Former Arsenal player Paul Merson says Tottenham Hotspur’s ability to press teams high up the pitch and impose themselves on opponents has impressed him, the Daily Star report.
Many people had reservations as to whether Spurs could really challenge for a top-four finish this season, yet their performance in the recent North London derby has made people sit up and take notice.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men were fantastic as they pressed high, dominated Arsenal for long spells and were only denied a deserved victory through a lack of prolificacy in the final third.
Writing in his blog for the Daily Star, Merson backs them for the top four and explains their ability to really throw down the gauntlet in terms of pressing has really impressed him.
“After watching Spurs at Arsenal I’m convinced they can do it. Not many teams go there and give Arsenal the runaround. Fair play to them. I thought they were outstanding. They surprised me,” he wrote.
“Mauricio Pochettino is a top manager. I didn’t think he had the players there to play a pressing game. But he’s slowly brought players into the team who can do that. I’m impressed with them.”
“They’ve got young players who haven’t played loads of football and they won’t tire like other teams.”
One thing Spurs have been renowned for over the years is their youthfulness, but this season it appears even more apparent as Pochettino has been courageous in attempts to push his younger players.
Eric Dier and Dele Alli have stepped up, while the pressure and expectation on Harry Kane’s shoulders is huge, but the 22-year-old continues to come up trumps.
Chelsea’s poor season to date has opened up an opportunity for a Spurs or Liverpool to break in to the top four, and on current form, the North Londoners would be a safe bet to secure one of those much-coveted Champions League spots.