DANNY MURPHY: This North London Derby promises to be different


DANNY MURPHY: This north London derby promises to be different – with Spurs’ new-look attacking side ready to take on rivals Arsenal without Harry Kane… but how will Ange Postecoglou approach the must-win match?

  • With Angeball in full flow, this could be a very refreshing North London Derby
  • Without Harry Kane, Spurs have started to press better in a switch of styles 
  • It will be interesting to see if Spurs put the brakes on in their toughest test yet 

This promises to be a north London derby with a difference – Tottenham might go for it with Ange Postecoglou in charge rather than Jose Mourinho or Antonio Conte.

I’m not saying Spurs have more points than they would have done had Harry Kane stayed but I don’t think they would have been able to play Angeball in the same way.

I’ve seen every Tottenham game this season. The trigger to press has been Richarlison or Son Heung-Min.

Spurs constantly need their striker to go after people and it’s something Kane doesn’t do, he lacks the dynamism though of course has many other attributes.

In that sense, selling the England captain to Bayern has been a blessing in disguise.

This promises to be a different type of North London Derby as Spurs might go for it with Ange Postecoglou in charge 

Now that Harry Kane is no longer at Spurs, they can play differently and press more 

It’s given him carte blanche to play high-tempo, high-risk football and created less pressure in terms of expectation.

If Kane had stayed, I don’t think it would have been a problem for Postecoglou, he’s an intelligent football man who would have adapted to get the best out of him. But it wouldn’t be the same style we’ve witnessed so far.

The high press has been implemented with great success.

Away to Arsenal is their biggest test yet and I’ll be fascinated to see if Spurs compromise and we see the handbrake on.

I suspect not in which case we’ll be in for a humdinger between two in-form teams. PSV paid the price for having a go against Arsenal in midweek, but Postecoglou has better players than the Dutch side.

I don’t think Kane will be jealous of the start Spurs have made. Footballer’s agendas move on quickly.

It will be interesting to see if Spurs compromise on their principles in their biggest test so far 

Kane would have loved to play with James Maddison, who is creating chances galore – but he won’t be dwelling on it 

Yes, he would love to have played with James Maddison for the last couple of years but he’s got Jamal Musiala feeding him chances at Bayern so he won’t dwell on it.

If Spurs win the FA Cup in May, there will be a pang of “that should have been me” as I felt when Liverpool won the Champions League in Istanbul the season I left.

But largely Kane will be hoping his mates do the business at Arsenal.

I hope Postecoglou sticks to what Spurs have done so far with the full-backs flying and the midfielders given license to get in the box.

Arsenal have plenty of firepower too so there should be goals unless Postecoglu unexpectedly morphs into Conte. I can’t see it.

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