After months and months of speculations and rejections, Tottenham Hotspur have finally announced Jose Mourinho’s successor at the club by bringing on board another Portuguese manager, Nuno Espirito Santo. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers manager has a tough road ahead with Spurs and the fans would be hoping that Nuno gets them into the Champions League spots for next season.
But what would be the style and immediate moves Nuno has to make at Spurs if he is to be successful in the near future? Let’s find out.
SETTLE THE HARRY KANE SAGA
For more than a year now, Tottenham’s very own Harry Kane’s future has been in the news. The Spurs striker isn’t happy with the way the club is progressing and he believes that this is the time for him to move away from his boyhood club if he wants to win trophies in his career whilst at the top of his game. Kane still has a three-year contract with the club and now with a top manager in Nuno Espirito Santo in charge at the London-based club, would that propel him to stay and see out his contract? To settle this case would be priority number one for Nuno in the coming few weeks.
POTENTIAL TACTICAL SYSTEMS
Wherever Nuno has gone, he has adapted to the requirements of the club. He hasn’t replicated the system at any two clubs. He has rather picked a few non-negotiables and found the best way to suit the players at his club. He is going to do more of the same at Spurs as well. Given the way the defence has failed to deliver in the previous season, Nuno is likely to start with a three at the back system. It will also allow the flair players at the club, the likes of Kane, Heung-min Son, Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovanni Lo Celso to excel further forward on the pitch and not be too concerned with their defensive responsibilities.
He has some strong options in midfield like Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks who could help to solidify the defence just the way Nuno likes his midfielders to function. On the wing-back options, it will be the reunion of Matt Doherty with his former manager and Sergio Reguilon on the left-hand side who was one of the best-attacking wing-backs in the league in the previous season. So expect him to start with a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3.
WHY IT COULDN’T BE LIKE HIS WOLVES TEAM
The signing of Nuno Espirito Santo hasn’t overly impressed the Spurs fan as he was always a more realistic option. The biggest problem under Jose Mourinho wasn’t the results but the way the team was playing on the field. At Tottenham, the fans have expectations of free-flowing football and a team that would rather be on the front foot than just sitting back and be a counter-attacking machine as under Mourinho.
So appointing Nuno doesn’t seem to be in the right direction as under him Wolves were one of the most defensive teams and their major threat was on the counter-attack. But it wouldn’t be the same at Spurs, as it can’t be. Nuno will have to develop a much more attacking system that the fans have become accustomed to from their time under Mauricio Pochettino.
NEED REINFORCEMENT IN THE SQUAD
It became apparent under Mourinho that the squad seemed imbalanced to be competing for the top honours in England. The defence was nowhere close to what Mourinho desired and their keeper and captain Hugo Lloris is error-prone. There were plenty of attacking options but the team wasn’t sound defensively.
The first requirement would be to find a striker if Harry Kane chooses to leave. It is impossible to replace someone like Kane but they’ll have to find the closest replacement. The second priority would be to find a centre-back who is comfortable with the ball. The third and final would be to find a full-back who is capable of playing in a back four unlike Matt Doherty and Serge Aurier at the right-back position.
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