SPURS 1 MONACO 2
Good morning everyone, It's 6:30 in the morning here in Folkestone as I pen this on what looks to be a cool day after the heat we have had.
Wembley served as a cooling experience for Tottenham last night when we went down 2-1 to Monaco. The other game in the group ended 2-2 so we sit bottom of the group.
A new stadium, new crowd, new pitch, a new competition, a new experience and not everybody handled it is the same way. We were always going to learn from the experience.
Mauricio Pochettino, for me, picked the wrong team. Surely in this opening game we should have been playing our strongest front four and that includes Dele Alli. While some fans try to tell me his best position is as a defensive midfielder, I have to disagree, he is best as a central attacking midfielder and we were at our best when he was moved there, unfortunately he was moved again to accommodate someone else and that to me is the biggest concern from last night.
He is a versatile player and he is being shunted around to accommodate other players in their preferred positions. So we are taking something away from our team to add someone else to it. Will Dele Alli become frustrated by this policy? There is no sign of it yet.
He started as a defensive midfielder with Moussa Dembele on the bench, then into his best position as a central attacking midfielder when Dembele came on at half-time, then out to the left side to accommodate Vincent Janssen.
Erik Lamela, basically got in the way, took the ball off Dier I think it was, lost it in a dangerous area and we were 1-0 down. He then proceeded to try to do too much before he calmed down, had a shot and played a curling ball into the box that Alli couldn’t quite reach.
Dele was asleep for the second goal. Not the first time he hasn’t tracked a man into the box and while Vertonghen should have done better with the header there were a catalogue of errors.
As I say though, should we keep moving Dele Alli around to benefit another player, should it not be the other way around. Dele Alli is playing number 10, you will all have to move to accommodate him. Dembele could have started and been substituted when he became fatigued. Wanyama or Sissoko could have played the role for the second half, leaving Alli free to play at 10 the whole game.
Despite his two goals on Saturday I wouldn’t have started with Son. It was a big decision and for me a wrong one, it took Dele Alli away from where he is needed.
It is on to the weekend and Sunderland next where we will need to resume winning ways.