The stats that shame Nuno Espirito Santo's dismal Tottenham team

The stats that shame Tottenham: Nuno Santo’s hopeless Spurs have had fewer shots per game than EVERY Premier League side this season, conceded eleven goals in their last four AND ran less than everyone else!

  • Tottenham are now in the bottom half of the table after three straight defeats 
  • Spurs lost 3-0 to both Crystal Palace and Chelsea before losing 3-1 at Arsenal 
  • Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are bottom of the table in most of the key team stats
  • Sportsmail looks at the numbers that are showing why Nuno’s Spurs are losing 

It’s not quite rock bottom, but Tottenham are certainly in freefall under Nuno Espirito Santo. 

After a reasonably successful August that saw Spurs win their first three Premier League matches 1-0, which saw them top the table and earn Nuno the top-flight’s Manager of the Month Award, September’s action could not have been any bleaker.

Spurs followed up that ambitious August with three damning London derby defeats to Crystal Palace, Chelsea and now Arsenal. The north Londoners now sit in the bottom half of the Premier League table and the fixtures are not getting any easier.

Tottenham are in freefall after three successive defeats in September London derbies

Nuno Espirito Santo is now under pressure with Spurs in the bottom half of the top-flight table

Sunday’s 3-1 derby defeat to Arsenal was damning for the entire club. Not only did they lose to their fiercest rivals, but Spurs were blown away in just over half an hour by a team that sat bottom of the table on zero points just a few weeks ago.

Now Nuno’s Spurs are behind the Gunners in the Premier League table with no sign of the north London momentum changing. No wonder the travelling Spurs support sat in silence for most of the north London derby clash. 

The Arsenal defeat – courtesy of goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka – was bad, but the losses to Palace and Chelsea were on a similar level of poor. 

Tottenham fans looked on in silence after Spurs conceded three first-half goals to Arsenal 

Tottenham’s barren run has also seen them lose 3-0 to Crystal Palace and Chelsea this month


Goals: 4 (17th)

Shots: 57 (18th) 

Shots per game: 9.33 (20th) 

Shot-Creating Actions (SCA): 59 (19th)

SCA per 90 mins: 14.17 (20th)

Big chances per 90 mins: 1.00 (18th)

Touches in penalty box: 112 (17th)

Crosses: 50 (19th) 

Passes under pressure: 306 (19th) 

Spurs did not look at the races at Selhurst Park before Japhet Tanganga’s red card allowed Patrick Vieira’s side to snatch three late goals. Against Chelsea, Spurs started brightly but a tactical half-time switch from the Blues was not responded to by Nuno, whose side were equally drab in conceding three second-half goals again.

With regards to Spurs conceding goals, when it rains it pours. Along with a 2-2 Europa Conference League draw to Rennes, they have now conceded 11 goals in their last four games. 

But while Spurs’ defence is woeful and filled with holes, it is their attacking play which is even more shocking, especially considering they have the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min up front. 

Nuno’s side have scored just four times in the league this season  – only Southampton, Norwich and Wolves have managed fewer – while South Korean winger Son is the only player to score from open play this season. 

To put things into perspective, last season Spurs had scored 16 goals after six games last term, with the team playing under Jose Mourinho who was criticised by the club’s supporters for being too defensive-minded.

Tottenham have scored four goals despite having Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min (left to right)

What is even more concerning for Spurs fans is that their team give the impression they don’t even want to score goals under Nuno. The Portuguese coach’s side have mustered just 57 shots so far, which is just 9.33 per game – lower than any other Premier League side this season. 

Tottenham are also make the fewest shot-creating actions per 90 minutes than any other top-flight side so far this season, while they are also in the bottom three for big chances created per game, the number of touches in the opposition’s penalty area and the attempted number of crosses made.

The lack of attacking intent from Nuno’s Spurs is no surprise given the fact Tottenham were searching for a defensive-minded coach this season.

Spurs have also had the fewest number of shots per game in the Premier League this term

Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca, who was interviewed for the vacant Spurs job this summer as an attacking option, confirmed last week that the agreement he had with the club was botched because sporting director Fabio Paratici wanted a more protective style of football this season.

Nuno was appointed as Spurs boss just two weeks after talks with Fonseca was rejected by the club – and if defensive football was what Daniel Levy and Paratici were after, then they are not very good at that this season as well. 


Total presses made: 950 (2nd) 

Successful press %: 23.6 (20th)

Distance Covered per 90: 99km (20th)

Shots on target allowed: 22 (2nd)

Crosses allowed: 63 (2nd)

Spurs have allowed 22 shots to be fired on goal so far this season – the second-highest amount from any Premier League team so far this term after Marcelo Bielsa’s leaky Leeds defence. 

Meanwhile, Tottenham are also letting more crosses into the box than most top-flight teams. Only Arsenal have allowed more balls into the penalty area from wide areas but, as Sunday showed, the Gunners are much better at dealing with the compared to their arch-rivals. 

Other off-the-ball stats show how diabolical Spurs are in defensive actions. Tottenham are bottom of the Premier League table in terms of distance covered which is a stark contrast from where the club were in the Mauricio Pochettino days.

As Sportsmail revealed five years ago, Tottenham were one of the best running teams in the league when they started challenging for the title under Pochettino in the 2015-16 season. 

Meanwhile, Dele Alli featured multiple times in the top individual running performances in the league that year, while Harry Kane was high up in the top overall runners that season.

Spurs have allowed more crosses into the box and cover less ground than most other teams

But this year, Spurs are rock bottom and their lack of work rate could be seen in their defeat to Arsenal on Sunday. 

For the Gunners first goal, Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were seen jogging and even walking back to chase down Bukayo Saka, who crossed for Emile Smith Rowe to tap home an easy finish. 

The midfield pair were nowhere to be seen when Aubameyang lashed home Smith Rowe’s cutback for Arsenal’s second goal, while the closest player to goalscorer Saka for the third goal was actually striker Kane – who tracked back beyond his entire midfield to try and stop the attack. 

Tanguy Ndombele (left) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (right) both had poor work rates at Arsenal

Spurs and Dele Alli (right), were one of England’s top runners under Mauricio Pochettino (right)

Nuno’s Spurs side have also tried to become a pressing team but are seriously lacking success in those statistics as well. Tottenham have tried to press opponents 950 times so far this season – only Bielsa’s Leeds have managed more – but have a dismal success press rate of 23.6% – by far the lowest in the league. 

Ultimately, Spurs can’t attack, nor can they defend or press teams. So who is to blame? Nuno himself looked confused after the Arsenal match as he tried to take the responsibility himself, but also took aim at his team’s lack of aggressiveness.  

The games aren’t getting any easier either for Tottenham, as their next match sees them take on Aston Villa – fresh off an impressive victory at Manchester United – who Tottenham also face in October along with trips to West Ham and Newcastle. 

Should this damning run of form and performances continue for Spurs, then Nuno may not even make it that long.  

Nuno (left) may not be in a job should this Tottenham form continue well into next month

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