The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-07-13

Total Football : 15 : 7

Total Football

7 The Daily Telegraph Monday 13 July 2020 ** give Spurs a lift Spurs manager’s fears about cover at right-back would not have been eased by Aurier’s error-strewn effort yesterday  F or now, the “crisis” has been averted. Toby Alderweire­ld’s late header ensured Tottenham Hotspur snatched the north London bragging rights and Europa League qualificat­ion, albeit a consolatio­n prize, remains a target to keep the season alive. This had promised to be a difficult day for head coach Jose Mourinho and chairman Daniel Levy, with Arsenal visiting Tottenham’s new £1billion stadium for the first time on the back of four victories and a draw against Leicester City. Mourinho’s team, in contrast, had failed to register a single shot on goal against relegation-threatened Bournemout­h, prompting the threat of a fly-past protest against Levy and owners Enic. Levy’s heart may have been in his mouth after a helicopter buzzed over the stadium and Arsenal took the lead through Alexandre Lacazette, but both he and the team got off the hook as a banner calling for his removal was never seen and the players turned the game around. Fans will have no doubt delighted in seeing their club leapfrog Arsenal in the table and dig in for a victory that owed as much to staying power as it did to technical ability. They could easily have crumbled when falling behind but, with the help of the visitors’ defence, Son Heung-min responded quickly and Tottenham’s tiring legs just about got over the line in the second half. More dodgy Arsenal defending allowed Alderweire­ld to head in a the team’s regression. Dissatisfa­ction has confused rival fans who envy the club’s world-class arena, last season’s Champions League final appearance and players such as Son and Harry Kane. But Aurier’s place in Mourinho’s team perhaps explains why some of those who were hoping for so much over the past few years feel let down. They remember well that it was only a few years since Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier were competing for the right-back spot for both club and country. Walker decided to go elsewhere to win trophies, while Trippier departed after an indifferen­t campaign last season. Even taking into considerat­ion Trippier’s dip, Spurs were still well stocked when they had the ex-Burn-

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