Match report: Nile John stars in Tottenham’s first pre-season match

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Nile John
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

For those who missed it, Tottenham kicked off their pre-season this weekend with a trip to League Two side Leyton Orient.

This match was in fact for the JE3 Trophy, a friendly dedicated to the former Spurs player and Orient manager Justin Edinburgh as well as the hard work going on the JE3 foundation, more information on which can be found here. 

Pre-season is predominately made up of youth players, with a sprinkling of first-teamers. The match against Orient was no different.

Tottenham lined up with Hart, Dier, Winks, Dele, Lucas and Bergwijn from the first team, with youth players making up the rest of the squad.

Spurs fans will have had particular eyes on youngster Dane Scarlett after last weeks high praise from former boss Jose Mourinho.

It was Tottenham who dictated the first half, having more of the ball with Winks and Dele often looking to play balls over the Orient defence for the likes of Scarlett, Bergwijn and John to run onto.

The first opening came early for John who was played over the top by Winks. John flicked it over the head of the full-back only to mishit his shot on his left straight at the keeper.

It was John again catching the eye in the first half as he turned in the Orient half before unleashing a drive from distance that was well saved by former Tottenham man Laurence Vigouroux.

Tottenham, despite having more of the ball, had a real game on their hands with Orient looking dangerous on the break and physically matching Tottenham stride for stride.

There were a few half chances for the home side which on another day could have seen Spurs a goal or two down.

Towards the end of the half, Tottenham fans would have been very pleased to see young Dane Scarlett open the scoring.

The one true quality move from the half saw Winks find Lucas in the middle of the park who excellently slipped the young forward in with a first-time pass, Scarlett raced through and very calmly slotted the ball past the on-rushing keeper into the bottom right on his left foot.

The second half saw wholesale changes as Spurs changed all 11 players, Troy Parrot and Jack Clarke the most mentionable from the changes.

The changes didn’t seem to help Tottenham, as the rhythm of the Tottenham side seemingly disappeared, and it was Orient who had a real spring in their step.

It was a poor goal that saw Tottenham concede, a loose pass from forward Parrot was collected by Orient striker Sotiriou just ahead of the halfway line, who drove unopposed to the edge of the box, shifted it onto his left foot and curled one into the bottom left corner.

An excellent finish it must be said from the League Two man but from a Tottenham perspective a touch concerning with the level of ease he had getting from the halfway line to the Tottenham box.

The game ended 1-1 with the JE3 trophy shared by both clubs, a rather fitting outcome in honour of the former Tottenham and Leyton Orient man.

It’s too early to make any glaring observations regarding Nuno in what was his first game in charge of Tottenham, but there were two positives in Nile John, who was Tottenham’s best player on the day, and young prospect Dane Scarlett on the score sheet.

This will do both youngsters the world of good, with Europa Conference League minutes a real possibility for both this season.

Up next for Tottenham it’s a trip to Colchester as they continue their pre-season campaign.

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