Nuno Espirito Santo has one of the toughest jobs in the Premier League after inheriting a Tottenham team that took major steps back under the tenure of Jose Mourinho. After making the bold decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino, chairman Daniel Levy hired Mourinho in the hope that he could lead Spurs to titles and European success in the same way that he achieved glory at Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan.
However, he underwhelmed in the dugout and failed to bring out the best from Spursí attacking starlets. After receiving multiple rejections, Spurs lured Nuno to their vacant post, and now the Portuguese manager must succeed where his compatriot failed. He has been a handed tough start as Tottenham faces Manchester City in their opening match of the Premier League campaign. Spurs are underdogs for the contest in the football betting odds, but a victory over the reigning champions could provide the perfect momentum boost at the beginning of the term.
Mourinho Masterclass... ??
Less than a minute after coming on, super sub Giovani Lo Celso fires Spurs two goals ahead!
Tottenham beat City in their ninth game of the Premier League season in the last campaign. The result lifted Mourinhoís men to the top of the table, and for a brief moment, Spurs fans could dream of a title challenge. However, the club recorded only four wins out of their next 15 matches, falling out of the top six before the writing was on the wall for Mourinho, who was sacked before the EFL Cup final defeat to City in April.
Nuno now has his work cut out for him to rebuild the side that struggled for form in the second half of the season. The confidence of a number of players was shattered by Mourinho, and not for the first time in his managerial career. Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld, and Tanguy Ndombele all came under fire. And although caretaker Ryan Mason integrated Alli back into the fold and handed Alderweireld and Ndombele starting roles once more, Nuno still has to reinvigorate all three players back to the peak of their respective powers.
In the current financial climate, Spurs do not have the spending power of City or Chelsea to go out and replace key players unless they receive a significant fee for allowing them to leave. Nuno achieved similar success for the Wolves, ensuring that a strong work ethic was at the core of the team ethos. Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota were the key men in the final third, but Nuno was able to build a side to compete towards the top six with a solid base. Conor Coady, Willy Boly, and now Spurs right-back Matt Doherty were among the beneficiaries of his coaching.
Itís not going to be pretty in the early stages of Nunoís reign, but the Spurs have to get back to a grounding level to rebuild the team spirit and rediscover an effective playing style before they can compete with the best in the Premier League. A victory over City in the opening game would put them on the right path and reinforce the belief in the squad, but it may take time for sustained success on the pitch.