As one door closes…
And so the sins come back to haunt the sinner. No big surprise there.
Another door might’ve shut
Five changes from last Sunday, and probably from this Sunday as well, said everything about our approach but for all those unhappy with the selection and prepared to make an argument, Pochettino was provided with an ideal riposte early on when Lloris clattered into Ben Davies who after a brief attempt to carry on left the field probably just as dazed and confused as he was at 90 minutes in Germany last week. A shame as it was to lose Davies for this game and possibly a few others, just imagine if the victim of the accident had been Hugo or Harry or Eriksen or Dembélé or even Walker that had been injured? The natives would’ve been restless.
The early substitution didn’t affect the result of course; this late season pre season friendly (even Paul Coyte couldn’t be bothered to turn up and deliver his usual half time cringertainment – Richard Osman would’ve been more appropriate) was dominated by the quality of Dortmund’s harassment of our midfield and back four and by their speed on the break. They’d probably have harrassed our attackers as well aside from the fact that we didn’t really have any.
Nothing to see here
There wasn’t a whole lot of goal mouth action, in brief Aubameyang’s speculative strike swerved over Hugo’s left shoulder halfway through the first half for their opener, Son should’ve equalised when clean through, either side of which Toby made two last ditch Ledleyesque interventions to stop us falling further behind. After the break there was more profligacy from the goal hanger from Gabon before he finally found his range and made it two. Son pulled one back after intercepting a back pass but I can think of only one other attempt on goal after that as we tried for an equaliser.
I love Eric Dier
There were some positives, Dier, Alderweireld, Alli (mostly) and occasionally Mason and Trippier stood out and we kept possession far far better than we did in Dortmund, mostly thanks to Dier. For the players to witness first hand something close to what Pochettino is trying to achieve with them would’ve pleased him, the extremes were exposed though; those players who needed an extra touch (and there were many) were quickly closed down as were those with a lack of pace.
Ah well, see you next year in the other competition.
Despite playing in low gear the Germans won far more second ball than we’re used to seeing against us and were generally deserving of their victory. Whether or not it would have been achieved with quite such a swagger over the two legs if we’d picked stronger sides will be left as a subject of speculation.
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