Sky Sports: Brilliant Poch tactical tweak has freed up Tottenham surprise star passer
By Harry Sykes
The signing of Davinson Sanchez has freed up Tottenham’s ball-playing defender Toby Alderweireld to build the team’s attacks from the back, according to a report.
Sky Sports claim on their website that the arrival of £42million club-record signing Sanchez at the end of last month has reaped immediate dividends.
The Colombia international has been stationed between Alderweireld and Vertonghen in a three-man back line in back-to-back wins against Everton last Saturday and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.
Sanchez’s presence as a stopper centre-back whose role is to negate the opposition allows Spurs’ two Belgium defenders more licence to create the play.
Sky Sports point out that Sanchez made six clearances in Spurs’ 3-1 win over Dortmund at Wembley, more than any other player on the pitch, even though no starter in his side had fewer touches of the ball.
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“That is how Pochettino planned it, the presence of Sanchez in the centre freeing up the team’s ball-playing defenders instead,” report the broadcaster. “Alderweireld played the most passes of any Spurs player and Vertonghen made only two fewer.
“Indeed, the latter even felt liberated enough to embark on adventurous runs down either flank with his side leading after the break. In contrast, Sanchez knew his role. He was content to stay put.”
Football Insider verdict:
It is a surprise that Alderweireld made more passes than any other Spurs player against Dortmund, given that his principal role is to stop goals rather than create them. But the signing of Sanchez and Pochettino’s brilliant tactical tweak has reaped the immediate dividend of making Tottenham a tougher nut to crack in European competition. There appeared little wrong with the all-Belgian combination of Alderweireld and Vertonghen, who have been key to making Tottenham the meanest defence in the Premier League in the last two seasons. But Pochettino’s focus is always to make the team more focus, and the signs are that he has done so with his latest smart move.
In other Tottenham news, a speed machine is to agree a deal after a £25million bid from Spurs.