Tottenham sack Nuno Espirito Santo after dismal defeat to Manchester United

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Nuno Espirito Santo’s reign as Tottenham boss has been brought to an end after only four months with the club announcing his sacking on Monday.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and managing director of football Fabio Paratici are understood to have met on Sunday to discuss Nuno’s fate after Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Manchester United, the team’s fifth defeat in their last seven Premier League games.

And a statement from Tottenham on Monday morning said: “The club can today announce that Nuno Espirito Santo and his coaching staff Ian Cathro, Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias have been relieved of their duties.”

Paratici said: “I know how much Nuno and his coaching staff wanted to succeed and I regret that we have had to take this decision.

“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.”

Tottenham added that “a further coaching update will follow in due course”.

Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is a reported leading contender to succeed Nuno. Brighton manager Graham Potter, ex-Roma boss Paulo Fonseca and Sergio Conceicao, currently in charge at Porto, are other names that have been spoken about as potential replacements.

Tottenham appointed former Wolves boss Nuno as successor to his fellow Portuguese Jose Mourinho on June 30 having gone through a number of candidates.

The 47-year-old, who Spurs had previously previously rejected due to his playing style, was handed the role with Paratici convincing Levy that he could fit the bill.

The 17 games Tottenham have played in all competitions since then started with a 1-0 win over Manchester City but have featured seven defeats, and the team has often been poor to watch.

The losses to West Ham and Manchester United in their last two Premier League matches have seen them go two hours and 16 minutes without having a shot on target.

Saturday's 3-0 loss to Manchester United was Tottenham's fifth Premier League defeat of the season (John Walton/PA).
Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United was Tottenham’s fifth Premier League defeat of the season (John Walton/PA)

With Nuno having already come under fire after losses to Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal, the mood significantly soured during Saturday’s game when sections of the crowd chanted ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ and booed at the full-time whistle.

Supporters reacted badly to the manager taking Lucas Moura off early in the second half and continued to make their displeasure known throughout the contest.

Nuno, who took Wolves from the Championship to the top flight and into the Europa League during his four-year tenure there from 2017, departs Tottenham with the team lying eighth in the Premier League.

Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is a reported leading contender to succeed Nuno (David Davies/PA).
Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is a reported leading contender to succeed Nuno (David Davies/PA)

A statement from the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust said: “We take no pleasure in seeing the 14th manager of (owners) ENIC’s reign depart the club today.

“Nuno Espirito Santo conducted himself with integrity, good grace and civility throughout his short time at Spurs and, although clearly not the right fit for Tottenham, we wish him and his coaching staff Ian Cathro, Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias well for the future.

“Of immediate concern now is where our club goes next. We reiterate the questions around strategy and vision first posed to the club’s board earlier in October. There is growing concern among fans about the direction of travel at Tottenham Hotspur.

“Fans want and deserve to know what the short and long-term plans are, on and off field, how the club’s board is correcting past mistakes to avoid repetition, what key milestones are being set and how they are measuring success.


“Fans want reassurance that the club’s board has a clear philosophy and vision, and the ability to implement it. Bland statements about being focused on success on the pitch and football families are not sufficient.

“For two years now, there has been obvious regression. The club’s board needs to show unequivocally that they have both listened to the voices of concerned fans and are acting positively on those.

“Now is the time for strong communication and accountability. We call on the board of Tottenham Hotspur to put fans and football first at what is a vital time in the history of our club.”

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