Going to Crystal Palace is always a tough task, but with the recent arrival of their new boss Alan Pardew, it was an even harder test for Spurs to overcome. For 69 minutes, Tottenham looked as though they had weathered the Selhurst Park storm, and were likely to head back to London with all three points, only for Dwight Gayle to coolly dispatch a controversial penalty and Jason Puncheon strike late to dash the Lilywhites’ hopes.
But it’s very important for Pochettino’s side that they quickly put the defeat to the back of their minds and get their season back on track as soon as possible – starting with Sunderland at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Tottenham have played the most games of any Premier League team so far and Mauricio Pochettino will have to utilise his whole squad in the coming months.
The Spurs head coach told the Independent: “We need to analyse all the players who played on Saturday (in the 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace) and then we see who has a chance.”
The former Saints boss added; “Since the beginning of the season we have played 34 games, and we are the team who has played more than anyone. We need to manage. All players are important. We will see who can play.”
It’s been a rollercoaster season for Spurs so far. Things did not bode well for the North London club after being jeered off at White Hart Lane in a 2-1 defeat to Stoke City in Novemeber, but Tottenham have really got their act together. The Lilywhites have only lost twice in the league since then – Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Palace, and a 3-0 loss at Stamford Bridge in early-December.
Exciting times lay ahead for the Spurs fans. As well as going well in the league, Tottenham have progressed into the knockout stages of the Europa League and are in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup. There they face two-legs against League One side Sheffield United, and after coming from two goals down, they eventually beat Burnley 4-2 in an FA Cup third round replay to set up a fourth round tie with Leicester City.
Mauricio Pochettino’s footballing philosophy that worked so well at Southampton last season, is starting to take affect at Tottenham Hotspur this term. Not only are Spurs getting the right results, they are starting to play some very attractive football too. Their shining light this season, is unquestionably the emergence of young Harry Kane.
The 21-year-old has been in devastating form for the Lilywhites this season, scoring a phenomenal 17 goals in all competitions so far – including an impressive seven in his last eight appearances. Tottenham are currently three points off of Manchester United who occupy the last Champions League qualifying place.
Although Saturday’s result was no doubt a setback, Spurs are more than capable of putting things right straight away. Pochettino’s side have a run of very winnable games approaching, and if things go to plan, they should be contesting a League Cup final on March 1st.