Tottenham got off to a winning start at home (well, sort of) against Fulham today, with Lucas, Trippier and Kane on the scoresheet.
After a difficult time trying to break down a stubborn and resilient Fulham defence, it took a 43rd minute screamer from Spurs’ newest recruit Lucas Moura to open the scoring. A well-worked move was dealt with by the Fulham, but as the ball fell to Moura on the edge of the box, there was no dealing with his superb curled left foot finish into the top corner.
The Cottagers pegged Spurs back after the break, but Trippier and Kane put the game beyond them with superb finishes.
Kieran Trippier whipped a delightful free-kick into the top left corner, with shades of England v Croatia, before Kane wrapped up the game with a cool finish, his first in the month of August.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino had this to say on Kane’s duck: “Yes, very happy for him. It’s very important for him to feel the net in that period because if not it becomes like a big drama for him.
“Now, he told me after the game ‘In the end I scored gaffer’. He knows. I think it’s good. I told you I felt the energy when we all arrived, when everyone starting working together, that the mentality is very good, the attitude and a bit of an advantage for other teams in our fitness and progression and our preparation.
“But if you have good mentality and you are strong in your mind then you can compete. I think in the two first games we competed really, really well.”
Pochettino was extremely impressed with Trippier’s performance, and how the team managed to work space for the flying full-back.
“I think the team worked very hard to find that space that Kieran can be bright in. That position when he arrives in the side, a higher position he has a very good quality in the cross. But it’s true that he had a lot of possibility to connect with offensive players but wasn’t. I think I am happy because it was a great goal, but he still needs to improve.”
Mauricio’s longest post-match interview answer came after one journalist asked a question on ye olde Alderweireld situation.
“Look this season I am not going to talk….look, many things happened and are going to happen and happened in the past. I am not going to talk, because that is a private matter. Only I am going to talk about what you saw on the pitch, about the performance, about decisions. It’s obviously that like I explained in the press conference. I’m not going to talk about it.
“I told you players that have the possibility to stay here, I not talk about him, I talk about in general always. I want player commitment with the team. Players that are not happy, from my point of view, everyone can leave. Then it’s different if they can negotiate with Daniel [Levy] and be agreed.
“If I am here, in my position like a manager because the club trusts in my decision, not because I am so handsome. Maybe that too but (laughs). No, but look for me it’s wasting time and wasting time and wasting time and lose the opportunity maybe to improve or challenge for big things.
“I am so tired about talk of this. If some player want or some player are not happy or some player, I understand that if some players don’t play they can be disappointed. But the rules in football. Look, you created football.
“When I started playing football it was because I loved the emotions that translated with the ball. When I started my career as a manager it was to provide the players with the tools to play and enjoy football on the pitch. But sometimes it is so tough, but that is part of my job too, I understand.”
When asked about formation changes, and the team’s general performance today, Pochettino spoke of his happiness about the result, but also his desire to kick on and do more.
“Yes, we changed our formation and you know we are so flexible in our vision about football. I was a little bit disappointed last game and of course I told you that I want to give the opportunity to all the players who wanted to play. Today was a good opportunity to see different and use different organisation, but still disappointed because like against Newcastle we conceded chances, today we conceded chances. We had a different set-up and different players.
“That speaks very highly about the team and my decisions and it’s important now to improve. Of course I am so happy with the victory and so happy because the performance was good and we fully dominated the game and we deserved the victory. I want to give the full credit to the players.
“But of course we need to improve. We want to challenge the big teams. I think it’s a situation that we need to improve, we need to push to improve in different areas, be more clinical in front of goal.
“Playing so well after 20/30 minutes, dominated the game and positional game, we created a lot of chances and a lot of situations that we must or should be more aggressive and more clinical in front of goal. In these situation in the last 15 minutes of the half and then we cannot afford to start so sloppy in the second half.
“When you have three centre-back, two wing-backs and I think one more defensive holding midfielder in front to concede the chances we conceded, we need to review everything and analyse and take the best decision. But it’s good to start like this. I am so happy. I am a little bit disappointed but I am so happy with all the players. Look how they impacted and where. They were real impact, Mousa [Dembele] and of course Erik [Lamela], how they helped the team and increased the tempo. How they provided better organisation and that is why I am so happy. That is what we want from the players that are outside, being focused when the manager or team needs them to be available to do.”
What do you think of Pochettino’s post-match comments?
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