It may be pre-season, but Tottenham’s 4-1 defeat to Spanish side Girona on Saturday evening has set alarm bells ringing. With no summer signings to date and now a humiliating result just a week before the Premier League kicks-off in their final friendly, Mauricio Pochettino may be worried.
The game started well with Lucas Moura converting from a free-kick, but Girona bounced back with Juanpe, Anthony Lozano, Portu and Aleix Garcia all getting on the scoresheet. In truth, it could have been worse. The hosts twice hit the woodwork too.
Here’s what can be taken from the game…
It’s only pre-season
It is something worth remembering. This was a young side, with Ben Davies, Serge Aurier and Heung Min Son the only three starters to have had anything like regular game time last season. They were joined the picks of the bunch from the youth teams, though some may have a role to play at the start of the season.
Yet it may still be a concern. The lack of strength in depth is what Tottenham have long been accused of lacking and the reason why they have struggled to find success in Europe alongside their Premier League exploits. Perhaps an optimist will say that such pre-season experiences will aid their development.
Lucas Moura has proved his point
After struggling to make an impact in the Premier League following his January arrival in London, the Brazilian has had a dazzling pre-season and once again was the best player in Mauricio Pochettino’s side for this fixture in Catalonia.
Before everything went wrong, Moura took a free-kick from 20 yards and left Girona goalkeeper Bono with no chance. Such efforts are what Tottenham have been lacking in pre-season and were most desperately lacking on Saturday at Estadio Monitilivi.
Defensively, there’s work to do
You only need to watch Girona’s goals to see just how shambolic Tottenham’s defending was. Lazy marking, poor passing in dangerous areas, ball-watching, you name it, Tottenham made almost every defensive error on the spectrum on Saturday night.
What was most concerning was that in defence was where the side had most experience, with the likes of Ben Davies making poor errors of judgement, such as for the second goal. Beyond anything else, this will be a concern for Pochettino as the season’s kick-off nears.