Tottenham Hotspur did things the hard way last night against Brentford, in true Tottenham Hotspur fashion, coming from behind to see out a nervy 3-2 win over the Bees.
Let’s take a look at the five things we learned from the game:
Maddison returns, or does he?
James Maddison was back in the starting XI last night and looked to take control of proceedings from minute one. You can tell how much he loves demanding the ball and orchestrating attacks from all over the pitch. Yes, he was a little rusty after being out for so long, but he showed a lot of character to lead from the front. Let’s just hope that injury he was forced off with is nothing more than a knock.
Postecoglou masterclass –
When I saw Hojbjerg and Johnson coming on, I couldn’t help but think – What is Ange doing? Surely he isn’t taking an attacker off? Is one of the midfielders injured? I thought Skipp was actually having a very good game! But what Postecoglou saw was a need to change the system entirely. By switching Kulusevski to midfield and putting Johnson out wide, while keeping Werner wide left, he stretched the pitch far more effectively and made it much harder for Brentford to maintain their low block. Within 15 minutes, Spurs were suddenly 3-1 up. Well played, Ange. Well played.
Timo Werner earns his spot –
Talking of Timo, what a performance from the on-loan forward! Yes, Udogie and Johnson got the goals, but it was Timo who created both of them within minutes of each other. He isn’t afraid to take the defender to the byline and cross with his left foot (even if they are a bit hit-and-miss), and it caused Brentford real problems for an important spell in the game. Honestly, it is going to be interesting to see who plays across the front three once Sonny is back. There is real competition for places!
Brennan’s bench impact –
Brennan Johnson needed a game on the bench so he could have this kind of explosive hero moment, using his pace to torment a tired backline. Of course, he doesn’t want to become known as an impact sub, but it will have felt good for him to contribute with a goal after a tough start to his Tottenham career. Like I said before, competition for places is heating up across the Spurs front line. Well done, Brennan! Don’t listen to the strange haters.
Udogie’s room for improvement –
Let me start by saying that it is scary Destiny Udogie has such room for improvement because he is already an incredible footballer. But, at times, you can tell he’s young. A lot of Tottenham’s problems came down their left today and many of them were caused by Udogie mistakes, whether that be poor positioning, getting caught on the ball, giving away fouls, or that naive back-pass to assist Ivan Toney. His defensive game needs a whole lot of work, but boy is he going to be a world-beater once that happens!