Date: 14th September 2019 at 7:15pm
Written by:

OPINION

Mauricio Pochettino will be delighted with the way his side ended their three-match run without a Premier League win by beating Crystal Palace 4-0 in North London on Saturday afternoon.

Heung-min Son hit a brace while Erik Lamela and a Patrick van Aanholt own goal gave Spurs a much-needed three points that moves them up to third in the league standings.

It was a convincing win for Tottenham but not every player on the pitch impressed as much as they should have.

Moussa Sissoko’s performance in the heart of the Spurs midfield should be cause for concern for Pochettino, especially as the France international was such a key part of his plans last season.

According to stats by WhoScored, Sissoko failed to win a single tackle, failed to complete the one dribble that he attempted and was dribbled past once by one of Crystal Palace’s attackers.

In comparison to some of his team-mates, Christian Eriksen made three tackles and Ben Davies, who came off the bench in the 75th minute, completed three dribbles.

Sissoko also attempted 81 passes in the match but 44 of them passes went backwards.

No other player on the pitch made as many backward passes as Sissoko, who only attempted 36 of his passes in an attacking direction.

Sissoko is hardly seen as a playmaker but the lack of forward-vision by the ex-Newcastle midfielder is a concern, especially it is in a match where his side is winning so convincingly against a team that really struggled to contain the attacking players.

But if the £80,000-a-week [Spotrac] isn’t a playmaker, then what is he based on that display versus the Eagles?

He wasn’t someone who broke up play with zero tackles, zero interceptions and zero interceptions and nor did he make his aerial presence felt in the midfield having won fewer aerial duels [1] than Harry Winks [2].

It should leave Pochettino with a big question about what Sissoko is actually offering to the team at the moment in a time when he could be replaced.

Sissoko needs to improve on this performance because Tanguy Ndombele returned from injury in the second half when he came off the bench and at the moment, Spurs’ summer signing looks set to replace the ex-Newcastle man in Pochettino’s midfield.