Tottenham Hotspur had their first friendly of the season yesterday, defeating Championship side Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Spurs’ Hotspur Way training facilities. Son Heung-Min, Tom Carroll, and Alex Pritchard were the three scorers for Tottenham.
This closed-door friendly continues the pattern that we saw from Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur last preseason. Spurs had a number of friendly matches against lower league competition last summer, but none of them were announced prior and they were all played without a crowd present. This is undoubtedly frustrating for supporters, but possibly more valuable — and less stressful — to the manager and the players, especially this early in the preseason.
All we have to go on are the photos and match report from Tottenham’s web page. But remember, we sussed out from last summer’s friendly reports that Spurs were experimenting with Eric Dier as a defensive midfielder. So what might we glean from this match?
Victor Wanyama makes his debut
Tottenham’s most recent signing started the match in the pivot beside Ryan Mason, and we can probably safely assume that he was the more defensive of the two central midfielders. Supporters probably shouldn’t read too much into this Mason-Wanyama pairing: Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele are still on holiday after their European Championship campaigns ended and probably won’t rejoin Spurs for another week or so.
Alex Pritchard is back!
Pritchard appears to be finally healthy and ready to make a claim on a first team jersey this summer, if yesterday’s match is any indication. After a disastrous season where he spent the first part injured and the second part on loan with Tony Pulis who barely played him, he’s probably champing at the bit to do stuff. Plus he scored a goal, and that’s neat.
We really don’t know who played and who didn’t
Spurs didn’t release the lineups for the first and second half of this match, so we have no idea how Spurs lined up. However, based on the photos on the website and the match report, here’s who we KNOW played a part:
Son Heung-Min (scored), Tom Carroll (scored), Alex Pritchard (scored), Victor Wanyama, Nabil Bentaleb, Harry Winks, Michel Vorm, Luke Amos, Nacer Chadli, Ryan Mason.
That’s ALMOST a team! We can probably guess that players such as Josh Onomah, Luke McGee, Nathan Oduwa, Dominic Ball, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and Kieran Trippier were involved, but we don’t know for sure.
Early days, but the new season is coming and we have the friendly matches to prove it!