STOKE CITY vs SPURS
A lot happened in the first half at Stoke where we went in 1-0 up thanks to a Son goal in his first appearance of the season.
Erik Lamela was rested as he didn't arrive back from international duty until Thursday. the table shows the distances our 19 internationals had to travel. Moussa Sissoko was never going to start given he has only trained with us since Wednesday and doesn't know our system yet.
The game is Premier League Game Week 4 and it is the first time in 7 years we have entered it unbeaten, last season at this point we only had 2 points.
What was clear from the start, and from previous games, is that sides are going to press us at the back far more than they did last season. Last season Alderweireld and Vertonghen had time on the ball whereas this season sides are pressing us at the back with players tracking Dier or Wanyama when they drop back.
This making it more difficult for us to build from the back and with players being rushed mistakes will happen. Mentally it will wear players out more and that could well result in mistakes later in games. It is something we will have to be wary of and work on during the season.
Stoke started the game playing better out from the back than we were, but we got to grips with it later in the half.
A 4-0 win where we showed pace isn't everything on a counter attack as Alli slotted home at the end of the move, although we had another in the first half where Son played a diabolical ball to see the move break down. It is another area we still have work to do.
Just a couple of areas to take from the game to make us even better. That result will have reminded a few of our fans that we are a good side. Some of the movement was excellent and we were playing triangles in threes to pass our way through the opposition. Players were constantly on the move running into space created by other runners. It was a lot more like the Spurs of last season and will have given the side and fans a boost ahead of Monaco.