Tottenham were put through their paces by Ange Postecoglou and his coaching staff in Australia on Monday as they continued their preparations for the upcoming Premier League season.
Spurs trained in front of a sell-out allotment of 6,000 of their Australian fans at the WACA Ground on Monday night as Postecoglou readied his side for their first official pre-season friendly against David Moyes’ West Ham United side on Tuesday night at the nearby ground. Optus Stadium.
Here are five things we learned from the new Tottenham manager’s open training session down under.
The Tottenham players are getting used to a new style of training under Postecoglou. His sessions never last more than 90 minutes but are carried out at a higher intensity as he looks to replicate the amount of time the ball is in play during a normal match and the relentless nature of football Spurs will play under him.
The ball is rarely out of bounds. In practice matches, the multi-ball system is used, so when a goal is scored, the ball is rolled straight back into play, leaving attackers and scorers suddenly spinning and racing back to defend. Tottenham’s players will naturally raise their fitness levels to meet Postecoglou’s demands and have been having double sessions on some days since the start of pre-season.
On Monday night, the Spurs players went through their stretches and stiffened up first before going through some drills with coaches Chris Davies, Ryan Mason, Matt Wells and Mile Jedinak, while the goalkeepers went off with goalkeeping coach Rob Burch.
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Then the group split into small rondos which involved two players in the middle including the goalkeepers trying to get the ball away from the circle of teammates around them. There was also the occasional fluid player who could come into the middle and link play with the outer circle.
Then came some pitch-long 11-man drills with one- and two-touch patterns around the flat metal mannequins to represent static players, before launching into a short 11-on-11 match, split into different periods and played in front of the main stand of fans. Postecoglou hovered around the edge of everything and watched before addressing the group on important points.
Harry Kane went off on his own after that to go through a little penalty drill, with no goalkeeper but with the fans behind the goal, before all the players then went on an autograph session around the supporters gathered at the front of the main stand. .
The two teams
It could have been thrown together in the moment, or it could be an indicator of the two Spurs teams we could see in action in both halves against West Ham on Tuesday, but we did see some solid sides in this session.
The team in green bibs had for a period newly acquired Guglielmo Vicario in goal behind a back four of Pedro Porro, Cristian Romero, Japhet Tanganga and Sergio Reguilon. The midfield three in the 4-3-3 had Yves Bissouma playing just behind James Maddison and Tanguy Ndombele, while the familiar front three featured Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
The team without bibs had Brandon Austin in goal for a period behind a defense of Emerson Royal, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies and Destiny Udogie. Their midfield trio was Oliver Skipp, playing behind Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Alfie Devine, with a front trio of Manor Solomon on the right, Richarlison through the middle and Ivan Perisic on the left. Giovani Lo Celso was also involved at points in that attacking trio, while Pape Matar Sarr, Harvey White and Joe Rodon were also seen for spells on the pitch.
The second defensive unit is working
While the Spurs players went through the play pattern in two sets of 11 before the practice match, another group of players worked through a drill as a defensive unit.
Spurs coaches Matt Wells and Mile Jedinak could be seen working a back four of Djed Spence, Eric Dier, Joe Rodon and Harvey White on their quick passing as a unit with Alfie Whiteman in goal. The goalkeeper quickly got the ball out to the centre-backs and they worked as a unit to move the ball quickly around each other under occasional pressure from the coaches before reaching a certain point and turning around and starting again.
Some, but not all, of these four outfielders came back from injuries, so they have been on a different training schedule.
That Udogie trip
Destiny Udogie has skill, strength and pace in abundance and one moment in particular showed all of these skills at once during the practice match.
Ben Davies got out of a difficult situation with Dejan Kulusevski pressing him by turning and sending it to the young Italian full-back.
Pedro Porro came racing down the flank to try and steal the ball from Udogie, only for the 20-year-old to pull the ball in with his left foot, sending the Spaniard flying past him before speeding up the pitch himself. with great close control.
It was a small moment that showed what Spurs fans will see in the Premier League next season.
The Ndombele scare
For Tottenham fans hoping for a Tanguy Ndombele renaissance, there was a scare during the training match near the end of the session.
The Frenchman, wearing his trademark snood on his head, fell to the floor during an attack amid a tangle of legs and lay there in considerable pain with his face in the turf, clutching his leg. The fight continued around him as the medical staff came over to treat his problem and he lay there for a few minutes without lifting his head.
Eventually he sat up and then, after a little more treatment, began to hobble around the outside of the track.
But just when it looked like he was going to trot out of the action, he hobbled back onto the field and suddenly re-entered the game, took the ball and played a quick pass to Kane, who ran on and sent a rocket of a shot in the top corner.
All eyes will be on whether Ndombele has a reaction to the knock that limits him from playing against West Ham, but at least he bounced back quickly in this session to show Postecoglou that he will be back.