Tottenham's Resurgence Under Nuno
Is the new Portuguese coach the final piece of Tottenham's jigsaw puzzle?
On 19 April 2021, Jose Mourinho was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur after seventeen months in charge of the club, days before the EFL Cup Final against Manchester City. This marked the first time Mourinho had departed a club without winning a trophy since 2002. He was replaced by former Tottenham Hotspur player Ryan Mason as interim manager. Ryan on the other hand was a coach for a very short period. At the start of the Premier League season, 2020-2021 Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy roped in Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santos as the new head coach of the North London club by signing a 2-year deal. On his debut on 15 August, his side won 1–0 at home against defending champions Manchester City through a Son Heung-min goal. On 29 August 2021, he achieved the best start to a Premier League season for Tottenham after beating Watford to secure three wins from their first three matches.
Tottenham finished 7th last season in the Premier League table despite Harry Kane bagging most goals and assists by a player, in the 2020-2021 season. Harry Kane and Son’s duo were feared by the defenders of the other teams, still, Spurs were trophyless in the previous season. So what exactly did Nuno change with the team? The 2 Portuguese coaches don't have a lot in common. Mourinho is the kind of coach who doesn't believe in changing his tactics. Mourinho played most of his matches with a 4-2-3-1 formation. His tactics mostly were to sit back, defend and attack at the counter. Nuno, on the other hand, doesn't have 1 fixed formation, which makes him much more unpredictable and deadly. Nuno plays much more attacking football which is opposite to Mourinho’s way of playing. Despite Spurs' best player Harry Kane not playing in the first 3 games for the club, Nuno and company managed easy wins.
Nuno’s strength lies in recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of a player. He used Tanganga as a right-back instead of Serge Aurier and used Dele Alli as one of his central players. Dele got very few chances under the previous coach but things have changed now. Under the new coach, the Englishman is flying in Tottenham colors. Another strong point is the players which were brought in this transfer window. 'Serie A’s best defender of the season 2020-2021 Sergio Romero' was roped in by the North London club. Bryan Gil from Sevilla also got in. The club also got rid of 13 players including players like Aurier and veteran Toby Alderweireld. The combination of a different playstyle and new signings by the club can prove a wonder if the new coach uses them well. The current team with Son, Lucas, Kane, and Gil in the front, Alli, Hojbjerg in the midfield, and Romero, Tanganga in the defense makes up for a very balanced team. This team is up there as a title contender.
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