Nuno lays blame for Tottenham humbling at stars who didn’t follow orders

Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo looking on during their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal

Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo insisted several of his stars “didn’t play the gameplan right”, while the Spurs captain admitted they were “smashed” by Arsenal.

Tottenham’s season went from bad to worse with a chastening 3-1 defeat against bitter rivals Arsenal. Spurs were found wanting in the desire and determination department in the first half.

Harry Kane in particular looked a shell of the striker Tottenham fans are accustomed to seeing. And while both he and Spurs found their footing after the break, the damage was already done in a truly dismal first half.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Nuno said: “The performance was not good. The game plan was not good. The decisions were not good. It was not a good day for us. Definitely not a good day.

“I’m going to be honest. When you have a game plan you have to make the right decisions in terms of who you want on the pitch to develop that game plan.

“I won’t name individuals who didn’t play the game plan right but the game plan was not right according to the players who were on the pitch.

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“We were not aggressive enough to control Arsenal in midfield. We suffered when we wanted to go in front an we allowed Arsenal to come to us. Bad decisions.”

On whether Kane should have had a penalty, Nuno said: “I didn’t see the images. The referee and VAR are there to judge. My head is not focused on what I have to do now.

“We prepared the game, had a good meeting, but we were not able to do it. We were not strong enough. It is not easy to tell this.

“The decisions were not according to the game plan. If you want to be strong in the midfield they were maybe not right the decisions I made. Credit to our opponent, they were better than us.”

When asked how vital it is Spurs recover quickly from this defeat, the Portuguese added: “Very quickly.

“We have to separate each game. We lost against Palace and Chelsea in different ways. Against Chelsea we had something to build on – today we have nothing.”

Asked if he’s the right man to steady Tottenham’s ship, Nuno was defiant. “Of course,” he concluded. “We need good communication, we must improve mentally and physically the players.”

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“We got smashed” – Lloris

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “We lost complete control in the first half. We got smashed and then had a good reaction.

“It’s frustrating and very disappointing. It’s the moment to stick together and carry on.

“The players were ready but we lost a bit of control. We lost the balance in the middle of the pitch.

“When you concede three goals in each of the last three league games you cannot hide the problems. But we are professional. There is a long way to go. We need to stay calm.”

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