LONDON — Nuno Espirito Santo got off to a perfect start as Tottenham boss as Spurs put in an all-action display to beat Manchester City, and we got a glimpse of their new DNA.
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With academy graduates Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp starting, and both playing extremely well, plus incisive counter attacks led by Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, there was a very different feel to Spurs in front of a full Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
There was no Harry Kane, and this display showed that perhaps Spurs will be fine if their superstar striker is solid this summer…
The fans loved this display, the players seemed to really enjoy the tactics and Nuno Espirito Santo was very happy.
ProSoccerTalk asked Santo in his post-match press conference if the young players stepping up and being aggressive and fearless is what he wants to see more of during his time in charge of Tottenham.
New Spurs DNA is developing
“I want to see so many things and more things. We are only in the start of our work together,” Santo said. “It was the first game and we had good games in pre-season and the boys are working really hard. I think we have to be able to create and build a foundation that can take through the whole season.
“Of course when you work with young players and they respond to the challenge of stepping up in such a huge club as Tottenham, it can only make us proud, but the credit is for the academy and the way they work. I think the work of the academy is to build players for the first team so every players that joins the first team and plays with Tottenham, it’s a win, it’s a victory for us as a club.”
🙌 Thanks for joining me in north London! What an atmosphere here today.
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) August 15, 2021
We then asked Nuno about Eric Dier, who had a superb display alongside Davinson Sanchez in central defense (new signing Cristian Romero will surely push one of them out of the starting lineup) and the new Spurs boss is all about the collective rather than praising individuals.
“It’s hard to speak about individuals but I think honestly, starting from the front three, the discipline, the organisation. The idea is basic. If everyone is committed to the defensive tasks the back line will solve better the problems that the opponents will create, but we start defending from the front,” Santo added.
That collective team effort with rapid counter attacks and fine second half displays is exactly what we saw Santo produce at Wolves and those tactics suit this Tottenham team very well, and the whole vibe around Spurs at the moment is very similar to the early days under Mauricio Pochettino.
What is the latest update on Harry Kane?
Harry Kane has been included in Tottenham’s 25-man squad for the UEFA Conference League, as they play at Pacos de Ferreira on Thursday in the first leg of their playoff.
Take that news however you’d like.
Kane, 28, has been training on his own since last Friday after returning from vacation, but wasn’t included in their squad for the win against Man City and it is still believed that City will up their bid for the England captain in the final weeks of the transfer window.
Nuno Espirito Santo explained the latest on Kane, while our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have reported that Kane is training on his own on Monday and will be re-integrated into full-team training this week.
“Harry [Kane], Like Bryan [Gil], Cristian Romero, they joined us later. For Cristian and Bryan it was very important to be here today. To feel the atmosphere and be in the stadium and be in the hotel, attending the meeting, but knowing they don’t have too many sessions with us. Harry worked this morning, he is preparing himself and when he is ready he will join the group and help the team,” Santo said.
The Harry Kane saga rumbles on but he could feature on Thursday and then on Sunday at Wolves in the Premier League. If he does, you get the sense that Kane could end up staying at Tottenham.