Following a summer full of international fixtures, Mauricio Pochettino was finally able to call upon a number of more recognised first team members as he took his recent Premier League challengers to the Norwegian capital Oslo to end their pre-season.
Having spent recent weeks in Australia, suffering encouraging defeats against Juventus and Atlético Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur finished their pre-season in style as their emphatically beat Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan side just over one week before their season kicks off for real, away at Everton next Saturday.
First team regulars such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and club captain Hugo Lloris all made their first appearances of the summer for Tottenham following an extended rest after the recent European Championships.
The added strength in depth to the side from North London was evident early on as Walker was involved in winning a penalty which Kane expertly converted.
The Milan side were level when Ivan Perišić, recently returning to action himself, had too much for Walker before firing past Michel Vorm at the Dutchman’s near post.
However, the fight back was short lived as Erik Lamela struck the ball past Samir Handanović and into the top corner of the net, restoring Tottenham’s lead at the break.
Second half substitutes continued to play a part, as with all pre-season fixtures, but Tottenham proved to be too strong for Mancini’s men.
Goals from Alli, another from Kane, Vincent Janssen and Shayon Harrison’s first professional goal saw Pochettino leave Oslo full of satisfaction at the 6-1 scoreline and performance of his side.
The performance was good, says Poch
With eight days remaining until Pochettino takes his side to Goodison Park, the former Espanyol and Southampton boss was keen to highlight the importance of ending pre-season in a positive manner claiming “it was important to finish our pre-season in a positive way…and important to win”.
Ahead of the contest against another former Southampton boss, Ronald Koeman, the Argentine was quick to turn attention on the next few days worth of preparation back at their Enfield base claiming “we [Tottenham] will arrive ready to compete.”
Having given a number of youth prospects first team football in recent weeks, Pochettino was left to reflect on numerous positives in most positions “I’m very happy with them, the performances of players like Harry Winks, Cameron [Carter-Vickers]…” as he continues developing his “philosophy” which is “something special and different to other teams.”
Positivity all round
With most players now having at least 45 minutes under their belts, Tottenham will now look ahead to their trip to Merseyside on the back of their somewhat surprising dominance over Internazionale. Everton should provide a much sterner test but based on the display in Oslo, Tottenham fans should have much to look forward to.