Paul Merson reckons the clock is ticking on Nuno Espirito Santo’s Tottenham reign – and has named the boss Daniel Levy must appoint if he wants the club to reclaim their place back among the elite.
Nuno, 47, stepped into the Spurs hotseat in June as a permanent replacement for Jose Mourinho. The self-styled ‘Special One’ was sacked on April 19, with Ryan Mason taking the reins until the end of the season. Many names were linked with the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before the ex-Wolves chief was unveiled.
And there was a sense that he was not the first choice of chairman Daniel Levy. There were many issues for Nuno to sort out, not least the future of Harry Kane.
That saga has ended for now, with the England skipper pledging his future to the club. Three straight wins at the start of the campaign was encouraging.
However, things have now turned sour, with 3-0 losses to Crystal Palace and Chelsea before a 3-1 North London derby defeat. Performances have been limp, especially the way they surrendered to Arsenal at the Emirates.
And speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash with Tottenham, Merson has revealed how he thinks Nuno’s days are numbered.
“Nuno has lost the players at Tottenham and if they lose this weekend I don’t see how he survives the international break,” he wrote in The Daily Star. “I think he’s got 90 minutes against Aston Villa to turn it around. Daniel Levy is no mug. He knows when managers are up against it with the players.
“You can tell. Nuno has lost the dressing room already. Completely and utterly. They don’t seem that interested.”
Merson added: “Nuno will know he’s bang in trouble. He’s sweating on these players. If he turns it around after what happened against Arsenal he’ll have done an unbelievable job.”
Merson calls for Graham Potter
Plenty of pundits reckon Tottenham will go for currently-out-of-work Antonio Conte were the axe to fall on Nuno.
However, Merson suggests they should instead go for Brighton boss Graham Potter, given the brand of football he plays.
“Antonio Conte is out there on the prowl. You are going to get paid very very well to be manager of Tottenham.
“But if they sack Nuno, I think Graham Potter would suit them. Spurs fans want entertaining football and that’s what you get from him at Brighton.”