Tottenham desperately need to pick up a victory against Arsenal in their next Premier League clash to avoid falling behind the league leaders.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have picked up four draws in their last five games whilst their arch rivals, Arsenal have started to pull away. The Gunners are level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table but Tottenham’s inability to grab a winner against Leicester means they have now fallen out of the top four.
It was a bitter weekend for Spurs fans who had to settle for another disappointing draw while their rivals all picked up three points. Chelsea delivered the final blow with a 2-0 victory against West Ham which leapfrogged them into a Champions League spot.
Since Harry Kane picked up an ankle ligament injury near the start of the season, Tottenham have struggled to create as many goal-scoring opportunities and they have suffered as a result. Son Heung-Min was in relatively good form, scoring five goals in his opening five games but he has not found the target since Spurs’ 1-0 victory against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. Tottenham are craving consistency from their attackers but they haven’t been able to find anyone capable of taking up the mantle piece left in Kane’s absence.
The England international is clearly being missed and Vincet Janssen has done very little to offer Tottenham an alternative to Kane in attack. It took the summer signing almost three months to score his first league goal, which came in the weekend’s draw against Leicester and he has only netted two other goals in the EFL Cup during the campaign. The 22 year-old is known for his clinical finishing and bagged 27 league goals in total for former club, AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie but he is taking time adjusting to life in the English top flight. While he is effective at holding the ball up and making key runs behind the defence, he’s been caught off-side on too many occasions and gives away needless fouls at times when Tottenham are putting pressure on in the final third. However, he’s completed the full 90 minutes for Spurs in their last two games and scored in both so he could finally be starting to find his feet.
If Tottenham are going to success this season, they cannot afford to drop points against teams in the bottom half of the table, as they have done with draws against Bournemout and West Bromwich Albion. They remain unbeaten, which is an impressive feat in itself but what good is avoiding defeat when you’re also avoiding victory?
Until Kane returns, Spurs must find another way to produce goal-scoring opportunities and play-makers Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen must count themselves responsible. The duo are often the catalyst for all things good for Spurs but neither have produced enough goals from midfield this season. Eriksen has failed to get his name on the score-sheet in the league this season, only scoring two goals during the 5-0 routing over Gillingham at the end of last month. Alli has notched up three goals but whereas his Danish teammate has conjured up the same amount of assists, the Englishman has not yet recorded any.
In contrast, Arsenal have had goals from all across their attacking line, including Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Liverpool had four different goal-scorers in their 4-2 victory against Crystal Palace alone, with Emre Can, Roberto Firmino, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren all grabbing a goal each. At the moment, it seems Tottenham lack goals in depth but they will need to start delivering sooner rather than later to avoid falling even further behind. This weekend’s crunch clash against their London rivals could be their most important game of the season yet.