Tottenham Hotspur got their pre-season tour off to a winning start today with a 3-2 victory over Juventus, getting revenge for that Champions League defeat two seasons ago.
Pochettino took the opportunity to both get his first-team stars some minutes under their belts and provide the youngsters with chances to impress.
Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:
Harry Kane means business –
What better way to kick off the new season with a last-minute winner from the halfway line against an ex-Arsenal keeper? Kane looks slimmer, fitter, more toned, and ready to play this season. It could now be a question as to whether the England captain can keep those ankles safe for a full campaign.
Walker-Peters for right-back –
Pochettino gave Walker-Peters the chance to shine at right-back today for the majority of the game, and the academy graduate didn’t disappoint. Up against Ronaldo for the first half and part of the second 45, Walker-Peters dealt with him well, while also getting up and providing an attacking outlet down that right flank. For me, he should be one of Tottenham’s two first-choice right-backs this season.
Academy tryouts –
With Walker-Peters being the only full-back on the tour, Pochettino essentially held an academy tryout at right-back and left-back today. Anthony Georgiou played at left-back for the majority, with Harvey White replacing him late on, and George Marsh covered the right-hand side when Walker-Peters departed. Tottenham look short at the back and Spurs need to invest while also retaining Danny Rose in my opinion.
Ndombele debut –
While Ndombele was pretty quiet after coming on in the second half, he did start his Tottenham career with a bang, setting up Lucas Moura’s 2-2 equaliser with his first touches of the ball. Past that, the Frenchman didn’t get on the ball a whole lot, but it is still early days for him.
Strength and depth –
Depth has always been an issue for Tottenham under Pochettino, but it looks to be improving this season. With a number of high-quality youngsters pushing for places, the gaffer now has a whole pool of players to choose from. The likes of Parrott, Tanganga, Skipp, and Walker-Peters deserve special mentions.
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