FootballSports

Spurs sack manager Nuno; Conte favorite replacement candidate

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur’s head coach Nuno Espirito Santo gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match against Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Saturday. – AFP

LONDON: Tottenham yesterday sacked manager Nuno Espirito Santo after just four months in charge following their fifth defeat in 10 Premier League games. Spurs gave an insipid display in their 3-0 defeat at home by Manchester United on Saturday, with fans booing and chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing” at the former Wolverhampton Wanderers boss. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and managing director of football Fabio Paratici are understood to have met on Sunday to discuss the Portuguese manager’s fate. A statement from the club yesterday said Nuno and his coaching staff had been “relieved of their duties”.

“I know how much Nuno and his coaching staff wanted to succeed and I regret that we have had to take this decision,” Paratici said in the statement. “Nuno is a true gentleman and will always be welcome here. We should like to thank him and his coaching staff and wish them well for the future.” Spurs said a further coaching update would follow in due course. Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte, who worked with Paratici at Juventus, is the bookies’ favorite to take over, with Sky in Italy reporting Conte is set to fly to London for talks.

Not first choice
Nuno, 47, was announced as the new manager of the north London club on June 30, replacing Jose Mourinho, who was sacked in April. The ex-Valencia and Porto boss, who was not the first choice for Spurs, was appointed after ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino, Conte, Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso were all linked with the job. Tottenham topped the Premier League table after three 1-0 wins at the start of the season, including a victory over defending champions Manchester City, but results rapidly deteriorated. They have lost five of their past seven Premier League matches and are eighth in the table, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Nuno lost seven of his 17 games in all competitions, with fans who craved attacking football increasingly frustrated by his conservative style. Tottenham did not manage a single shot on target against United, with England captain Harry Kane largely anonymous. Kane, denied a move to Manchester City in the transfer window, has only managed one Premier League goal so far this campaign after winning his third Golden Boot last season. Former Tottenham star Gary Lineker tweeted: “Nuno has been fired. @SpursOfficial are something of a shambles at present.” A statement from Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust said the organization took no pleasure in Nuno’s departure.

“Nuno Espirito Santo conducted himself with integrity, good grace and civility throughout his short time at Spurs,” it said. “And although clearly not the right fit for Tottenham, we wish him and his coaching staff… well for the future.” Nuno guided Wolves from the second-tier Championship to the Premier League in 2018 and secured consecutive seventh-place finishes in their first two seasons back in the top-flight before a 13th-place finish last term.

Spurs fans are desperate to challenge again for the Champions League places after missing out on European football’s premier competition for two consecutive seasons. They were regular top-four finishers under Pochettino, reaching the Champions League final in 2019, but have not won silverware of any description since 2008. – AFP

 

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