For Pochettino it was déjà vu

For Mauricio Pochettino is was déjà vu, Southampton beat WBA 1-0 away from home with a last-gasp winner on the opening day last season, now Tottenham have done the same this season.

For Pochettino it was déjà vu


Southampton went on to exceed expectations so if Spurs can go on to exceed expectations we'll be happy. A certain Eric Dier exceeded expectations as well, with Michael Dawson unfit, although named on the bench, Vertonghen a month behind on pre-season training and needing to be eased back after the World Cup to prevent an injury through tiredness and Vlad Chiriches also injured, Eric Dier had to be thrown into the fray.

After 29 minutes when they had got behind us a couple of times, Kyle Naughton was harshly sent off, which creates a problem with Kyle Walker also injured. Eric Dier then had to be moved to right-back, not his natural position but he did a competent job there and then goes ad finds himself at centre-forward to take the ball round the keeper and slot home. Incredible.

Fairy story stuff, he couldn't have asked for more, 90 minutes and a winner, instant folk hero status, that's the way to win over fans.

"Andros (Townsend) went outside so I thought I'd make a run inside and it just happened to fall for me. I'd like to score more goals to be honest.  
"We knew it would be a really hard place to come and play. They play really direct football and they played well, but we knew if we stuck in there we might get something and we did that."

Mauricio Pochettino praised his hero but warned that he is young and young players have to be managed, they can't just play every game or they burn out. Just like last season when Tim Sherwood gave Nabil Bentaleb a rest Eric Dier will need periods where he rests too, but for now he is needed, either at centre-back or right-back.

“He’s still young but he showed a good game last week and again today. He’s calm and has a lot of quality and potential.  
“We have to give him the possibility to play while being careful with him. But he was the hero today. I haven’t seen him do it [in training] because he doesn’t play as a centre-forward!  
“I’m very pleased for him and for the whole team for a great performance. But this is our philosophy. We have to believe for every minute and try to win every game.”
“It is an important win. I will say congratulations to my players because it was a great performance.  
“After the penalty and the sending-off of Kyle Naughton it was difficult but we played like a team and deserved the win. The red card for Naughton was a surprise because the ball was not on target. It was a penalty but not a sending-off and it is possible the club will appeal.  
"It was a great goal by Eric Dier. We showed that we play like a team and that is the most important thing. It was a very exciting moment for me. Our supporters were brilliant.”

Pochettino is breeding what we so desperately need, a team first mentality. It is his philosophy as a manager and I for one am delighted we are going down that route and buying the right players at last, players with the right mentality.

Out there today we had a team who were not at their best, individuals not at their best, but we put in an effort. There was no whining at each other, looking for someone else to blame, players were taking responsibility and when they lost a ball they chased it back.

The subs came on an they were mentally ready for a change, they got straight into the game and Townsend, often the biggest culprit, deserves a pat on the back for getting his head right before he came on. The result, he is in the game and having shots, trying to create against a tiring side with 10 men.

Everyone deserves credit today because to play from the 29th minute with 10 men is a tough ask away from home in a London derby. Players had to put in a shift knowing there were fresh legs to come on and take their place.

There were 14 hero's out there today so I'll enjoy watching Match of the Day and relive it all again tonight.



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