White hot: Dembele is one of four Belgian stars at White Hart Lane

Spurs’ midfield trio have no equals in the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino’s team bounce back from midweek woe and other things we learned from Tottenham 4 Sunderland 1

By Editor Wayne Veysey

Dembele and co in league of their own

In Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Delle Alli, Spurs have a midfield trio of youth and great quality. There is power, energy, flair, technique and goals, a combination that cannot currently be matched in the Premier League. Given the central midfield struggles at Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and even Manchester City, Mauricio Pochettino’s options are probably the envy of most top-flight managers. Following the end of the Gerrard-Lampard-Scholes era, there is a new generation of midfield superstars emerging at White Hart Lane.

New Sunderland signing has debut from hell

In Jan Kirchhoff’s worst dreams, this might have been how he imagined his debut would go. Sent on after 57 minutes with the score 1-1, the centre-back gave a good impression of looking as if he had neither ever met his new team-mates or played at the top level before. With Sam Allardyce inexplicably reshaping his defence from a flat back four to a back five in order to accommodate Kirchhoff, the new signing made a string of horrible errors. He made a pathetic attempt to block the third goal from Christian Eriksen and his Sunday League hack on Danny Rose then gifted the penalty for the fourth.

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Target man: Pochettino's team reasserted their top-four credentials
Target man: Pochettino’s team reasserted their top-four credentials

Spurs bounce back to assert top four credentials

After their midweek defeat to Leicester, it was crucial that Pochettino’s side bounced straight back to winning  ways. To their credit they did, despite being somewhat flattered by the scoreline. With the rest of the weekend fixtures still to be played, Spurs narrowed the gap on third-placed Manchester to one point and are now four adrift of leaders Arsenal. This victory not only showed that this Tottenham team are not as soft as so many of their predecessors but also reasserted their top-four credentials.

Alli and Dier the future of England’s midfield

Few would have guessed at the start of the season that Dier would be one of the most impressive defensive midfielders in England or that 19-year-old Alli would be a nailed-on starter for Spurs. The two have not only excelled alongside each other in Spurs’ midfield but represent England’s future. Anyone of a Three Lions persuasion will be encouraged by the combination of silk and steel in the centre of the pitch.

Anchor man: Eric Dier has flourished as Spurs' midfield enforcer this season
Anchor man: Eric Dier has flourished as Spurs’ midfield enforcer this season

Eriksen returns to form

Going into the match, the great Dane had been without a Premier League goal since 4 October. With his place in the team under threat, Christian Eriksen ended his three-month drought in the competition and also demonstrated that the goal burden does not rest entirely upon Harry Kane’s shoulders. Eriksen’s double increased his tally for the season to six and gives Spurs another major goal weapon going into the final months of the campaign.