To be fair to Le Arse, and I do not normally say this, they were the better team on the day.
They had more possession overall and they had more chances, but we had the better keeper – by far the better keeper – and in the end perhaps that is one of the things that kept us in the game.
It wasn´t pretty, but is was always intriguing. Well almost.
Le Arse had the better exchanges for the first 30 minutes but then we managed to get into the game and created a few good chances. By this time certain weaknesses in their midfield had been exposed as players were being felled under the relentless pressure of the contact we were putting them under. Something not associated with a Spurs team – but for once I am not going to complain.
Whilst we were not always first to the tackle, we were there, and we were physical, occasionally over physical but who really cares when we play the old enemy.
First Arteta failed, then Ramsey, and only by some miracle did Wiltshire survive – only to be substituted in the second half. All three could not cope with the pressure imposed on them by our midfield.
Technically we could not cope with them, physically we did. And they suffered.
Amazingly one of our best performers, one of the best components of this physical approach, was someone I had not even considered to be in the team.
Ryan Mason not only has the class to perform at this level, he has the presence that belongs there. After his midweek match winning cameo he, alongside Capoue, delivered the physical presence that maybe has been missing, yet Mason is supposed to be a “flair” player.
I would have preferred to see Stambouli in central midfield alongside his French compatriot, allowing Dembele to push forward in place of his fellow Belgian – Chadli – yet it was he who made the breakthrough. How wrong can you be?
Our two “lightweights” – Eriksen and Lamela – combined to rob the ball and deliver the perfect pass into his feet so that he had the easy job of rolling the ball into the net, yet I would not have had him there.
This therefore now presents Pochettino with the unenviable task of working out who plays where and when in the future as not only does he now more than a few talented internationals vying for a place – but also quite a few very eager youngsters.
If Mason and Bentaleb are the quality we have coming through – and there are undoubtedly others waiting in the wings – why do we need to spend big money on new players. But that is a question and answer session for another day.
On Saturday it was good to see Vertonghen back in the centre of defence where he belongs, and again there is good competition for places here, but I am still not convinced about the full backs.
I know we are waiting on Walker returning from his operation – but there is no one else who stands out for me. Naughton, Dier, Rose, Davies are all very good young players – they would not be with us if they weren´t – but are they really good enough, better than what is at other teams in our position in the League?
Only time will tell.