When Villa’s Scottish midfielder John McGuin put the newly-promoted side ahead in the 9th minute very much against the run of play, it all seemed so typical Spurs.
Prior to that, Spurs had been dominant with Lucas Moura missing a gild-edged opportunity. What a difference that might have made. Once Villa went in front, it made Spurs’ task that much more harder as Villa effectively ‘parked the bus’ and invited Spurs to camp in their half.
Spurs found the going tough, mainly because there was zero movement amongst the attacking trio of Harry Kane, Moura and Erik Lamela. Kane had a chance or two but could not convert.
For some reason, Spurs always take a long time to get going – if they had been more clinical, the path to victory might have been easier. As it was, it took over 70s minutes, with unsettled playmaker Christian Eriksen now in the thick of the action, to equalise when record signing Tanguy Ndombele scored from outside the box with a well-placed hit.
Spurs also have the knack of scoring late winners and they did not disappoint as talisman Harry Kane delivered in the 86th and 90th minute respectively, to pick up a deserved three points.
Compared to the comprehensive victories of Man City and Liverpool, this win looked too close for comfort as far as Spurs were concerned. Sure, many top players were unavailable viz. Son Heung-Min, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon, Serge Aurier etc BUT that should not be an excuse for Spurs struggling to put away a side that will most probably be battling relegation the entire season.
Would it have been different if Eriksen was playing from the start? Did he – as some pundits suggest – make all the difference? Of course, Eriksen at the peak of his powers is a tremendous asset but does he want to stay? Considering the cooling of interest amongst the top European clubs for Eriksen’s services, he might consider staying put for one more season but without the club losing out on a significant payday. We shall see …
In any case, a win is a win and for now, this is a good start to a new season!
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!
The day has finally come!
It has been slightly over two months since we were disappointed in the Champions League final and in that time, the status of our club has risen visibly as the arrivals of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon demonstrate. Not to mention the serious links with Dybala, which sadly did not bear fruit.
With a decent pre-season under our belt, Spurs look fairly confident going into this opening day against newly-promoted side Aston Villa. Managed by Dean Smith, the Villains have been busy in the transfer market since beating Derby County in that Wembley play-off final, spending over £100m on 12 (!) players.
Of course, that was precisely the strategy of Fulham last season with relegation the result! Thus, it remains to be seen if Villa can avoid the Cottagers fate despite adopting the same strategy.
Villa will find Spurs a tough challenge, especially on the back of good pre-season form, performing well in matches against Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Inter. I believe Spurs are more than ready to get an opening day win.
That said, there are worryingly a lot of names on the unavailable list viz, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min, Juan Foyth, Ryan Sessegnon and Ben Davies. Unlikely to start are the likes of Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Serge Aurier, all having just returned to full training.
Still, we have enough depth in our current squad to secure all three points.
Possible lineup : Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Sissoko, Winks, Ndombele, Lamela, Moura, Kane.
(With Lo Celso on the bench)
Note – It should be interesting to see whether Poch plays the unsettled Eriksen. Seems like a huge risk to play him, despite Poch’s assurances that all his players have a professional attitude. Eriksen’s performances during pre-season would suggest otherwise. We shall see.
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!
“I am so happy”
As always, Pochettino is very candid about his thoughts & feelings ahead of Spurs’ opening game against newly-promoted Aston Villa.
COME ON YOU SPURS!!!
1. Man City
7. Man United
12. West Ham
13. Aston Villa
14. Crystal Palace
17. Norwich City
18. Brighton & Hove
19. Newcastle United
20. Sheffield United