Or did he ever go away? Mousa’s contribution to yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United received highlighted analysis on Match of the Day with the Belgian showing signs of his best form from last season.

At the start of November however, the 26 year old seemed less than pleased at losing his place in a battle for starting slots among the defensive midfielders.

“I can not be satisfied with it, of course, I just want to play as many games. The coach explained that he makes a tactical choice, he wants more defensive players in midfield,” Dembele was quoted at the time.

Yesterday’s inclusion, with Paulinho playing further forward, suggested a return to a guaranteed starting place and after the match, the player spoke in a more positive manner about the team.

“We had to man up and we did it,” Mousa said. Everyone is professional enough to know last week was a scandal. We showed character and we showed everyone that we still have the confidence. As a team, we did incredibly well and we have to continue doing this.”

Tottenham now head to Dembele’s old club Fulham but should he be a definite starter alongside Sandro or would you prefer to see just one defensive midfielder employed from the kick off?

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12 COMMENTS

  1. We only need 1 dm to protect the back 4. At Fulham he was in a more advanced role which is where he should play. Just look at the video from his last Fulham game vs Man U.

  2. I must admit to being a rather strong critic of Dembele in recent weeks,but playing further forward he is a different and much better player.There is no doubt that he has a lot of skill and ability and a very strong upper body.Perhaps he still dwells too long on the ball and does lose possession,but I feel that in a more advanced role he is a player around whom we can definitely build a team.Welcome back Moussaka.

  3. He should NEVER of been gone! (The rest of this post was written BEFORE Paulinho FINALLY got his wish to play as a no10…which he is not).

    Dembele NEEDS to partner Sandro!!! Paulinho is NOT having a positive impact on the balance of the side. Mousa is our most creative CM, yet too often he is having to play a holding role due to Paulinhos MINDLESS roaming forward.CM is the MOST important area of the field and that is where we are struggling to find that blend between STEEL and FLAIR…
    Dembele’s game is being effected by the fact he is HAVING to sit-deeper than he (or I) would like because of Paulihnos COMPLETE disregard for defensive duties. Sandro would allow Dembele to operate higher up the field and CONSISTENTLY feed the the forwards. Until AVB drops the INCONSISTENT Paulinho Spurs will continue to struggle to establish meaningful possession, and control matches.

    We need MORE variety in our build up play, which is what Dembele can offer us, providing he KNOWS the man next to him is going to hold his position and not leave the back four exposed.

    At the moment Mousa is having to play with DOUBT in his mind as Paulinho has become too FIXATED by the idea of supporting the attack which, for me, isn’t what he should be doing with his skill-set.

    Dembele MUST be relieved of having to do so much dirty work. Sandro/Capoue playing next to him would allow him to express himself

  4. love to see him playing behind the front two he is the only midfield player we have who has change of pace and this is hes true position only need avb to see it.

    • Dembele actually prefers playing deeper, in a posiyion where he can make the most of his attributes.

      He enjoys making tackles,doing a shift defenfensively and picking the ball up off the back four, but it is his ability to drive the team forward from deep that makes him such a GREAT deep-lying playmaker. (i.e his assist for Bale, at Old Trafford,last season.

      Give him the assurance of a midfield partner who he can TRUST to sit, like Sandro/Capoue, and Mousa will have more FREEDOM to join the attack at will.

      When he partnered Paulinho, he was FORCED to do ALL the dirty work as the Brazilian showed little appetite to do so.

  5. Yea he’s back don’t really think he went but need to play him in his natural position further forward he’s great on the ball can beat people at will and we just look a better team with him getting forward I’m still not sure about paulino does things in fits and starts I think I’d like to see holtby given a chance in next to Sandro COYS!

    • Agree that Holtby deserves a chance to play, but with Sandro and Dembele operating BEHIND him.

      With Paulinho and Sandro paired together, the Brazilians both struggled to CONSISTENTLY feed the German in the areas of the field where Lewis does his best work. Both players have difficulties playing with their heads up when put under pressure from a tight press. And neither is at their best playing with their back towards goal. Dembele is a player who CAN do all of those thing!

      Dembele and Sandro offer Spurs a greater balance/blend in the midfield. Power, creativity, speed, aggression, craft and technical/tactical prowess, Sandro and Dembele (at their best) would be capable of dominating most midfield in Europe let alone the EPL.

      Dembele would provide the PERFECT link to Holtby and the attack, with his ability to create space with his dribbling and clever forward passes.

      Paulinho was TOO concerned with scoring, often vacating the midfield too early and leaving Spurs exposed to counter-attacks through the middle of the park. Also, in his desire to get forward, he was clogging up the space Holtby had to operate in.

      Imagine what VDV would of been like without Modric pulling strings behind him. The Croatian ability to feed Van der Vaart on a CONSISTENT basis, in dangerous areas, meant VDV could stay higher up the pitch if he wanted. Holtby hasn’t been able able to do that because there is no NATURAL link in that CM department besides Dembele.

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