Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s pre-season win over MK Dons

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Nuno Espirito Santo
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur made it back-to-back pre-season wins this evening against MK Dons and there were plenty of lessons to be learned from Nuno and co.

Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:

Formation – Unless Nuno has a late trick up his sleeve, it appears that he is going to favour a 4-3-3 formation this season, which can become a 4-2-3-1 in attack at times. This is the set-up we have seen from all three pre-season friendlies so far, with Dele acting as the deep midfielder who joins in with the attacks. Definitely an exciting formation.

Returning faces – We had a few more returning faces this evening in Milton Keynes. Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty were back in the starting line-up, while Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies started from the bench. We should hopefully see a few more return over the next week, with the likes of Kane, Lo Celso, Sanchez, and Hojbjerg being the last to come back.

Nile John – There is often one standout youngster in any pre-season campaign and I believe that Nile John takes that award this year. There is a reason that, even with the first-teamers returning, he was still in the starting XI tonight. With three central midfield positions up for grabs each game, he could even get a fair few minutes in the cups and Conference League this season.

Life without Kane – We were given a little glimpse of what life could be like without Harry Kane this week, with Heung-min Son leading the line as a number nine and two flying wingers either side in Moura and Bergwijn. While you cannot replace Kane’s quality, this system provides a more high-tempo and high-press style that you don’t necessarily see with Harry. Interesting stuff.

Testing Whiteman – I believe that Nuno and co have been testing Whiteman in pre-season, getting him sharp and giving him minutes because he will be the number three choice this season. With Gollini coming in and Lloris probably seeing out his contract, I expect Joe Hart to leave this summer. Giving away a penalty and then saving it is one way for Whiteman to get into the groove, I suppose.

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