Why Nuno at Spurs was a disaster before he was even appointed

Nuno Espirito Santo
(Image credit: PA)

Some managers are doomed to fail when they start. There is a smaller, more exclusive club of those who were doomed even before they took the job. Their number may include David Moyes at Manchester United – who could ever actually replace Sir Alex Ferguson? – and Ronald Koeman at Barcelona, taking over a club drowning in debt during an era of Covid.

Perhaps it was apparent that Nuno Espirito Santo was not destined to succeed at Tottenham some 42 days before an appointment that always seemed more a case of desperation than inspiration. Eager to make amends for signing up for the Super League and the decision, when blinded by stardust, to plump for Jose Mourinho, Daniel Levy had vowed to choose a manager who played “free-flowing, attacking and entertaining” football.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Richard Jolly

Richard Jolly also writes for the National, the Guardian, the Observer, the Straits Times, the Independent, Sporting Life, Football 365 and the Blizzard. He has written for the FourFourTwo website since 2018 and for the magazine in the 1990s and the 2020s, but not in between. He has covered 1500+ games and remembers a disturbing number of the 0-0 draws.