5 things we learned from Tottenham’s 6-1 pre-season victory over Inter Milan
Harry Kane struck twice while Erik Lamela, Dele Alli, summer signing Vincent Janssen and academy striker Shayon Harrison were also on target as Spurs finished their pre-season prgramme with an emphatic triumph. So what did we learn from the game?
1. Tottenham’s top men don’t need much practise!
The general theory is that it takes a few warm-up games to get fully up to speed each summer, and it would have been entirely understandable (albeit a little concerning) if Tottenham’s internationals had looked a little rusty as they belatedly returned to action in Oslo today. But, while there were some loose passes and touches early on, Spurs comprehensively thrashed a side that finished fourth in Italy’s Serie A last season. The final friendly could not have gone any better – but then, Juande Ramos’ side thumped another Italian club, Roma, 5-0 in the last warm-up game in 2008, and we all know how that season started…
2. Cameron Carter-Vickers could be set for a breakthrough season.
Mauricio Pochettino has used a number of academy players during Spurs’ pre-season programme, especially in Melbourne when a host of senior players were absent. But 18-year-old Carter-Vickers was the only youngster to start today’s clash against Inter Milan. He will have benefited hugely from the experience of playing in such a strong line-up and alongside Toby Alderweireld. And, given Pochettino has already stated he has no plans to sign a defender to replace Federico Fazio, Carter-Vickers may not have to wait too long for his competitive debut. He is certainly quicker than Fazio!
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3. Erik Lamela is going from strength to strength.
The Argentine had a good season last term and the early signs are that he could be even better this campaign. Having struck against Juventus in Melbourne last week with an accurate low shot across the goalkeeper, Lamela produced another deadly finish today, whipping a 20-yard shot into the top right corner to put Spurs 2-1 up – and he went on to set up second-half goals for Kane and Harrison.
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4. Kyle Walker has to get the balance right between attack and defence.
Spurs’ full-backs are required to get forward and provide attacking width in addition to their defensive duties, which is a tricky balancing act - and Walker underlined that fact with his performance against Inter. The England man won the (soft) early penalty that allowed Kane to open the scoring but he then struggled at the other end of the pitch. Croatia international Ivan Perisic got in behind him on a few occasions, most notably when he raced clear to level the scores, and most of the Italian side’s threat in the first half came down that flank.
5. Vincent Janssen already looks like an excellent signing.
There are high hopes for the new recruit, who topped the goalscoring chart in the Dutch Eredivie last season – and he looks ready to make an impact straight away. The 22-year-old came on at the interval and promptly set up Alli’s goal before scoring himself and then playing a key role in Harrison’s goal. These are early days but, with his strength, vision and eye for goal, Janssen looks like he has the full package as the lone striker. It appears he can also play in the same team as Kane, who dropped into the No10 role after the break and netted his second goal.
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs