Pochettino's experiment failed; Tottenham must adjust for Crystal Palace clash

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Spurs failed to get into gear until changes were made against Everton.

Tottenham manager Mauricio PochettinoTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

The manner of last weekend’s draw with Everton has presented Mauricio Pochettino with something of a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace.

The Spurs boss opted to start with Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama as the midfield pivot against the Toffees and the evidence suggests it isn’t a match made in heaven.

Tottenham's Eric Dier and Chelsea's Diego Costa in actionTottenham's Eric Dier and Chelsea's Diego Costa in action

Both are powerful defensive midfielders, who’s strengths lie in winning back possession and playing the ball simply.

But Pochettino’s system requires one anchorman who can drop between the centre-backs and a forward-thinking box-to-box presence beside him.

Neither Dier or Wanyama are capable of playing that box-to-box role and Tottenham’s attacking threat was severely limited whilst they were both on the pitch.

Juventus' Pol Lirola in action with Tottenham's Victor WanyamaJuventus' Pol Lirola in action with Tottenham's Victor Wanyama

Vincent Janssen’s introduction for Dier changed the game by allowing Christian Eriksen to drop into a deeper midfield role and provide attacking impetus alongside the solid Wanyama.

Spurs improved massively and were unlucky not to go on and claim all three points, leaving Pochettino with a major decision ahead of the Eagles’ trip to White Hart Lane this weekend.

Janssen’s excellent showing will have placed him in contention for a start but more critical is the issue of how the midfield pivot changes.

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen applauds fans after the gameTottenham's Christian Eriksen applauds fans after the game

Eriksen has proven he can play in a deeper role and Dele Alli was originally seen as a box-to-box midfielder before his move to the Lane.

Ryan Mason hasn’t impressed in recent months but is a natural option there, while academy graduate Harry Winks looks ready for the first-team.

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks during trainingTottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks during training

Pochettino would of course have to drop one of Dier or Wanyama to make way and his decision to keep the latter on for the full 90 minutes against Everton could be a good indication of how he is leaning.

Spurs will be determined to claim three points this weekend and after seeing how a change in approach affected his team on Saturday, Pochettino must make the necessary adjustments for the Palace clash.

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