Tottenham fell to a late defeat in their latest pre-season friendly as they came up against AS Roma in New Jersey. Mauricio Pochettino played a mixture of experience and youth, as he continues to assess the strength of his squad as the new season approaches. The Argentine head coach has shown a desire to give young players a chance since arriving in North London and pre-season offers him a great chance of seeing what his current crop have to offer. There were both positives and negatives for Spurs, as they lost to the Serie A side.
Vincent Janssen took his chance to impress
In recent days, it has emerged that Pochettino is willing to give the Dutchman another chance after his underwhelming first season in the Premier League. There had been rumours suggesting that he could be moved on, but his manager is willing to give him another year to prove himself and his performance against Roma suggested that he could be ready to take the opportunity. Janssen always looked to be a good fit for the Tottenham system and he showed that late last night.
The Dutch striker played a part in both Tottenham goals and offered a goal threat immediately after coming onto the field. Harry Winks netted the first goal, but it came after Janssen managed to find space in the penalty area to release a shot at goal. Although it wasn’t the best hit, the effort hit the post and gave his team the opportunity to get back into the game. He then managed to score himself just minutes later after some great movement allowed him to divert a cross stylishly. If he continues in this form, he will have a part to play.
Several of the fringe players didn’t take their opportunities
Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kyle Walker-Peters, Josh Onomah and Kevin Wimmer all failed to impress against Roma, which does create a problem for Pochettino. The Argentine likes to have young, hungry players pushing for the first team to provide competition, but none of these four seem to be at the level that Tottenham need them to be. Wimmer is slightly more experienced, but he has suffered due to a lack of first-team football. At the age of 24, he hasn’t developed as many expected and a move away could be best for him.
The other three have all come through the academy at Tottenham and great things were expected from them. The sale of Kyle Walker has provided Walker-Peters with an opportunity to prove that he is now ready for the first team, but he looked raw against Roma. Carter-Vickers and Onomah have been around the first team for a while, but they haven’t been given as many chances as they would have liked. Pochettino doesn’t like to use the loan market and their lack of senior football has certainly stunted their development. Based on this match, none of these four will play a prominent role for Spurs in the upcoming season.
New signings are needed
Tottenham are the only Premier League club that hasn’t made a new signing this summer and they are worse off for that. They have a very talented squad and Pochettino will continue to develop the players at his disposal, but new signings provide an extra edge to the pre-season. Although many will label the club’s transfer business last summer as a failure, the arrival of new players add competition for places and that was beneficial to those already at the club.
New players also provide supporters with excitement and create a positive mood heading into the new season. Tottenham have money to spend after selling Kyle Walker and it would be wise to invest in one or two players, even if they are only signed to provide competition for places. There is only so far that Spurs can go with the current crop of players and investment is needed to push them on to the next level. The rest of the top six are spending and if Tottenham don’t, they risk losing ground on their rivals.