Nuno Espirito Santo is said to have remained a very satisfied coach after his Tottenham side defeated Colchester 3-0 in a promising pre-season performance.
His tenure began with a 1-1 draw at Leyton Orient over the weekend, but his players stepped up the quality and pace in their second friendly to take the comfortable win.
With a number of big names from the first team taking the field, including Son Heung-min in his first appearance since returning from holiday, the Spurs were remarkably uplifted.
Tottenham defeated Colchester in an exhibition game that featured the return of Son Heung-min (left)
Nuno Espirito Santo must have been very happy with some aspects of the game
Son coolly shot Spurs’ first goal and was sharp in his 45-minute performance
Tottenham vs Colchester Lineup
Start XI: Whiteman, Carter-Vickers (Cesay 67), Dier (Tanganga 46), Paskotsi (Lyons-Foster 46), Omole (Fagan-Walcott 67), Skipp (John 46), Winks (White 67), Alli (Devine 66), Bergwijn (Clarke 46), Moura (Parrott 46), Son (Scarlett 46)
Subs not used: Oluwayemi
It was Son who opened the score after 11 minutes after a nice, smooth play from the visitors.
Lucas Moura left Steven Bergwijn in the right channel, and the attacker in turn selflessly laid in front of Son to tap in from close range.
Despite having only had a few training sessions, talisman Son was great, turning from goalscorer to supplier for Tottenham’s second.
A corner kick was hit by him towards the front post, where Moura rose to the highest level to clear the goal and into the bottom corner.
Son also put Spurs third in the first half, with his casual ball in taking a lunge before Dele Alli bundled home just yards away.
Pre-season is of course all about fitness, but the manner of performance and the result will have thrilled boss Nuno.
There was an improved pace, more creativity and smiles on the faces of Spurs players, and here’s some more Sports post learned from the game…
Flexibility is king in Nuno’s system
Many questions were raised about the nature of Tottenham’s system for their second pre-season friendly.
In the end, the formation shifted neatly between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1, with Alli falling in a number of roles to aid in the transition.
On defense, Spurs took the 4-3-3 with Alli on the left side of midfield, before the playmaker moved on to the number 10 role when the visitors had possession of the ball.
Interestingly enough, Spurs mostly used the latter set-up in the draw against Leyton Orient, but supporters can expect the team to make substitutions when the need arises this season.
Nuno preferred a three- or five-man defense during his time with Wolves, and it remains to be seen if he’ll introduce a similar blueprint to North London.
Dele Alli scored the third goal and also flourished in his roles in midfield and in the number 10 slot
Oliver Skipp lays down first team marker
It was no surprise that central midfielder Oliver Skipp felt right at home at the heart of Tottenham’s line-up in this game.
On loan to Norwich last season, Skipp has developed excellent maturity, and remains beautifully composed when on the ball.
A misplaced pass is a staggering rarity for him, and Skipp was able to show off his field of vision during the first half to help Tottenham move forward on the pitch.
Even the home crowd couldn’t resist appreciating a certain ball wide, which Bergwijn released after the pass fell into his stride.
There is a possibility that Skipp will be rebroadcast this season, but there is no doubt that he will be ready for first-team action if Nuno calls on him.
Oliver Skipp once again impressed for the first team and his full range of passes was on display
Sharp Dane Scarlett catches the eye again
He may have been forced to wait until the second half for his chance, but Dane Scarlett was one of the other youngsters who impressed for Tottenham.
The young ace even scored on a nice whistle blow into the penalty area, having swept into the corner a stunning first time, but unfortunately the offside flag was out.
Although the timing of that run was slightly misjudged, Scarlett looked razor sharp throughout his 45-minute cameo, just like against Leyton Orient.
With a direct demeanor, a quick turn on the ball and a consciousness beyond his years, he does indeed have a promising future with the Spurs.
Scarlett would have liked to score, but Nuno will have had plenty of food for thought as he considers options in his first team.
Young striker Dane Scarlett was brought in in the second half and saw a fine finish chalked up
Son Heung-min shines on his first start
Admittedly, this one could just be taken as a given. The fact that Son Heung-min impressed doesn’t come as a big shock.
However, it was the sheer energy beneath his performance that stands out here. His aim was well taken and his rendering saw him cover almost every inch of grass.
Son harassed Colchester at every turn and even seemed to have that classic glint in his eye when he worked out opportunities for his teammates.
This was his first appearance in pre-season preparation and came after just a handful of sessions at the club after returning from a well-deserved break.
He may have only played for the first half, but Son made silky-smooth contact with those around him and it looks like he’ll hit the ground running under Nuno.
Son sparkled against Colchester and picked up where he left off after his summer break
Firepower handed Spurs added in tempo
The introduction of some regulars to the first team helped Tottenham quickly get into and maintain a promising pre-season rhythm.
At this stage, the results just don’t matter, but aspects of the performance against Orient showed the early fatigue and lack of sharpness of some.
This time there was nothing to be seen. There was more ingenuity in composing moves, and the fluid nature saw a number of players express themselves.
Son’s return has certainly helped, as has Skipp’s metronomic presence in midfield, and Nuno will have been happy with the pace pick-up.
With the increase in speed and work pace, the Spurs team also got more invaluable minutes in their legs as they geared up for the new campaign.
The Spurs front line helped them ramp up the pace and energy in a promising performance
Patterns of training grounds are starting to show
There were some very interesting and well-crafted passages for Tottenham in this match, especially during the first half.
With both the ball in play and on set pieces, the Spurs seemed to better understand Nuno’s methods, and various routines were tried with good results.
The new coach’s frontline was on the same wavelength through the middle and the two widemen also often drifted out on the sidelines to provide natural width.
In the end, the approach kept Colchester sharp and Tottenham will certainly have to play this way soon to hurt Manchester City on August 15.
They were also dangerous from the set pieces, with Son Eric taking Dier from a number of corners and setting up Moura to score the second goal.
Nuno will also have noticed that his players are beginning to understand his system better