Nuno Espirito Santo accepts blame for Tottenham collapse in north London derby defeat by Arsenal 


‘The performance was not good. The game plan was not good. The decisions were not good.’: Nuno Espirito Santo accepts blame for Tottenham capitulation in north London derby defeat by Arsenal 

  • Tottenham humbled in north London derby by rampant Arsenal
  • Spurs trailed 3-0 with just over 30 minutes played at the Emirates
  • Portuguese admits game plan and team selections were wrong 
  • ‘Game plan was not right according to the players on the pitch,’ Nuno said
  • Spurs have now lost three straight games and fallen to 11th on the table 


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Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo conceded the game plan and team selection were wrong after seeing his side humbled by Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday afternoon.

First half goals from Emile Smith-Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka put Arsenal 3-0 ahead, before Heung-Min Son pulled one back for the visitors in the second half.

Spurs arrived at the Emirates looking to stop a run of two consecutive defeats in the Premier League, but could barely lay a glove on Mikel Arteta’s rampant side in the first half.

Nuno Espirito Santo acknowledged Spurs had got their game plan and team selection wrong

Nuno Espirito Santo acknowledged Spurs had got their game plan and team selection wrong

The Portuguese's first north London derby ended in defeat as a rampant Arsenal won 3-1

The Portuguese's first north London derby ended in defeat as a rampant Arsenal won 3-1

The Portuguese’s first north London derby ended in defeat as a rampant Arsenal won 3-1

Speaking to the BBC after the game, Nuno admitted his team had been thoroughly outplayed and shouldered the blame for the dismal performance.  

‘We were not good enough and Arsenal did a good game. It’s always hard when you concede early in a game and we were not able to control the match,’ he said. 

‘We didn’t start well and the first half was very bad.

‘Against Chelsea we played well in the first half, but today was the other way around. We were not able to execute it [game-plan] in the right way.

‘Credit to Arsenal because they were strong, aggressive and stronger. What I focus on is making the right decisions.

‘We learn in every moment. We are trying to build. There are a lot of things wrong and there are a lot of things good.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Portuguese struck a similar tone, admitting Spurs had got the game plan wrong and compounded their problems with poor decision making.

‘The performance was not good. The game plan was not good,’ Nuno told the BBC.

Heung-Min Son (right) scored Spurs' only goal of the game but it was too little too late

Heung-Min Son (right) scored Spurs' only goal of the game but it was too little too late

Heung-Min Son (right) scored Spurs’ only goal of the game but it was too little too late

‘The performance was not good. The game plan was not good,’ he added.

‘The decisions were not good. So 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 to put on the pitch to develop that game plan. 

‘I take responsibility because the decisions were not right according to the game plan.’ 

The former Wolves manager declined to singled out individuals for poor performances, but acknowledged his team selection completely backfired as Arsenal ran riot in midfield. 

‘I won’t name individuals but the game plan was not right according to the players who were on the pitch,’ he said.

‘We were not aggressive enough to control the dynamic of Arsenal in midfield. We suffered when we wanted to go in front and we allowed Arsenal to always come to us. By saying that, bad decisions.’



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