The news that Moussa Dembele was starting last night’s match was widely welcomed by Spurs fans on social media and the midfielder’s performance seemed to justify that approval. Spurs have now won all four Premier League games where the Belgian has started and it seems that this Stat may more to it than mere co-incidence.
A brief MOTD package highlighted Moussa’s influence – particularly when Liverpool were pressing hard to get back into the game and his tackling and ability to break up opposition attacks could literally have made all the difference between winning and losing.
There are some lingering concerns over fitness – the hip problem has been an ongoing issue and Moussa himself conceded that it had reached a peak in terms of pain.
‘Normally I can rest for three or four days and it is okay but this time the pain was more intense and I needed a longer spell out,” Dembele said.
“I’ve worked with a personal physio in Belgium and it requires a lot of exercises. When I first got the problem again, I was worried that I would have to have an operation but the medical staff at Tottenham were very good.”
While the hip problem may be an occasional issue with Moussa at White Hart Lane, his importance to the side was clearly underlined last night. Football is a game of ‘if-onlys’ and irrespective of whether our losing run may have been different with Dembele, just how much difference did the Belgian make last night?