Other Tottenham Preseason Takeaways
Lucas Moura is another player that continues to both excite and disappoint at times. In reality, there was really only one bad or disappointing moment for Lucas but like with Skipp not following the man on the second goal, this one mistake again turned into a celebration for Chelsea.
Defensive plays changed the game for Tottenham
Tackles are all about timing, and just how much of an impact a single tackle will have depends on when it where it occurs. Being tackled by N’Golo Kante is something that has happened to hundreds of footballers and will happen to hundreds more. However, it was the timing and juncture of a Kante tackle that led to the first goal.
Lucas has done well at beating players off the dribble this preseason but on this occasion, the French midfielder timed his defense to perfection leading directly to a break. It was a situation where Tottenham had no midfielder behind Lucas and Hakim Zitech was allowed to simply run with the ball towards the goal.
As Timo Werner went wider, Eric Dier shaded that way and pointed for Japhet Tanganga to come over and step up. This was completely wrong by Dier who should know by now the ball is the most dangerous thing. The split between Dier and Tanganga, which was far too wide all night, did not allow the young defender time to come over to cut off the charging Zitech.
This all came off one tackle in the open field and the Spurs have to react better. Surely Chelsea feels the same after the Lilywhites scored twice on counterattacks themselves, both off of Chelsea turnovers. There is no doubting that making big defensive plays and avoiding the big defensive mistakes will be critical for Tottenham this year.
Several players go for a full 90
Likely we are starting to see the players Head Coach Nuno Espirito Santo will lean on early in the season. Seven different players went a full 90 minutes. Lucas, Son, Dele, Skipp, Dier, Tanganga, and Gollini all played the entire match.
In the previous preseason games by the end of the game, Santo had his bench cleared, in this game he only used four substitutes total and none got big minutes.
We did see the preseason debut of Serge Aurier and he seemed to do more attacking-wise in 10 minutes than Matt Doherty had done in 80 but he also had fresh legs. One of the best things about Aurier is he reportedly wants to leave the club but was out there playing and giving his all in the time he had. I personally would rather see Doherty move on and Aurier stay but I may be in the minority there.
In the end, a draw with the defending European Champions is something to be optimistic about. While the first half was rough the second half was better and Tottenham kept pushing, which is part of the DNA that we seek. Still, a lot to do before City and as the season progresses but this team should be both competitive and relatively fun to watch.