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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 


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.

Goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka put Arsenal 3-0 ahead within 34 minutes as Spurs were swept aside by Mikel Arteta’s rampant side, who had previously scored just twice in five Premier League games this season.

Son Heung-min pulled one back for the visitors in the second half but it was not enough to prevent Spurs slumping to a third consecutive league defeat.

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

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 told the BBC after the game.

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

‘Against Chelsea [last week] 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. 

The defeat means Spurs have now conceded three goals in each of their last three league games, coming on the back of 3-0 defeats away against Crystal Palace and at home against Chelsea. 

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

‘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 single 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.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk