Spurs XI: Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Veljkovic, Rose; Capoue, Mason; Townsend, Holtby, Lamela; Kane
Once again we saw Velkjovic starting the game at centre-back, lending weight to my theory that Mauricio Pochttino is fast tracking the 18 year-old Serbian. Against Toronto he was paired with Younès Kaboul, on this occasion partnered with club captain Michael Dawson.
After just 4 minutes the Chicago keeper Johnson passed the ball out to his centre-back who simply dwelt on the ball without looking around to see who was about. Lewis Holtby was about and came up behind him the steal the ball and run into the box. He unselfishly squared the ball to Harry Kane who calmly side footed the ball into the net to put Spurs 1-0 up.
After 20 minutes an excellent break after winning the ball in midfield saw Townsend running at the centre of the Chicago defence but his pass left to an overlapping Lamela was poor allowing a clearance. Lamels was showing skill, beating men, twisting, turning, took a couple of shots that drew fine saves from the keeper and was generally looking a quality player.
Lewis Holtby was everywhere and seemed fitter than anyone whereas Kyle Walker is clearly behind everyone in terms of fitness. Danny Rose stupidly got himself booked just before half time when pointlessly shoving Lovel Palmer in the back, the Chicago player he had been having a running battle with the whole half. He just seems incapable of controlling his hot headedness.
Word has it he is not happy the club have signed Ben Davies, obviously feeling that Davies will be the first choice. That is rather a poor mental attitude and demonstrates further why he isn't a winner. The word is that he wants to leave and there are several clubs who will be happy to take him.
The player who caught mu eye against Toronto again caught my eye against Chicago, Ryan Mason. He looked accomplished in midfield, certainly wasn't out of place and can pick a pass. I thouht he looked a better player than Carroll against Toronto so it'll be interesting to see if he gets any European game time or domestic Cup game time.
I'd need to have another look at him closely to see how the 23-year-old fared in a defensive role but having been on loan at Swindon Town last season I had assumed he would be going on loan to a Championship side this season but he might be better than that.
Holtby played 60 minutes, Veljkovic played most of the game, Naughton came on at right-back in the second half and switched to left-back when Veljkovic went off with Ben Davies moving to centre-half.
Late in the second half Lennon and Soldado played one twos in our half and then Soldado played a long ball for him to run on to, just beat the defender, the keeper came out and he just beat him to the ball as well before firing it into the centre of the net. The goal was all about his pace.
Mason, Capoue, Dawson, Lennon all played the full 90 minutes in a game that was all about high pressing and slick passing.
Yep as pointed out at 3am when I wrote this with tiredness in my eyes I have mistakenly suggested Lennon played 90 when in fact he was a half-time substitute.
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