With Spurs down 1-0 to Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike in the first half, Nuno’s decision to replace Lucas Moura with Steven Bergwijn in the 54th minute was met with loud boos from the Tottenham Hotspur stadium and chants of ” You don’t know what you ‘re doing at the manager’s.
It was a dark moment for Nuno and, in all fairness, could mark the beginning of the end for the Portuguese, who quickly lost the fan base during a series of despicable performances.
There were further boos after Edinson Cavani and his replacement Marcus Rashford secured a comfortable victory for United in the second half, and Spurs fans who remained on the ground also voiced their disapproval at the final whistle. .
The anger felt directed at the head coach rather than the players, while there were also chants of “we want Levy out” from President Daniel Levy at a mutinous party.
Last season Jose Mourinho hung on to his job long after results and performances deteriorated and the atmosphere around the club deteriorated, but he never faced direct pressure from supporters while they remained locked out of the stadium.
Nuno not only misses Mourinho’s charisma and winning record, he is now potentially facing an open revolt from Spurs fans, which will surely be difficult to recover from.
Nuno has encountered various difficulties since his appointment but it was nonetheless difficult to blame the fans for their disdain as Spurs again failed to shoot on target against a United side who should have been there for the take after their humiliation 5-0. at the hands of Liverpool last weekend.
Nuno’s boos contrasted sharply with the support given to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by traveling United fans, who chanted their manager’s name on several occasions after Cavani doubled United’s lead and concluded victory in the middle of the game. second half.
The game was dubiously dubbed “El Sackico” by some supporters, reflecting the intense pressure placed on both managers, but previously Solskjaer seemed to be the only one really at risk of losing his job in the coming days.
Perhaps the reaction from Spurs fans has changed that.
Levy is aware that Nuno has been roughed up and knows the club are entering a new cycle, which may take time to reach its peak.
But the president has never allowed the club’s atmosphere to really get toxic and will know the heat could backfire if he doesn’t make a change in the dugout.
It seemed like a big turning point for Nuno, and not in the way he would have liked.
Nuno’s changes backfire
Nuno inherited a lopsided and unfit squad from Mourinho and faced a catalog of issues including Harry Kane’s mutinous summer, injuries and disruption caused by international breaks.
Still, Spurs are capable of much more than they showed against United in another anemic display, devoid of ideas, cohesion, confidence and offensive verve.
In the two years since Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking, Spurs fans have gradually become exhausted and the question of whether the team is good enough to compete for a place in the Premier League’s top five or six. is no longer quite clear.
But there is no doubt that Nuno fails to maximize the talent at his disposal. Spurs are better than this.
The head coach still had a lot of quality on the pitch and yet his team failed to shoot on goal again, meaning the last time they tested the opposing keeper it was the 44th minute of last weekend’s loss to West Ham.
Obviously, this is nowhere near good enough.
To make matters worse, Nuno’s selection decisions backfired. Having picked the same league eleven in the last three matches, he brought Ben Davies and Giovani Lo Celso into Sergio Reguilon and Tanguy Ndombele’s squad, presumably to make Spurs stronger at the expense of creation.
Davies, however, was behind the crucial first goal, getting caught under Bruno Fernandes’ cross before Ronaldo gave United a spectacular volley.
Lo Celso tried to shake things up but wasted Spurs’ best chance of getting back into the game when he passed for Son in a good position at 1-0.