Leyton Orient 1-1 Tottenham: Things we learned


The Nuno Espirito Santo era is in its infancy in Tottenham, but fans now have a real football game to sink their teeth into.

Spurs played a 1-1 draw with League Two team Leyton Orient on Saturday, with Dane Scarlett’s first half strike interrupted by Ruel Sotiriou after the break.

Their first left season friendly, with half the group not available, would always be just about fitness, so we can not take too much from the result itself.

But that will not stop us from taking a dip in the plot and drawing some conclusions.

Cool as you like from @ DScarlett09! ❄️

Watch the game live below ⤵️

– Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 17, 2021

Tottenham start XI: Hart; Cesay, Dier, Carter-Vickers, Paskotsi; John, blinking; Lucas, Alli, Bergwijn; Scarlett.

Tottenham final 30 XI: Hart; Eyoma, Fagan-Walcott, Omole, Lyons-Foster; Devine, vit; Mundle, Bowden, Clarke; Parrott.

The options available to Santo at this stage of the pre-season are … sparse. Apart from a handful of Euro 2020 absences, the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Sergio Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Japhet Tanganga were nowhere to be seen in this.

The team that started the game was very diluted – four of the first XI had never started a competitive game for the club.

When Santo chose to replace the entire outfield ten on the hour mark, it became even less recognizable. Spurs played the final half hour with a team under 23 (plus Joe Hart and Jack Clarke) on the field.

It is equal to the price at this early stage, but it further emphasizes that the result is essentially meaningless.

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U18 PL? Games? 20 Goals ⚽️ 18 Assists? ️ 4

PL2? Games? 5Goals ⚽️ 3

FA Youth Cup? Games? 3 goals ⚽️ 5

Europa League? Game? 2Assist? ️ 1

Premier League? Game? 1 pic.twitter.com/VAPDxEvm8P

– Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 18, 2021

Dane Scarlett has been an exciting Tottenham fan for a while now, so when he ran on Lucas Moura’s delicious through ball to open the scoring, the hype went into exaggeration.

Still only 17, Scarlett was tipped for big things by Jose Mourinho, and the fact that he was chosen to start before the more experienced Troy Parrott gives us a clue that Santo agrees.

He really took the opportunity to make an impression here, got the Orient back line, brought teammates into the game and finished cool to give Spurs the lead.

A little to distinguish the two sides in the initial stage.

Young, Nile John has come closest! ?

– Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 17, 2021

But Scarlett was not the only one who took his chance. Midfielder Nile John, who collaborated with Harry Winks in the engine room, scored an almost spectacular early goal when he hit the ball over an oncoming defender and saw his shot saved.

The youngsters all looked sharp, but the same cannot be said for Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn further up the pitch, who looked bored, tired and in need of the rest who came their way for the last half hour.

Lack of sharpness during the season is of course nothing to worry about, but Santo is hoping for an answer after his youngsters performed senior professionals for the most part.

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You can see the highlights from our first match before the season below. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/56WJwARO8g

– Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 17, 2021

The question on everyone’s lips when Santo took over at Tottenham was whether he would try to emulate the 3-4-3 that worked so well for him at Wolves, or whether he would adapt his philosophy to suit the players at Tottenham.

In this one, it really seemed to be the latter. Spurs ran out with a flat back four and two players holding midfield, giving the top four the freedom to chase the game and come after the Orient back line.

It was remarkable how reserved the form was, and none of the defenders really came up on the pitch – probably just because of the number of young players on the side.

Things can change when Santo has the players he wants. It’s hard to imagine that his reported interest in Conor Coady, for example, is such that he can play him in a back four. But anyway, this was an interesting early look at how Santos Spurs could take shape when the competitive action starts in a few weeks.

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