Tottenham manager LIVE Q&A: Your questions answered on Antonio Conte, Daniel Levy, Nuno Espirito Santo and more

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·8-min read
Tottenham manager LIVE Q&A: Your questions answered on Antonio Conte, Daniel Levy, Nuno Espirito Santo and more
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Tottenham manager Q&A - LIVE!

Our chief football correspondent Dan Kilpatrick is on hand to answer all your questions about Tottenham’s managerial situation after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked this morning, after only four months in charge.

The Portuguese was appointed in the summer at the end of a protracted search for Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor but, despite winning his first three league games, has failed to make it even as far as Christmas, with Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester United the final nail in the coffin.

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is in talks over the now vacant job, having left Inter Milan after winning Serie A last season, but the Italian was also a target for Spurs in the summer before walking away from discussions.

The pressure is on chairman Daniel Levy and managing director Fabio Paratici to get their latest appointment right after Nuno’s doomed tenure has left the club with a misfiring team, a disgruntled fan base and a fight to salvage their season.

Find your questions answered below...

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Solskjaer: It’s not nice to see Nuno get sacked by Tottenham

Jamie Redknapp issues advice for Daniel Levy

22:08 , Jonathan Gorrie

“I do not understand why after four months you could get him, but you could not four months ago - there was a problem with the transfer budget and he could not agree with what Daniel Levy wanted to do with the club.

“When you have a manager like Conte, you have to give him the licence to get the players in that he wants and to play the system he wants, you can’t interfere, he does things his way.

“He has worked with Tottenham’s director of football [Fabio Paratici] before at Juventus, so that is important as that has to work, they have to marry up together and make sure they are pulling in the same direction, otherwise it can be a disaster.

“And right now, on the field Tottenham are the laughing stock of football, off field they are the envy of everyone because of the stadium and the training ground, but they are making a lot of mistakes in that boardroom.” - Jamie Redknapp (via Sky Sports)

Jamie Carragher reacts to Nuno’s sacking

21:34 , Jonathan Gorrie

Nathan @Nathan31890077 asks...

15:48 , Malik Ouzia

When did the thought of his sacking begin?

Dan says: “My understanding was that Levy and Paratici were concerned about performances before the United game but not minded to sack Nuno if Spurs lost. However, the reaction of fans changed that and they acted to stop the situation turning toxic.”

Mike Davis @JonMotson asks...

15:26 , Malik Ouzia

Nuno was Fabio Paratici’s choice against Levy’s judgement - is it time for Fabio to go, too?

Dan says: “There’s no doubt the Nuno appointment is a black mark on Paratici’s record but he will arguably have justified his appointment if he can hire his friend Conte as a replacement.

“Bringing in a world-class manager with the club in its current state would be quite a coup and would surely be impossible without Paratici.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Højb @ChristianMTHFC asks...

15:16 , Malik Ouzia

How did Paratici actually convince Levy that Nuno was an attacking coach? I’m not buying the Valencia thing even if it’s the case.

Dan says: “Paratici and Levy were banking on Nuno being a more adaptable coach than he ultimately proved.

“Paratici, in particular, was hopeful than Nuno would be able to adjust his style to suit the greater expectations and a top-heavy squad and, buy it or not, the Italian was influenced by Nuno’s approach at Valencia and Porto. The club also hoped Nuno would return the squad to the discipline and fitness which was lost under Mourinho.”

Cupes @Cupes_L asks...

15:10 , Malik Ouzia

Hey Dan - who would you say is a better manager between Poch and Conte?

Dan says: “They are very different types of manager. Pochettino is a project coach, who prefers to instill a squad with a philosophy and build for the long-term, while Conte is more of a pragmatist who demands immediate success. Both are fantastic, world-class coaches. The question is, is Conte a good fit for Spurs, as Pochettino once was?”

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Henri27 @Henr2727 asks...

15:03 , Malik Ouzia

Do you think Tanguy Ndombele will see a revival under Conte? People claim that Conte wanted him at Inter but I’m sure their different mentalities will be clear.

Dan says: “I think it will be fascinating to see what Ndombele can do under a progressive, motivated and authoritative coach – which he arguably hasn’t had since joining the club!

“The same is true of Lo Celso, Bergwijn, Sessegnon and others. These are all fine players, who are much better than they’ve shown at the club so far, I think.”

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

The Monday Night Spurs Show @MondaySpurs asks...

14:58 , Malik Ouzia

Lifeline for Ryan Sessegnon in a 3-5-2 if Conte is appointed?

Dan says: “Sessegnon has been plagued by persistent hamstring problems, so he needs to get fully fit before he can think about impressing the new manager. There’s no indication of when that might be, which is a little concerning.

“That said, left wing-back would suit him so perhaps he could be Conte’s Victor Moses. particularly as Ben Davies is better suited to being a third centre-half in a back-three system. Sessegnon would face stiff competition from Reguilon, however, with the Spaniard also appearing well-suited to playing wing-back.”

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Matt Allen @MattCOYS81 asks...

14:54 , Malik Ouzia

Do you think Conte’s been offered substantial funds to spend in January? I can’t see him accepting the job unless that’s the case.

Dan says: “January is never a good time to spend big, so I wouldn’t expect fireworks then if he does get the job, but he has been offered assurances he will have money to improve the squad going forward.”

Daniel Platt @voodoochopstiks asks...

14:50 , Malik Ouzia

Do you think Conte would deliver on Levy’s promise of attacking, free-flowing football?

Dan says: “He is certainly capable. The suggestion that he is a Mourinho-type coach, who prefers reactive and conservative football, is unfair. He is a pragmatist, yes, but has also produced sides who are brilliant to watch and free-scoring, most recently Inter.”

The Spurs Web @thespursweb asks...

14:44 , Malik Ouzia

Do reports of an 18-month deal for Conte suggest that the club are still hankering for the return of Mauricio Pochettino as a long-term appointment?

Dan says: “I think the reports of an 18-month deal are more a reflection of Conte’s history than the club’s long-term plans. In my view, there is rarely much point in clubs handing managers long-term deals, as Chelsea have demonstrated with Tuchel.

“As for Poch, it’s no secret he was happy at Spurs and would not rule out a future return, although his close working relationship was always with Levy, so that possibility currently feels less likely to me while Paratici is calling the shots.”

Luke @lukespurs asks...

14:39 , Malik Ouzia

Any discussion around the system Conte wants to play? Basically I want to know if were getting his famous three at the back system?

Dan says: “Conte, I think, would play the system that best suits the squad. He is not wedded to a back three but there’s a strong case it would suit the players at Spurs.

“Romero played in a three for Atalanta and was brilliant last season, while Royal and Reguilon are both better going forward than defending. Ndombele and Lo Celso would be better in a midfield two with an extra defender in behind, while Kane and Son could work well in tandem as a front two. So, yeah, I could definitely see it.”

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Julian HumphreyBlue @humpdoc asks...

14:34 , Malik Ouzia

Do you think the club has finally hit rock bottom now? Spurs have been sinking slowly but surely since the CL final. Can the slow painful rebuild finally begin?

Dan says: “No, I think Conte’s appointment (if it happens) should bring a fresh wave of optimism or at least intrigue. And the rebuild has plainly already begun.

“The squad has been significantly overhauled from Pochettino’s team, even if results have continued to get worse, with Spurs spending a significant amount of money in the last three windows.”

Essharte @essharte asks...

14:27 , Malik Ouzia

If Wednesday’s game was behind closed doors or if Nuno had made no subs, like the West Ham game, do you think he would still be manager?

Dan says: “Good question. I don’t know the answer but it’s clear that fan pressure played a significant part in the club’s decision to act today.

“Nuno never had Mourinho’s reputation or charisma but Mourinho was able to cling to his job for so long after results and morale went south because he never faced direct pressure from supporters while they were locked out of grounds. I suspect Levy would have been pressured to act sooner last season with supporters allowed to attend matches.”

Andrew Turmer @AndrewTurmer asks...

14:23 , Malik Ouzia

What is Conte here to achieve? He won’t get £200m or compete for a title and he’s not a long-term manager to lead a rebuild. A Levy-Conte relationship is going to end in tears and a big severance package.

Dan says: “Spurs have stepped up spending since completing the new stadium so Conte will be given assurances of funds to rebuild the squad.

“True, he is not a manager for the long term but he may look at the infrastructure of the club and the squad already there – which is far better than it has shown under Mourinho and Nuno – and fancy his chances of winning silverware.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Rob Davies @ByRobDavies asks...

14:15 , Malik Ouzia

What can Tottenham offer Antonio Conte now that they couldn’t before? And are they being forced to cross a red line they had in the summer out of sheer desperation?

Dan says: “As I said above, I do think there’s an element of desperation, sure. But there’s a case that you don’t say no to a manager like Conte. He is one of the top five coaches in the world and by far the best available candidate for the job, just as he was in June.

“As much as the club and Levy will have to make concessions and abandon long-term plans in order to appoint him, he is arguably worth it.”

Skipjack @Skipjack0079 asks...

14:11 , Malik Ouzia

What has changed between the summer and now with Conte? Seems like there are more attractive jobs in the offing now.

Dan says: “I think there is more willingness (or desperation) from both parties; Spurs because they desperately need a manager of Conte’s quality after the Nuno experiment failed and Conte because he is more eager to return to work, having walked out on Inter at the end of last season.

“The Paratici link is key but I imagine Levy will have to agree to more concessions this time than he was prepared to make in June. As for other jobs, presumably Conte knows United are reluctant to sack Solskjaer mid-season (but may like their chances of getting Poch in the summer).”

14:08 , Malik Ouzia

Welcome to our LIVE Q&A with our chief football correspondent Dan Kilpatrick as he answers your questions on Tottenham’s managerial situation.

Let’s get cracking...

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