Jermaine Defoe reveals the key Nuno Espirito Santo failing that he didn’t face at Tottenham


Jermaine Defoe has given his verdict on his former side as Tottenham lost 3-0 to Manchester United on Saturday to leave them eighth in the Premier League.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have now lost five and won five of their opening 10 Premier League games and both the poor results and performances have been concerning for supporters.

Four of Spurs’ defeats have come in London derbies and there is now growing speculation over the Portuguese head coach’s future in N17, despite only being in north London for a few months.

Defoe played 362 games for Spurs, scoring 143 goals and registering 32 assists, but the goals are not coming for the Lilywhites so far this season.

In their opening 10 games, Tottenham have conceded 16 and only scored nine, with their five victories only being won by single-goal margins.

Harry Kane has only scored once in the Premier League so far this campaign and the three time golden boot winner is far from his best.

The 28-year-old is out of form and he has had a tendency to play a deeper role and get wide, rather than staying central and in the box.



Nuno Espirito Santo has lost five of his 10 Premier League games at Tottenham (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Nuno Espirito Santo has lost five of his 10 Premier League games at Tottenham (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

However, he also hasn’t been receiving great service from the men behind him with the likes of Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli still battling for the No.10 role, although the latter is struggling to get into the regular matchday squads.

Rangers striker Defoe was on hand after the defeat to give his verdict on his former club.

“We spoke before the game about Tottenham getting three points and if you look at the table it looks good. You look at the performance today, no shots on target,” he said.

“My time at Spurs we always use to focus on clean sheets because we always fancied ourselves to score. We created chances, we had energy in the team, players that wanted to go forward and create chances and score goals. It really disappoints me to be honest.”

Creativity issues aren’t unknown for Spurs as it has been a point of criticism for much of the season so far, with a number of players struggling to find a successful final pass, with many believing the north London club have never replaced the likes of Christian Eriksen.

As the 39-year-old pointed out, when he was in north London there was a target of keeping clean sheets which was because of the confidence they had in themselves to net goals.

However, this isn’t the case in the current Tottenham team because if they are aiming to keep clean sheets it isn’t working and even if that isn’t the focus, they aren’t producing enough end product.

Players aren’t managing to find the likes of Kane and Son Heung-min in the final third and a number of the players are being dispossessed too easily, highlighted by the fact Spurs have lost the ball the second most in the league (109), behind Crystal Palace.

There were boos and negative chants which filled the stadium during Saturday’s match, firstly after Lucas Moura was replaced by Steven Bergwijn and then chants of wanting the manager and owner Daniel Levy to go.

Spurs fans began to leave throughout the second half as goals were scored in the 64th and 86th minute by Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford.

Defoe also commented on the supporters leaving the ground after watching another poor performance from their side.

“You can’t blame the fans [for leaving early], it’s a fantastic stadium, the fans come out in numbers especially after what’s happened in the 18 months with no fans in the stadium, you just want to see your team have a go. So disappointing, not creating chances,” he explained.

The ex-Tottenham forward highlights how many fans are feeling as it is one thing to lose games but when your team lack energy and don’t look like they have much passion when they play, it’s a major concern.

If Espirito Santo remains in the job, he has two fixtures coming up against Vitesse in the Europa Conference League and Everton, when his side travel to Goodison Park.





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