Tottenham’s performance in the Europa League was generally flat. Harry Winks failed to have any impact on the game, Dele’s only impact was giving too much space to the goalscorer and Scarlett looked isolated up front.
However, there were a couple of players who put in strong claims for a start against West Ham on Sunday.
Looked solid at the back for the majority of the game, in a performance that saw the defence under-siege due to Tottenham’s inability to hold onto the ball for long periods. The majority of threats came from outside of him as the fullbacks allowed too much space, Vitesse averaging a cross every 5 minutes. Countless saving tackles, executed well, allowed Sanchez not only to stop the attack, but to come away with the ball and start the next phase of play on Tottenham’s behalf.
Because of Tottenham’s shape it was sometimes unclear which player the Columbian was picking up, although this was often to the benefit of his team allowing him to deal with overlaps and through balls. He did need to rely on Rodon to cover up one error, however, and as a result demonstrated the need to have a reliable partner alongside him or to work as part of a back-three.
Eric Dier was a hero in the game against Newcastle for his quick-thinking which assisted in saving a fan’s life. However, on the pitch, his performance stuttered once more. Based upon this performance, my preference would be for Davinson Sanchez to partner Christian Romero against West Ham.
Spurs most creative outlet, and one would could be a real difference-maker if given the opportunity to start a Premier League game. Key moments which outlined his ability included an incredible curling long-range effort off the crossbar on 46 minutes, Tottenham’s brightest moment of the game. Later on, played a disguised pass to Alli that created space and sparked a move that his colleagues failed to capitalise upon. Effective when defending in his own box as well as in attack, the Vitesse fans would feel he was fortunate not to give away a penalty, however, this would have been very soft if awarded.
Gil could be the creative player Spurs are lacking on the left-hand side, to compliment Son on the right of Kane. He has shown that he is equally adept out wide, or cutting into the centre. Bryan also offers solid defensive ability which would allow the fullback to overlap. The Spaniard probably has not done enough to take Lucas Moura’s place against West Ham, however, for his development I would like to see him given a minimum 30 minutes on Sunday. Gil has the ability to give West Ham right-back Ben Johnson a tough time that, if the scores are close beyond 60 minutes could be the key to victory.
Summary of performance
In truth, the Vitesse game provided more answers as to who is currently unsuitable to start a Premier League game, than who is staking a claim for a first-team place, however, the addition of these Sanchez into the starting line-up and significant minutes for Gil would see Tottenham in a stronger position against West Ham than they would be otherwise.
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