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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Player Assessment

Tottenham received an early scare, going behind against the run of play, but eased to victory against CSKA Moscow at Wembley to secure UEFA Europa League football in the new year. How did they perform individually?

Hugo Lloris, 7
Can’t be blamed for the goal. A second successive game in which the skipper had very little to do. Made an important save when we were 2-1 up before we went on to secure the game with a third.

Kyle Walker, 8
Covered so much ground and played his part at both ends of the pitch. Seems to be increasing in confidence all the time, exemplified by a clever back-heel pass in the build up to the equaliser. Put in a superb cross for Kane against Swansea and further good crosses against CSKA. His defending has improved, but so has his crossing.

Eric Dier, 6
Failed to track goalscorer Dzagoev for CSKA’s opener and looked a bit uncomfortable at centre-back until Spurs settled. Eventually found his feet, and should return to midfield now Toby Alderweireld is back. The TV pundits felt his mind was still in defensive midfield role rather than centre-back. Has shown too many lapses in central defence but it will help his education.

Jan Vertonghen, 7
Far too easily beaten in the build up to the CSKA goal, he should have won the header against a weak player in the air, but that was merely a blip in another assured performance from the latest Tottenham player to commit his future to the club.

Danny Rose, 7
His perfectly weighted low cross set up Harry Kane for the second goal. That is the type of pass we have been missing, first time without having to control the ball first, it made the difference and created a goal. Similar to the Swansea game, Rose was outshone by Walker on the other side but still did his job convincingly.

Victor Wanyama, 7
Could have protected the back four more effectively during CSKA’s sporadic dangerous spells, but didn’t do much wrong per se, although his first two touches of the game were to give the ball away to the opposition. His passing was on point and he helped Harry Winks in midfield with his strength and positioning.

Harry Winks, 7
Grew into the game after a bit of an anonymous start, eventually becoming one of Spurs’ strongest performers. Appears to be earning Pochettino’s trust with each and every impressive outing, this was his 13th appearance of the season.

Christian Eriksen, 8
A brilliant Eriksen performance that only lacked goals and he should have scored in the first half, he was through on goal but shot at the centre of the goal making it easy for the keeper. The Dane made the first goal, contributed to the second and was generally involved in everything Tottenham did well. Was playing far more creatively than of late.

Dele Alli, 7
Curled in the equaliser beautifully and forced the third goal by being in the right place at the right time. Alli’s final product is still hit and miss, but he’s doing the right things to become more consistent. He keeps getting in the right positions but missed four simple chances. Must improve on that 1 in 5 strike rate.

Heung-Min Son, 6
Threatened with his customary direct running and tricky footwork, but his efforts didn’t result in much. Was substituted on the hour, but continues to look dangerous when he receives the ball.

Harry Kane, 7
Was in the perfect place to tap in the crucial second goal. Held the ball up effectively and set up Alli for the third with a pinpoint cross. Spurs will be delighted to have a fully fit Kane back in form. His expansive passing was an added bonus.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, 6
Was introduced on the hour. Looked confident but his finishing was wayward. Looks as though he could be a dangerous player in time. Has plenty of improving to do.

Toby Alderweireld, 7
His much-anticipated return begun with a beautiful cross-field pass that provoked cheers around the stadium. He had a couple of headers over the bar from set pieces.No sign of rust here.

Josh Onomah, N/A
Played just seven minutes plus stoppage time so no time to assess him.


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