Paratici’s talk with Nuno, ultimate Lamela tribute – 5 things spotted in MK Dons vs Tottenham


Missing players

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo made a couple of changes to his team for Wednesday evening’s pre-season friendly against MK Dons.

Matt Doherty came into the side at right-back instead of Maksim Paskotsi for his first start of the summer, with Sergio Reguilon also coming in on the opposite flank after sitting out the previous two as Tobi Omole made way.

Young duo Japhet Tanganga and Nile John were also given the nod by the head coach after coming on at the start of the second half last Wednesday away at Colchester United in the 3-0 win.

There was no sign of Eric Dier or Harry Winks at Stadium MK after starting the previous two friendlies, nor Joe Hart who has been linked with a move to Celtic.


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Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon were once again unavailable for the match but Espirito Santo was handed a boost with Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies named on the bench after returning to Hotspur Way this week following their Euro 2020 exploits

Paratici’s chat with Nuno

New managing director of football Fabio Paratici was once again in attendance at Stadium MK as Spurs stepped up their pre-season preparations.

Watching on from the stands at Leyton Orient in the 1-1 draw, the Italian could be seen on the pitch talking on his phone prior to the victory over Colchester last Wednesday.

Already making his mark at the club with Pierluigi Gollini and Bryan Gil signing on the dotted line, Paratici is also keeping a close eye on the team in the friendlies as he plots his big plans in N17.

Spotted speaking with Steve Hitchen on the pitch just over an hour prior to kick-off, the duo were then joined by Espirito Santo not longer after as they discussed matters.

Given the need to bring in new faces this summer as the team look to climb back into the top four, all fans will be hoping that it was transfer talk on the agenda between the trio ahead of the game.

Paratici then received a cheer from the Spurs fans behind the goal during the warm-up as he jogged across to pass a ball to Steven Bergwijn.

He will undoubtedly get another big cheer if Spurs add more quality players to their ranks before the Premier League opener against Man City.



Nuno Espirito Santo was spotted with Fabio Paratici and Steve Hitchen ahead of kick-off
Nuno Espirito Santo was spotted with Fabio Paratici and Steve Hitchen ahead of kick-off

Bergwijn embarrasses Watson

Bergwijn was in fine form during the 3-1 pre-season win over MK Dons.

Incredibly busy from the very first minute at Stadium MK, the Dutchman went close to the opener with a low effort before later driving wide after linking up with Son Heung-min.

Causing the hosts a whole heap of problems with his powerful running and trickery, Bergwijn produced a ‘wow’ moment inside the opening 20 minutes as he teamed up with Dele Alli down the left flank.

Receiving the ball from his teammate in very little space, the 23-year-old produced an exquisite nutmeg on right-back Tennai Watson to somehow release Alli when there was limited options for him with his opponent boxing him in.

Alli then saw his effort from the edge of the area blocked after the duo traded passes again to get within sight of the MK Dons goal.

It was sublime play from the pair of them.

Dele’s expert passing

Spurs once again lined up in a 4-3-3 formation at MK Dons as Espirito Santo kept faith with the system.

It meant Alli remained in the midfield three but he did have plenty of chances to push on and attack when Spurs were in possession.



Dele Alli impressed on his return to MK Dons
Dele Alli impressed on his return to MK Dons

The 25-year-old really caught the eye on his return to Stadium MK as he was involved at the heart of a lot of the team’s good play.

He was certainly in the mood and that showed with a couple of his through balls to his teammates, notably his pinpoint pass to Son that led to the South Korean having his goal ruled out for offside.

Thankfully he got the goal his performance deserved in the second half with a simple finish.

Lamela tribute

Erik Lamela’s time at Tottenham finally came to an end at the start of the week as he departed for Sevilla after eight years in N17.

A player who loved the club and would always give his all when in a Tottenham shirt, the Argentine received some wonderful tributes from his former teammates on social media in the hours after his exit was confirmed.

Well, it was only right that one Spurs player tried to pay the ultimate tribute to Lamela by trying to recreate his famous rabona in the game following his departure.

It was Son who in fact tried to produce it as he tried to pick out Alli’s run into the box but he didn’t quite get enough on it as the home defence cut the ball out.

Maybe it’s only Lamela who can pull it off after all!

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