Opinion: Five things we learned from the 4-1 friendly win over Reading

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham ran away 4-1 winners in a friendly match against Reading in North London game and, as pre-season matches often do, it threw up some interesting points.

Let’s take a look at the five things we learned from the encounter:

Gedson firm favourite – 

Gedson Fernandes looks to be Jose Mourinho’s firm choice for the deputy right-back position next season, although it remains to be seen who will be first choice. We saw Fernandes’ attacking exploits against Ipswich and were shown his defensive capabilities today against Reading. Very solid indeed from the young man.

High press is back – 

For the first time in what feels like an eternity, we saw a high and aggressive press against Reading today, with Lucas Moura, Heung-min Son, and Steven Bergwijn leading the charge. In my opinion, this is how Spurs should be playing against lesser sides in the Premier League, not giving them an inch to breathe or grow in confidence. The forwards forced so many mistakes today.

Stand out youngsters – 

It is rare that a manager brings through more than one or two academy starlets per season and I believe that Mourinho may have decided on his favourites for this year. Harvey White was the only youngster to start the match, so that comes as a heavy indication. Dennis Cirkin was also handed his second full half of football in as many games and perhaps looked the most impressive of all the academy players. Those two look to be leading the way to me.

Starting defenders – 

It also looks fairly likely that Mourinho has decided on a back three of Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, and Ben Davies, with a marauding right-wing-back to also feature. Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga will likely be used as rotation players to start with, especially when looking to deal with the pacier forwards.

Hojbjerg’s role – 

In his two Spurs games, Hojbjerg has partnered Winks, White, and Sissoko in the centre of midfield. We have yet to see him play the loan pivot. This implies that Mourinho intends to form a partnership in holding midfield, rather than using Hojbjerg to free up the attacking talents of Lo Celso and Ndombele.

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