Alli played much of the game in Dembele's shadow .

Tottenham's thrashing of Sunderland gives Mauricio Pochettino food for thought

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Spurs fans could be forgiven for thinking that boss Mauricio Pochettino would be entirely content after his side saw off struggling Sunderland by four goals to one on Saturday. 

However, while the Lilywhites should undoubtedly be praised for the manner in which they came from behind to secure a resounding victory, they still provided their manager with much to think about going ahead.

Dembele stars

Moussa Dembele’s outstanding performance, in particular, has the potential to give Pochettino a headache. The Belgian was nothing short of sensational on his return to the side, so much so that he stole Dele Alli’s thunder somewhat.


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The 19-year-old struggled going forward, while Dembele broke through Sunderland’s resolute midfield on a number of occasions, including for his goal.

Given that Alli has played such a key role in Spurs’ success this season, Pochettino is unlikely to drop either of his midfielders. Dembele proved that he is worth his place in the starting XI, but that means that he and Alli will need to learn how to compliment each other, rather than attempting to play the same role.

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In the same way, Tottenham’s number 23, Christian Eriksen was a catalyst for so much of Spurs’ creativity, and Pochettino will surely be considering the Dane’s importance to the team.

Misfiring to start

Nonetheless, for all of Eriksen’s creativity, it must be said that Spurs looked unfocused again in the first half, right up until Sunderland scored.

Regardless of the final score, Pochettino will have noted that, just as in the 1-0 defeat to Leicester, so many of their chances failed to find the target, and that only changed when they went behind.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City - Premier League

Spurs come back 

Ex-Spurs man Jermain Defoe did not come back to haunt his former side, as many fans had predicted he would, and so the Black Cats allowed Spurs back into the game. Against some of the Premier League’s tougher opposition, the north Londonders might not be so lucky.

Ultimately, Pochettino should be thrilled with the way Spurs overcame a potential banana skin. He also appears to have found a trusted penalty-taker in Harry Kane, something which Spurs have not really had since Robbie Keane.

The Argentine will undoubtedly be careful not to get carried away with the result, though, and will have plenty to work on in training ahead of the FA Cup replay with Leicester.


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Moussa Dembele
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Mauricio Pochettino
Gareth Bale

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