Four things to like about Oliver Skipp’s performance against West Ham

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images) /
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Referee Michael Oliver awards a yellow card to Oliver Skipp of Tottenham Hotspur
(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /

Positive Two: Skipp was predictably unpredictable with the ball

Besides being an outlet to receive the ball, Skipp also worked to be unpredictable. Against the Hammers, Skipp was as likely to play a one-touch pass back to the person who played him the ball as he was to control the ball, turn and push the ball across the pitch or forward between the lines.

Players usually play the obvious pass in front of them, and sometimes Skipp did just that. However, Skipp often looked for space with the ball, whether forward, backward, or sideways; he was looking to do something the defense might not suspect with the ball. While unsuccessful, Skipp tried a little chip into the box for Harry Kane, which was overhit, but a welcome sign of something different in and around the penalty area for Tottenham.

Positive Three: Skipp played with intelligent aggression

One of the more difficult factors for Skipp on Sunday was that he picked up a yellow card less than 10 minutes into the match. For many players, especially younger players, that yellow card would severely limit their actions for the rest of the game.

That was not the case with Skipp. Despite the lingering possibility of being sent off, Skipp played his game his way. Three of his four official tackles came after the yellow card, including some significant challenges fighting for 50/50 balls, where a mistake could be costly ( Instead, Skipp was perfect on the day with his tackling and maybe even felt hard done to get the yellow to begin with. Regardless, the card had no negative impact on his play, and he did what needed to be done defensively without any hesitation.

Positive Four: Hojbjerg and Skipp looked like a natural pairing again

Although Sarr was arguably the best player for Tottenham against Milan, the decision was to start Skipp next to Pierre Hojbjerg, with the Dane returning from his Champions League absence. As the game wore on, it was obvious the decision was good, not because Sarr could not have performed but because Skipp and Hojbjerg looked very natural playing together.

It is hard to remember, but for the first half of last season, he started midfield for most Spurs games was Hojbjerg and Skipp until the latter picked up an injury, which, along with Bentancur, has kept Skippy out of action for the most part. Finally back on the pitch from the start with Hojbjerg, the two players looked like a string attached them as one, or the other was always back and available for the defense and participating in driving the ball forward.

Moving forward, we will likely see a lot of Sarr, Skipp, and Hojbjerg, and after Sunday’s performance, we can all feel good about what Skipp will bring to the table.

Next. Spurs back to winning ways against West Ham. dark