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The Last Word: Dean Smith, Mauricio Pochettino, Neil Taylor, Harry Kane, Tanguy Ndombele and Jamie Redknapp

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The Last Word: Dean Smith, Mauricio Pochettino, Neil Taylor, Harry Kane, Tanguy Ndombele and Jamie Redknapp

We pull together the last analysis of our Tottenham Hotspur opener.

Read below the final thoughts of Dean Smith, Mauricio Pochettino, Neil Taylor, Harry Kane, Tanguy Ndombele and Jamie Redknapp.


Dean Smith

"It was always going to be a baptism of fire coming here.

"Performance-wise I thought we were very good. Defensive organisation was very good. We came up against a superior team who deserved to win at the end.

"I've seen enough to show we can compete against these big teams.

"There's things we need to learn and reflect on. We'll analyse it and get better.

"But I think everyone saw it. I'm sure Tottenham fans and players would've bee surprised to only take the lead against us after 86 minutes."


Mauricio Pochettino

"We were a bit confused and that is my fault, I'm the manager, but we made a lot of mistakes and didn't work well in the first half.

"In the second half we fixed the problems, our positional game was completely different and we moved the ball better.

"It's very important for us to start with a victory, we have a lot of work to do.

“It’s a job [Villa] that only can happen with time. Of course, Aston Villa need time to build that dynamic that will help you win games.

"For me, the manager is a great manager and I admire him.

“For sure they have the capacity to create a dynamic that Aston Villa deserve as they are a historic club with fantastic fans and an amazing stadium."


Harry Kane

"We came out second half with a higher tempo. We were faster and moved the ball quicker.

"When Ndombele got our first, it was full throttle from there. We created a few chances and luckily I was able to put them away.

"We kept up with the title race for a while last year but the others blew ahead in the second half of the season.

"We have to make sure we get off to a good start. Liverpool set the standard on Friday night and City before us, so it's important that we stay in touch as long as we can."


Neil Taylor

“We can build on this. I think it was important for the lads who haven’t played here before and some of the foreign lads to realise this is the level of where you have to get to, fitness wise, and what it is going to be like at these away grounds.

“There are five or six of these this season where you go to tough grounds and have to try and get results by being pragmatic.

“I think we were quite pragmatic and sensible, especially in the first half.

“Of course we would have liked more possession but you have to respect the opposition and the qualities they have got.

“It's a learning curve for us but by no means were we embarrassed, or anything like that. It was an eye-opener for a lot of people, for all of us.

"At the same time we have shown we can go toe-to-toe with teams for a long time.”


Tanguy Ndombele

“It was a tough period in the game, we needed to score.

“I'm happy with this goal because when I scored it was 1-1 and that gave us more energy to come back in the game and try to win. We did it at the end and that's why I feel very proud.

“It was a great goal. I'm not someone who normally shoots a lot but this time the ball came and I had a chance so I did it, I got it on target and I scored so that's perfect.

“I'm very happy with my first goal but the most important thing was to win today's first game of the season. We did it and I'm very happy with that.”


Jamie Redknapp

"A special mention has to go to Aston Villa's John McGinn, or 'McGinniesta' as some call him.

"No disrespect to Tottenham's record signing Tanguy Ndombele, who scored a wonderful goal, but McGinn looked like the £55million midfielder on the pitch at times.

"The guy cost £2.75m when he joined from Hibernian in 2018 but he ran the midfield and opened the scoring. It was outstanding."

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Dan Connor
By @danconnor 12th August 2019