I’m sorry, Moussa.
I was one of those who doubted you.
I was one of those that tweeted witty remarks in the hopes that my tweets would go viral enough to put my Soundcloud link in the comments. They never did.
While I was wasting time trying to blow up as a Soundcloud rapper, Moussa Sissoko was busy establishing himself as the most important midfielder at Spurs.
Sissoko being the key to Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield plans is saying something, given Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli also operate in the middle of the park.
Of Pochettino’s outfield options, only Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane have clocked up more Premier League minutes this season.
His ability to fill a number of roles in a variety of tactics- be it 4-1-2-1-2, 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-1-2- has eased the burden on Spurs’ paper-thin squad during what has been a testing season of injuries.
But Sissoko isn’t just making up the numbers.
The Frenchman is a truly one-of-a-kind midfielder, one for whom statistics can be misleading.
Four assists and no goals from midfield is, on the surface, nothing to rouse the xG merchants away from their aggressively powerful laptops.
What the statistics don’t show is Sissoko’s ability to beat the press. Where Harry Winks looks to play through the pressure, Sissoko goes straight through, around or over it.
He has become Spurs’ Mr Teflon. Teams go out with the best intentions of flustering the 29-year-old, but the pressure never sticks.
Fernandinho, arguably *whisper this quietly in case Claude Makelele is listening* the Premier League’s finest ever defensive midfielder, was left baffled during Man City’s Champions League loss to Spurs.
The Brazilian found himself wandering into areas he had no intentions of patrolling, purely because of Sissoko’s will to break free from the shackles of central midfield.
Both players were nominally operating in the same role, but their modus operandi couldn’t have been more contrasting. Fernandinho is the calm and calculated defensive professor, whereas Sissoko is a dropped fizzy drink that’s constantly being opened.
Where most players would take one touch Sissoko takes three. Where most would pass Sissoko launches into one of his lung-bursting dribbles. That eternal energy, coupled with a frame that would make Mike Tyson think twice, also makes him a defensive pest.
There are still moments when the old Sissoko takes control.
The Frenchman should have rifled past Alisson and made Virgil van Dijk’s gamble to let him shoot look as well thought through as the Brexit vote. #Politics
But those moments of unpredictability are part of the magic now that the good moments heavily outweigh the bad ones.
There can be no doubt about it. Sissoko is the most consistent Frenchman in the Premier League.
Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are improved under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Alexandre Lacazette has had his moments and N’Golo Kante is steadily adapting to Sarri-ball, but Sissoko takes the Consistency Crown.
So I’m sorry, Moussa.
I’m sorry for ever mocking your ability. There were 30 million reasons to doubt you at the start of the season, but the cheap jokes won’t fly any more.
All hail Le Chèvre.
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