Tottenham: Spurs Race Into Premier League Contention

Tottenham proved on Sunday that whilst other sides are grabbing the headlines, their own threat is real and growing. A dismantling of Manchester City at White Hart Lane brought glowing reviews.

We take a look at the best responses, opinion and reactions to Spurs’ blistering form in their push for Premier League success, starting with manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino: “A Complete Performance”

Describing Tottenham’s display as, “nearly perfect,” Pochettino was clearly more than satisfied with the showing.

“I feel very pleased and proud of the performance. We worked very hard…all the players were fantastic…the mentality was to go forward, play football and try to win the game. Our players showed commitment to the philosophy and the way we played was fantastic. Today was an example of how we work and want to play. If we play with the passion we showed today, we have enough quality to fight against the big teams.

Our mentality was to be aggressive and play in the opposition’s half. It’s the commitment of the team, and their belief in the way we play.”

On the altercation between Erik Lamela and Son Heung-Min leading up to Lamela’s penalty shot that was saved by Claudio Bravo: “Lamela, Sonny, Eriksen, it’s the moment and whoever feels better (able) to shoot. It is better that two players want to shoot than nobody wants to take the ball. Maybe Son takes the next, but it is not an issue.”

Full Pochettino press conference:

Thierry Henry on Sky Sports had this appraisal of the second goal:

“What vision, what a pass from Son, what a finish from Dele Alli. They deserved to be 2-0 up. The pressure was too much, that’s what we want to see and that’s how you have to play against Man City.

Jermaine Jenas on BBC highlighted the intensity with which Spurs play:

“It was not just the result that was impressive, it was how they got their 2-0 win. Right from the start, the intensity of their play was frightening, and they carried out Pochettino’s game plan to perfection.

Gary Neville on Sky Sports was glowing in his appraisal of Spurs’ defence:

“I’ve not seen many teams run at the speed and with the level of tackling Spurs did. They were incessantly relentless, they put their foot in, they risked giving fouls away and being beaten but then they knew their mate was going to be behind them.

Pochettino for me is an absolutely brilliant coach, there is no doubt…

To watch Rose, Walker, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld – their covering positions, their detail and attentiveness in the last 25 minutes when Iheanacho came on was brilliant. Sensing danger, awareness, getting their foot in, blocking shots, even the full-backs blocking crosses.

Their way of playing in the first hour, pushing up the pitch, contributed enormously to how Tottenham played. Every time the ball shifts back they shifted with it aggressively and did it really quickly. To get a team to do that every time is tough, they make it really easy for the midfield players in front of them, who also put in a real shift in. It’s a dream back four and that’s Pochettino’s work.

There is no way if you’re a Pochettino defender that you can see the ball get passed back and just stand, you have to shift with the ball. To get a back four drilled is very difficult and Pochettino is building a back four which is probably as consistent as any in the Premier League.”

Dele Alli on the result and performance post-game:

“It’s massive. I think it’s a big statement from us. We knew what we’re capable of, we knew we’d have chances if we stuck to our game plan and took it to them…we showed what we’re made of.”

Victor Wanyama, arguably man of the match, on hard work:

“I’m happy to take three points. We knew we had to work hard, we enjoy working hard, when it comes to games we have to work extra hard. The hard work paid off.”

Tottenham head into the international break as the only undefeated side in the Premier League, just one point off City in top spot.

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