Tottenham's match against New York Red Bulls is the first match that was played in any way competitively and so ..."/> Tottenham's match against New York Red Bulls is the first match that was played in any way competitively and so ..."/>

Tottenham Player Watch Against New York Red Bulls


Tottenham’s match against New York Red Bulls is the first match that was played in any way competitively and so it gives an opportunity to assess the players in their run up to the new season.

Twitteresque Match Report: Spurs 2 Red Bulls 1 Spurs recovered with 2nd half goals from Bale and Sigurdsson to win comfortably after home team scored an early penalty.

Player Watch – Senior 1st Team Players:

Michael Dawson – played well and was comfortable after early pressing from Red Bulls had unsettled the Spurs defence. He looks to have regained fitness after injury. Long passing out of defence wasn’t as accurate as it needs to be and had a great chance to score when his rising shot from a corner hit the bar.

Kyle Walker – Working back to fitness, passing, shooting and interplay with Lennon not a s sharp as usual but as enthusiastic as ever. Used his pace to recover when Red Bulls attacked on their left after he had moved forward in support.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto – comfortable as ever, worked well with Bentley on left and looked to get forward. Had one moment of aberration when fouling Tim Cahill from behind.

Aaron Lennon – was lively throughout, running at defenders with the ball. Could have scored from a Bale cross in second half  to bring Spurs level but for a good save.

Gareth Bale – appears to have recovered from injury. Played as a lone striker in the first half and not totally comfortable with the position. Much more direct in second half on the left wing. Spurs most dangerous threat as usual – scored with a good header and had another couple of chances from corners.

Younes Kaboul – played for last seven minutes in midfield.

New Signings:

Jan Vertonghen – started with Dawson and was unsettled by the Red Bulls pressurising Tottenham and denying the defenders time and space to play the ball in the early minutes. Was caught out for the penalty – he allowed Cahill to get in front of him and then brought him down in the penalty area. He was more comfortable as Spurs started to control the game but only played in first half. As he has said himself, signing from Ajax doesn’t guarantee him a starting place in the starting team. As Vertonghen commented in the Daily Star,

"“It will be difficult for me to break into the team without a doubt. I knew before I came that there would be a lot of competition. But I am not afraid of competition. It’s a big club and at every big club there is a lot of competition.”"

Gylfi Sigurdsson – was quiet in the first half and not as involved or effective as previously. Came more into the match after the interval and ended with an assist and a superb goal. His corners are going to be a great asset for Spurs this season.

Squad Players:

Heurelho Gomes – a quiet game for him. Beaten for the early penalty, going the wrong way. His first real action was to come for a high cross late in the second half. He caught it confidently and for rest of match had only to deal with back passes. Had no opportunity to show if he has regained his confidence and form.

Tom Huddlestone – played the first half and showed his range of passing – able to send out lovely first time passes to the wings to spread play quickly. Not back to full fitness as some passes went astray. Great movement and link up for his strike on goal which was well saved by the goalkeeper. Signs that he is getting back to form after missing last season.

David Bentley – played well in the first half – showed greater interest and involvement than on many previous occasions. Would have liked to see more of him after half-time but on that showing it would be worth giving him some time to prove himself.

Jermaine Jenas – came on for the second half and as in previous matches contributed little to the game – it just seems to go on around him.

William Gallas – played in the second half with Dawson. Had no trouble as Spurs started to dominate and control the match.

Sebastien Bassong – came on at left back for the final seven minutes and was untroubled. Got forward once on the left to set up Andros Townsend. Not on for long enough to form an opinion of his display or value to Spurs next season but would appear to be under consideration as cover at left back.

Young Players:

Jake Livermore – was comfortable in midfield and works hard. This will probably be the testing season for him as he tries to build and improve on last year’s success.

Kyle Naughton – played the final thirty minutes at right back. Was comfortable but Spurs dominance meant he wasn’t tested either in defence or going forward. Doesn’t appear to be as attacking from right back as Walker.

Harry Kane – played as a lone striker in second half and this gave Spurs a better shape and focus. He worked hard against uncompromising defenders and it was from his partial break that the corner was won which led to the first Spurs’ goal.

Andros Townsend – played on the left for the last seventeen minutes – was lively and looking to run at defenders but needs to get in a final pass to make his running productive.

Adam Smith – replaced Lennon for the last seven minutes which gave him very little opportunity to prove his value to the manager.

It was decided to omit Rafael Van der Vaart as he had only taken part in light training before the match and the management team didn’t want to risk his fitness.

In Tottenham’s final two matches against Watford and Valencia, Andre Villas-Boas may try to put together a more settled line-up but with new signings expected and Jermain Defoe and Van der Vaart to return his thoughts may not become apparent until the opening match against Newcastle united.