Four thoughts on Spurs 6-1 Inter

Tottenham cruised past Roberto Mancini’s Nerazzuri, as it finished Spurs 6-1 Inter in our preseason friendly in Oslo.

When Spurs and Inter meet the result is always goals. We weren’t disappointed. The Italians were torn apart by a disciplined and decisive Tottenham as it finished Spurs 6-1 Inter in Oslo.

A performance like this will have Spurs forming part of many accumulator tips next weekend against Everton, but there was plenty to purr about. A full tactical breakdown to come, but here are four thoughts on the game.

Harry Kane as a number ten

The introduction of Vincent Janssen at halftime gave us 15 minutes of salivating football as Harry Kane was moved to the number ten position.

Goals followed as Spurs were able to get between the lines remarkably easily.

Dele Alli and Erik Lamela both pinched in extremely narrow in order to play through balls from these spaces in to and off the front two.

Alli played a wall pass off Janssen to net as he ghosted in from between the Inter midfield and defence.


Alli gets between the lines before playing a 1-2 with Janssen.

Erik Lamela then picked up possession between the lines and had the option of Kane or Janssen as the strikers split in classic 4-4-2 fashion.


Lamela has striking options.

Mauricio Pochettino used to run this formation with Dani Osvaldo playing behind and off Rickie Lambert. There is a touch of the Lambert’s about Janssen’s strength, movement, passing and hold-up play. This formation, when used, might just free up Harry Kane from the opposing centre back’s attentions.

Unfortunately, Kane was replaced just when this was getting interesting and we were left desperate to see more of just how this exciting tactical move would play out.

Erik Lamela is primed for a big season

The standout player against Juventus, Atletico, and now Inter, has been Erik Lamela. His energy for preseason has been outstanding and infectious. It’s worrying how little time he has been allowed off since the Copa America Final and returning to action, but on the plus side he looks the most advanced player in terms of match fitness and sharpness.

Lamela has been running the channels much better this preseason and it has already seen him score and net twice. What seems to have changed is a better sense of timing and awareness. He looks to have an improved appreciation of what is going on around him and when to make a darting run or quick burst in to a space or zone.

He did it at times last season where he could be unbelievably destructive with the timing of his runs. In our three preseason matches so far he seems to have added consistency. The penny looks to have dropped and this could be a real breakout season for our record signing.

Harry Winks has moved past Ryan Mason

Has anyone furthered their case for more playing time this season than Harry Winks? In our three preseason friendlies, Winks has added a calmness and composure to the number eight role. His passing is often intelligent and on-point to release pressure or get attacks moving.

Entering the game at half time, his passing got us out on many a counter attack. Both teams were trying to press each other until the game got out of hand and Winks’ passing was key to breaking Inter’s attempts to close down and regain the ball quickly.

With Mousa Dembele missing the first four Premier League games of the season, Harry Winks has staked a claim that he should be on the team sheet. He has moved ahead of Ryan Mason and is an alternative option to the robust Victor Wanyama.

Did we see the centre back pairing for Everton away?

Cameron Carter-Vickers started both preseason friendlies in Australia. With the full squad now back, he got the nod today with Kevin Wimmer, who is supposedly still carrying an injury, only fit enough for the bench.

Carter-Vickers inclusion shifted Toby Alderweireld over to the left of the centre back pairing, where he looked surprisingly assured. Alderweireld’s trademark diagonal passes were finding their target to the opposite side to usual. One such pass pinged to Kyle Walker started the move for the opening goal from the penalty spot.

Carter-Vickers, who prefers to play on the right, had moments where he looked assured, but also several errors when he was rushed or indecisive against the Inter press.

Alderweireld and Wimmer made such a good combination when used last season that it would seem the natural way to go against Everton. However, if Wimmer is out or short of match fitness, then we may just see Carter-Vickers alongside Alderweireld operating on the left of the pairing.

If you enjoyed this post, please share:

15 Responses to Four thoughts on Spurs 6-1 Inter

  1. Andy B 5th August 2016 at 8:17 pm #

    I thought Carter Vickers usually plays on the left of the centre backs? Wasn’t this the case of getting Carter Vickers used to playing on the right, so that he can become backup to Alderweireld?

    Winks and Jansen were awesome and the second half with them playing looked much better than the first.

    Jansen reminds me of Mark Hughes with his strength and great holdup play.

    • Jack77 5th August 2016 at 8:34 pm #

      Also a bit of the Greavsie about Jansen where he gets the ball to feet, spins and accelerates forward.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th August 2016 at 3:09 pm #

      Hi Andy, Carter-Vickers can play both sides of the centre back pairing. I’ve only seen him on the left to accommodate a more natural right footer who can’t play that side.

      Good comparison. Janssen plays well with his back to goal like Hughes and Lambert did. If he can execute a scissor kick half as well as Hughes we could see some spectacular goals!

  2. SonShine 5th August 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    We used to have the partnership of Keane/Berbatov or Crouch/Defoe. How Janssen/Kane will turn out to be in your opinion ?

    With Winks perform better than Mason in that no 8 spot, can Mason be shifted to the no 10 position ? Can he play as the passing no 10 there as an alternative to Eriksen ? He played there before against Everton at home last season.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th August 2016 at 3:19 pm #

      Good question SonShine. We only got a brief taster and i was disappointed Kane wasn’t given another 10 mins. 70 mins would’ve been a nice workout seeing it was his first game back. I don’t anticipate we’ll see the Kane/Janssen partnership as much as the others you mention. I reckon we’ll see both used in single striker systems, occasionally being used together. The signs do look good though, i’m interested to see how Kane fares playing just off Janssen. It could work very well as Kane could be dangerous working from deeper. It could also take away from Kane’s game, as it did when he did a similar role off Soldado in Pochettino’s first season. Soldado isn’t the physical lump and hold-up specialist that Janssen is though, so results could and should be different.

      I’m not a big Mason fan to be honest. I think he is more suited to the 10 position than the 8 spot, but as we’ve seen in both the Atletico and Inter matches where he missed great chances, and the Everton match you mention where he also missed a guilt-edged 1v1 chance, he is not a natural finisher. We need goals from that position as well as passing, which Eriksen provides when he plays there and also Dele Alli who had a bundle of assists to Kane last season, and I think Mason does not deliver strongly in either category to be fair. His passing is decent but not cutting or destructive enough and he definitely doesn’t score enough goals. If we could bring someone in, i’d be looking to sell him to finance it.

      • YouShubes 7th August 2016 at 2:59 pm #

        Sadly for where we want to be NOW,,, mason not strong enough to be #8 nor skilful enough to be a #10…

        He is loyal and a Poch disciple but cannot see him lasting more than another year.

        • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 8th August 2016 at 1:17 pm #

          He is one of those players that is alright and you hope will improve, but has actually found their ceiling. If we get a good bid for him then I can see us letting him go.

  3. MikeB 6th August 2016 at 2:45 am #

    I couldn’t agree more about Winks. I’d much prefer to see him start ahead of Mason at Goodison. He plays with an infectious calmness that Mason has never really possessed. Also Dier, phenomenal. His power and acceleration out of the Inter press was excellent.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th August 2016 at 3:21 pm #

      Dier is immense and his improvement in the role is staggering!

  4. Spursius 6th August 2016 at 9:01 am #

    I reckon the only other signing we need this summer is, actually, another striker; that is, if
    J ‘n’ K will be starting matches together, then we’ll need backup

    • Andy B 6th August 2016 at 10:04 am #

      It looks like Spurs are selling Chadli, so we definitely need a left sided attacking midfielder / winger.

      We also need backup for Eriksen. I guess we will never know why Pritchard was sold. Alex Neil must be well chuffed to get a player with his talent.

      • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th August 2016 at 3:26 pm #

        Maybe Chadli going will finally see us announce N’Koudou? or maybe N’Jie will get a chance to compete with Son for that role? I’d like to see us go after Mahmoud Dahoud, Karim Bellarabi or Corentin Tolisso to give us options for Eriksen. He plays way too many games and seems burnt out by April.

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 6th August 2016 at 3:22 pm #

      I think they’ll start a few games together at home against bus parkers, but I can see MoPo only playing one of them most of the time.

  5. freeflow12 7th August 2016 at 1:01 am #

    I’m impressed with Janssen. Quite surprised to see his link up play with his new teammates. Playing one two with Alli, and his strength before releasing Lamela for Harrison’s goal were encouraging signs.

    What can you conclude about Yedlin and Carroll after the friendlies ? Yedlin play as a left back while Carroll had a brief time as a no 10 …

    • Spurs Fanatic - Mark 8th August 2016 at 1:15 pm #

      I was quite impressed by Yedlin at left back. I thought he may struggle, but played well whilst he was on the field. I like what he brings going forward, but he still looks like his defensive coverage needs some work. His loan at Sunderland was really good for him and he has made major strides. I think he is still the third choice on both sides though and so another loan would be good for his development.

      Carroll looks much better as a number ten than when he is played deeper. I’m not sure why we use him at the base of midfield as he is undersized and gets shrugged off the ball a lot. Pochettino does like a player that can pass from this deeper position, but Carroll is not the answer. I can see him getting the odd cup game as a number ten or maybe coming on from the bench, but he is a fringe player and if we sign someone then he should be out the door.