Home » ARTICLES » Five Tackles And 88% Of Passing Accuracy – How Did This Tottenham’s Midfield Reinforcer Fared Against Middlesbrough?

Five Tackles And 88% Of Passing Accuracy – How Did This Tottenham’s Midfield Reinforcer Fared Against Middlesbrough?

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Tottenham held on for a hard-fought win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. The away side were the brighter team in the first half thanks to a brilliant attack. The side might have been missing Mousa Dembele and Harry Kane but that did not bother a lot as Son Heung-min was on fire.

The South Korean scored a brace for Tottenham in the first half, with his second goal being sumptuous, to say the least. Spurs should have really kicked on from there but credit should be given to Middlesbrough.

The home side came back big time in the second half and scored from a Ben Gibson header. And they did press hard but could not get the second goal. The away side were value for the win but one thing they did miss was the presence of Dembele, especially in the second half. The Belgian would have been a perfect presence with Wanyama and we look at just how the Kenyan performed in the win.

A great first half and an average second half

Wanyama was the only “deep lying” midfielder for Tottenham this afternoon as Moussa Dembele and Eric Dier were out of action. That could have been a problem for the Spurs team but Christian Eriksen and Dele took turns in playing from the deep and launching attacks for Tottenham.

This allowed Wanyama to play his natural game and deal with the threat of the other Boro midfielders in the side. In the first half, Wanyama didn’t really have a lot to do as Tottenham dominated the early proceedings in the game.


The Kenyan was great with his passing and had a success rate of 88%, which was one of the highest in the game at the Riverside. The 25-year-old was great in defending as he notched up five tackles out of the seven he attempted in the game. Wanyama was the Spurs player with the most number of tackles, trying to break things up for Boro.

Wanyama was busy as a bee in midfield and his heat map barely showed him moving away from the heart of the box, as was expected by the defensive midfielder in the side. The Kenyan also was tied with Kyle Walker when it comes to intercepting the ball. Wanyama came in with two interceptions in the entire game, the same as Walker. Besides that, he also made two blocks in the game, and the one being right on the edge of the penalty area. But he wasn’t that good aerial as he only won one of his 4 aerial duels.

Second half mistake from Wanyama

While Boro tried to grow in confidence, there was one error from Wanyama that led to the goal for the home side. The Kenyan was penalised for a foul in the 64th minute as Stewart Downing stepped up.

The former Liverpool man’s free-kick was headed in by Ben Gibson. Wanyama though kept his cool under pressure and with the help of the centre-backs, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, made sure that Spurs don’t concede another goal.

This was not the toughest test for the Kenyan and the second half performance by Middlesbrough proved that Tottenham needs two proper central midfielders in the middle of the park. While Wanyama does the dirty work and keeps the defence shielded, he does need someone else to ping the ball from midfield to attack.

Wanyama might not have been the best Tottenham player in the game but he did perform his duties really well. That one blot of giving away the free-kick was an anomaly in an otherwise decent performance.

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