Mauricio Pochettino reveals he has built his Tottenham title-chasers around his pair of perfect 10s

Ben Burrows
Mauricio Pochettino has designed his system around Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli: Getty

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he is building his Tottenham title-chasers around his pair of perfect 10s, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.

Spurs have the chance to close the gap on pace-setters Chelsea once more this weekend when they face Bournemouth at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime.

Pochettino’s side are playing some of the most attractive football in the Premier League – only Chelsea and Liverpool have scored more – and they owe much of that to the electric form of Eriksen and Alli, who alone have 10 goals between them in their last 10 games.

And Pochettino has revealed that that is very much by design.

“If you have two players like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, who both can play in the pocket, in behind the No.9, you must create a system that can fit them both,” he said.

“You can see Dele or Eriksen with a No.9 – Harry, Vincent, Sonny, I don't know – but how they use the pocket and how we create many different things to try to swap the position, play on the right or left, drop sometimes to try to build from the back when the teams play deeper.

“We try to play now with two No.10s that play facing the opponents' goal, not back to the opponents' goal. I think that the formation and the system and the philosophy helps Christian and Dele a lot. And they help a lot with the system and the philosophy that we play. It's in both directions.”

Pochettino has been effusive in his praise of PFA Young Player of the Year nominee Alli throughout this season even suggesting he can one day go on to surpass the achievements of Barcelona superstar Neymar.

Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen have enjoyed fine seasons as the heartbeat of Tottenham's side (Getty)

But speaking ahead of the clash with the Cherries it is clear too that he rates Eriksen equally highly.

“He is so special,” he added. “We always call him Golazo. Golazo because he is capable of scoring unbelievable goals. The recognition from us is massive. He feels that we love him. It is true he is so quiet, so calm, he is a very relaxed person but he loves football.

“He is a player that does not need too much the feedback of the fans, the media, the people outside. He always has a smile, he is a happy person and I like him a lot because he does not need to be recognised.

“He needs only to feel the love from us inside the club. I like that a lot.”

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