Jamie O’Hara has told talkSPORT that Nuno Espirito Santo will eventually come good as Tottenham Hotspur manager, but his former side should have appointed Graham Potter.
Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy hired Nuno in July after a lengthy search for Jose Mourinho’s permanent replacement at the helm. Potter was a candidate to take up the vacant north London hotseat, as well. But The Sun previously noted he was also one of nine to say no.
Levy felt Potter was the one Tottenham were searching for, but the 46-year-old wanted to hold out for alternative options. He would have only quit Brighton, who wanted £15m in compensation, for the likes of Liverpool or Manchester City.
Potter’s Brighton have since started the season with four wins in five, while Tottenham have three victories under Nuno. Spurs are also struggling to score, but O’Hara is confident the Portuguese will grow into the position.
Yet player-turned-pundit O’Hara still feels Levy should have gone all-out to make Potter the new Tottenham manager, not Nuno. Noting:
“When I interviewed him, I completely changed my mind with him. You know when someone has an aura when you’re with them and they have that sort of philosophy of how they want to play. When I interviewed him, I was like: ‘Wow, this guy is the real deal’.
“He’s shown that this season and I think Spurs have missed out in not trying to go for him. I like Nuno, I think he will do a good job eventually, I think he could do okay. But if we were going to have a manager where I would go, ‘that’s who we should have got’, I would have said Graham Potter.”
Should Tottenham have hired Potter, not Nuno, like O’Hara claims?
Potter’s Brighton have started the season notably stronger than Nuno’s Tottenham. The Seagulls have taken more wins (4 to 5), fewer defeats (1 to 2), scored more (7 to 3) and conceded less (4 to 6) than Spurs after the opening five games of the Premier League term.
The south coast side have, however, only faced two sides who ended 2020/21 in the top-half in Everton and Leicester. They also suffered their only loss to the Toffees, while beating newly-promoted Watford and Brentford plus 17th-placed top-flight finishers Burnley.
Spurs, meanwhile, beat title-holders Manchester City, but also lost to Chelsea and Crystal Palace. The manner of those defeats have increased the concern surrounding Nuno’s ability to turn Tottenham’s fortunes around. The north London side were out of ideas offensively, and will be desperate to avoid another lacklustre display against rivals Arsenal on Sunday.