‘Hold on a second’: Pundit says £45m Tottenham player may be too slow to cope on Sunday

This Sunday’s north London derby promises to be a thrilling contest.

This matchup between two Premier League teams that can’t stand one another comes after each team went undefeated in its first five games.

On Sunday, both teams will come out firing, and, to be honest, some players may be caught off guard by the intensity of a north London rivalry.

There is nothing else like these derby matches. They move more quickly, intensely, and violently. It’s certainly a “sink or swim” scenario, and according to Steve Nicol on ESPN, James Maddison is one player who might find it difficult to adjust.

Nicol says that Maddison won’t have experienced this type of intensity before, claiming that Arsenal may prove to be too fast for Maddison on Sunday.

Too fast

Nicol expressed his assessment of the match and the performance of the £45 million player.

I believe it does. Listen, in derbies like this, everything moves much more quickly and with greater intensity. You need to act more quickly, and everything you do needs to be done in a way you’ve never done it before. As James Madison picks up the ball, for instance, someone will stick to him while he considers what to do. He’s never encountered anything like this, so he’ll be thinking, “Hold on a second,” Nicol added.

Unlike anything else

These derby matches are unlike anything else in football, and Nicol is right; if you haven’t seen one before, you’re in for a surprise.

With all due respect, Maddison may not be able to handle this level of passion because he has never encountered a rivalry this intense while playing for Leicester.

Maddison may succeed in the end, but this will be the toughest test he has yet to face at Tottenham.


How Tottenham Hotspur could line up against Arsenal

How Tottenham Hotspur could line up against Arsenal

How Tottenham could line up against Arsenal

Prior to Sunday’s Premier League North London derby at the Emirates, Ivan Perisic’s future as a member of Tottenham Hotspur has delivered manager Ange Postecoglou a shattering blow.

The Croatian midfielder, who has started off the bench for Spurs in all five of their Premier League games so far this year, recently suffered an ACL tear in training and might miss the remainder of the year as he gets ready for surgery.

Bryan Gil (groin), Rodrigo Bentancur (knee), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), and Alfie Whiteman (ankle) are just a few of the current Tottenham players who have undergone surgery; Giovani Lo Celso is still a question mark due to a thigh injury. Perisic will soon join this long list of players.

However, the Spurs backline won’t be affected by Perisic’s absence because Guglielmo Vicario, Micky van de Ven, and Destiny Udogie are all getting ready to make their North London Derby debuts in a hostile environment.

While Yves Bissouma should once again play as the deepest-lying midfielder, Mikel Arteta’s team may present a challenge for him. Pedro Porro and Cristian Romero will join the trio in the rearguard as usual.

It will be up to Pape Sarr, James Maddison, and the other defensive lynchpins to provide further defensive support as needed. Dejan Kulusevski, who scored the winning goal against Sheffield United in the 100th minute last weekend, is a lock to start up front alongside captain Son Heung-min.

Richarlison was benched against the Blades after a trying time off the field, but the Brazilian spurred Spurs’ incredible comeback with a goal and an assist in stoppage time, and he should now be considered more ready for a return than Manor Solomon.

Vicario, Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Udogie, Sarr, Bissouma, Kulusevski, Maddison, Son, and Richarlison might be Tottenham Hotspur’s starting lineup.


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