Hired in the summer as one of several choices look at by Tottenham, Nuno Espirito Santo is clearly a good man. In his time at Wolverhampton, the Portuguese built up a strong reputation at the club and was also a force in the local community. Having arrived at Wolves as a project builder who was arguably out of their usual catchment, though, he had time to build something genuine at Molineux.
Fans were keen to see something come to life that would be impressive and were thus patient. Tottenham fans, though, have seen a golden era slip through their fingers with Mauricio Pochettino.
The wasted time with Jose Mourinho is one thing, but some fans worry a second season is being wasted with Nuno. The coach is clearly a poor fit for the playing staff he has, and his attitude so far has bordered on moody at times. Clearly, the Portuguese feels the pressure and the relative lack of warmth that his appointment was greeted with. The fact his contract comes with a break clause after one year says a lot more than perhaps the club thought it would.
This is clearly a project that is not working at the moment, and the coach could already be moving towards the sack. Dreadful results have come in bunches, and a shock loss to Vitesse in the UEFA Conference League was only overshadowed by ex-coach Mourinho being thumped 6-1 in the same competition.
Nuno, then, needs a win this weekend. It does not matter how it arrives, but beating old rival West Ham United is absolutely essential. The Hammers beat a good Genk side 3-0 in the UEFA Europa League, and also won at Everton in their previous match.
Can Tottenham and Nuno turn things around?
A win against the Hammers would at least be a big name scalp to add to the list. West Ham have become a really successful team and unit under David Moyes, and it appears that they are in a far more harmonious place than Spurs are. Derailing that feel-good factor and taking points off a likely rival for European qualification would be a huge step forward for a team that appears to be going in the wrong direction.
Though he was never the #1 choice for anyone, the mood music around Nuno’s arrival set in tone a fatalistic feel that has bled into the season. The coach clearly feels the pressure and the lack of respect for his previous work, and lacks the same comfort he had at Wolves. Spurs fans are sick of seeing seasons wasted, though, with every season since the 2018-19 season a major letdown so far.
Therefore, expect to see Spurs make a quick decision if things keep going wrong. Another poor result at the weekend, though, could already derail the Nuno project before it even has a chance to grow to anything like the size his Wolves project was allowed to.