiful flick onto Janssen that should’ve ended in a goal.
Alli played a lot better than last match, and now the question remains for Poch who he should start… Alli, Eriksen, or both?
With Liverpool coming up next weekend, it will be important for Spurs to continue their offensive creativity into next match.
Pochettino would be crazy to drop Janssen in favour of the 4-2-3-1 that we saw last year, but with no Dembele, an out of form Eriksen and a questionable Dele Alli, it looks like the partnership of Vincent Janssen and Harry Kane will continue to flourish up top.
Written by Anthony Koval
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