Wednesday 17 January 2018

Two tens equals success for Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino . Photo: PA
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino . Photo: PA Sportdesk

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he is building his Tottenham title-chasers on his pair of perfect 10s, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.

Spurs have the chance to close the gap on pace-setters Chelsea once more at lunchtime today when they face Bournemouth at White Hart Lane.

Pochettino's side are playing some of the most attractive football in the Premier League - only Chelsea and Liverpool have scored more - and they owe much of that to the electric form of Eriksen and Alli, who alone have 10 goals between them in their last 10 games.

And Pochettino has revealed that that is very much by design. "If you have two players like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, who both can play in the pocket, in behind the No 9, you must create a system that can fit them both," he said.

"You can see Dele or Eriksen with a No 9 - Harry, Vincent, Sonny, I don't know - but how they use the pocket and how we create many different things to try to swap the position, play on the right or left, drop sometimes to try to build from the back when the teams play deeper. We try to play now with two No 10s that play facing the opponents' goal, not back to the opponents' goal. The formation and the system helps Christian and Dele a lot."

Pochettino has been effusive in his praise of PFA Young Player of the Year nominee Alli, suggesting he can go on to surpass the achievements of Barcelona superstar Neymar. But it is clear too that he rates Eriksen equally highly.

"He is so special," he added. "We always call him Golazo, because he is capable of scoring unbelievable goals."

Tottenham v Bournemouth,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 12.30

Irish Independent

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