He arrived. He got lost. He looked light. He looked bullied. He got injured. He got Instagram. He got bulk. He got happy. He got focus.
Welcome Erik Lamela. Hope you enjoy your stay.
Ok, yeah yeah, it was a pre-season friendly and I've dismissed their general relevance aside from a teasing clue here and there that we can perhaps bookmark for future reference. I can't ignore the fact that with a improved line-up (in terms of structure and depth of quality) there were was some evidence of Pochettino's style in the first half against Toronto. Pressing, full-backs pushing up the field. Some fluid transitional play and some slick intelligent linking in the final third. Lamela with a superb brace, Roberto Soldado (yet again) involved, assisting both times. Even Aaron Lennon looked purposeful after so much erratic form. Oh look at me, reading waaaay too much into 45 minutes.
The second 45 signalled changes, different side and less of the understanding and movement. Nothing disastrous, but 10 changes can shift momentum. Both sides testing each other, but this being Spurs, naturally the hosts pulled it back to 2-2. Until Andros Townsend spanked a lovely shot for a late winner.
We have several players yet to return from their extended holidays, so our shape will continue to slowly evolve, but once more - this is all simply about translating training ground work to the full ninety and improving sharpness, fitness and confidence. Lamela positively snogging the pants off these ethics compared to the little boy lost tragedy of last seasons disappearance
As for that second 45, several players involved are continuously linked with moves away. Dawson, Rose, Holtby. We're bound to see more ins and outs between now and the start of the season. For now, I'll take these matches as a bit of entertainment rather than serious analytical evidence of the future. Like I said, that's not to say I (or we) should dismiss everything we see. The true progress with tactics and the rest will come into play when the games being contested actual mean something. It's not just a physical thing, it's also a mentality.
Also - nice to see Ben Davies in a Spurs shirt. Not seen that before.
Onwards, brave new world.