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Tottenham’s international break to-do list: Four issues to resolve


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uno Espirito Santo’s encouraging start at Tottenham dramatically unravelled after the September international break and the manager will be hoping this month’s hiatus does not prove as damaging.

Spurs appeared to turn a corner with Sunday’s much-improved 2-1 win over Aston Villa but questions remain about Nuno’s tactics and use of a number of key players.

With the jury still out on the former Wolves boss, here are four issues for Nuno to try to resolve during the two-week break:

After seven League games, there is still no clear identity to Nuno’s Spurs. The switch to 4-2-3-1 against Villa was encouraging but the win still came down to individual brilliance from Heung-min Son, rather than coherent and concise patterns in the third final.

The first 30 minutes against Chelsea was promising and suggested a potential blueprint going forward, but Nuno abandoned the high-pressing approach for a more direct strategy against Arsenal – with disastrous consequences.

Doubts remain about Nuno’s ability to maximise his squad’s potential and get them playing ‘the Tottenham way’ and he has appeared trapped between his own philosophy – counter-punching from a solid base – and the way he is expected to play in north London.

His priority must be to determine his own philosophy and settle on a style.

Doing so will not be easy with Kane away on England duty but Nuno will surely be considering ways to unlock his talisman, who has not scored in six League matches this season.

Say what you want about Jose Mourinho’s football, the Portuguese managed to get the best from Kane and Son. So far, Nuno has not.

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There were green shoots against Villa, with Kane more involved and going close to both a first League goal and assist of the season.

One solution is to simply to push him higher into the box (he scored a 19-minute hat-trick of clinical finishes inside the area against Mura last week) but, without him dropping deep, do Spurs have the midfield creativity to progress the ball into dangerous areas? Nuno must find an answer.


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