Hello, Anybody There?
There was a sparse crowd Of just over 26K at Wembley Stadium on the morning of Saturday, 5 August for the match against Juventus. So sparse that in The cavernous vaults of the stadium that the noise they created sounded as if they were singing in a bathroom. As I only get to see Spurs once or twice a season this would normally have been an ideal match for me to go and watch them especially as it was against Juventus and at Wembley. For me the prices charged by Relevent Sports was at rip-off price level and nothing short of that, I’m not going to be fleeced by anyone.
I hope the thin crowd has given a bloody nose to those organisations who think they can take the British footballing public and the Spurs supporters in particular for granted and just charge as much as they want. At this time of year during the school holidays WHL would normally have been bursting to the rafters with families for such a game, with sensible pricing. But families were priced out and many would have missed the joy of attending with their son or daughter for the first time. Maybe they forgot about the cost of families to travel to Wembley and food etc on top. At first I thought the FA should clamp down on these profiteering spivs, then I realised Wembley is owned by the FA and they in truth have a FA attitude to the fans so what’s the point in complaining – those in power and the guardians of the game have closed ears when it comes to the fans.
As @JamesCHarris97 tweeted – ‘Friendlies used to be the only games my dad could afford to take me to. Pricing people out of them is so greedy and sad.’ .@JamesCHarris97
Those who stayed away didn’t miss too much of an exciting game. Juve were a week or two behind Spurs in their preparations and it showed. Their passing and intricate movement compared to their displays leading up to last season in the champions league final was way off standard. Towards the end of the game with Spurs winning two nil and accompanied by a plethora of changes the game petered out to nothingness. Nevertheless Spurs put in a good display and performance against last year’s champions league finalists. They pressed high and didn’t give Juve time to settle, got the early goal and basically controlled the game thereafter although Juve had their periods of domination and chances too.
For all that it was obvious that Juve had some very good players that oozed class. Dybala was one player in particular that for me was a constant thorn to the Spurs defenders throughout his time on the pitch. Another more obvious player that stood out for me was Chiellini and his reputation, that went before him has been well earned. I am not so sure about Douglas Costa who always seem to flatter to deceive and has yet to live up to his reputation. I am sure there is a player there somewhere but when Cuadrado came on I thought he was a better player. Spurs were supposed to be after Costa at one stage but I think we may have dodged a bullet there. Bayern Munich don’t often let their better players go after all.
Juve have too many good players to list here but if you really want to see what the team lineup is then I suggest you read the match report by Paul Smith on his Spurs Odyssey site for a full kick by kick account and a bells and whistles report that is always an excellent read. Match Report
One the downside for Spurs is the injury to Kieran Trippier in the third minute caused by a strong challenge from Sandro the Cheat$ki target. My first thoughts on seeing this on the television was of a broken ankle but after lengthy treatment he played on and he stayed on the pitch long enough to put in a lovely cross for Harry Kane’s goal – nice little Header there following a sweeping team play. Unfortunately in the 41st minute he had to be substituted by Kyle Walker Peters as another strong challenge put him out of the game. I am surprised that Spurs allowed him to carry on as the initial challenge in the third minute seemed a particularly nasty one to me. Young Kyle, who replaced him, went on to have another excellent game and impressed again. I think Trips is going to miss a few weeks out injured and these will be Spurs weeks as well……..so be prepared!
A few comments on the Spurs players performances:-
Lloris – some excellent saves solid game all round.
Trippier – good whilst on the pitch great cross for Harry’s goal sad to see him go off.
Toby and Jan – both played up to their high standards as per usual with Jan making some good forays forward and Toby as solid as always.
Davies didn’t do too badly going forward however I can’t say the same in defence in the second half when Cuadrado came on, allowed him too much room and would often be chasing to cover not always making it successfully, so for this reason I thought Davies was probably our weakest player on the night. Hugo had to be sharp to stop Cuadrado because of this. Mind you if he is being told to play narrow and support the middle then perhaps I’m being a tad unfair.
Dier – Tidy if unspectacular.
Dembele – ran the midfield which is no mean feat against Juve. Needs to buy a pair of shooting boots otherwise he would have been a stronger contender as my Man of the Match.
Sissoko – this is probably the best I have seen him play in a Spurs shirt but I’m wondering if this is just a window dressing display for a move away. He was unlucky to hit the inside of the post only for the ball to bounce back out into play, It was an excellent shot. He was sharp, Powerful abd full of running throughout the game Until subbed. Maybe it isn’t to late for Poch to get a new tune from an old fiddle after all!
Eriksen – my man of the match, another super performance took his goal superbly and was just a joy to watch.
Dele – another quiet game for him but he did put in a wonderful touch and through ball assist for Eriksen’s goal. Can’t keep him quiet for long.
Harry Kane – did okay, took his goal well with a lovely little downward header, hit the bar later on then contrived to miss a sitter of an open goal. After the game, Chiellini made a comment that Harry is a top European striker and Spurs would greatly miss him if he was ever to leave.
Kyle Walker-Peters performed admirably with enthusiasm and a certain degree of skill when he came on, went forward a few times and put in a good cross on one occasion at least. Didn’t disgrace himself defensibly against Juve, so that bodes well for the future, very well done young man.young man.
Harry Winks – came on as Sub, another solid performance kept things ticking over.
Anthony Georgiou – took his opportunity well again when he came on, non-stop running and going forward showed a lot of skill came back and supported the defence when required. I think GKN has some competition to look forward to the season.
Overall a good performance by Spurs against a Juve team who were not really up to standard. However it was against last season’s champions league finalists, who don’t like to be beaten and don’t ‘do’ friendlies, so let’s not complain too much about that shall we!
Next up is a few immediate after match jottings by Anna @SpursXY to add colour and class to this article. Be sure to visit her YouTube VLOG to listen and watch her match review. You won’t be disappointed.
FT: Spurs 2 – 0 Juventus
What a great result, for so many reasons! First of all we won the match, against a very decent opposition, we took control of the game, and hardly let Juve create chances.
We kept a clean sheet, Hugo making some amazing saves, our defence looking solid. Trippier’s injury is concerning, hopefully he’s not out for long. If anything this highlights the fact that we need to sign a new RB even more… However, on the positive side Kyle Walker-Peters played well.
Sissoko put in a decent performance, now some are suggesting it’s ahead of his move away from the club. However if he stays, and puts in a similar performance week in week out, it could almost count as a new signing.
Harry’s goal was a lovely team goal, and the end of the move saw Trippier cross the ball in to the box and Kane nicely headed it in.
Eriksen was my man of the match for several reasons, he ran the game so well, I feel like it sometimes goes unnoticed how essential he is to our well-oiled-machine. Furthermore his goal was brilliant, well positioned to receive the pass, and then some cheeky play around Buffon to easily tap it into the open goal.
All in all a huge improvement on our performance against City, and more importantly this was at Wembley. I now have a lot more hope for the season ahead, but I’m not getting carried away just yet, still a lot of work to be done. Ideally we need a few signings, and we need to keep up this energy and focus especially against teams who know us better than Juventus.