Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the latest North London derby has been seen as a positive result in many ways. Purely in terms of points, though, it is yet another disappointing outcome for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. The international break seemed like a great way to get off from the league focus, but Pochettino will already be searching for answers to a fresh injury problem. According to the reports from the Sun, first choice left back Danny Rose has just returned from back from England duty after reportedly suffering a new injury.
Spurs are yet to find the extent of this new problem. Just as the club welcome Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld back from injury, Pochettino will be hoping that this new problem is not too serious.
Tottenham are winless in the last seven matches of all competitions, and Sunday’s game against Arsenal was probably a great opportunity to put that sequence to an end. A game against a team with just one defeat this season may sound extremely difficult, but derbies as intense as the North London derby is where form goes out of the window.
After having gone through more than a month without a win, Pochettino seemed keen to try new elements of the game. Spurs switched to a 3-4-3 formation, which has been made hugely popular by Chelsea in the last few weeks, against Arsenal. One of the key aspects of this formation is the presence of wingbacks who can contribute at both ends of the pitch. Against Arsenal, Pochettino used regular full-backs Kyle Walker and Danny Rose in the wingback positions to great effect. Both players have the energy to keep going at both ends of the game for the 90 minutes.
If Rosefails to make a comeback before the Premier League action – which resumes on November 19 – Pochettino may very well resort to having Ben Davies at left-back. The Welshman may not be the best option available at this position, and it could force Pochettino to consider a back four once again. Luckily, Pochettino has been without Rose earlier in the season for up to 7 matches. He was unavailable for almost the entirety of September. Ironically, Tottenham played some of their best football during this period after racking up wins over Stoke City, CSKA Moscow, and Manchester City amongst others.
The next couple of games is extremely important for Spurs in the context of their league title ambitions. The club have a run of three consecutive London derbies with the first finishing as a 1-1 draw. Straight up is a home match against West Ham followed by a trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.