Tottenham showed more promising signs under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Milton Keynes Dons on Wednesday, their second win of pre-season.
Dele Alli scored on his return to Stadium MK after Son Heung-min had opened the scoring, with Lucas Moura rounding off Spurs’ efforts with a nicely rolled third. John Freeman later pulled one back for the hosts.
The win sets Tottenham up nicely for their next two games against Chelsea and Arsenal for the Mind Series. But what did we learn from Wednesday night?
‘Turgid’ is probably a good word to some up the majority of Tottenham’s attacking play in the past two years, which seems odd when you’ve got players like Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in the team.
But it has been pretty turgid.
On Wednesday, the phases of play looked much cleaner. The front three of of Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn interchanged nice to free up space, with Oliver Skipp and Nile John behind them playing progressive passes.
Chances were never far away, and some terrific play culminated in Dele’s goal. Yes, it’s only pre-season, but it looked a lot worse at this point last year in comparison.
There is no middle ground on Dele. You’re either a fan who loves him to bits, or someone who thinks Spurs are better off without him in the team.
Last season was probably the most disappointing of Dele’s career. He was ostracised from the team by former manager Jose Mourinho and only got back into the starting XI when Ryan Mason took charge.
But so far this summer he’s looked ready for action.
The 25-year-old, who was captain for the night, played some nice passes for the attacking trio of Son, Lucas and Bergwijn, and later got on the scoresheet.
A fitting performance for Dele on his return to his old club, and hopefully a sign of bigger and better things to come.
You know how in every pre-season Tottenham have had in the last few years Erik Lamela has looked really good but never quite had that incredible season we all hoped for? Sorry, too soon?
Erik might be gone, but Steven Bergwijn looks to have taken his status of being Spurs’ best pre-season performer.
The Dutchman delivered an excellent performance against MK Dons, looking electric on the ball and making numerous runs off the ball into space, often being picked out by Dele or Skipp.
There was that final product issue the 23-year-old has struggled with during his time in England so far, but aside from that his showing on Wednesday was positive and promising.
They like having a laugh off the pitch, but Son and Lucas were electric together on Wednesday night.
Lucas has a knack of looking like prime Ronaldinho when playing against lower than Premier League level opposition – remember that solo effort against Wolfsberger in the Europa League last season? – and played playmaker for Son, setting up the South Korean’s strike. A brilliant run from out wide was also pivotal in setting up Dele’s effort.
It looks like Harry Kane will miss the start of the season due to his summer excursions, meaning this pair will likely be tasked with doing the goalscoring.
The first time you laid eyes on Tottenham’s new away kit, you were probably a little stuck for words. Then they quickly came at you.
Intergalactic. Spacey. Wavy. Jackson Pollock.
While the home strip is your steady, ‘new year same me’, safe home kit you can shut your eyes and imagine Tottenham playing in, the away shirt is, in fairness, pretty awesome.
Your dad may not like it, but he thinks sandals and socks are cool. Don’t listen to him.