Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Arsenal

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Nuno Espirito Santo
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur followed their 2-2 fight back against Chelsea up with a 1-0 win over Arsenal in the Mind Series this afternoon, bringing an end to pre-season.

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

Lacking bite up front – Against both Arsenal and Chelsea, Spurs have lacked a little something up front. They worked some great positions on the wings and in the final third, but never really had anyone to cross to in the absence of Kane. They need to find a new way of breaking teams down without a centre-forward if they want to use Son as a striker. Fortunately, the South Korean eventually opened the scoring, but I still think Spurs lacked that final pass, final shot, and presence in the box.

Oliver Skipp breakthrough – I have been loving this first glimpse of Oliver Skipp and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as a duo. Their games are actually remarkably similar, yet they still compliment each other. They are both very neat and tidy, turn over possession for fun, and use the ball well. I just think they need an out-and-out creator with them in midfield.

Still no Tanguy – Five pre-season friendlies and Ndombele not playing any summer competition football, it seems rather disappointing that he hasn’t appeared in a single matchday squad. This would seem to hint that he is nowhere near fit enough for the start of the season which is rather strange and inexcusable.

The good and bad of Dele Alli – It was a tough day out there for Dele today. He started the game brightly, before Arsenal quickly figured him out and put pressure on him. As a result, he went through a period of losing the ball and getting crowded out. However, off the ball, he remained a threat with his late runs, hitting the post twice. I think he is going to have to adapt to that deeper role where there isn’t much time on the ball.

Japhet Tanganga at right-back – Is he a right-back? I’m not sure. Perhaps with more confidence. After winning the ball back and assisting the goal for Son, he looked on top of the world. If he could get up and down like that while still looking solid 1v1 at the back, he would be a great right-back. Hopefully, that knock isn’t too serious. If he can’t get regular game time this season, I would love to see him go out on loan for minutes.

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