Even though a four-at-the-back system yielded a brilliant 3-0 win and clean sheet against Manchester United just six days earlier, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino switched to a three-man defence for the trip to Watford on Sunday, and it ultimately backfired.
Spurs were looking to maintain their 100% start to the campaign when they made the short journey to Vicarage Road, and despite taking the lead through an Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal, two goals in seven second-half minutes from Troy Deeney and then Craig Cathcart condemned to defeat as the Manchester City and Liverpool bandwagons rolled on.
Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen started at the heart of the back four at Old Trafford and impressed, and despite the former looking as though throughout the summer that he wouldn’t be a Tottenham player by the end of the transfer window – even being linked with a move to link up with Jose Mourinho – he is and he looks set to be a key player for the north London outfit.
Given he was often preferred to the Belgian in the big games in the second-half of the 2017/18 campaign and after a fine 2018 World Cup for Colombia, Sanchez may well feel hard done by to find himself excluded, and perhaps that was one of the reasons why Pochettino decided to play three centre-backs against the Hornets.
The Argentine boss may well have a different mindset now though however with the 6ft 2in Sanchez struggling against Deeney, and you would feel that he will favour four at the back when league leaders Liverpool visit Wembley a week on Saturday, even if they have to deal with the fearsome trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah.
So, Tottenham fans, what do you think your team’s best centre-back partnership is? Let us know by voting below…