Victor Wanyama is Proving to be a Fantastic Signing for Tottenham
13th February 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
The partnership between Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele in central midfield for Tottenham Hotspur is hitting all the right chords at present, as they’ve been integral in Spurs’ solid recent form.
Having started the last six league games together, a sequence that began with Spurs’ sensational win over Chelsea and unfortunately ended with a loss against Liverpool, the fearsome duo have been crucial for Spurs lately. Indeed, this was something Tottenham’s brilliant central defender, Toby Alderweireld, touched on just last week.
“They (Wanyama and Mousa) make our life much easier. They are playing fantastic football this season. They have helped us a lot this season and we are happy to have them,” he said.
“They are very strong, good on the ball, they know tactically where to run, to stand, when to kick the ball away and keep it in the team, they have a variety of qualities.”
To focus on Wanyama, in particular, and there’s no doubting what a vital cog he is for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. And his overall form in this stretch has evidenced this suitably, with the Kenyan displaying so many of his endearing attributes throughout.
The forceful, combative enforcer’s contribution on both sides of the ball is enormous. When his team has possession, he passes the ball around in a thoughtful, sensible manner, acting as a conduit through which Tottenham can get the ball to their more technically gifted attacking players such as Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.
Complimenting his neat passing, his knowledge of where best to position himself in relation to the ball, his opponents and his teammates ensures he’s a constant supporting outlet. Furthermore, his well coordinated ball oriented movements constantly sees him shift over nicely to help Spurs progress their attacks and retain possession.
In addition, whenever the North Londoners are looking to build out from the back, Wanyama shares the duties of being the man to drop in between the two centre-halves and pick up possession. By doing so, this guarantees Tottenham can outnumber their opponents, who usually defend with a front two, 3v2 or 4v2 (if you include goalkeeper Hugo Lloris), and cleanly get beyond the first line of pressure.
If he isn’t in a good location to receive due to being marked, Wanyama intelligently drags his man backwards by running away from the ball carrier, in order to give them some extra time to decide what to do with possession.
Moreover, the way he performs situational switches from Dembele over to left central midfield from his nominal right sided central midfield station has served as a testament to their almost telepathic relationship and ability to respond to non verbal cues out on the pitch.
On the defensive end, his stopping efforts have been essential in blunting Spurs’ adversaries. A man who hardly loses an individual duel, Wanyama’s strength and decision making are undoubted highlights. A fine judger and reader of the play, his aptitude in this regard means he ostensibly always put himself into advantageous positions to force turnovers.
By making the right call when to press, support or cover for a teammate or when to hold his position, in combination with his overwhelming strength in battles in the air and on the ground, enables him to disrupt his opponents hugely effectively.
Although the 25-year-old can at times be a touch overzealous in his quest to win the ball back, his manager, who loves to heap intense pressure on the ball carrier, would love seeing Wanyama’s fierce intent.
All in all, his striking influence has certainly illustrated why the former Celtic hardman is such a valuable commodity for Spurs. Indeed, working under the expert tutelage of Pochettino, who he enjoys a fine relationship with from their time at Southampton, Wanyama has impressively completed more interceptions (33) and tackles (65) than any of his teammates, plus played the most EPL minutes (2212) of anyone at the club. Not bad at all for a player who just cost £11 million in the summer.
In a recent interview the player revealed what a key determining factor linking up with Pochettino again was in his eventual decision to join Spurs,” divulging: “He played a big part in convincing me to join the club. I had a few options but he was able to convince me to come here because I had worked with him before and know he is a manager who will improve players.
“Pochettino is a really good person outside football as well as in football. He’s like a father figure [to the players], always speaking with everyone and giving them advice. All of the players look up to him as a father figure and also as a manager.”
Whoever Spurs are facing off against, you can guarantee Wanyama will be well and truly up for the fight. His dedication, fiercely competitive nature and overall willingness to do all he can for the benefit of his team always sees to it.
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