Glory, Glory, Tottenham Hotspur
Reflecting on Matchweek 1
As a new member of the soccer community (I apologize to all those around the world but I'm an American through and through), I was told I made a mistake when choosing to support Tottenham Hotspur. However, all of the summer signings have filled me with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season.
With Matchweek 1 in the books, my excitement, which continues to grow, seems justified. Although I am ecstatic with a 4-1 victory there are also some things that make me worry. Let's start with the positives first.
Last season, Heung-min Son solidified his place among the greats as a world-class after winning the Premier League Golden Boot. However, today Dejan Kulusevski was knocking on that same door. My pick for Man of the Match due to his sheer unplayability. The way he could maneuver through tight spaces was a joy to watch. I was personally surprised by his willingness to use both feet as he had shown a preference for his left foot. Should Kulusevski continue this form throughout the season, the Son-Kane-Kulusevski trio could be one we talk about for years to come.
Ryan Sessegnon also looked amazing today. For years, my fellow Spurs fans have jumped on Sessegnon's back, wishing to see the attacking he showed in his days at Fulham. Today we got just that. Kyle Walker-Peters had his hands full as Sessegnon seemed to be motivated by the arrival of Perišić.
Because I cannot give every player their own section, the final two I'll touch on today are Emerson Royal and Clément Lenglet. I've always held the belief that Royal received too much hate and at times served as a scapegoat for fans. Is he as gifted offensively as Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold? Of course not. But as he showed today, he can be useful in the attack as he was able to grab an assist and force an own goal after making a clever run(although it should be said that Mohammed Salisu, the Southampton defender responsible, should've done better). Of all the signings this summer, the one that excited me the most was Clément Lenglet. For those newer to the soccer scene than me, Lenglet's recent spell at Barcelona has seen him labeled a terrible, mistake-prone defender(to put it kindly). Maybe my ignorance will shine through in the following sentences but I figured that switching from a back two to a back three would help Lenglet in that regard. Although his speed nor acceleration will improve at Tottenham, the distance he's required to cover will be greatly reduced. Furthermore, the passing skill could be exactly what we need. Ben Davies has won the heart of the fans but in less than ten minutes, Lenglet made a dangerous pass to Son which Davies failed to produce in over 80 minutes. Passes such as this catch my eye because so often there were complaints about our midfield duo being unable or unwilling to move the ball forward. Perhaps Lenglet could be the solution to this problem.
My biggest worries are the team's lack of cohesion and Cristian Romero's calmness. I understand that the Conte error is relatively new and we did manage to hit the back of the net four times. However, there were a number of times when a pass when straight to a Southampton man which shows a clear lack of understanding between teammates. With the team traveling to Stanford Bridge next week, these mistakes may be swiftly and harshly punished by a strong Chelsea side.
Romero is without a doubt our best defender. This means that he needs to be in the team for as many games as possible. The tackle on Romeu in the 65th minute was unnecessary in my opinion. How the referee didn't show Romero a yellow card is beyond me. Should Romero make a similar blunder, the team could be significantly hurt as he is forced to watch from the bench.
All in all, I am extremely happy with today's performance. Now I turn to you. How far do you think Spurs will go this season? Do you think we can finally capture a major trophy? I look forward to hearing from you as I have a lot to learn about the beautiful game.