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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 hints at directing home truths at Tottenham players following capitulation in North London derby defeat by Arsenal

  • Tottenham were humbled in the North London derby by a rampant Arsenal
  • Spurs trailed 3-0 with just over 30 minutes played at the Emirates Stadium
  • The Portuguese admits the game plan and team selections were wrong  
  • Spurs have now lost three straight games and have fallen to 11th on the table 











Nuno Espirito Santo appeared to take a swipe at his players following their crushing loss to Arsenal despite trying to shoulder the blame for his team’s weak defeat.

The Spurs boss claimed he picked the wrong starting XI in Sunday’s North London Derby after watching his side lurch further towards crisis point courtesy of a 3-1 loss – the club’s third successive Premier League defeat.

Nuno, who substituted off Dele Alli and Japhet Tanganga at half-time, was at pains not to openly criticise his players after – but did suggest he would direct some home truths to his under-performing stars following this painful loss.

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

However, his post-match comments could easily be construed as a dig at the players that featured at the Emirates – though the Tottenham boss tried to deflect responsibility onto himself.

‘The performance was not good, the game plan was not good, the decisions were not good, it was not a good day for us, definitely not a good day,’ he said.

‘A lot of things went wrong, starting with the decision that I made. I will not judge my players in front of you, I refuse to do that.

‘I decided bad, I didn’t take the right decisions I won’t go further that that – whatever I have to say I will say it directly to the players.

‘I’m going to be honest with you, 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 the plan, the decisions were not according to the game plan. 

The Spurs boss claimed he picked the wrong starting XI in Sunday’s North London Derby

The Spurs boss claimed he picked the wrong starting XI in Sunday’s North London Derby 

‘I’m not going to individually tell what decisions I didn’t do right but the game plan was not according to the players on the pitch.’

When asked whether the players didn’t carry out his instructions, Nuno added: ‘That’s another issue. I will not say that they are not doing what I’m telling them to do, they were not able to do it. Credit to the opponent, because they were better than us.

‘We are disappointed, it was s special game for all of us. We didn’t achieve the standard our fans deserve.’

In contrast, Mikel Arteta enjoyed one of his best days as Arsenal manager as the Gunners continued to improve following a poor start to the season.

However, there are growing concerns over a serious looking knee injury sustained by Granit Xhaka following an accidental collision with Lucas Moura.

Arteta added: ‘It’s not about winning but the way we’ve done it, against a top team with top players – in the most special day of the season when we play our rivals.

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

‘Today is one example of what we’re trying to do. Now we have to be consistent, do it every game and do it better.

‘This win is for the fans, they’ve been incredible in tough moments when we needed their support, and it doesn’t get much better than the atmosphere we saw today.

‘We started really strong, really convincingly, determined. It’s probably one of the best games I’ve seen us play for that first half. In the second half we had to do what we had to do.’

On Xhaka’s injury, Arteta added: ‘It doesn’t look good.’

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