Andre Villas-Boas’ men beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Sunday to get off to a winning start in their Premier League campaign.
New Tottenham signing Roberto Soldado slotted home a second-half penalty to give his side a hard-fought 1-0 win over London rivals Crystal Palace on Sunday at Selhurst Park.
The north Londoners have ambitions of making the top four this season, and an early three points in a tricky fixture will be more than welcome. Here are five things the game taught us about the new-look Spurs.
Hugo Lloris is one of the Premier League’s best
Although Tottenham dominated the lion’s share of possession, Palace had a number of opportunities to get back in the game in the second half, but were foiled in their efforts by the France international.
Lloris made a good double save to deny Palace at the death, while also came out of his penalty box to tackle Kevin Phillips when the veteran found himself through on goal.
The former Lyon man’s command of his box and ability to be at his best despite long periods of inactivity were apparent. Spurs have a top-notch goalkeeper to rely on in the search for Champions League qualification.
Kyle Walker – good going forward, questionable going back?
The England international right-back linked up well with Aaron Lennon and was a real threat going forward. He overlapped the winger on countless occasions and was a good out-ball for Spurs also.
Despite his threat going forward, Walker’s positioning when Palace had the ball was questionable at times. The full-back relies on his pace to get him out of trouble, and against better opposition could get found out.
Although Walker is an excellent player and can only get better, a bit of individual positional training with the Spurs coaches could help the defender to progress.
Etienne Capoue may have a big role to play
Although the central midfield trio of Sandro, Paulinho and Mousa Dembele are being touted as the preferred starters in the boiler room, a second-half cameo on Sunday from Capoue showed he could have a significant role to play.
The France international showed combativeness in breaking up Palace possession, boundless energy and an uncompromising nature that will be of real benefit to Spurs.
Capoue will look to break into the starting line-up in forthcoming weeks and appears to have all the qualities to make him a star in the Premier League.
Nacer Chadli is no Gareth Bale
The Belgium international got his debut on the left wing for Tottenham and showed glimpses of why the English club brought him to White Hart Lane this summer.
He was confident with the ball at his feet, showed a turn of pace and looked to cut inside to use his right foot to shoot or cross. His physical attributes will also make him a threat in the air.
Despite a promising debut, Chadli will have a job on his hands replacing Gareth Bale should he leave to join Real Madrid. A promising player, yes, but the outgoing man is a world-beater.
Tottenham are real top-four contenders
Regardless of whether Bale stays or goes, Spurs will be in the mix for a top-four place this season. The starting XI looked strong, while the bench was loaded with international quality players.
The club has invested wisely in four excellent players this summer, and have every chance of breaking into the top four. Villas-Boas will look to build on a solid performance and three points with another win against Swansea next weekend.
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