For Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, it must be a source of some irritation that his next-door neighbour, Tottenham’s, Kieran Trippier invariably has his best games against the Hornets.
Spurs’ second-choice right-back has only started eight Premier League matches in almost two seasons at the club – and half of those have come against Gomes and his colleagues.
In those games he has scored one goal – his only strike in Spurs colours – and set up another four, including the final one in Saturday’s 4-0 home win.
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Trippier, who was named the man of the match, emerged from the dressing room holding Gomes’ shirt, and he said: “It’s just whenever the manager says I’m playing, funnily enough it’s Watford !
“[After this game] I’ll knock on [Heurelho’s] door and ask to borrow some milk or something and I think he’ll just slam the door in my face! No, if I see him we’ll have a good chat about the game and different things.
“We have a bit of banter but he’s a top guy. He was a great player here and we get on really well.”
Saturday’s triumph – Tottenham’s seventh consecutive victory in all competitions – underlined the fact that the Lilywhites now have a strong supporting cast and can cope without a number of senior players.
When Harry Kane emerged from the bench, making his surprisingly early comeback from an ankle injury, his team-mates had already built up a 4-0 lead, and the absences of Victor Wanyama, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Harry Winks were also inconsequential as Mauricio Pochettino’s side romped to another victory.
Trippier more than played his part as his impressive 2017 continues, delivering the cross to the back post that gifted Heung-Min Son his second goal of the day while also creating a number of other enticing opportunities.
Vincent Janssen failed to capitalise on his two volleyed crosses in the first half, and Trippier also played Kane and Son through on goal with clever balls, while flashing a cross into the area between Kane’s head and Gomes’ hands.
The 26-year-old has had difficult games at Spurs in the past, particularly in Europe , and question marks remain over his defending against the top sides, both domestically and abroad.
However, when it comes to getting forward and providing width in attacking areas, Spurs have two very capable right-backs with different strengths.
Walker is quicker and his raw pace can take him in behind the opposing defence, but his crossing can be a little aimless – his end product can let him down.
Trippier lacks that speed and cannot be as direct when he has the ball – yet he consistently puts his deliveries from wide positions into the most dangerous areas.
“As soon as you get the ball and you see two or three players in the box, why wait?” said Trippier. “You’ve got a great opportunity to get a goal so I don’t try to do something, try to beat a man, when I can just get the ball in early – because that’s what strikers love.
“I speak to H (Kane) and the other strikers, and as soon as I get the ball they know what’s going to happen. I get the ball in dangerous areas and try to create as many goals as I can.
“Since I was at Manchester City when I was younger I’ve practised [crossing] a lot. That’s one of my main attributes and I do my best to get into those positions where I can feed them into the strikers. I’ve done that since I was a young boy.
“We do it in training, and I do it in my own time with Christian [Eriksen] or a few of the other boys. We do set pieces and I just work on different areas of my game.
“I don’t get much game time but I keep trying to work hard on the training field because Walks has done well for club and country, so I’ve got a difficult man in front of me. But when I get my opportunities I try to take them, try to do my best for myself and my team-mates.
“Do our styles complement each other? You could say that. We bounce off each other and the most important thing is we get on as well. We’ve played for England in the younger ages together. We’ve known each other a long time.
“I knew what it was going to be like before I came here. I knew it was going to be difficult, but all I can do is try, keep doing my best in training and in games, and then it’s up to the manager who plays.”
Trippier was asked if he feels he would be challenging for Walker ’s England spot if he was at a different club. He replied: “I don’t know, I can’t really comment on that. I’m a Tottenham player and I’m just delighted to be here.
“We’re going through a great phase at the moment and I just need to keep doing my best in training and on the pitch when I’m called upon.
“I don’t know [about England ], I’m not playing enough. It’s always an ambition to play for my country, but I need to focus on my club career and get as many games as I can before I think ahead about that.
“Every time I get the opportunity to play I love the atmosphere, especially here with the fans. It’s just important that I get the minutes under my belt. But there’s a really good feel about the club at the moment.”
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