Guys guys guys guys guys FOOTBALL IS ALMOST BACK
I know that we collectively (and I especially) have been extremely critical of the way the Premier League has handled the return of professional football in the middle of a pandemic as people continue to get sick and die. While a lot of reservations remain, now that there is a firm date for Tottenham Hotspur’s first match back — Fri. June 19 — I can’t help but start to get excited to watch Spurs play football again.
Today, Spurs participated in a team scrimmage, featuring two full teams of 11 players facing off against each other. That’s cool enough, but they also did it in the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, and in their full home and away kits. One can surmise that this was the first attempt by Jose Mourinho to get his team used to not only playing competitive football again, but also preparing them to play Manchester United in an empty stadium.
Here are the two lineups, courtesy of Twitter account @Lilywhite_Rose, followed by the YouTube highlights video, which also shows footage of the whole team doing standard training things on the pitch. Skip ahead to 3:00 to get right to the game action.
From the images across socials worked out the teams (minus 1) for todays 11 aside Home vs Away at White Hart Lane— Lilywhite Rose (@Lilywhite_Rose) June 5, 2020
It’s hard to get too many takeaways from a six minute highlight video of two practice squads playing a scrimmage in an empty stadium, but there are a couple of things we can take away from this video.
- We think we’ve figured out who the missing player from Lilywhite Rose’s lineups is — George Marsh, who was playing right back for the blue team.
- Boy, is it good to see the long-injured players like Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, Moussa Sissoko, and Erik Lamela back out on the field doing football things. Sonny in particular looked speedy and bright with the ball.
- Who DIDN’T we see? Japhet Tanganga, Davinson Sanchez, Giovani Lo Celso, Paolo Gazzaniga, and Troy Parrott were all not training today, as far as I can see. Remember too that there’s one player who has been quarantined for testing positive for COVID-19, and that he’s reportedly “not a key first team player.” That might lead us somewhere, but there could also be youth players training with the first team that also didn’t feature today like Dennis Cirkin, so it’s probably wise to continue to avoid speculation.
- We’ve certainly ragged on Serge Aurier a lot this season, but at least from these highlights he looked pretty exciting going forward, putting in some lovely crosses including one headed home by Dele.
- Tanguy scored! That made me smile.
- Harry Kane continues to want to drop deep to collect the ball. He should stop doing that and just park his butt around the box, says I.
- While the White team looked to have more of the ball from the highlights, the Blue team had some fun looking counters.
- It was really cool to hear the players calling to each other during the game, something that you never get to hear in a normal football match in front of fans. IDK if the Premier League will pipe in crowd noise like what they’re doing for Bundesliga, but this video certainly gave a different perspective to a match.
What were your thoughts and reactions to the video? Have your say in the comments.