Tottenham picked up where they left off as they beat Newcastle United away from home on the opening day. There was a lot of criticism regarding their lack of transfer business, but they showed why they will be contending at the top of the league again this season.
Mauricio Pochettino has built a very good group of players and they are one of the few teams that could afford not to spend any money in the transfer window. The Tottenham squad continue to improve year on year and there were one or two players that stood out on Saturday.
The Argentine coach decided to play a strong line-up with Harry Kane, Deli Alli and Jan Vertonghen all starting, despite their World Cup campaigns. There is more to come from Tottenham, but a win on the opening day has to be seen as a positive. Below, we discuss three things learnt from the game.
Dele Alli could be back to his best
It is unfair to expect a player of Dele Alli’s age to be consistent, but there is no doubting that he is one of the best young midfielders in the world. During the last three seasons, he has scored 37 Premier League goals and he looks set for another excellent season.
His best campaign came during the 2016/17 season when he scored 18 goals. Last year, this dropped to nine in the Premier League and he lacked confidence in the final third for periods. Against Newcastle, he looked back to his best and his movement caused the home side’s defence a lot of problems.
Alli scored the winning goal after he peeled off to the back post into space. The ball from Serge Aurier made it easy for the England international, but he will be pleased to be off the mark already.
Jan Vertonghen is vital to Tottenham this season
The supporters will be pleased that Toby Alderweireld is remaining at the club for another season, but it was his Belgian team-mate that stood out on Saturday. Vertonghen didn’t put a foot wrong and ensured that Tottenham left St James’ Park with all three points.
Defensively, he couldn’t be beaten as he excelled in all areas at the back. The centre-back completed seven ball recoveries and made ten clearances to help Tottenham manage the game through to the final whistle. Although Vertonghen isn’t known for his aerial presence, he won four aerial duels.
In addition to his defensive performance, Vertonghen scored the opening goal as he headed in from close range. It was his first Premier League goal since the 2012/13 season and he will be hoping that it won’t be his last one this campaign.
Harry Kane isn’t match fit
Pochettino would have been uncertain about whether to start Harry Kane or not. He decided to name the striker in his starting eleven and his performance was reflective of a player lacking in match fitness.
After his excellent summer with England, supporters would have had high expectations for Kane, but he looked lethargic on Saturday. He was wasteful in possession with a pass success rate of 69%. Meanwhile, he only managed to have two attempts on goal.
In recent seasons, Kane has struggled to get off to a quick start in August and it could be that he faces similar problems this year. Tottenham need to be patient with him as he builds up his fitness.
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou clearly has no future at Tottenham Hotspur if Mainz deal goes ahead
Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly ready to let Nkoudou go on loan.
It appears Tottenham Hotspur are ready to let Georges-Kevin Nkoudou leave the club on loan before the end of the month. According to Sky Sports, Spurs are ready to let the winger join Bundesliga side Mainz until the end of the season.
However, Nkoudou has recently shown what he is capable of. The 23-year-old had a brilliant pre-season as Tottenham won the International Champions Cup. He was named man-of-the-match in the penalty loss to Barcelona, in which he scored. He also found the net against AC Milan in a 1-0 win. His form this summer was electric and led many to believe might have a chance at Tottenham this season.
So the fact he is being loaned out probably suggests one thing. Nkoudou has no long-term future at Tottenham Hotspur.
Even after an impressive pre-season and with Tottenham thin on the ground the young Frenchman has been told to pack his bags and head elsewhere.
This may only be a temporary deal, but it appears the precursor to a more permanent Tottenham exit.
Five interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Tottenham’s new stadium
There’s a lot to look forward to if you’re Spurs fan.
So put aside all your disappointment, for the time being, if you’re a Spurs fan, and take a look at the positives: the fact your club is about to be playing its football at one of the world’s most impressive sport set-ups.
Here at The Boot Room, we have found five interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Tottenham’s new stadium.
1. It will be the largest football club stadium in London
The new Spurs stadium will be the largest football club stadium in the English capital, with a total capacity of 62,062, surpassing fierce rivals Arsenal‘s Emirates Stadium which holds 59,867.
It had been initially planned for the stadium to only hold 60,000, but an updated layout and seating scheme have meant that the capacity has increased.
Just imagine those European nights in North London this season; will some great new memories be made?
2. 10-year NFL agreement
Perhaps the most surprising of the facts is that Spurs’ new stadium will also be the home of NFL in London, with the North London side agreeing to a 10-year deal to host NFL games, with the first taking place on October 14th.
The stadium has facilities already in place for when the American Football sides visit the UK including; four dressing rooms dedicated to the NFL and a media suite.
3. Retractable pitch
The stadium will be the first in the UK to have two different pitches inside one bowl; a real turf football pitch and an artificial surface underneath.
Is this something we’ll see more football clubs incorporating into their stadiums in the future? Or merely a bonus for the Spurs team to benefit from.
4. Skywalk stadium tour
The new stadium will feature a “skywalk”, an attraction for tourists and visitors to the stadium to use and participate in as an alternative to the stadium tour.
The skywalk will allow visitors to climb the exterior of the stadium giving them an unparalleled and unique view of the pitch.
A world first for any football stadium; the new setup will have a microbrewery inside for fans and visitors to enjoy during their visit.
Visitors to the stadium will be able to enjoy a selection of local craft beers created and brewed in partnership with Tottenham and the fans.
Away days to Spurs will be a lot more fun in coming seasons.
One winner and loser as Tottenham’ face increased stadium delays
Spurs have been forced to delay moving into their new stadium.
News broke at the end of the Premier League’s opening weekend that Tottenham’s move to their new stadium had been delayed even further, due to issues with critical safety systems – a bitter pill for Mauricio Pochettino‘s side and Spurs fans to take after their quietest summer transfer window to date.
Spurs did, however, get off to a winning start in their opening day fixture against Newcastle at St. James’ Park, winning 2-1. However, they will have to play their home fixtures at the Wembley Stadium for the foreseeable future.
The timing of the matter is far from ideal, and the optimistic approach Spurs’ owner Daniel Levy adopted last season, towards the new stadium being built in time for the 2018/19 campaign, is beginning to look laughable.
Winner – Tottenham‘s Premier League opposition
Tottenham won’t be playing any football at the New White Hart Lane Stadium until October at the earliest, and Premier League fixtures against top-four rivals Liverpool and Manchester City will be played either at the Wembley Stadium or elsewhere.
This will come as great news to Spurs’ Premier League opponents during this time frame, who will have the chance to capitalise on the North London club’s misfortune.
Despite Spurs being more familiar with the Wembley Stadium this season than last, it was meant to be a one-off, and this whole ordeal seems to only benefit teams playing against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Loser – Mauricio Pochettino and his players
Tottenham’s first Premier League win at the Wembley Stadium last season didn’t come until October 14th, and it was this initial uncertainty that hurt Spurs so severely at the start of their previous campaign.
The stadium has brought Mauricio Pochettino, and his players mixed results, including a Champions League exit at the hands of Juventus, and it’s hardly a place to call home.
Begining the season with extra away games is far from ideal, and Pochettino and his side could be in for a very sluggish start which will only add to the pressure mounting on their shoulders.
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