Jamie Carragher tore into Tottenham on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football this week as he delved into a detailed analysis of where Nuno and his players went wrong in the North London Derby against Arsenal.
Spurs conceded to their rivals inside the first 12 minutes and had effectively lost the game by minute 35 as Arsenal swept home their third goal of the game.
Tottenham improved in the second 45 after bringing on Oliver Skipp, Emerson Royal and Bryan Gil, but were still only able to pull back a single goal as Arsenal sat back.
Carragher took a detailed look at Nuno’s set-up for the derby, with particular focus on the midfield three of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Dele Alli and Tanguy Ndombele, who were completely bypassed by the Gunners in the first half.
While he pointed towards some shocking performances from the Spurs players, the former Liverpool star added that Nuno himself was equally at fault for the embarrassing defeat.
Carragher said: “I’ve been doing this show now for eight years. Whenever I see a performance like that, I always look at players first, as I have on this. I think managers often take too much criticism, and often it’s down to the players.
“There were some shocking performances from Tottenham players, but I think the manager was equally culpable in this result in how he set up. When people question a manager, we always hear: ‘There was no plan’ – but there’s always a plan at this level in football. When you analyse it: I’m not sure how this plan was ever going to work.”
On the midfield trio, he said: “One minute into the game: Dele Alli, Ndombele and Hojbjerg are the midfield players, and they are not in midfield positions. The only reason you’d stand there [so far from the ball and midfield], is if your manager has told you to go there.
“They wanted to go direct, but who to? Even if you win the ball, you need someone behind you to pick up second balls, but Dele Alli was on the same line as Harry Kane!
“When you look at the space in midfield… I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it in my life.
“Where would you want them? Surely not there. There’s less space on the moon than what you see in that midfield for Tottenham. It’s actually unbelievable. The manager must have told them where to go: this is before the first goal. It was always going to happen.”
On Nuno, he added: “That was a bad one for Nuno. You’re never going to talk about managers after five or six games in a job.
“Nuno is a good manager, he proved that at Wolves. But I hope he is himself in his job now. He’s seen as a pragmatic coach, but he wasn’t pragmatic enough in this game.
“I don’t know if that’s because he’s at Tottenham now and he’s worried that people will say he’s not on the front foot, but be yourself! It’s like [Sunday] wasn’t his type of fit.
“It doesn’t feel like a perfect fit, I must say that. On the back of Jose Mourinho, it almost feels like Jose Mourinho-lite. That’s not a criticism of him: Jose has won everything in the game.
“I had it in my career: Roy Hodgson was and is a really good manager, but he wasn’t the right manager for Liverpool. I think the Spurs fans are thinking early on now: ‘Is Nuno a Tottenham manager?’ That’s something that remains to be seen.
“He needs to bring his singings in, it’s early in the season, but my advice to Nuno and his coaching staff is to be yourself, do the job that you think is right. Whether that’s being more defensive, five at the back, do what you do well.
“Right now at the moment, they’re doing nothing going forward, but they are also open and look like they could get ripped apart every game. The first half was unbelievable to watch.”
Check out Carragher’s full analysis in the video below:
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) September 27, 2021
Spurs Web Opinion:
We are in very worrying times at Spurs. It isn’t just the manager, it isn’t just the players, it isn’t just the board. There are problems from top to bottom, problems that cannot be sorted overnight. However, right now, the changes have to come from Nuno and the playing staff.
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