Spurs are all curves

 

It's testament to the performance that I've come away from the Monaco group game feeling disappointed that we didn't win.

Mauricio Pochettino with a strong line-up suggesting the Europa League is important this time round. It was a slow brooding game, unexciting but occasionally giving us bursts of end to end football with easy on the eye passages of play. A score draw was a fair result based on chances both teams had. We could have bagged a second. The hosts could have hurt us thanks to some positional lapses. Still, there's enough tangible evidence of a developing style to match the spirit at the club. We're finally taking shape, but it remains structurally fragile due to the persistent issue of depth. Our momentum continues even if it remains heavy on the learning curve.

Did the game provide further education?

The kids

We wanted experience and instead opted for the adaptable Eric Dier and his unexpected centre-field presence, thus proving that sometimes we need to jump into the deep end to test resolve and get results. Then there's Dele Alli, like a duck to water, except this duck will be a swan in no time at all. Lovely touches and vision and never looks overwhelmed. Has settled into top tier life with ease.

Both called up to England, Dier with the U21's when he deserves more and Alli fast-tracked when you'd hope the National think-tank would avoid pressuring young talent when their time is better focused on their club development.

Master-keys unable to unlock doors

Harry Kane could have been rested for this game. A long breakthrough season and summer leaves him flirting with the danger of physical and mental burn-out. He still hasn't found his groove. Christian Eriksen is struggling with his own tempo having returned from injury recently. Time, again, will be a virtue. Both him and Kane are at odds with their form. It will make a massive difference to the sides cutting edge once both players are firing on all cylinders.

In reserve

Spurs will need to look towards the likes of Ryan Mason, Mousa Dembele and Nabil Bentaleb in the coming weeks to alleviate the pressure on Dier and Alli. Clinton N'jie is working towards full fitness and perhaps this is where Kane will get his respite, especially as Spurs are being vague with how long Son Heung-min might miss due to a foot injury.

Shock and awe

How wonderfully poetic that a lost cause is now our guiding light. Erik Lamela continues to smash it. Another notch to add to his productive list of goals and assists. He's suddenly the player we look towards for inspiration.

Conclusion?

The youth is our weapon but equally so our Achilles Heel. For now it's about managing what we have and making sure nothing else breaks.

In Europe, we're in a good position to win this group. Back in the bread and butter of the league, we have to nurse players back to their best whilst allowing each passing game to add another slice of experience to the youngsters that might make the core of an exciting Spurs future. So far the risk of not acquiring more certified players in the summer window is working in our favour.

For now.