Tottenham still need to be concerned with their midfield

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur, Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur, Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur and Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur speak on the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur, Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur, Eric Dier of Tottenham Hotspur and Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur speak on the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /
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Tottenham’s midfield is still unsettled

Mauricio Pochettino can take comfort in the fact that his Tottenham midfield played Manchester United off the pitch this week. Unfortunately, Spurs officials must realize they still have a lot of uncertainty related to their options in the middle of the pitch.

Pochettino chose to deploy Mousa Dembele alongside Eric Dier against United. The results were nothing short of fantastic. Dembele played one of his best matches in recent memory and Dier put in a solid shift as well. In a perfect world, Pochettino could rely on those two to repeat their performances every week. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.

Dembele’s age has made his play increasingly erratic. One week he looks like a world-class midfielder and the next he appears to be ready for retirement. Pochettino and the rest of the Tottenham coaching staff have to constantly monitor him to make sure he’s ready to play. At best, Pochettino can only count on him to start one match per week.

Dier has struggled mightily to play his best football this season. Whether he’s been deployed in the midfield or the back line, he’s looked decidedly average. Pochettino is a big believer in the Englishman’s talent, but it’s dangerous to bet on him to play great every week.

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The options behind that pair are murky, at best. Victor Wanyama is back in first team training, but for some reason Pochettino seems reluctant to restore him to the starting XI. It’s fair to question whether or not the Kenyan has a lingering issue at this point. Until he proves he’s able to start several matches in a row, you have to assume he isn’t back to his top form.

Harry Winks also continues to miss out due to injury. He is supposed to return sometime in the next several weeks, but Tottenham are not exactly forthcoming about injuries. Even when he returns to first team training, Pochettino is going to reintegrate him into the squad slowly.

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Add all of these moderate uncertainties up and it’s easy to see why Tottenham should be concerned. It’s very possible things could all hold together through the end of the season, but Spurs do not enjoy much room for error at the moment. If anything else in their double-pivot goes awry, it could be enough to cost Tottenham Champions League qualification next year.