How Tottenham Hotspur have fared in pre-season

Tottenham's Erik Lamela celebrates with team mates after scoring their second goal

The 22,468 miles traveled is more than any other side in the division. But after disappointing scorelines in Australia, Mauricio Pochettino will be delighted with the recent result in Norway.

After 13 long weeks, the Premier League resumes this weekend with what many are touting to be the most competitive season of all time. 

Last season, champions Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur upset the mantle by finishing in the top three and securing automatic qualification for the Champions League. The days of the typical 'top four' in Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United seem a long time ago, as only the Gunners made it into Europe's elite club competition.

As Spurs prepare for their first Champions League campaign since 2010/11, in which Gareth Bale scored a memorable hat-trick against Inter at the San Siro, Mauricio Pochettino has shown faith in the group of players that were so successful last year.

In his first summer at the club, the Argentine made improvements to the squad, signing six while selling on an equal amount. And it was similar again a year ago as he continued to bereft the club of its deadwood, whilst welcoming Dele Alli, Toby Aldweireld, Kieran Tripper, Kevin Wimmer, Son Heung-Min and Clinton N'Jie to White Hart Lane.

Son Heung Min celebrates with Toby Alderweireld after scoring the first goal for Tottenham HotspurSon Heung Min celebrates with Toby Alderweireld after scoring the first goal for Tottenham Hotspur

Yet this summer it has been much quieter as Pochettino obviously feels settled with the team he has assembled. So far, only midfielder Victor Wanyama from Southampton has been brought in, alongside striker Vincent Jansson, the Dutch top goalscorer last season for FC Twente.

With a large contingent given extended breaks after featuring at Euro 2016, the Argentine boss began pre-season preparations with a mixture of first and youth-team players. 

And after Spurs played behind-closed-doors friendlies at Hotspur Way against Nottingham Forest and Fulham, they embarked for Australia to play two games at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

The first opponents were Italian champions Juventus. Minus Paul Pogba, they fielded a strong side and were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes thanks to Paulo Dybala and Mehdi Benatia. Erik Lamela came on at the interval and scored for Spurs, who pushed for a second but were ultimately unable to force a shoot-out. 

Juventus' Paulo Dybala in action with Tottenham's Cameron Carter VickersCameron Carter-Vickers has impressed throughout pre-season and heads into the new campaign as Spurs' fourth-choice centre-back

Three days later, a youthful Spurs were up against Champions League finalists Atletico. Josh Onomah rattled the woodwork in the tenth minute before Erik Lamela hit the post with 22 gone. Tottenham's young defence were outdone by a set-piece just before half-time as Diego Godin scored with a header at the back post. 

The match ended 1-0 to the Spaniard's thanks to a number of saves from 'keeper Jan Oblak, and though Spurs returned to Europe on the back of two defeats, there were encouraging elements to take from the tour.

As key-players returned ahead of the final pre-season friendly against Inter Milan, Pochettino was able to field a stronger side in Norway. After impressing in Australia, Cameron Carter-Vickers kept his place in a defence that featured Alderwiereld, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.

Spurs were a goal ahead inside five minutes courtesy of a Harry Kane penalty. It was soon level as Ivan Perisic struck with a cute finish with the outside of his boot. Not to be outdone, Lamela then scored with a 25-yard dipping strike that saw Spurs lead at the break.

It was soon 3-1 as Dele Alli finished off some great combination play between himself and new signing Jansson. Lamela then set up Kane for his second, before Jansson opened his Spurs account to make it five. And just a minute after replacing Alli, prolific youth-team striker Shayon Harrison opened his account with Spurs' sixth.

Tottenham's Dele Alli scores their third goalDele Alli scored with a one touch finish, after some intricate build up play between himself and Vincent Jansson

It was an all-round team performance as Tottenham played in similar fashion to last season, pressing high and chasing down every ball. 

In the wake of the victory, Inter dispatched Roberto Mancini of her services for the second time in his career. His replacement, Frank de Boer, was once mooted for Spurs.

If there is one thing to take from this pre-season, it is that Spurs are further developing an identity. Though a high number of first-team players didn't travel to Australia, the youngsters that came in knew exactly what was expected of them. 

It would be no surprise to see several of them come in this season, particularly Harry Winks, Marcus Edwards, Cater-Vickers and Harrison, who have all impressed Pochettino with their respective developments in the last 12 months.

With the Premier League and Champions League just around the corner, the chemistry between the players looks similar to as it was last season. As the group of players continue to become a close-knit user, there is no reason why they should not win at Goodison Park on Saturday, in a fixture that they drew 1-1 in their opening game of 2016.

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