Tottenham Hotspur had a friendly match today! Did you know about it? That’s okay, nobody did because it happened behind closed doors. Spurs defeated Southend United 6-0 at Hotspur Way this morning with a squad comprised of non-World Cup stars and up-and-coming youth players.
Erik Lamela led the way with a first half hat trick (!!!), and the game also included goals from Lucas Moura, Fernando Llorente, and young midfielder Tashan Oakley-Boothe.
Closed-door friendlies have been a staple of the Mauricio Pochettino era. Poch likes to evaluate his squad against lower level competition without the added pressure of the media and fans, and at Spurs’ training ground. We often don’t know about them until after they happen and rarely get to actually see them happen until the club goes on a major international preseason tour, like what they’re doing later this month at the International Champions Cup in USA.
Still, they’re important — they get the players in competitive action against actual professional footballers, even if they’re a couple of divisions below them like Southend United.
Based on the match report, Erik Lamela was an integral part of Spurs’ offense, scoring three first half goals and playing others in with passing. Spurs didn’t list a lineup or even say everyone who played, but in reading the match report and viewing the photos online, we know that in addition to the goal scorers, other players that saw action included Serge Aurier, Ben Davies, Moussa Sissoko, Michel Vorm, and Paulo Gazzaniga.
Obviously we can’t take a whole lot from this performance, but it clearly means we’re going to win the league.