I predicted that the game would be close and that Spurs would win by at least two goals. Well, the first part of that prophecy was off the mark for sure! In fact, Spurs dominated the game so much that 4-0 or 5-0 would have been a greater reflection of its superiority. Christian Eriksen was given his debut and immediately, he demonstrated why he is one of the most exciting young prospects in European football. Eriksen provided the link play between midfield and Roberto Soldado (which had been missing from the first three games) and was behind most of Spurs’ penetrative forward moves.
1. New players take time to bed in.
2. We still have problems breaking down teams who ‘park the bus’.
3. Dembele is not the solution to our playmaker problem.
On the plus side, AVB’s pressing game seems to help us to dominate games by and large but now we need to add goals and we are going to have a highly successful season. Norwich at White Hart Lane seems to be reasonable opposition from which to bounce back from the NLD defeat but under-estimating the Canaries might prove fatal.
With the window closed till January, we now have the opportunity to see whether either Eriksen (above) and/or Lamela will help to fill in the gap left by Bale. In all other departments, we appear fairly solid – but we dearly need someone to make that incisive pass and to bring the others in offensive play. At the back, it just may be time to ditch Dawson and bring in Kaboul for starters. New boy Chiriches is unavailable so depending on Kaboul’s fitness, AVB might need to risk Dawson once more.
In midfield – with Capoue injured and Dembele off-form – it seems clear that the Brazilian pair of Sandro and Paulinho (above) will start in the middle of the park with the possibility of Townsend and Chadil taking the flanks due to the lack of fitness of Lamela and Lennon. With Soldado a fixture upfront now, it must be the moment for Eriksen to show what he can do in a creative role.
I fully expect Norwich to be very disciplined and defensive and so, it might mean yet another 90 minutes of almost total possession. How quick can Eriksen adapt to the Premiership and fit in to the AVB’s tactics and formation remains to be seen. Overall, I expect it to be close game with Spurs coming up on top by at least two goals.