What we learned about Spurs

Tottenham showed more promising signs under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo with a comfortable 3-1 win over Milton Keynes Dons on Wednesday, their second pre-season victory.

Dele Alli scored when he returned to Stadium MK after Son Heung-min had opened the scoring and Lucas Moura rounded off Spurs’ efforts with a nicely rolled third. John Freeman later withdrew one 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?

Crazy how much more exciting Tottenham looks when they break pace and try to get their fastest players in space. Know it’s pre-season against MK Dons but at least they seem to have an understanding of what Nuno wants to do

– Jude Summerfield (@judesummerfield) July 28, 2021

“Turgid” is probably a good word for some of the majority of Tottenham’s attacking games over the past two years, which seems strange when you have players like Harry Kane and Son Heung-min on the team.

But it’s been pretty boring.

On Wednesday, the game phases looked much cleaner. The front three of Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn were nicely exchanged to free up space, with Oliver Skipp and Nile John behind them playing progressive passes.

The chances were never far away, and a fantastic game culminated in Dele’s goal. Yes, it’s just before the season, but it looked much worse at this point last year in comparison.

Nice evening at @MKDonsFC last night. Fun to see some familiar faces and play in the stadium where I have so many great memories! Happy to get a few more minutes in the tank and get a new goal ?? # COYS pic.twitter.com/fFItpDNOGI

– Share (@share_official) July 29, 2021

There is no middle ground on Dele. You’re either a fan who loves him to pieces, or someone who thinks Spurs is better off without him on the team.

Last season was probably the most disappointing in the Dele career. He was expelled from the team by former boss Jose Mourinho and only returned to start XI when Ryan Mason took over.

But so far this summer, he has seen ready for action.

The 25-year-old, who was captain of the night, played some nice passes for the attacking trio Son, Lucas and Bergwijn, and later came on the results list.

A fitting performance for Dele when he returned to his old club and hopefully a sign of bigger and better things to come.

You know how Tottenham have had during every pre-season in recent years, have looked really good but never really had the incredible season we all hoped for? Sorry too early?

Erik may be gone, but Steven Bergwijn seems to have taken his status as Spurs’ best pre-season player.

The Dutchman delivered an excellent performance against MK Dons, saw the ball electrically and made many runs from the ball into space, often picked out by Dele or Skipp.

There was the final product issue that the 23-year-old has struggled with during his time in England so far, but apart from that, his display on Wednesday was positive and promising.

They like to laugh off the field, but Son and Lucas were electric together on Wednesday night.

Lucas has the ability to look like Ronaldinho’s foremost when he plays against lower opposition than the Premier League level – remember the lone attempt against Wolfsberger in the Europa League last season? – and played playmaker for Son and started the South Korean strike. A brilliant run from the outside was also crucial to start Dele’s effort.

It looks like Harry Kane will miss the start of the season due to his summer outings, which means that this pair will likely be tasked with scoring.

The first time you looked at Tottenham’s new away kit, you were probably sitting a little tight. Then they came to you quickly.

Intergalactic. Spacious. Wavy. Jackson Pollock.

While the home strip is your constant, “New Year’s same self”, secure home kit, you can keep your eyes peeled and imagine Tottenham playing in, the away shirt is, in fairness, pretty amazing.

Your dad may not like it, but he thinks sandals and socks are cool. Do not listen to him.

For more from Jude Summerfield, follow him on Twitter!

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