On Saturday, in Suwon, South Korea, Tottenham Hotspur played its second preseason game, drawing with Sevilla; here are five things we observed.
Whereas the match on Wednesday had the celebrations and feel of an all-star game or exhibition, Saturday in Suwon, Sevilla came to play and played hard, giving Tottenham a good test over 90 minutes. After nine goals on Wednesday, the 1-1 result felt about right in a match that had the vibes of a Champions League group stage match, which could happen with both Sevilla and Tottenham in the draw.
Alas, the match was still a friendly, although we saw a few things were noted, and here are five.
Observation 1: Kane and Son are both already showing form
Like in the first game against Team K-League, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son were two of the best players on the pitch. Kane had the ball in the net twice, with two blasts from long-distance, although only one counted, as Harry was flagged for offside on the other.
On the goal that counted, Son had gotten the ball near the top of the box and set Kane up. Son was trying to get something off for himself as he dragged the ball under him, spinning himself and the ball toward the goal. However, as he started to lose footing, the South Korean found Kane with a short pass, and of course, Kane finished from there.
You do not want to declare anyone in midseason form after just two preseason matches. However, Kane and Son look poised for a couple of tremendous seasons from the start.
Observation 2: There was something more to the offside goal
It did not count, and it is preseason. However, the move that produced Kane’s offside goal was one straight from Spurs’ training sessions.
If you watch any of their training in Korea, Spurs are playing little passing games, particularly in small spaces. Antonio Conte is not going tiki-taka, but he is getting the team to understand that a few short passes can open up a long one.
The play began on the goal that wasn’t, with Pierre Hojbjerg winning possession in the midfield and playing the ball forward to Son. Although he could have turned and tried to face the goal, defenders were closing. Instead, he played a simple layoff back to Hojbjerg, who hit the ball through the Sevilla lines and up to Kane.
Sure Kane was called for offside, so the goal did not count, but the intent was clear, and it was awesome to see the practice drills paying off on the pitch.