Tottenham Hotspur FC: Pochettino pleased for Wanyama, reveals reason for benching Alli

20 Aug

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his side’s late win against Crystal Palace has laid to rest the demons from the end of last season.

Spurs had drawn three and lost two of their previous five league matches after ending last term on a sour note and handing the title to Leicester and second place to arch rivals Arsenal.

But against Palace at White Hart Lane, summer signing Victor Wanyama headed home in the 83rd minute to earn a 1-0 victory and their first three points of the campaign.

“I think it’s very important to recover this feeling because the end of last season was hard, tough,” the Argentine said.

“Today was good to forget last season and to look forward. This is a different season. I’m very happy now with the performance of all the squad, all the players.”

Tottenham looked to be heading for another frustrating afternoon after both Harry Kane and Vincent Janssen, deployed together for the first time, missed chances to break the deadlock.

Wanyama, however, making his home debut, was in the right place at the right time, nodding home from close range after Kane had met Erik Lamela’s corner.

“I’m very happy with Victor because I was a player and it’s very important to score in your first home game and feel the love from your supporters,” Pochettino added.

Hugo Lloris’ hamstring injury meant Kane was handed the captain’s armband, with Janssen taking the place of Dele Alli.

Pochettino said Alli had been ill and missed training on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Janssen was tidy in his link-up play and industrious off the ball, but the Dutchman’s best chance ended in disappointment, after he skewed a finish when put through one on one.

“It was the same last season with Harry,” Pochettino said. “I’m worried when it’s impossible for them to have chances to score.

“When, like today, Vincent had lots of chances, it’s about luck or being a bit more clinical. He showed very good energy, he played well, I’m very happy with his performance.”

Pochettino relied heavily on Kane last term but also lacked the option of playing two strikers together, particularly at home and against opposition intent to sit deep.

“I remember when I arrived here, I wanted Harry to play with another striker,” Pochettino said.

“You could see Harry was more free. He had a lot of chances to score, to shoot – a lot more than at Everton [last weekend’s 1-1 draw]. I think it was a very good combination.”


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