Nuno explains decision to leave Gil and Ndombele on bench against Palace

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Tanguy Ndombele
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Tottenham coach Nuno Espirito Santo says he made the decision not to bring on Bryan Gil or Tanguy Ndombele against Crystal Palace to balance the team following Japhet Tanganga’s red card. 

Spurs saw their perfect Premier League record come to an end at Selhurst Park, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat to The Eagles, who picked up their first win of the campaign. 

Nuno’s side struggled to get a foothold throughout the entire match and faced an uphill battle when young defender Tanganga was given his marching orders on the hour mark after a lunging tackle on Jordan Ayew. 

Spurs’ midfield trio of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Harry Winks failed to generate anything creative for the forwards to latch onto, which led to talisman Harry Kane not having a single shot through 90 minutes. 

Nuno was planning to introduce Spanish winger Gil in the second half, but saw his plans changed after the side were reduced to ten men. 

Want-away midfielder Ndombele was also included on the Spurs bench for the first time this season, but the Spurs coach says he couldn’t bring on the Frenchman or Gil so he could balance the side with a defender. 

He said (via football.london): “He didn’t come on because I didn’t decide to put him on first. Like you say, I think you saw, our idea previously was just the right moment, then the precise moment we’re to make the sub we’re made one man less and we had to find the balance of the team again, to go for a defender, so the decision was made based on that.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Nuno was a little bit static regarding his substitutions today, especially with the side struggling to control things in midfield. The trio he used today don’t particularly like to create too much, so Gil coming in at some point was the correct call. Unfortunately the red card scuppered those plans completely. 

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