Whereas the assist that wasn’t was the highlight of a forgettable evening for Hojbjerg, the battle for the central midfield slots is just getting started.
Observation 3: Benatancur wants a job, Hojbjerg not so much?
On the goal, Bentancur made the tackle in the attacking half to win possession and send Spurs toward the goal. The tackle which led to Spurs’ goal was not the only time Bentancur brought it on Saturday, but it was the most
Other than the pass that led to a goal that did not stand, Hojbjerg’s two best balls played Sevilla in on goal.
Twice the Viking played a poor back pass to space between the last defender and the keeper, and twice Sevilla picked up the ball and went toward the goal. Although neither opportunity cost the team, it is the kind of mistake for someone who will be looking to start on Day 1.
After two matches, the question in the centre of the park is who will line up next to Bentancur.
Observation 4: Tottenham needs a backup for Dier
Maybe, Clement Lenglet will be a suitable backup for both Ben Davies and Eric Dier; however, in Korea, Spurs did not have one. Over two matches, Dier played 167 minutes, more than any other Tottenham player, including the full 90 minutes against Sevilla.
Academy prospect Charlie Sayer came on for Dier against Team K-League, but there was no replacement against Sevilla.
When Dier was out last season, the team struggled, and if there is no recognized replacement for Dier’s position and leadership, it could spell trouble for the club.
Observation 5: Sevilla was a good warm-up test for Spurs
It was friendly at a neutral site, but the crowd at Suwon World Cup stadium made the game seem like a final. The cheering for both teams was fantastic, and the teams did not disappoint, especially Sevilla.
The Spanish side came at Spurs hard from the first minute until the last. The physicality was something far beyond what you expect in an exhibition game. Sevilla tackled hard and pressured regularly.
Tottenham was not bullied in the game; however, Spurs never quite reached the same level of physicality of Sevilla; rather, they learned to cope better.
It will be the ability to cope with teams that annoy and claw, which will have a big impact on Spurs’ season, making the match against Sevilla a perfect preseason test.