Five lessons learned from Pochettino's first Spurs game against Seattle

Lewis Holtby

The Argentine took charge of Tottenham for the first time in yesterday's game against Seatttle Sounders, below are five things he will have discovered.

The penchant for defensive errors remain

The first half in Seattle saw a back four that was 3/4 of what was playing at the end of last season continue to make mistake after mistake. Kyle Naughton, Michael Dawson and Danny Rose were all regularly making the starting lineup in Tim Sherwood's final few games, yet looked completely unable to do the simple things right as 4-5 basic errors were made that could and perhaps should have gifted goals to the opposition. Many of the errors came from central areas, where Dawson again looked suspect alongside the inexperienced Zeki Fryers. It may only be the first game of pre-season, but with all these players likely to be second choice season, only Danny Rose managed to get anywhere near making a positive impression on his new boss.

Holtby showed that he could seize a first team spot this year

One of the real plus points for Spurs was the performance of Lewis Holtby. Despite looking at risk of being sold after heading out on loan to Fulham in January, the German enjoyed a strong 70 minutes on the pitch, scoring the side's first goal after a great run, and generally impressing with his tenacity and work rate. Put those together was his ability to play strong possession based football, and the former Schalke man could flourish as part of the three man central midfield he played in against the Sounders.

Townsend looked short of match fitness

In complete contrast to how well he did at the start of the 2013-14 season, Andros Townsend looked to have lost that explosive pace that defined him during his 45 minutes of action. Easily shaken off the ball, and caught by several defenders as soon as he did go past them, the Englishman seems to have a long way to go before he has recovered from the hamstring injury that ruled him out of the World Cup. Aaron Lennon struggled even more to get in the game on the other flank, leaving lots of questions as to who may start out wide once the Premier League kicks off.

The club are right to be strengthening at left back
With it looking likely that Tottenham will sign Swansea's Ben Davies in the coming days, Danny Rose's first team spot is looking increasingly at risk. The former Leeds graduate is arguably the best left back currently at the club but he would benefit from some competition. Benoit Assou-Ekotto's future looks far from certain, while Fryers looked much happier at fullback than in the centre of defence, but could benefit from a season of regular football at Championship level to establish whether he is capable of challenging at a top six club. With Davies coming in, it is clear that a new addition in the middle of the defence should be the next port of call.

Several youngsters and fringe players impressed

Another thing to write home about was how a group of young players did well against the MLS leaders, especially considering that half of them haven't featured in the first team so much. Tom Carroll played the whole game, and would have surely impressed Pochettino with his passing, while Harry Kane led the line well enough to suggest he will remain one of the club's forward options. In the second half, Cristian Ceballos came on and looked more threatening than any of his more established teammates, while Milos Veljkovic did well in his favoured central defensive spot. Finally, Iago Falque also managed to make an impression despite his late appearance, scoring a penalty after a handball from his own chipped through ball.

It will be interesting to see which of these players can continue to make an impression during pre-season, as it is very likely they could find themselves much closer to the first team than they could have hoped to be come the game with West Ham.

 

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