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London Bridge has fallen down

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Tottenham finally ran out of patience with Nuno Espírito Santo as the Portuguese was fired from his position after being appointed to the position at the start of the current season. This led to the end of a stormy time for the former Wolverhampton Wanderers coach who was under the scanner at the White Hart Lane from day one.

The club have now announced that they have appointed former Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte as his replacement.

It was widely known that the 47-year-old was not one of the favourites to take over the job and only got it because all the possible frontrunners had rejected the offer.

And Nuno was not able to harness the attacking talent that he had at his disposal as Tottenham failed to show any kind of brilliant play in the attacking third.

His tenure started brilliantly as he took Tottenham to the top of the table as he was awarded the Manager of the Month award for August by the Premier League.

However, since then the results have begun to get poor as they have been unable to show any sort of cohesion in the team especially when it comes to attacking.

His tenure also saw some humiliating losses which included a 1-0 defeat to Portuguese outfit Paços de Ferreira in the UEFA Conference League playoffs, a 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace and another 3-0 loss to Manchester United which led to his sacking.

So what do the numbers tell us about Nuno’s turbulent times at the White Hart Lane?


So let’s take a look at a basic stat i.e. goals.

In the last season, Tottenham played a total of 58 matches and scored 124 goals (2.13 goals per match).

However, under Nuno, the side has only scored only 21 goals in 17 matches (1.23 goals per match).

And the figure is worse when we take a deeper look at it 

These 21 goals include the two matches against minnows Paços de Ferreira (three goals) and Mura (five goals) in the UEFA Conference League and if just analysing the Premier League games, his side has only scored nine goals in 10 matches, the second-worst in the league.

In the previous season, Spurs had scored 68 goals in the Premier League, the third-best in the league.

The team has also been poor on the defensive front as they have conceded 1.60 goals per match as compared to 1.18 goals per match in the previous season.

And they also showed a decline in other important stats as well. 

            Tottenham Hotspur stats comparison 

Stats 2020-21  2021-22
Shots 443 103
Shots on Target 40 176
Shots on target per match 4 4.63
Big Chances Created per Match 1.2 1.63
Passes per match  501.84 468.50
Crosses per Match 13.84 16.3
Cross Accuracy 22 % 19 %

Credit: Premier

The above table shows that offensively Tottenham has witnessed a heavy decline.

The team ranks 14th in the league in terms of shot conversion, 18th in terms of expected goals and 14th in terms of touches in the opposition box.

This hardly looks like the side that was quite good at putting the ball into the back of the net in the previous season.

In addition, if we look at the last four matches the team has played we can begin to see a more clear picture of the issues hounding the club.

In those matches, the side failed to score a single goal which shows the lack of attacking incisiveness for a team but there are other issues as well.

In all the matches the team had more passes, more possession but still failed to trouble the opposition’s defence

Tottenham’s last four matches under Nuno Espirito Santo 

Matches Vs Vitesse (1-0 Loss) Vs West Ham (1-0 Loss) Vs Burnley (1-0 Win) Vs Man United (3-0 Loss)
Shots (TOT: 6 vs VIT: 15) (TOT: 7 vs WHU: 13) (TOT: 10 vs BUR: 5) (TOT: 9 vs MNU:10)
Shots on Target (TOT:1 vs VIT:4) (TOT:4 vs WHU: 4) (TOT:4 vs BUR: 1) (TOT: 0 vs MNU: 4)
Possession (TOT: 53 % vs VIT: 47 %) (TOT: 63 % vs WHU: 37 %) (TOT: 62% vs BUR:38%) (TOT: 59% vs MNU: 41 %)
Passes (TOT: 438 vs VIT: 373) (TOT: 637 vs WHU: 369) (TOT:595 vs BUR: 358) (TOT: 570 vs MNU: 421)
Passing Accuracy (TOT: 79 % vs VIT: 72 %) (TOT: 85 % vs WHU: 79 %) (TOT: 84% vs BUR: 65%) (TOT: 85 % vs MNU: 80%)

In all those matches Tottenham averaged more passes, had more possession and had more passing accuracy than the opposition.

However, when it comes to shots and shots on target they have faltered badly except for in the EFL Cup win against Burnley.

The team in the previous season were also heavily dependent on their star duo of Harry Kane and Son Heung Min who were responsible for the majority of goals and assists.

Last year the duo contributed to 40 goals and assists which was the best in the league and seven ahead of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

However, Kane has been unable to capture his form of the previous season.

In the defense also Tottenham showed some good play as they kept 12 clean sheets last season, the fourth-highest in the league.

Ahead of the defense was Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who initiated 98 tackles in the league, the third-highest in the league.

However, the major problem for the side is that it has a clear impression of a Mauricio Pochettino side which means they are a pacey team.

Nuno on the other hand is a coach who believes in patiently building an attack that was not natural for the Spurs players.

This explains why Tottenham have struggled to have any sort of dominance in the attacking third despite having more possession.

And at the end of the day, he was probably Tottenham’s sixth, seventh or eight choice coach which means he was recruited on his reputation rather than his tactics.

This does not mean the end of Nuno, he is still a gifted coach and can still work wonders with a team suited to his style which Tottenham clearly weren’t.

In the end, it is beneficial for both parties with Tottenham announcing the appointment of Antonio Conte and Nuno having many suitors, but will the mood and performances at White Hart Lane remains to be seen.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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