Thanks to Fabio Paratici’s admiration for the Portuguese, Tottenham have revitalized their interest in former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo.
Rumours of his potential appointment ended swiftly after it was learned that Daniel Levy isn’t a proponent of Nuno’s philosophy or the way he organizes his teams. But Paratici strongly opposes Levy’s opinion, which has once again led us to the possibility of Nuno becoming Tottenham manager.
That sordid excerpt perfectly sums up Tottenham’s manager hunt to this point. But here we are, once again delving into the reasons for and against Nuno.
I wrote a piece over a month ago about the pros of hiring Nuno. While it’s not an exhaustive list, there is definitely merit in bringing Nuno aboard to take the helm of a Tottenham rebuild.
The cons of hiring Nuno
Nuno is known for his counter-attacking approach, much like his compatriot and predecessor, Jose Mourinho. He prioritizes having a strong, organized and stout spine, making sure his sides are extremely difficult to break down.
Wolves were renowned for keeping it tight and exploding on the counter. Sound familiar?
Wolves, during Nuno’s successful start to his tenure, seldomly scored in the first half. More often than not, Wolves strived to reach the interval scoreless. That way they could grind the opposing team down, waiting for the opportune chance to strike on the counter.
That is precisely how Mourinho conducted his business, which is the primary reason Levy wasn’t initially interested in Nuno’s services. Maybe, just maybe, that philosophy was based on the personnel at his disposal rather than a burning desire to employ it. Nuno would surely adapt that philosophy had he the privilege of coaching players of Son Heung-min’s ability. Then again, he did have a collection of skillful players, including Diogo Jota, Adama Traoré, Rúben Neves and Jimenez, at his disposal.
Nuno is also known for remaining loyal to the tried and tested members of his squad. He is steadfast on relying heavily on senior players, showing stubbornness, even a perceived risk-averse nature when it comes to providing recent signees withe the opportunity to shine. But there’s nothing wrong with making new acquisitions earn their stripes before taking centre stage.
And other than winning the Championship with Wolves — which was no easy feat — Nuno has no other team trophies to his name in almost a decade of senior level management.
When weighing the pros and cons, Nuno remains a strong candidate to take on Spurs’ rebuild. And based on the lack of other viable options, Nuno could soon be surprised to find himself in Tottenham’s dugout preparing his new team for the 2021-2022 campaign. Though I’m sure Graham Potter will have something to say about that before Spurs finally end their now-two-month barren spell without a manager.