Tottenham chief Daniel Levy fearful of repeating Jose Mourinho mistake after axeing Nuno

Nuno Espirito Santo reviews Spurs' defeat against Manchester United

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Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is keen to avoid a mistake he made after sacking Jose Mourinho in April, according to reports. Spurs have parted ways with Nuno Espirito Santo after just four months in charge and are seeking an imminent replacement. 

Nuno’s fate was sealed by Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by Manchester United. His side failed to register a shot on target against the Red Devils, who themselves were under pressure to earn a positive result.  

It came after several disappointing and often big defeats. Having enjoyed an excellent start to the season, club football returned following the September international break and Spurs’ form nosedived.  

Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal all scored three in damaging victories over the North Londoners.  

There were also defeats for Spurs against West Ham and Vitesse before that crushing loss versus United. 

Nuno was finally put out of his misery on Monday morning. He becomes the third Spurs manager to be sacked within the space of two years. 

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And Levy apparently wants to make a quick appointment. According to The Times, the club chairman does not want to repeat the mistake that saw Spurs go almost three months without a permanent head coach after Mourinho’s departure in April.  

Mourinho departed having overseen a poor run of form. Fans’ favourite Ryan Mason was placed in temporary charge before a chaotic summer recruitment process saw Spurs land Nuno. 

At the end of last season, Levy told supporters that he wanted to appoint an attack minded coach. Given Spurs have scored just nine times in 10 games, that plan failed.  

“As a Club we have been so focused on delivering the stadium and dealing with the impact of the pandemic, that I feel we lost sight of some key priorities and what’s truly in our DNA,” Levy wrote in a club statement. 

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He added: “We shall focus on the recruitment of a new head coach. We are acutely aware of the need to select someone whose values reflect those of our great club and return to playing football with the style for which we are known. 

“That is free-flowing, attacking and entertaining – whilst continuing to embrace our desire to see young players flourish from our academy alongside experienced talent.”

Paulo Fonseca was one of the coaches who Spurs spoke to in the summer but, in September, he claimed that the appointment of Fabio Paratici as managing director of football changed his mind.

The former Roma boss had agreed to play attacking football before Paratici, upon arrival, wanted a more defensive style. Levy could now attempt to appoint someone who fits his preferred profile. 

“The agreement was done. We were planning the pre-season and Tottenham wanted an offensive coach. It wasn’t announced but we planned pre-season players,” Fonseca told The Telegraph.  

“But things changed when the new managing director arrived and we didn’t agree with some ideas and he preferred another coach.  

“I have some principles. I wanted to be coach of the great teams but I want the right project and a club where the people believe in my ideas, my way to play, and this didn’t happen with the managing director. 

“It’s what the chairman and the sporting director (Steve Hitchen) asked for. To build a team who can play attractive and offensive football and I was ready for that. I cannot be a different way.  

“All my teams will have these intentions. In Rome or Shakhtar in the Champions League against the biggest teams, I’m not sending out my teams to defend near their own box.”
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