In what is probably our biggest week of the season so far, Spurs got off to a great start at home to Aston Villa. Rarely getting out of first gear we cruised to a 3-1 victory. Some fans would argue that we were complacent at times and should have done more to put Villa to the sword but I felt it was a near perfect performance.
We didn’t over exert ourselves, and that’s putting it lightly. Scoring inside the first three minutes effectively killed the game. But it was exactly the kind of performance we needed, with another two huge matches coming up it was important not to pick up any more injuries and not tire ourselves out.
Next up we face Anderlecht in a crunch Europa League tie, and then we’re away to the old enemy Arsenal. I think I’ll have the backing of the majority of Spurs fans when I say that it is absolutely essential that key players are rested in the midweek game. Harry Kane could do with being rested and so could Eric Dier. Those two players are so important to us at the moment and we need them at their 100% best on Sunday.
I’d bring in a few youngsters for Anderlecht. Josh Onomah got a few minutes at the end against Villa and looked lively. He should start, and so too should Clinton N’Jie if he can shake off a knock that kept him out against Villa. Andros Townsend and Ryan Mason could probably do with a run out as well to keep them sharp, and this means we could also rest Christian Eriksen.
Our defence is looking very solid this season. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have made an incredible partnership in the centre of defence, and with Eric Dier in such good form mopping up everything in front of them, it’s given the full backs a lot more freedom, and Kyle Walker in particular is playing like a man possessed. It’s so important that this back-four stays together and fit, and to be honest, I’d rest all of them on Thursday as well.
Here’s my team to face Anderlecht: Vorm, Trippier, Fazio, Wimmer, Davies, Mason, Alli, Carroll, Townsend, Onomah, N’Jie. I know the Europa League is important but I feel that side should see us through. And that way we effectively rest most of the entire eleven (bar Alli) that should start on Sunday. Maybe swap Alli for Dembele on 60 or so minutes.
I don’t need to reiterate how important it is to Spurs fans to beat Arsenal. At the end of the day, it’s where our glory lies, and I’m usually all for playing a strong team in the Europa League, but this time I can make an exception. We already have plenty of injuries and we don’t need anymore – but so too do Arsenal so no excuses there. Make no mistake, we’ll need to be at our absolute best to once again claim North London bragging rights.