Tottenham finish off testing spell with another away win as Pochettino rides out storm
PUBLISHED: 11:00 15 November 2018
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The Argentinian has Spurs on course for the Premier League top four despite contending with choppy waters in recent months
Several Spurs players have jetted off for international duty now, but the ones still at Hotspur Way will be surrounded by staff with smiles on their faces.
The mood at Tottenham Hotspur is one of quiet optimism it seems and probably slight satisfaction at things on the pitch – less so off it.
Why? Because Mauricio Pochettino has done it again and guided his team through a tough period with very few casualties.
After returning from the last international break in October, the Lilywhites were preparing to play seven games in three weeks.
Fast forward to the present and Spurs are comfortably in the top four – with a three-point cushion over Arsenal and a seven-point gap over Manchester United – and still alive in Europe.
The only defeat Tottenham have suffered since the 4-2 loss at home to Barcelona in the Champions League on October 3 is a 1-0 reverse to league champions Man City and if Spurs had taken their opportunities, it might have been a different story.
What is more impressive than the fact Pochettino’s team have only lost once in this period is the fact they have won five games out of seven in all competitions.
Not only did Spurs have to visit West Ham United twice, but on top of this they travelled to teams like Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace – league sides fighting for their lives.
Even with injuries mounting, Tottenham come away with two wins at the London Stadium, one to see them through to the quarter-finals of the League Cup, plus a triumph in the Midlands and at Selhurst Park.
The Premier League success at Palace occurred thanks to Juan Foyth, who rewarded Pochettino’s faith with a 66th-minute header for the winner in the 1-0 victory.
A week after giving away two penalties at the Molineux in a 3-2 win which was more nervy than it should have been, Foyth could have missed out at Selhurst Park.
Davinson Sanchez was injured, yet Eric Dier was on the bench and an option to fill in at the back alongside Toby Alderweireld, but Pochettino picked the young Argentina interational and was rewarded.
It means Tottenham are fourth in the table on 27 points and only one point and a place off Chelsea, who they will host on November 24 at Wembley Stadium.
A blip during this tough spell was a 2-2 draw at PSV in Group B of the Champions League, but the 2-1 win in the return fixture has given Spurs hope of progression and Pochettino deserves credit for managing this period so well.
The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is still not ready, but on the pitch the Lilywhites are slowly building momentum largely thanks to the calming influence of their Argentinian manager.