Tottenham are the only unbeaten Premier League side after ten matches, but they are struggling to score the goals required to kill teams off. From their opening ten matches, they have won five and drawn five, which is a decent start to the season. However, they must be more clinical if they want to challenge for the title once again. They have scored only 14 goals, which is significantly fewer than the other four sides in the top five.
Tottenham supplemented their squad well during the summer and they will now have ambitions of establishing themselves as a Champions League side. The competition in the league is fierce this season and they could be cut adrift unless they find their scoring boots soon.
Regular watchers of Spurs will point to the injury of Harry Kane as the reason for the lack of quality in attack. Since their talisman picked up an injury, Tottenham have only scored six goals in five Premier League games, which highlights how reliant the side are on Kane. The 23-year-old has been very lucky with injuries over the last 24 months and it wasn’t until this season that the club bought cover for him. Vincent Janssen has been enthusiastic since his move to Spurs, but he is still settling into English football and he isn’t ready to be a regular starter in the Premier League.
Mauricio Pochettino is one of the most impressive coaches in the Premier League and it will be interesting to see how he attempts to fix the club’s attacking woes. Against Leicester, the movement in the final third was poor and too much was expected from the full-backs. Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen were too central, which caused a lack of space for the midfielders to create. Although Spurs attack well through their full-backs, they need to be supported and that wasn’t the case yesterday.
The Tottenham manager will be reluctant to move away from his preferred style of play, but it could be beneficial to change it at times. The main reason for doing this would be to become less predictable. Although they were incredible last season, opposition teams now know how to set up against them to get a result, especially at White Hart Lane.
One possible change that could be made is to play with out-and-out wingers supporting the full backs in wide positions. This would open up space in central areas for the likes of Christian Eriksen to exploit. The Dane hasn’t performed to the levels that he is able to reach over the last 12 months as he is often asked to play out wide. He doesn’t have the attributes to influence the game on the wing and moves inside, which means that he and Dele Alli get in each other’s way.
If Pochettino asks his wingers to stay wide, it won’t lead to a huge shift in style, but it will open more space in attack and could surprise opposition teams. The Argentine does have players in his squad that can stretch the play on the flanks in Moussa Sissoko and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.
I expect Tottenham’s attack will improve with the return of Harry Kane in the coming weeks, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a concern that needs to be addressed. Pochettino is a tactically astute coach and he needs to show that by producing a plan B for when they are being frustrated by an opponent. At the moment, his side are picking up too many draws and that is a habit that they don’t want to have as they will lose ground on the leaders.