Tottenham Hotspur made an impressive start to the 2021/22 campaign with three victories in three games, but they have crumbled since and Nuno Espirito Santo has come under fire as a result
Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo has come under fire from fans and the press after defeat in the north London derby, but he has the support of chairman Daniel Levy.
Spurs were beaten 3-1 by Arsenal last Sunday in an incredibly subpar performance that lacked desire and organisation.
Emile Smith-Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka all scored in the first half to put the game to bed before the 45-minute mark.
Winger Heung-Min Son gave Spurs the chance of a comeback when he scored in the 79 th minute but the Koreans goals eventually was just a consolation rather than the start of a historic comeback.
The third success defeat for Tottenham, plus a 2-2 draw with Rennes in the Europa League Conference League and only just progressing in the Carabao Cup via penalties against Wolves, means that pressure is building on Santo.
However, Nuno’s job is currently not under threat, according to The Athletic.
Instead, and rather surprisingly, several players are said to be more willing to shoulder some of the blame for the clubs recent form and believe they need to take responsibility for their subpar performances.
Santo has addressed the elephant in the room, the poor form, in his recent press conference before his side take on Slovenian side NS Mura in the Europa Conference League.
The former Wolves boss said: “It’s football, everybody wants to play good. Everybody wants to play offensively, everybody wants to score. This is what we chase.
”Sometimes it’s not possible but we are aware that this is what we want to do but it takes a building process to achieve it and we are trying.
“The criticism is normal. Everybody knows how this industry works. When you don’t play good, when you don’t perform and results don’t go your way, criticism is something you have to deal with. We understand it and it’s up to us to react and change it.”
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Many pundits have been critical of Spurs’ style of play recently and how certain players look slightly ill-informed as to what their roles are.
As a team, they have covered the least ground in the league and also the least amount of chances and shots, highlighting how both in and out of possession there is no real positives at the moment.
After three games of the season, Spurs were top of the league on nine points and looked like they had turned a corner after a disappointing spell under Jose Mourinho, but that has since been shown to be a simple purple patch.
Santo then called for calm from fans and the media, saying: “I’m not worried about the judgement. What I’m worried about is how we can play better.
“The judgement, the criticism and the opinion is all part of the game and we have to deal with that. That doesn’t interfere with the way we work. It can only distract us. My focus is on how we can improve.
“In terms of the fans, now is not the moment to ask them. Of course, we need them, we need their support because the players and the team need the support of the fans, but it’s not a moment to ask them.”
It remains to be seen whether Levy is true to his word or if he will bow down to pressure from the Spurs faithful if their poor form continues, especially when some of their key players return from injury after the international break.