Tottenham: Harry Kane, Nuno Espirito Santo & Convention League – can Spurs emerge from confusion?

Tottenham: Harry Kane, Nuno Espirito Santo & Convention League – can Spurs emerge from confusion?

Nuno Espirito SantoNuno Espirito Santo received his second Spurs pre-season victory at League One aspect MK Dons on 28 July

It appears for much longer than simply over two years since Mauricio Pochettino sat within the Nationwide Stadium in Singapore and instructed a room filled with journalists he would most likely have stop as Tottenham supervisor if that they had received the Champions League remaining six weeks earlier.

“However after the ultimate, I felt it was not nice to complete like this,” he continued. “I’m not an individual that avoids going through issues. I really like an enormous problem.”

Again then, no person may have recognized simply what issues Spurs would face, nor the true extent of the problem in entrance of them.

No-one knew that Pochettino could be gone inside 4 months, nor that his successor, Jose Mourinho, would comply with him out of the exit door not that lengthy afterwards. No-one knew {that a} international pandemic would ship a monetary kick within the guts so extreme chairman Daniel Levy estimates it’s going to price Tottenham £200m in non-recoverable income.

There might be no Champions League remaining for Spurs this season. That their European marketing campaign comes within the newly fashioned Europa Convention League is a dent to their satisfaction solely softened by the data previous rivals Arsenal miss out utterly.

With one other new supervisor on the helm in Nuno Espirito Santo, in a way, it looks like a totally totally different membership.

The Kane confusion

It’s a measure of the change Tottenham have skilled since that Champions League remaining defeat by Liverpool that probably solely two of their beginning XI in Madrid – Hugo Lloris and Son Hueng-min – will line up for the opening Premier League sport in opposition to champions Manchester Metropolis on 15 August.

The departures of Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld this summer season imply 5 gamers – together with your complete defence – have left the membership.

Patchy kind and accidents skilled by Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli imply they haven’t all began the identical Premier League sport since 26 December 2019.

After which there may be Harry Kane. How the state of affairs across the England skipper unfolds might be fascinating.

Striker Kane thinks he has a gentleman’s settlement to depart. He needs to hitch Manchester Metropolis. Metropolis need him. Tottenham deny the primary bit exists and level to the three years he has left on his contract as proof the 28-year-old goes nowhere.

Numerous rumours have circulated about what occurs subsequent, however till Kane returns to the membership – or states that he will not – and there may be readability over how he feels in regards to the future, the story won’t go away.

That Metropolis are Tottenham’s first opponents of the brand new season simply provides one other layer of intrigue to a fragile state of affairs Levy must make the correct name on.

Harry KaneHarry Kane has been at Tottenham for the reason that age of 11

Convention complication

It’s secure to imagine the extent of anticipation round Monday’s European Convention League play-off draw will not be fairly the identical as if it was for the Champions League group section.

Spurs are within the competitors after a seventh-place end final season, their lowest since 2009. They ended up behind West Ham United for the primary time since 2008.

After beating Manchester Metropolis 2-0 of their ninth sport to go high of the Premier League on 21 November, Tottenham collected solely 42 factors from 29 matches.

If their 1.448 points-per-game common over that interval had prolonged throughout your complete season, they’d have completed stage with Aston Villa, who have been eleventh.


Ahead Lucas Moura feels Tottenham solely have themselves responsible for being in Europe’s third-tier competitors – with a victory within the play-off spherical nonetheless required to achieve the group stage.

“It’s troublesome to discuss justice in soccer,” Moura instructed BBC Sport.

“We all know the Premier League is hard and if we do not do nicely we can’t qualify for the Champions League, and even the Europa League. It’s our fault. It’s everybody’s fault.

“We now have the standard to do higher – higher than final season. Let’s combat for that.”

Trophy quest goes on

Although reminiscences of Tottenham’s chaotic seek for Mourinho’s alternative are contemporary, there does appear to be a renewed focus on the membership.

#NoToNuno might have been trending when it grew to become obvious Spurs have been specializing in the Portuguese – after failing of their makes an attempt to lure Pochettino again, the collapse of talks with Antonio Conte and the shambles round approaches to Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso.

However former Wolves boss Santo has approached his process with relish.

“To dare is to do,” he repeated in a chat with membership media, reminding himself of Spurs’ motto. “I really like that. It’s what we would like.”

Nuno has been working his gamers laborious throughout pre-season, drawing parallels with the bodily calls for Pochettino fabricated from the squad. And technical director Fabio Paratici has been very busy, judging by the period of time he has spent on his telephone in public view.

Spurs players in trainingSpurs face Chelsea and Arsenal of their final two pre-season friendlies

Two new signings – Italian goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and Spanish winger Bryan Gil – have already arrived, with the prospect of extra to return.

Through the first few pre-season video games, Nuno has averted the three-man defensive formation that was the bedrock of his success at Wolves, however when all his internationals return and the membership’s summer season recruitment is full, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see whether or not he reverts again or goes with the four-man defence he switched to at Molineux final time period with combined outcomes.

The signing of Gil and the seek for a striker – Fiorentina’s £40m-rated Dusan Vlahovic has been most strongly linked – suggests a brand new strategy, whether or not Kane stays or not.

And for Moura, that justifies his perception that Tottenham’s seek for a trophy – talked about yearly since 2008 however at all times ending in disappointment – is near an finish.

“I’m at all times a constructive man,” he mentioned. “After all, if you change a supervisor there’s a new philosophy or a brand new form of coaching. However additionally it is thrilling as a result of each participant needs to point out one thing and present they are often within the beginning XI.

“We’re coaching actually laborious and I’m positive we might be prepared for the season.

“My goal and the membership goal is at all times to win one thing. It’s time for us to win a trophy.”

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