In the post-mortem of Spurs’ listless 3-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester United, Dustin wrote up a quick piece saying that, according to The Telegraph, Nuno Espirito Santo’s job wasn’t threatened and that he’d have some time given the project.
In less than 24 hours, that has changed and it appears Nuno’s job is seriously in jeopardy, according to every reporter under the Sun in England. It started with Matt Law from the Telegraph saying talks are being held today:
Dan Kilpatrick, one of the Tier 1 beat writers for Spurs, followed up with a piece in the Evening Standard.
And then Jack Pitt-Brooke from The Athletic had not one, but two pieces, that are both damning:
We could spend all day going through the sheer volume of reports from ITK on Twitter, but the Athletic’s report paints a pretty grim picture. Nuno’s training sessions are more or less the same, he’s already ostracizing players in public (albeit in a non-asshole way), and then there was this cryptic twenty second clip from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg that suggests the dressing room is already fed up.
Nuno has lost the dressing room for sure. pic.twitter.com/CQ3WHKzp0a— Nuno Espírito Banto (@Gentleman_THFC) October 30, 2021
While this doesn’t necessarily mean he’s lost the dressing room, when a player has to stop himself from saying too much, that’s never a good sign.
JPB’s second article focuses on the talks going on today. The article is paywalled, but there are a couple of primary points, specifically that the job is too much for Nuno and Spurs are realizing this. Paratici was the one that convinced Daniel Levy that Nuno could get it done but he did so by showing highlights of Nuno’s sides in Valencia, not from Porto or Wolves. It didn’t help that it took over two months to land on Nuno. It doesn’t matter who you are: If you’re the man a club lands on after that long, you better get it right. Nuno had a good start but ever since the September international break, it’s been an uphill battle.
The second point is that the players simply aren’t responding to him and aren’t impressed by his methods. It appears that playing a second team in Conference League and leaving the first team at home hasn’t sat well either. Players are fine with rotation, but making a clear separation like this and it not working leaves him open for scrutiny.
The loss in the North London Derby certainly hurt, but it needs to be pointed out that Nuno has now lost four London derbies to Chelsea, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and West Ham. While losing to Chelsea is understandable given how good they are and North London Derbies are matches where anything can happen, losing to Palace and West Ham really got the ball rolling.
It is entirely possible before the day is over that Nuno is out of a job. We may see Ryan Mason step back into the role of caretaker while Spurs look for a long-term replacement. There are rumblings of the club looking at Paulo Fonseca again, who was this close to having the job before it was scuttled, or looking to South America and River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo, though Barcelona are in that race and Gallardo has said he will finish out his contract before making any decision about his future.
It goes without saying that none of this is good. Levy screwed up the manager search from the get-go. Paratici deserves blame as well, given he was brought in and then the search kept going...and going...and going. Now the man that they landed on has been booed out of the stadium against a side who were considering sacking their manager before the next international break.
Once again, it puts Tottenham Hotspur at a crossroads, and it’s getting tiresome.