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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Spurs challenging despite an inexperienced bench


Tottenham have had to endure many injuries in the first half of the season, Hugo Lloris, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele, Erik Lamela, Harry Kane have all missed chunks while others like Dele Alli and Son Heung-min have also had time out.

That has meant calling on the squad and calling on the subs bench. Of all the top six clubs we have the least experienced bench, hardly surprising since we have the youngest squad in the Premier League. We don't boast a bench full of internationals, it often contains harry Winks, Cameron Carter-Vickers and other youngsters.

We have not had a settled first team, we haven't had our first eleven playing together hardly at all and if we can have a run of them together in the second half of the season we could see the type of run we need to secure a top-four finish, perhaps higher than some are expecting. A win tonight and we go third, just two points behind Liverpool in second place, not bad for a team playing squad players for half a season. Of course we have to win tonight first and that won't be easy against a resurgent Chelsea.

During the summer we were going to sign Michy Batshuayi until the last moment when Chelsea came, offered Marseille more money and Batshuayi a bigger wage than we could afford. The result is he hasn't started a Premier League game this season, another example of a player, at least in the short term going to the wrong club.

In 11 games he has played for a total of just 76 minutes, five of those have been for 1 minute. While Chelsea can afford to have players bought for £33.2 million sitting around doing nothing, Spurs can't, we don't have the financial resources. Oscar, Willian, Fabregas, Ivanovic all receive a wage above our threshold and demonstrate once again the uneven playing field on which we have to fight.

He is learning the ropes, just as Vincent Janssen is, but I fear we are not helping him much if we can't give him 30 minutes plus when we are 4-0 up. That was an opportunity missed so you begin to wonder already if Pochettino has already made his mind up about him. He wouldn't be the first player to have only been at the club a season under Pochettino.

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