All Hail the White Board OK, for some this will be 5 days late in arriving, but: Genius That game wasn't won by Kane's swashbuckling, Alli or Eriksen's craft, Trippier's technique, Lloris's fingertips, Aurier's power, Son's verve, Vertonghen's smoothness, Winks industry, Alderweireld's solidity or Sanchez's tenacity, that game was won on Pochettino's white board. That game is an example of how clever collective tactical application can effect a game and supersede individual flare. That wasn't quite the 532 of midweek, that was more a 352 defensive shape/3331 offensive shape. As soon as I saw the selections pre match I had a hunch what Poch was going to do, and for me, it was brave and brilliant. There are few occasions when playing a RB at LB makes much sense; when playing against a pacey left footer, cutting in, playing at LWF in a 433 is one of them. It wasn't a faultless performance by Aurier, but it was largely effective and shrewd by Poch. Playing Son up with Kane was much more harmonious than the Llorente/Kane of Tuesday (not that Llorente played badly, he didn't, he was better than Kane on the night, but it was too samey, too one paced) and much more effective for the counter attacking tactics, perfectly demonstrated by the second goal, a goal that only Son could score, but a goal that was all about matching good counter attacking tactics with the right selections to get the best out of it. The LB and forward decisions were shrewd. The brave part was playing a CM3 of Winks, flanked by Eriksen and Alli, but it was just that bit collectively cleverer than the CM3 with Sissoko at Madrid. Now we had three in there who could all do something progressive and inventive, which made us far more threatening whenever we won the ball back. Alli had his best game for months, possibly the best game he's had in a Spurs shirt, more graft, much less fuckery, more zip, more purpose. Eriksen was much better than on Tuesday where he found himself very isolated on the left side of a midfield three with two big guys ahead of him and 7 guys behind him, no one to play football with. Poch has always been one of the Premier League's best coaches, we are now seeing Poch evolve into one of the Premier League's better tactical thinkers. We are shifting shapes, personnel and applications almost on a game by game basis. He's not always getting it right, sometimes the selections don't quite marry the tactics, sometimes the application isn't quite right, sometimes he gets all three facets a little bit wrong, and his in game management is often a little counter intuitive, but the fact he's thinking and adjusting to different challenges is very, very impressive, I can't remember too many managers over the course of the Premier League (and before) who have managed to display tactical diversity and coaching proficiency successfully. I can't remember too many who have actually displayed much tactical diversity at all. It's a shame the game got a bit sloppy in the last 20-25 minutes, because for 60 minutes it was up there with Poch's very best games, very different to the others in that pantheon of greats, but that last 20-25 minutes just took a tiny bit of gloss off what for 60 minutes had been a tactical masterclass. We pressed intelligently, transitioned effectively, slickly morphed between defensive shapes and offensive shapes. Nuanced roles interchanged. I understand we were on economy for the last 20-25, jockeying out the game, but we relaxed too much for my liking, stood off too far, allowed the possibility of possibility - and if they'd have grabbed one, it might have got a lot more squeaky. I know Poch by now and I know he'd have been thinking the same. A mention for the back three, who were for the second time in a week superb, but especially Vertonghen who is pivotal to our flexibility and the way we play as a team. His ability to play football like midfeilder, his composure at all times, just gives this team a dimension that most teams just don't have. We can't ignore that Liverpool were missing a couple of pivotal players and that Lovren gave us a massive helping hand, but we are missing players and that first sixty minutes was more about us applying pressure and their weak links buckling under that pressure. I've been calling for Poch to find a way to combine being a bit braver in CM without sacrificing all stability, I'm not sure today's solution would fit all occasions but it was good today and fortune favoured that bravery. Individual Lloris - He's got to sweep up that through ball. Redeemed himself with an outstanding save and helped set up a goal too. Trippier - Quick bit thinking and deft touch that set up that vital first goal. Very good game. TA - Very good game. Sanchez - Best game he's had at Wembley, tenacious and quick. Vertonghen - Smooth operator. Another very slick performance, his comfort and calmness on the ball helps us build out from the back. Aurier - A couple of rash moments, otherwise decent game. Eriksen - Much better performance, played a couple of great passes, moved the ball cleverly generally, worked hard in midfield. Winks - Another very good performance from the kid. Alli - Games like this disprove the misnomer that he has to be doing stupid fuckery to be "him". He doesn't, and the best performances he's put in for us are when he's buckled down, concentrated on what the fuck he's doing and worked hard with and without the ball, making better, simpler decisions more often. Made the most tackle/intercept combo in the team 3/3, played two through balls to put Son and Kane clean through, and took his goal cooly. My (Player)POTM today. Son - The way he powered past Milner and then cooly slotted home was poetry. Unlucky not to have a couple more, good game. Kane - Monstrous. The goals, the assist for Son - including the way he sells Lovren and plays the perfect pass into Son's run. The work as well. Should have gone off after 65-70 minutes, you could see he was spent, but what a shift. MOTM - Poch - used his noggin, went to school on Liverpool, came up with the perfect selections, format and application - and delivered a wonderful dismantling of a very dangerous and difficult opponent.