Encouraging night at London Stadium, but tough derby tie awaits Spurs
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The reward for defeating West Ham is an away trip to Arsenal, but Mauricio Pochettino is excited about the quarter-final clash
There were plenty of positives for Tottenham Hotspur following Wednesday night’s 3-1 win at West Ham United in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Heung-min Son scored once in each half and Fernando Llorente was also on target as Spurs saw off their London rivals for the second time in a matter of weeks.
Lucas Perez pulled a goal back for the Hammers, but like on October 20, Tottenham proved too strong and secured the bragging rights.
What pleased Mauricio Pochettino most were the performances of some of his fringe players with Paulo Gazzaniga and Juan Foyth impressing while Serge Aurier, Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks made an impact and Llorente scored.
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“I am more happy with some players than others, but of course the level is completely different,” Tottenham’s manager said.
“Some players were involved with their national teams recently, but weren’t too much playing with us and others have come back from injuries, so they are all at different levels.
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“This game was difficult, but of course I feel so proud because they are working so, so hard, trying to wait for an opportunity.
“For me, the surprise was Davinson Sanchez because he was a beast playing two games in less than 48 hours. It talks very well of him.
“He is very strong physically, but also very strong mentally. He was fantastic on the pitch, and to praise him is not enough because the effort was fantastic.
“It is so important for the team and the players because they need to feel they can fight and be in consistent starting XIs in different competitions.
“I am also happy because you know when we talk about the confidence, sometimes we are wrong in the way we judge and we say ‘I need confidence from the club, the manager or whoever’.
“I think it is the opposite, they need to show we can trust in the player and this match was fantastic because from the team, we received the confidence and trust they can play in different competitions.
“After you can win or lose, but the players are all ready to compete in different competitions during the rest of the season.”
Spurs don’t have to worry about the League Cup for six weeks now, but when they do resume their campaign, a tough test lies in wait.
Tottenham will visit the Emirates on the week of December 17 for a quarter-final tie at rivals Arsenal.
Pochettino added: “It will be an exciting game. I am excited to play and face Arsenal and Unai Emery, who is a very good friend of us, and to challenge and face all the coaching staff.
“He has a great coaching staff, and is a very good friend of us and I think he is a top manager with top staff.
“Of course, he is doing a great job and he is going to do a great job at Arsenal, so yes so happy to face Arsenal and that we are going to see Unai with all his staff, who we are very good friends with.”
Given the performances of Gazzaniga and Foyth at West Ham, they will likely feature in the second north London derby of December with Spurs also visiting the Gunners in the Premier League on December 2.