November 1, 2017 was the day when Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur announced themselves at the big stage when they thrashed reigning European champions Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley.
Just 17 days later, the same Spurs side started famous North London derby as a favourite against an Arsenal side, who looked far from convincing in the recent weeks.
However, once again, when it mattered the most, Spurs crumbled and crumbled big time, which left them 11 points off the league leaders Manchester City.
Spurs’ big away match woes
Before Saturday’s crushing 2-0 defeat against the Gunners, Spurs won just one out of 17 fixtures under Pochettino away from home against big six in the Premier League.
It is believed that to win trophies, teams need get points while away from home – something which Chelsea did last season, Leicester City did season before that and City doing it currently.
With rumours linking Spurs key players – Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli with European giants, Pochettino has a serious task in hand.
That task includes getting big results on the road as well, so that the club can eventually lift trophies, which can in result keep the star power at the club.
Toby Alderweireld absence felt
Ever since Chelsea manager Antonio Conte came to England, teams found a new formula which includes three centre-backs.
However, in Saturday’s derby, Pochettino’s gamble of having three at the back backfired in front of an in-form Arsenal trio of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, primarily because of the absence of their star centre-half Toby Alderweireld.
With the 28-year-old out till December, Pochettino will have to find a way to make sure his team’s back line will continue to deliver, as that is the only way he can keep his title’s hopes alive.
Wenger finding right mix
Arsene Wenger is being often accused of thinking too much at times, and ends up playing players out of position, which cost Arsenal dearly more often than not.
However, on Saturday, the master tactician got his strategy spot on when he played the trio of Sanchez, Lacazette and Ozil upfront.
With Arsenal now just one point behind fourth-placed Spurs, Wenger should make sure that his team winning combination will continue, as that seems to be the only way the Gunners can keep their hopes alive of finish in the top four.