Tottenham Hotspur concluded their preseason overseas tour in style on Wednesday, playing and dispatching Lion City Sailors 5-1 at the Singapore National Stadium. The match started off a little cagey after Lion City capitalized on a defensive blunder on a counter attack to score the first goal of the match.
But Harry Kane converted a penalty with the last kick of the first half (with what might be his last goal for the club? TBD), and Spurs roared back with four second half goals with a completely changed XI. Richarlison had a hat trick and could’ve had more, while Giovani Lo Celso added a fourth goal.
Lots to talk about from this one. Here are my notes.
- Lion City’s goal came on a counterattack — Davies got caught too far upfield, and Porro just couldn’t hang at the back post. Elmo was also all over the place. Hilarious goal, but also a little worrisome?
- Lion City was really sagging off of the defense at the top of the box, which allowed Maddison (and others) plenty of room in which to operate. Madders had a number of long shot attempts from there. He’s a hell of a player.
- Sarr had a really nice first half. Had a number of excellent passes, dictated tempo well, flashed a header wide, won a penalty. Very encouraging stuff compared to his last outing, he was a delight.
- The FB combo of Udogie-Porro is ultra attacking but a little suicidal defensively. Porro lost his man twice in the first half. One lead to a goal, the other Spurs were lucky that Lion City couldn’t get a shot off. Nobody will accuse Porro of being a good defender, but Emerson Royal doesn’t let that happen.
- Have a feeling we’ll see a lot of 11-behind-the-ball defenses against Spurs in the league this season, especially from clubs in the bottom half. Tottenham need to be more clinical (yes, it’s ridiculously early).
- Was that the last ever Tottenham goal from Harry Kane? It kinda felt like it.
- Second half lineup: Austin, Emerson, Tanganga, Dier, Reguilon, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Lo Celso, Perisic, Solomon and Richarlison.
- So happy for Richy, he was approaching Roberto Soldado levels of bad finishing luck lately. Stupid first goal - Lo Celso’s shot caromed off of a Lion City player and fell to Richy — but you’ll take it. Second goal was just good vision to poach the back header, and he nearly had a hat trick inside the first ten minutes. (He eventually got his hatty before full time.)
- Honestly, Richy looked so much more comfortable in these tactics than Kane did. He was constantly moving, making late runs, getting into space. Kane was trying to drop deep into space like he usually does and looked a lot more static. It’s curious, right? I’m not saying anything negative about Kane, but it seems pretty clear that Harry’s a bit of a square peg in a round hole under Postecoglou...
- There are rumors (coming soon on this blog) about Gio being convinced to stay at Spurs by Postecoglou. I hope that’s accurate, because he was fantastic in this second half, had a goal, and is pretty much perfect for Ange-Ball.
- Perisic too is practically ideal for Ange’s tactics but like we gotta sell SOMEONE and he’s like a billion years old. Even so, Ivan had a good half as well.
- Manor Solomon, this time on the right, was again dribbly and bright, and plonked a volleyed shot off the post. Not as many offensive contributions this half though.
- The back line was rarely tested at all in the second half, though that might have as much to do with Lion City rotating as it does Tanganga and Dier. (Dier spent a lot of time camping in LC’s box) I’m not sure Austin touched the ball more than once in the run of play.
- Really wish we could’ve seen some Tanguy Ndombele. Until then I will remain convinced that he is still a world-beater under Ange.
- Tour’s over! Now we return to London to see if there’s any transfer movement in, or out.