football

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo makes frank admission after heavy Arsenal defeat


Nuno Espirito Santo had a day to forget at the Emirates (Picture: Getty Images)

Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo made an honest assessment of his side’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, saying his game plan was not right because he didn’t pick the right players to pull it off.

Spurs were abject in the first half of the loss at the Emirates, finding themselves 3-0 behind after just 34 minutes thanks to goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka.

They improved in the second half, with Son Heung-min scoring in the 79th minute, but it was far too little too late after the dross of the opening stanza.

The Portuguese boss initially seemed to take responsibility for the defeat, saying the game plan was not good, but then shifted the blame back onto his players, saying that they were not able to carry out his plans.

‘The performance was not good, the game plan was not good, the decisions were not good. It was not a good day for us,’ Nuno told Sky Sports.

Dele Alli and Pierre Emile Hojberg had very poor games at the Emirates (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I’m going to be honest with you, when you have a game plan you have to make the right decisions in terms of who you want to put on the pitch to develop that game plan so I take responsibility because the decisions were not according to the game plan.

‘I’m not going to individually tell what decisions didn’t do right but the game plan was not according to the players that were on the pitch.

‘We were not aggressive enough to control the dynamic of Arsenal’s midfield. We allowed Arsenal to always come to us. Bad decisions.’

It was Tottenham’s third straight defeat in the Premier League and Espirito Santo seems like he has learned a lesson from this chastening afternoon.

‘My head is focussed on what I have to do now,’ he said.

Harry Kane had chances and was denied a strong penalty claim (Picture: Getty Images)

‘We were not strong enough, I’m being very honest, the decisions were not according to the game plan. If we wanted to go strong and robust in the midfield, maybe they were not the right decisions that I made.

‘I will not say that they are not doing what I tell them to do, they were not able to do it. Credit to the opponent because they were better than us.’

The Spurs midfield of Pierre Emile Hojberg, Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli were certainly a problem for the away side, unable to stop the rapid counter-attacks the produced the Arsenal goals.

Alli and Japhet Tanganga were hauled off at half time before an improved second half and it could well be a much-changed Spurs team that lines up against Aston Villa in their next Premier League outing on 3 October.


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