Pressure mounting on Nuno Espirito Santo as Arsenal blow shambolic Tottenham absent
uno Espirito Santo took responsibility for a humiliating defeat but, even though commendable, the manager’s honesty will do very little to reassure Tottenham lovers he is up to the position.
Neither will Nuno’s write-up-match promise to supporters that his side would “try to fix” their several problems adhering to just one of their limpest shows in the latest memory.
Nuno is one of the top rated-flight’s least inclined and articulate communicators to the media and you had to speculate if his players were being also battling to understand his guidelines — or basically not responding to them — in yesterday’s 3-1 defeat by Arsenal. It was not just that Spurs’s activity plan “didn’t work”, as Nuno acknowledged afterwards, it was that his gamers appeared totally disinterested.
Even by Tottenham’s modern benchmarks at the Emirates, exactly where they have not gained in the League due to the fact November 2010, it was a remarkably passive and shambolic effectiveness. There was no one particular in midfield in the very first half. Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele wafted via the match ineffectively and the former was hooked at half-time, his mini-renaissance abruptly over. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was nowhere.
Spurs’s defence was vast open up and statuesque. When Spurs did have 1st-fifty percent possession, they normally invited Arsenal’s push by dawdling or despatched a hopeful prolonged ball towards Harry Kane, who could not be accused of a absence of hard work but rarely radiated positive electricity. A few instances in the to start with 35 minutes Arsenal reduce by way of Spurs with devastating precision, Emile Smith-Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka all scoring very low finishes from inside of the box.
Nuno has instructed his players his priority is to set the “building blocks” in put by building Spurs in shape, compact, organised, industrious and, above all, hard to conquer. The supervisor has even designed “solid” his uninspiring buzzword.
The Portuguese arrived with a popularity for counter-punching, which appeared ill-suited to the club, but he was, at least, supposed to get Spurs back to fundamental principles just after their confidence, defending and physical fitness deteriorated below Jose Mourinho. They were being everything but reliable in the first 50 % yesterday and they have now misplaced a few London derbies on the bounce, conceding a few periods in 3 consecutive Leading League online games for the to start with time considering the fact that September 2003.
Nuno also bought it badly mistaken at Crystal Palace, but he experienced legit excuses for the defeat, which came on the again of a nightmare international split in which significant-flying Spurs dropped 3 players to quarantine and 3 additional to injury. In opposition to Chelsea, meanwhile, there was at minimum a 30-minute spell of tension on which to establish.
There ended up no caveats or comforts from yesterday’s humiliation, with Nuno lacking just one particular very first-team participant in Steven Bergwijn.
Of course, Tottenham’s challenges extensive pre-date Nuno and the buck stops with the board, whose mismanagement goes right again to their failure to heed Mauricio Pochettino’s warnings about the need to refresh his squad.
It was fitting that on the weekend the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium played amazing host to the Joshua-Usyk combat on Saturday, the biggest non-football event at the floor nevertheless, Spurs fell to their worst defeat in a long time. The club have neglected the group in favour of infrastructure, and it is demonstrating.
It must also be remembered that even Pochettino struggled in his 1st number of months at the club and every manager desires time to employ their strategy.
In the here and now, while, Nuno is having difficulties with his hand and on the lookout escalating out of his depth tactically, leaving him beneath powerful strain in advance of the visit of in-variety Aston Villa on Sunday.
What are his selections? He could test switching to a again-a few and get a leaf out of Pochettino’s e-book by ruthlessly discarding less than-achieving senior gamers these types of as Alli, Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso in favour of youth.
2nd-half substitutes Bryan Gil and Oliver Skipp were being the only slight positives, encouraging Spurs generate a 2nd-half foothold and a way again into the match with Heung-min Son’s objective. Spurs were being so inadequate that it was just about hard to adequately choose Arsenal, while some of their soccer through the to start with 50 percent was unquestionably exhilarating.
Most encouragingly, it was a performance in Mikel Arteta’s image, specifically the next objective, a slick go which started off with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsey and incorporated a sublime flick from Aubameyang to the great Martin Odegaard, who raced forward and squared for the Gabon ahead.
Arsenal incorporated five of their summer months signings in the starting line-up and released two extra from the bench (none of Spurs’s summertime signings began the video game, another red flag), suggesting there is lots much more space for enhancement.
It felt like a potential landmark consequence for Arteta, his initial huge derby gain in front of fans, and considerably extra convincing evidence that Arsenal have turned a corner than the slender victories about Norwich and Burnley.
But for the Gunners consistency continues to be essential and, although they can get pleasure from months of neighborhood bragging rights, the afternoon can only go down as a turning level if they follow it up towards Brighton and Palace in the next two games.