Currently on a run of six Premier League games without defeat, which have brought four victories, Tottenham are starting to cement themselves as real top four challengers.
After all the early season criticism of Mauricio Pochettino, the situation at White Hart Lane is steadily improving, and the Lilywhites will be hoping to secure their place in the League Cup Final by defeating League One Sheffield United over two legs in the semi-finals.
The Argentine coach has started to discover his best starting XI, and the emergence of Harry Kane in the attacking zone, as well as the newfound confidence of Federico Fazio in defence, has brought a renewed energy and hope to White Hart Lane. And it has been the emergence of such players that has allowed Pochettino to name an almost consistent starting XI during the impressive run of results.
Since defeating Swansea 2-1 courtesy of Christian Eriksen’s late strike, the Lilywhites have made few changes to their starting XI for the successive games, only changing through injury. This strongest team recorded an impressive draw with Manchester United, before running riot against Chelsea, winning 5-3 with a performance that showed all the potential that Spurs had promised to display since the start of the campaign.
However, this recent success has shown a real problem with the side - the lack of depth in the Spurs ranks.
For Monday evening’s FA Cup third round tie with Burnley, Pochettino changed things up, bringing in the likes of Paulinho, Mousa Dembele and Roberto Soldado, and the first-half was a showing void of any action. It was not until Kane took to the field in the second half that the North Londoners looked to bring any creativity to the game, and he played a key role in Nacer Chadli’s opening goal.
Whilst Pochettino has now found a strong starting XI that can compete with the best sides in the Premier League, he is sorely lacking any strength in depth, and that is a vital attribute to a side looking to qualify for the Champions League. With the January transfer window now upon us, there is a real hope that the new-look Spurs scouting team can unearth some hidden gems to strengthen the first-team, and it is highly likely that Pochettino’s first aim will be to remove all the deadwood from the playing squad.