Let’s Dissect a Picture of Tottenham Players Eating Together


With Tottenham’s pre-season just kicking off and information about intrasquad politics and training limited, fans have to take what they can get.

Tottenham have slowly begun welcoming back their squad from their summer breaks, some of which were longer than others what with commitments in Euro 2016. Two pre-season friendlies have thus far been played, both behind closed doors, and the squad meets regularly for Mauricio Pochettino’s training sessions.

All of which means that fans remain kept in the dark about how things are shaping up. New additions need to bed in, and some returning players need to be re-integrated into the squad. How those dynamics play out and who ends up where is the subject of much debate among the Tottenham faithful. Any morsel of information if welcome.

On Wednesday, that morsel amounted to a single picture taken of part of the Tottenham squad dining together at a Mediterranean restaurant called Sheesh in Chigwell, not too far from the club’s training ground in Enfield.

The photo, posted on the restaurant’s Instagram feed, is reminiscent of several other similar pictures that the players themselves have posted over the last year — though with a few notable exceptions.

For one, we get to see the core back with the team. Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are all back with the squad after their extended rest following England’s efforts in this summer’s tournament in France. Kevin Wimmer and Érik Lamela are also back from serving with Austria and Argentina, respectively.

Clinton NJie — the subject of much debate since it was revealed that winger Georges-Kévin Nkoudou would be arriving from Marseille — is eating with the team, seemingly far from the exit door.

Otherwise, we see a group of players we know have been involved in Tottenham’s two pre-season friendlies. Heung-min Son, Nacer Chadli and Nabil Bentaleb all look happy to be there, even if two of them might not be with Tottenham for much longer

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It’s two players, conveniently enough sitting next to each other in the middle of the table’s right hand side, that should draw the most chatter.

Alex Pritchard and DeAndre Yedlin are both returned to Tottenham on loan from West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland, respectively. Both players were once thought — or at least hoped — to be future first team regulars.

Circumstances prevented such futures from fleshing out for them last season. An injury to his ankle that later required surgery kept Pritchard out of Pochettino’s plans for the first half of the season. Once healed, he was deemed surplus to the team’s requirements at the time and shipped off on loan to West Brom. Tony Pulis seemingly didn’t know what to do with the 23-year-old, and thus another half season was wasted.

Yedlin’s story was a bit more promising. Sent on loan at the beginning of the season to Sunderland after Kieran Trippier’s arrival, Yedlin worked his way into the team to become a squad regular by season’s end. The Black Cats were rumored to be interested in bringing him back next season, though the departure of Sam Allardyce might complicate matters.

Next: Swansea City Preparing to Sign Tottenham's Nacer Chadli

The two players’ presence at this dinner with Tottenham first team regulars does not, in and of itself, say much about their chances of getting onto the pitch themselves next season — but it’s at the very least encouraging. If they are training with the first team squad then it does not seem beyond the realm of possibility that Pochettino might grant them the cameos they need to live up to so many fans’ expectations.