Five things learned from Spurs' goalless draw with Partizan Belgrade

Paulinho

Tottenham's Europa League match in the Serbian capital may not have caught the imagination of those watching, but it still revealed a few interesting observations.

Fazio did a decent job on his debut

It's no surprise that the £8 million defender looks like a wall of player given his huge 6'5" frame, and on more than one occasion the Argentine got in the way of shots and passes. Fazio did make one mistake when he came for a header from a throw in but misjudged the ball which then fell to a Partizan attacker, with Hugo Lloris keeping out the close range effort. But for much of the game the former Sevilla man did well alongside Jan Vertonghen, a partnership many think is Tottenham's best, and considering it was his first game, and on such a poor pitch, he was one of the real plus points of the match.

Ben Davies continues to be a work in progress

When Ben Davies was signed this summer it was widely believed that Spurs had recruited one of the most promising young left backs around, with it only being a matter of time until he displaced the oft criticised Danny Rose. However, Davies' slightly erratic performances so far indicate that while his promise remains, it isn't as easy as just throwing that player into a team and seeing an immediate impression. Much like his performance in Belgrade, it may take a while for the Welshman to really settle in to the degree that we see the confident and capable individual Swansea fans saw over the last couple of years.

It’ll be a hard route back to the starting lineup for Paulinho

Though he did reasonably well in the club's last Europa League tie against AEL, Brazilian midfielder Paulinho looks like remaining on the fringes of this Tottenham side. Yet to even appear on the bench in the Premier League, it is hard to imagine Paulinho getting many chances in the near future, especially after failing to impress against Partizan. Undoubtedly a decent box-to-box midfielder, Pochettino seems to prefer Mousa Dembele and Nabil Bentaleb in midfield, with Christian Eriksen streets ahead of the former Corinthians player when it comes to the more advanced attacking midfield role he operated in in Belgrade.

Spurs missed the creativity of Christian Eriksen

Paulinho's lack of influence, particularly as Partizan came out strongly at the beginning of the second half, only emphasised how important Eriksen is to Spurs. No other central player can offer as much creativity as the Dane, and when combined with his decent goalscoring rate, Eriksen was one of the players that really impressed through his absence. Spurs were unable to breach a spirited defence that gifted minimal shots to the Londoners, despite long periods of possession.

The lack of on target efforts highlight the problems up front

It all started so well for Tottenham, with Harry Kane rattling the bar with a crashing strike within the first minute. But that was as close as they came to a goal all game, finishing with zero shots on target from their seven attempts. Kane worked hard but drifted from the game early on, and a returning Roberto Soldado was unable to get involved in attacking positions at all for the 30 minutes he was on the pitch. Spurs' failure to bring in attacking additions over the summer has been much debated, and given the side's inability to put Saturday's game with Sunderland to bed, a genuine attacking alternative to Emmanuel Adebayor has to be on the club's shopping list come January. 

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