Spurs summer signings prove to be potent pieces in Pochettino puzzle
Three Premier League triumphs on the trot for Tottenham, and some prudent summer signings, have swiftly changed the negative narrative surrounding Spurs’ start to the season, with the Londoners now 3/1 from Coral for a top four finish.
Just weeks ago, August had proven to be a bitter month with no wins from four fixtures, just three draws and a damaging defeat. A little further down the road and that record does not reflect so poorly on White Hart Lane coach Mauricio Pochettino after all.
That opening day dent from Manchester United, against whom Spurs dominated for large swathes of the game, is the only league wound inflicted in seven, with those draws, when combined with three victories, making for an impressive unbeaten run ever since.
Local rivals Arsenal, to put it in perspective, rest just one Premier League point above, while fellow capital club and champions Chelsea are trailing an incredible 10 places behind.
Of course, criticism of club transfer policy was well-warranted following a slow and underwhelming off-season, with Tottenham technical director Franco Baldini having seemingly now paid the price and stepped down due to those problems.
Yet, though Spurs failed to set the transfer window alight, they are reaping the rewards for how well their new recruits have sparked in attack, also igniting others with their added quality.
The Londoners were lethal against Manchester City, showing a dangerous and determined streak to fight back from 1-0 down in the second-half to 4-1 up, with hitman Harry Kane notably off the Premier League mark.
Punters and Spurs support already know just what homegrown goal hero Kane and creative architect Christian Eriksen can do, but an emphatic and eager dismantling of the well-heeled Mancunians also propelled promising new stars onto the stage.
South Korea international Son Heung-Min has not taken long to adapt to the English game, with his mix of pace, predatory instincts, technique and two-footed trickery. Used to the bullishness of the Bundesliga, the flexible forward has undeniably eased the goal burden off Kane, with three from five across all competitions.
While there is surely more to come from silky Son, initial showings are exciting and, though he had his poacher’s tap-in ruled offside, he superbly helped stretch City’s defence.
On the opposite flank to Son, Argentine Erik Lamela also intrigued with his forays along the right wing, notching a wonderfully taken goal and assist versus City.
Consistency has always been the South American’s issue since arriving at Spurs and, though he is hardly a fresh face, fans will be thrilled at the prospect of a more potent campaign from the former Roma star.
The aforementioned front four of Kane, Son, Eriksen and Lamela is as formidable as any top four contender on paper, though perhaps still crucially lacking depth, but has the potential and combined attributes to be devastating.
Summer striker signing Clinton N’Jie began from the bench but did grab an assist when given the nod, and the Cameroon forward certainly looked sprightly, while fellow young-gun Dele Alli’s impressive performances have appeared to make him a permanent fixture in deeper midfield.
All this has given Tottenham (18/1 to lift the Europa League) an exuberant outlook in attack, with ball-playing defenders Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen also able to chip in, in stark contrast to the responsibility heaped on Kane last campaign in an often static forward line. With such versatility at Pochettino’s disposable, the platform for success seems to finally be under construction.