Valencia 2 (1)
Thursday 9th August 2012
Venue : Mestalla stadium
Tottenham Hotspur 0 (0)
Kick off 22:00 (local time) [21:00 UK time]
T. Costa (dissent) 84
|Crowd : 42,000||Weather : Warm, dry|
|Referee : Ayze Gomez (Spain)||Assistant Referees : -|
|Fourth Official : -||-|
|Valencia kicked off and played towards the North stand in the first half.|
|Valencia :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
- Alcacer (- Pareja 73)
Livermore ( -
Bale ( -
|Manager : Mauricio Pellegrino||Manager : Andre Villas-Boas|
|Sponsor : Solar Jinko||Shirt sponsor : Aurasma|
|Kit Supplier : Joma||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
This pre-season friendly, Valencia's first and Tottenham's last, was nothing to write home about. I appreciate it was a long way to go to play good opposition, but then, the side was able to control the game, without finishing it off, thus suffering the age old Spurs weakness of being hit against the run of play.
Spurs fielded a strong side and were on top with Bale motoring down the Spurs left, while Lennon and Walker were causing havoc down the Valencia left. Lennon's pull back was behind Jermain Defoe running in at the near post, while Defoe returned the favour, but when it looked like Aaron would apply the finishing touch, Mathieu nipped in at the expense of a corner. From it, Sigurdsson's ball in was touched on by Gallas' head for Lennon to arrive at the far post. His first shot was blocked by Diego Alves in the Valencia goal, but Lennon reacted to get in a second shot and again the keeper reacted well to beat the effort out.
Still Spurs pushed on and had more joy on the right, with Lennon putting the ball in front of Defoe, but he could not get to it, then Walker pulled the ball back for Aaron, whose shot came off Victor Ruiz to fly over the bar.
However, on 18 minutes, Spurs failed to close down Jonas as he ran forward with the ball and he let fly from 25 yards sending the ball past Friedel with the keeper not having a chance to react as it went into his top right corner.
It could have got worse four minutes later, when Mathieu crossed from the left for Paco Alcacer, who managed to mis-kick right in front of goal at the far post, somehow screwing his shot wide. Spurs were losing their way, with some long passes getting picked off or being hit too long, allowing Valencia to build some momentum. Jonas went close missing the goal by six inches, Alcacer put a free header over the bar and Friedel had to be quick off his line to get to the ball before the on-running Feghouli, after Fernando Gago had played him in over the top of the Spurs defence, as it tried to play a high line. It was payback for a couple of dodgy touched Brad had taken early on, just getting one clearance away, while another hit the Valencia player who closed him down.
That was it for the first half, which had seen the home crowd in good voice, with not too many Spurs fans having made the journey to Spain. Valencia had made the most of their chances, as Tottenham had failed to capitalise on theirs, perhaps indicating that there is a need for another proven goal-scorer (or two) to be brought in as soon as possible).
The second half saw Tottenham holding onto the ball well, but failing to make as many openings, with those did did come their way not threatening the goal. Once more, the goal that Valencia got was against the run of play, with a ball played down the right side of the box, with Vertonghen struggling to track Sofiane Fegoulhi back and the Algerian drove a shot from an angle on the right, across Friedel and into the far side of the net to make it 2-0.
After that, Spurs did start to play a bit with van der Vaart pulling some strings, having one shot blocked and another, from a free-kick saved by Alves. Substitutes were in the think of it at the end, with Pablo Hernandez, who went close for Valencia, with Andros Townsend cutting infield form the left and driving a shot at goal that the keeper did well to tip over the top.
It was another game where perhaps not too much was learned, other than the chances we make need to be stuck away. It was a half-paced second half, with sudden spurts of speed, but other than getting the team up to speed with their match-play, I am not sure how much tactical information can be taken from it. The team still seem to be struggling with the "high-line" theory and at the moment, it looks like Gallas and Vertonghen being the chosen pairing in the middle of the back four. It is unfortunate that Steven Caulker has not been available, as he might be a player who has a bit of pace and could make the system work better.
So, a week and a bit to go and all the final touches to the team will have to be made on the training pitch and in the boardroom. We hope for a couple of signings at least before the season kicks off, but our previous record has shown that it might not be until the end of the month that we have a new squad photo.
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