SANTO’S SPURS: Ex-Wolves coach Nuno Espírito Santo joins Tottenham
PA - Bradley Collyer
Former Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo joins Tottenham Hotspur, ending a lengthy manager search for the North London club.
It has been 72 days since they sacked Jose Mourinho on April 19 and a long and – at times chaotic – recruitment process has followed.
But the former Wolves boss has now got the job, signing a two-year deal at the north London club.
Nuno left Molineux at the end of last season and stays in the Premier League after incoming football managing director Fabio Paratici persuaded chairman Daniel Levy to give him the job.
Levy had some misgivings about the Portuguese’s style of play at Wolves, having been so vocal about the need for a new manager to play “attacking” football, but is now convinced.
Levy said on the club’s official website: “First of all, I’d like to welcome Nuno to the club. We should like to thank our supporters for all their patience throughout this process.
“I’ve spoken already about the need to revert back to our core DNA of playing attacking, entertaining football and Fabio and I believe Nuno is the man who can take our talented group of players, embrace our young players coming through and build something special.”
Nuno will take the start of pre-season training on Monday, where players not involved in international football this summer will return to Hotspur Way.
He said: “When you have a squad with quality and talent, we want to make the fans proud and enjoy.
“It’s an enormous pleasure and honour (to be here), there’s joy and I’m happy and looking forward to starting work. We don’t have any days to lose and we must start working immediately as pre-season starts in a few days.”
Nuno pledged the club’s “philosophy” will be to give everyone an opportunity to better themselves.
“It’s simple, we improve players, we try to make them better, to improve them every day and by that, it’s no matter which age the player is – young, old, experienced, no experience at all – it doesn’t matter,” the Portuguese coach said.
“In our minds, we put the players in the middle and we see what we can do to make them better.
“How can we improve them? How can we find a better solution for them to make their job easier? How can we make them perform better? If we achieve that, our team will improve, our club will improve and this is our philosophy.”
Nuno feels only a collective effort can lead to long-term improvement.
“Everybody around here should be in the same idea. Let’s give the best of all of us, simple as that – us, the players, the best of each one of us in every moment so we will be stronger and we will be there,” he said.
“This is the environment that we need, starting from the board, to everybody in the training ground. If you generally give the best of you, the environment will be good.”
Paratici, who officially starts his job on Thursday after leaving Juventus in May, has been heavily involved in the recruitment process and put forward Nuno based on his achievements at Wolves and previously Valencia.
Paratici said: “The brief for this appointment has always been clear, we wanted a head coach that can instil all the values that are important to this football club.
“You only have to look at Nuno’s time at Wolves to see his ability to take a group of players and implement an adaptive style that brings success and allows players to develop and thrive.
“We are all looking forward to getting started in what we hope will be a successful time with the club.”
His appointment brings to an end a frenetic – and at times farcical – search for Mourinho’s successor.
Spurs courted former boss Mauricio Pochettino and then, with the imminent arrival of Paratici, turned their attention to former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Talks were quickly shelved after it was clear Conte did not fit the profile and former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca – who Mourinho is replacing in the Italian capital – was set to get the job.
However, with contracts drawn up, Spurs again pulled the plug in favour of Gennaro Gattuso, only for the former AC Milan and Napoli boss to be immediately discarded after a strong fan reaction.
Attention then turned to Nuno and, after Paratici convinced Levy of his credentials, he was announced on Wednesday night.
He has been available since May after his four-year stint at Wolves ended.
The 47-year-old took over in the summer of 2017 and immediately led Wolves out of the Championship before delivering two seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League.
They also made the Europa League quarter-final in 2019-20 but the loss of Diogo Jota and a serious injury to Raul Jimenez saw the midlands club slump to a 13th-placed finish last season.
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