‘Fight’ has never been a characteristic you would associate with the various Tottenham teams of recent years.
It’s hard to remember exactly when it changed, but it’s a pretty safe bet that something transformed with the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentine’s players scored an incredible three goals in six minutes to turn the game around at Swansea and seal a 3-1 win to keep the heat on Chelsea at the top of the table.
Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, and Christian Eriksen got the goals.
A moment of pure class preceded Son’s winner, however, and it came from an unlikely source.
Vincent Janssen was instrumental in changing the game after he came on. Many fans would have liked to see him start in Harry Kane’s absence, but given that Son scored in the weekend’s win over Burnley, it was inevitable that the South Korean would get the nod.
The supporters would love dearly for Janssen to score some goals of his own. A look at the reaction when he scored his only goal from open play this season in the 6-0 win over Millwall will tell you that.
What the Dutchman offers, as he so coolly executed with his no-look flick to set up Son in Swansea, is his link-up play. Too often he’s found out on the wings trying to assist his team-mates, and that isn’t helping his goal tally.
Pochettino may well be considering whether Janssen isn’t best utilised just behind the striker. It would seem like a waste in some respects, given that he was top scorer in the Eredivisie last season, but that was under a very different system and with all due respect, in a much easier league.
If that’s what’s needed to get the 22-year-old’s confidence levels up, then surely the goals will follow.
In his post-match press conference, Pochettino gave an answer to that effect when discussing Janssen’s role.
“He’s a different type of player that always is important. That is why we signed him because he can bring to the team different characteristics and yes, it’s true that he’s a different type of offensive player.”
New strikers tend to bring with them high expectations, and perhaps the starlet has been a victim of that – but it doesn’t mean Spurs can’t get the best out of him.