GW1: Tottenham 3- 1 Aston Villa
Looking at the stats, the performance against Villa was a dominant one. 70% possession. 31 shots (just 7 on target though) and 14 corners for without conceding one at the other end. In reality is was not entirely straight forward. We struggled to find a rhythm during the first half. Poch admitted as much and conceded this was down to his tactics. To understand more about this, you will need to listen to James and Suj’s excellent TOT&HAM podcast (you’re welcome!)
Instead of writing about all our players I will instead just focus the ones that are a real consideration with regards to FPL.
Lloris 5.5m – 4 shots faced 3 saved
In truth he didn’t really have a lot to do. Villa mustered 4 shots on target and Hugo comfortable dealt with 3 of them. He will face a much sterner test in GW2 against the champions
KWP 5.0m – 1 shot 1 attempted assist
Good performance from the young RB. Played high up the pitch in the first half, always looking to get forward and run into space. Regressed in the second due to our midfield playing a wider formation. Interesting to see at the end of the 2nd half he was almost playing in the centre of the park as Sissoko took a wider role. His crossing and final 3rd quality was not up to scratch this time out. A very promising start, nonetheless.
Rose 5.5m – 0 shots 4 attempted assists
Danny will always be Danny, fighting and battling for every ball. Like KWP, he was disappointing in the final 3rd with only one cross of note providing any danger. Could have done better in dealing with the goal from Villa.
Ndombele 6.0m – ⚽ 2 shots 1 attempted assist
Solid performance from the debutant, capped off with a goal. Took time for him to adjust to the pace of the game. Spend most of the first half as part of a diamond in midfield, sometimes drifting out wide and sometimes in the anchor role. Played more centrally in the 2nd half and looked much better. Some clever, fast link up play and driving runs towards goal is what we have sometimes missed. It was great to see his attitude after scoring his goal. He didn’t celebrate but choose to beckon his teammates back to restart the game as quick as possible and go hunting for a winning goal. He will only get better and better once fully fit and adjusted to the pace of the English game. Poch said after the game we have only seen 30-40% of his potential. If this is correct, then the rest of the league should be very scared! I said in my preseason article that he could be a gem that was under-priced in FPL terms. On this showing I could well be right!
Lucas 7.5m 🅰- 3 shots 3 attempted assists
Played in a very fluid front 3 alongside Kane and Lamela, during the first half but pushed more out wide after the formation change. Always alert, he made some decent runs into the box and spotted the incoming Ndombele when providing the assist for the equalizer. Not his greatest game in a Spurs shirt and I do worry for his minuets once Son is back
Lamela 6.0m – 4 shots 2 attempted assists
Mainly deployed at the head of a diamond in the first half, he player wider in the second and looked much better for it. His energy and tenacity were on show right to the last, evidenced by chasing down and winning the ball off Jack Grealish. His subsequent shot pinballed of a couple of defenders before finding its way to Kane who stabbed it home to put us in front. Always tried to play the ball quickly and forward but lacked quality with his final balls.
Eriksen 9.0m – 3 shots 3 attempted assists
Came on in the 64th minuet and made a real difference. The Dane very much had a free role and pulled Villa all over the place. His range of passing and vision meant the other players knew someone was able to pick them out. Eriksen, as he often is was the key to changing the tide of the game. Excellent freekick which Heaton needed to be at his best to save.
Kane 11.0m ⚽⚽ – 8 shots 2 attempted assists
8 Shots on goal was double the amount of any other player during GW1. Only 2 shots on target but both found the back of the net. The first was a pure poacher’s goal. After the ball bounced around the box Harry was in the right place at the right time to poke it home. The second was a beautifully placed shot in the bottom corner. The August curse is well and truly put to bed and he’s now scored at his home ground. Looked sharp both physically and in front of goal during preseason and he certainly carried that over to the league.