Mauricio Pochettino felt understandably let down after a muted Champions League display and defeat to Monaco in midweek, so the best thing the Tottenham chief can do is freshen up his side for the visit of Sunderland.
The most blindingly obvious place to start would be central midfield. Last season that was the almost-exclusive domain of Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele.
Dier was the rock solid base of the midfield, feeding his more attack-minded partner with a constant supply of passes from which the Belgian could then spark attacks.
While the former has begun every game so far, a six-game ban carried over from last season’s Stamford Bridge fracas meant Lilywhites were forced to wait until halfway through the Monaco match to see one of their most influential players return to action.
The former Fulham maestro may not have prevented the loss in the end, but with 45 critical minutes under his belt, his name should be first on Pochettino’s teamsheet when Sunderland turn up on Sunday afternoon.
Dembele’s last Tottenham goal arrived in this very fixture as well and the marauding midfielder is 29/10 to open his 2016/17 account on Sunday.
In a similar midfield bracket of willing ball carriers, is a certain £30m summer signing yet to be granted licence to fully stretch his legs.
Having only played 20 minutes’ worth of late cameos in successive matches, former Newcastle ace Moussa Sissoko is crying out to be thrown into the action against the Black Cats.
The French Euro 2016 star has had long enough to shake the summer from his legs and after others under-performed in Europe, the opportunity to break into the team must surely present itself.
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