Despite the number of injuries the club has been nursing for the past several weeks, Tottenham Hotspur are undefeated during the busy Christmas fixture season. That’s nothing to scoff at — it’s allowed Spurs to leapfrog ahead of Manchester City to second place in the table, six points behind (ugh) Liverpool as they officially start the second half of the season.
Tottenham’s next match is in just two days, against Wolverhampton at Wembley Stadium. And while the injuries aren’t fully resolved, Spurs’ team update did give what looks like good news for the future. It starts with Dele Alli, who missed the big win over Bournemouth with a knock thanks to a bad tackle from Jordan Pickford at Goodison Park. According to Spurs, he’s close and will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s match.
The other good news is that a bunch of injured midfielders have actually returned to training outdoors! Serge Aurier is back in full training and Mousa Dembele is in the “final stages of rehab,” while Victor Wanyama and Jan Vertonghen are both now training outside. It might be a bit yet before either of them return to full training, but progress is progress.
TEAM NEWS: @Serge_Aurier (groin) - returned to training. @mousadembele (ankle) - final stages of rehab. @ericdier (appendicitis) - continuing post-op rehab. @JanVertonghen (thigh) - continuing on-field rehab.@VictorWanyama (knee) - commenced on-field rehab. #COYS pic.twitter.com/QOWnvcC3j6— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 27, 2018
In his press conference this morning, Pochettino said that Dele is practically champing at the bit to get back on the pitch and play against Wolves on Saturday.
“You know very well that the players always want to play. When they’re tired, the same. They try to manipulate you and convince you that they’re ready. Sometimes for us it’s so tough to discover the real state and level of the players. But of course that is a very good signal for us, that all the players want to play, no-one wants to rest.
“Dele yesterday was involved in the squad but after was out of the 18. But this morning he said to me, ‘Gaffer I’m going to be ready.’ I said, ‘Relax, you need to train this morning and then we’ll see tomorrow and assess you’. But that is a very good signal, that all the players want to be involved. That increases the level, the competitive level in the squad and for sure helps to get good results.”
It’s pretty incredible that Spurs have been able to put together this run of results with so many players out hurt. It bodes well that a bunch of them are close to returning.