Why Tottenham Hotspur's defeat to Arsenal has become a blessing in disguise

Tottenham Hotspur were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Arsenal last month.

When Tottenham Hotspur were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Arsenal last month, the sounds of discontent were heard loud and clear around White Hart Lane. 

Losing the north London derby can never been considered acceptable at Spurs, and Mauricio Pochettino's decision to play a number of fringe players in the tie was widely criticised.

However, the defeat could have turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it gives Tottenham an advantage over the rest of their top-four chasing rivals.

The likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are all still in the competition, and will battle it out at the fourth round stage in midweek.

Spurs, however, have the week off - and that could be crucial, with their schedule about to become more demanding.

Had Tottenham have stayed in the Capital One Cup, they would have faced the prospect of playing six matches in the space of just 17 days, but by going out of the tournament they can now recoup some fitness. 

That could be crucial, as Spurs look to stretch their unbeaten run which has now reached nine games in the Premier League.

With Pochettino promoting a demanding style for Spurs' players, this week off can help them avoid fatigue, and it could be that their biggest disappointment of the season, in losing to Arsenal, has ended up becoming a positive. 

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