4 points: Tottenham too violent, Pogba's needed return, Celtic can still cruise and Liverpool's new system

4 Points 18/12/2017

Here are four points on some current footballing issues. Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Celtic and Liverpool feature.

Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur fouls Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City and a penalty is awarded during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at...

1. Tottenham resort to violence too readily

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur are a powerful side. They are full of physically robust players who know how to use their strength. But over the last couple of years, when they've faced true adversity, they've mostly lashed out violently (Chelsea at the end of 2015/16 and Gent last season spring to mind).

Against Manchester City they found themselves up against irresistible force of Guardiola's men and were being played off the park. Harry Kane and Dele Alli then committed two shocking challenges that were clear red cards.

Somehow most Tottenham men got away without being sent off against City, but they won't be so lucky next time - particularly in the Champions League where they will face Italian titans Juventus.

If Tottenham want to reach the next level and start winning things, then they need to get a control of their emotions so they don't lose their cool and lunge into dangerous tackles whenever they're faced with adversity.

Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his sides fifth goal with Mohamed Salah of Liverpool and Roberto Firmino of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League group E match...

2. Liverpool show they're lethal with a front three

Liverpool kept Sadio Mané on the bench as they went to Bournemouth, and then they blew the Cherries away 0-4. Much has been made of Liverpool's "fab four" forwards, but this game proved that 4-3-3 is possibly the best system for them.

The thing with playing all of the "fab four" is that it makes the team too top-heavy. But playing 4-3-3 allows Liverpool to stock the midfield with more dynamism and defensive balance.

This is the future for Liverpool, and why there is life after Coutinho. With the Brazilian gone, Mané can step into attack and the midfield will continue to tick over, helping Liverpool be spectacular but still solid.

Brendan Rodgers, coach of Celtic looks on during a Celtic press conference on the eve of their UEFA Champions League match against Anderlecht at Lennoxtown Training Ground on December 4,...

3. Celtic will still cruise to the Title

Celtic lost their nice 69 match unbeaten run at the weekend, getting stomped 4-0 by mid-table Hearts. That is as spectacular a way to lose an unbeaten run in a league match as possible.

With Aberdeen just two points behind Celtic now (albeit having played a game more) it would be easy to say that there's now an actual title race in Scotland.

That Celtic, newly mortal, will have to contend with a hungry Aberdeen freshly powered by keeping manager Derek McInnes not just next week when the two teams meet, but for the rest of the season too.

But it's not. Celtic's streak is over, sure, but they are still a class apart and should walk their way to the title.

Paul Pogba of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Manchester United and CSKA Moskva at Old Trafford on December 05, 2017 in Manchester, United...

4. Pogba will bring the joy back to Manchester United

Paul Pogba's three match suspension is now over. In his absence Manchester United scored four goals in three games and failed to play anything like the kind of scintillating attacking stuff they do with the Frenchman present.

A humiliating loss to Manchester City has been followed by two functional wins against two teams struggling in the relegation zone. Obviously success is important but it's easy to see why United fans are frustrated with Mourinho right now.

But Paul Pogba will bring the festive joy back to Manchester United. Tis the season indeed!

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