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Nuno on shaky ground at Spurs from the off but he may be a canny hire

The delay reflects the fuzzy thinking of a chaotic manager search, which lacked any sort of long-term strategy and finally came to an end when Nuno agreed a two-year deal last night.

Spurs were not interested in him when he left Wolves on May 23 but the club ran out of other targets and changed direction midway through the process when Fabio Paratici was named as managing director.

Really, their search for a new head coach can be separated into two phases — pre- and post-Paratici — but even as part of the latter process Nuno was down the list of targets. Paratici recommended Antonio Conte, Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso before Spurs settled on the Portuguese.

The perception of Nuno as a last resort at the end of a drawn-out process leaves him on shaky ground from the off but there are also legitimate concerns about him as a coach.

Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, said in May he wanted to appoint a new manager who would share the club’s DNA by promoting “free-flowing, attacking and entertaining” football and blooding young players.

Like Mourinho, under whom he played at Porto, Nuno has a reputation as a counterpunching tactician and hardly fits Levy’s description.

Harry Kane, whose future is one of the most immediate problems in Nuno’s in-tray, will not be encouraged to know that he was directly involved in more goals (23 goals and 14 assists) in the Premier League than Nuno’s Wolves last season — 37 to 36.

Spurs clearly believe Nuno can adapt his style to a stronger, top-heavy squad and Paratici painted his dour football last season as pragmatism rather than ideology.


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