Is Pochettino preparing for life without Kyle Walker?
Mauricio Pochettino has now started with Kieran Trippier for the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea and the North London Derby against Arsenal, two of Tottenham Hotspur’s biggest games of the season.
Kyle Walker did return for the victory over Crystal Palace and may well face West Ham United, but it appears his stock has declined since he went to talk to his manager about his future.
Manchester City believe they can tempt Spurs into selling Walker this summer and this will have only given them further encouragement. Cashing in on the England right-back would be a risky move by Pochettino, but he clearly has faith in Trippier.
Why Spurs have all the momentum in north London
It has taken 22 years, but Tottenham fans were finally able to sing ‘North London is ours’ as their team will finish the season ahead of Arsenal. Arsene Wenger is right when he says the weight of more than 20 years is greater that one season, but there will be a real worry among Arsenal supporters that this is not a temporary blip.
The Gunners can numb some of the pain by still finishing the season with the FA Cup, but you cannot help think that, of the two clubs, Spurs have all the forward momentum. There is a feel-good factor around Pochettino and his team, while the anti-Wenger movement among the Arsenal fans is still growing.
Mesut Ozil is not worth £250,000-a-week
While Arsenal must fight to try to keep Alexis Sanchez, there is no reason why they should be worried by the demands of Mesut Ozil. The German once again went missing for the Gunners at White Hart Lane and there is no way the club should be paying him the big money to stay. He should not even be starting games.
While clubs clamour to try to tempt Sanchez, only Fenerbahce have shown a real interest in Ozil – that tells you everything. The best course of action would be to try to sell Ozil this summer and channel the salary budget towards Sanchez, even though he too was poor against Tottenham.
Man of the match
Victor Wanyama – Tottenham paid £9million to sign Wanyama for Southampton, while Arsenal splashed out over £30m on Granit Xhaka. It was clear from this match which club got the best deal as Wanyama snapped into tackles, started attacks and almost scored with a shot Petr Cech tipped over.
What Tottenham must do next
Win every game. The only chance Tottenham have of catching Chelsea is to win their final four games and hope the Blues slip up. But whatever happens, Spurs can be proud of their Premier League campaign as they have fought all the way.
What Arsenal must do next
Salvage the season. Arsenal can still finish in the top four and win the FA Cup, which would be more than respectable. Fail to achieve either and this will no doubt go down as Arsene Wenger’s worst-ever season in charge of the Gunners.