Spurs win the friendly North London Derby ahead of PL opening weekend
Tottenham Hotspur impressed in their 1-0 victory over Arsenal in the week before the Premier League begins giving their fan base much hope of what life might be like under Nuno Espirito Santo.
This was not their first impressive pre-season performance either. Nuno’s Spurs came back from 2-0 against Chelsea to draw the game 2-2, showing great grit and determination to get something out of the game.
It was an exciting match against the Gunners, a game in which Tottenham could have walked away with three or four goals. Son Heung-min clinched the victory with his goal in the 79th minute of play after some very impressive work from Japhet Tanganga. Japhet played right-back for Spurs on this occasion and squared a lovely pass across to Son to get the game’s only assist. Dele Alli gave an impressive performance and hit the post on either side of the halftime whistle. Sergio Reguilion could have easily scored but narrowly shot wide.
The assist. 🥵
The goal. 🤩
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 9, 2021
Whether a friendly or not, both the red and white fan bases of North London would have loved to see their side beat the other this weekend. However, after a difficult season under Jose Mourinho, fans would have mostly delighted in Nuno’s new system and the seemingly restored positive attitude of their starting XI.
There were only a couple of changes from the team that took on Chelsea at the bridge. Lloris reclaimed the #1 shirt and Davinson Sanchez paired up with Eric Dier, moving Tanganga out to right-back. Nuno may well have been keeping Matt Doherty on the bench ahead of Tottenham’s opening fixture against Man City this weekend, but Tanganga may have played himself into a starting position with his very positive performance against the Gunners.
What did Nuno have to say about the overall performance?
“We started really well with good combinations and recovering the ball well. Then we lost a bit of control and possession until we had the chance to adjust. We finished the game really well in terms of fitness and intensity. That’s a good sign for players in the way they are preparing themselves.”
Nuno went on to conclude that
“Finishing games stronger is what we will try to improve and keep on going.”
Spurs fans will likely recoil at the memory of their 3-3 draw with West Ham last season, in which they threw away a three-goal lead in the final 10 minutes of the game. Or perhaps both league games against Newcastle Utd, conceding last-minute goals in both fixtures to turn a total of six points into two. Nuno knows that this is one area of Tottenham’s game that vastly needs improving if they are going to secure a top four finish this season.
Romero signed for Spurs this week
More positive news for Spurs fans this week as the revered centre-back Cuti Romero joined from Atalanta for a fee of approximately £46.6m. Romero is a huge signing for Spurs and shows their intent on clashing heads with the best of them in the next Premier League season. The Argentine was given the award of best defender in Serie A last season.
Nuno & Cuti 🥰 pic.twitter.com/UAA0fwKNX8
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 8, 2021
His transfer fee makes him one of the ten most expensive CBs in history.transfermrkt.com Spurs have been lacking at the back for some time now and the 23-year-old Argentine is seen as the perfect plug to the hole left by Toby Alderweireld, who will be playing his football at Qatari club Al-Duhail next season. Romero is a ball-winner. He is an aggressor and a leader. He will likely bring the same work rate to the back line that Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has done for the Spurs midfield.
The Spurs transfer rumours going into the first PL week.
Unless you were living under a rock last week, you’ll know that the world was shocked from some pretty big football news. Jack Grealish became the most expensive Premier League footballer in history with his move from Aston Villa to Man City. Lionel Messi ended his 21-year tenure at Barcelona and is expected to sign for PSG with the deal all but done.
Harry Kane failed to turn up to training twice last week whilst he was soaking up the rays with his family in Florida. The Press and Twittersphere took this gesture as a sure sign that Kane was pushing for a move away from the club. The England striker denied these rumours and stated that his return to the ground on Saturday was planned. Harry Kane is now training in isolation at the Spurs training ground hotel and is expected to discuss his position at the club with Nuno in the coming days.
— Harry Kane (@HKane) August 6, 2021
With Grealish signing, Harry Kane’s move to City seems more and more unlikely. However, there are rumours that Manchester City are planning a £120m bid for Kane that would include Bernardo Silva coming to Tottenham. There is no official substance to the story, but a very interesting offer indeed.
In more concrete transfer news, Spurs are trying to launch a bid for Inter’s Lautaro Martinez. It has become public knowledge that Inter’s finances have been devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic and are looking to raise funds on behalf of their parent company, Suning, who are battling against the throes of administration.
Inter ST Romelu Lukaku is on the verge of signing for Chelsea for £97.5m. Martinez has enjoyed himself in Italy, scoring 49 goals in 132 games for the Milan-based club. No official fee has been announced but this would be another fantastic signing for Spurs who seem to be relishing under the new stewardship of Nuno and Sporting Director Fabio Paratici. Daniel Levy has stated the club must be realistic, as the Spurs balance sheet was £200m down in non-recoverable income due to the restrictions of the pandemic.
Is this a line up to replace Kane? Is Nuno switching to a two upfront formation? How will Spurs fair against the Premier League Champions in their opening game of the Premier League this weekend?