What went wrong for Nuno Espírito Santo at Tottenham

Ernest Sunday
By Ernest Sunday

Freelance sports writer with great passion for football, Academic content writer and Lifestyle Blogger

Talking points that led to Nuno Espírito Santo's dismissal from his managerial role at Tottenham Hotspur in just a few months in the office.

What went wrong for Nuno Espirito Santo that got him sacked

After four months in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, Nuno Espírito Santo has been relieved from his job following the club's poor performances this season.

A statement from the club's managing director Fabio Paratici announced the sacking of the manager with his coaching staff Ian Cathro, Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias.

"I know how much Nuno and his coaching staff wanted to succeed, and I regret that we have had to take this decision, " said Fabio Paratici.

"Nuno is a true gentleman and will always be welcome here. We should like to thank him and his coaching staff and wish them well for the future."

The announcement came after Tottenham had experienced poor performances the season, losing five Premier League matches in ten games.

On Saturday, Nuno Espírito Santo led the club to one of their worst defeat of the season after they were trashed 3-0 by Manchester United, leaving them in the 9th position of the Premier League table.

The defeat left Tottenham fans and the boards in anger. The fans bitterly criticised the manager, with many demanding his sacking.

After the defeat against Manchester United, Nuno went quickly to demand patience from the fans and club.

"It was a bad performance, simply that we didn't play well, Man Utd were stronger than us," Nuno said at a post-match conference with Sky Sports.

"We are not on the right track; we totally understand the fans criticism; this season is part of football. The fans suffer when you're not performing well.

"They have shown they're not happy. We have to take it, tell them that we try our best, that we are sorry because we didn't perform as we wanted, and we keep on trying."

Nuno's hope to reshape his team has ended after he was sacked as the club's manager on Monday afternoon.

His sacking came after all his trials to organise Tottenham went on the wrong track. He was at the end of his rope as he could not control their underperformance.

What went wrong for Nuno Espírito Santo

After sacking Jose Mourinho from Tottenham Hotspur last season, Nuno Espírito Santo took over the club's managerial job on June 30, 2021. Nuno's arrival to Tottenham was his first time coaching a club in the Premier League top six.

It was a new environment for the Portuguese manager, a big club with different agenda than his former club Wolverhampton Wanderers. A lot of pressure and expectations were on Nuno.

Jose Mourinho was sacked due to underperformance in his team, and Nuno was tasked to deliver more than his predecessor.

The manager had an excellent start to the season, winning his first four matches in charge of Spur before facing many defeats that led to his dismissal from the managerial post.

Nuno's sacking could be related to many setbacks from the day he took over the managerial job, such as:

Harry Kane's transfer scenario

The 2021 transfer window was full of uncertainty for Tottenham. Before Nuno Espírito Santo's arrival, Tottenham was already rumoured to be having issues over Harry Kane's transfer.

Kane was rumoured to be pushing for a transfer away from the club, while Tottenham maintained not selling their top striker. Many clubs were interested in Kane's deal, including Manchester City, who had their £100m offer rejected by the club.

The worst experience for the club came after Kane could not return early to Tottenham's training. His absence was related to his desire to leave the London club, which can harm a dressing room talk more of a training ground.

Nuno had to start the preseason preparation without Kane; he had no choice but to build his team in the absence of the great striker. Tottenham's training ground and dressing might have been hurt by Kane's absence at the start of the season.

Many managers have always said that it is always good to have your entire squad at the start of any preseason and beginning of a league game to boost your team's confidence.

Tottenham's shaky transfer

Tottenham Hotspur with Nuno Espírito Santo might have made some wrong decision in the 2021 transfer window, allowing most of the club's experienced players to leave at once.

One of Tottenham's wrong decisions was terminating Serge Aurier contract, which saw the left-back move to Villareal in La Liga.

The Ivorian professional footballer was a consistent player for Spurs. His contribution going forward was one of the keys to Tottenham HotSpur's attacking play.

Aurier contributed a lot to Tottenham's team with his incredible speed and strength before he was allowed to leave. He was replaced by former Barcelona's player Emerson Royal who was entirely new in the Premier League.

Even though Emerson is trying his best, it still seems wrong to let Serge Aurier leave at this moment; Emerson needed someone to learn from and understand the Premier League more.

Toby Alderweireld was another defender who left Tottenham last season. It seems his absence has contributed to Tottenham's bad performance under Nuno, conceding 16 goals in 10 Premier League matches.

Alderweireld was one of the experienced defenders in the Premier League who can mark strikers out at any time.

Moussa Sissoko is another player who left Tottenham despite his good performances since he joined the club from Newcastle United. It has left the club with many young midfielders that need experienced players to learn from.

Different clubs have experienced downfall after seeing experienced players leave their team at once; it takes time to build a squad full of young players. Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona are among the team that has experienced such a situation.

Tottenham's midfield was left in the hands of Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks, and Oliver Skipp, players with less experience.

Striker's underperformance

Tottenham Hotspurs has always been known as one of the most attacking football clubs in the Premier League. They have scored many beautiful goals under their past managers at the club.

The 2021 season has been a sort of goal drought for Spurs under Nuno as he could not get Tottenham's quality attacking players firing as usual.

Harry Kane is a complete striker who can score from any angle, likewise South Korea's captain Son Heung-min. The duo has scored many great goals that will always be remembered in the club's history.

They have produced so many unforgettable moments for the club. In the past six years, Kane's combination with his teammate Son Heung-min has been the key factor in the Tottenham squad.

Their ability to connect in counter-attacks have kept Tottenham Hotspur among the top six clubs in the Premier League in the past years.

Last season Tottenham fans enjoyed the best combination of these two quality players; they scored and assisted many great goals that gave the fans unforgettable memories and helped Tottenham qualify for the Europa League.

Their fantastic combination also helped Kane win the 2020 Premier League golden boot and highest assist awards with 23 goals and 14 assists, while Son finished fourth in the two awards.

The duo's 2021 season has been different; the two players look entirely different from Kane and Son of the 2020 season. Kane has only scored one Premier League goal, while Son was able to score four.

Nuno Espírito Santo failed to get these attackers scoring and assisting goals. The extraordinary combination Tottenham fans enjoyed last season was utterly lacking in the team, leading to his dismissal from the job.

What next for Tottenham

With Nuno Espírito Santo already relieved of his job, Tottenham is now searching for a new manager, with Antonio Conte seen as the favourite for the job.

According to ESPN, Tottenham Hotspur is already talking with Conte as the manager is ready to take the job immediately.

Tottenham will be playing their Europa League match against Netherlands club SBV Vitesse and will be hoping to have a new manager announced before the game on November 4th 2021.