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Nuno Espirito Santo says Tottenham was the BETTER TEAM despite toothless performance against West Ham

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Under fire Nuno Espirito Santo makes bizarre claim that his Tottenham side was the BETTER TEAM against West Ham, despite his side’s toothless display in yet another London derby

  • Nuno Espirito Santo insists Tottenham were the ‘better team’ against West Ham
  • Michail Antonio scored the winner for West Ham in a 1-0 win over rivals Spurs
  • It was another toothless display for the Spurs in the fourth derby defeat of this season











Nuno Espirito Santo dismissed allegations that Tottenham were too negative towards West Ham despite their last toothless showing when losing a fourth consecutive London derby.

The Spurs boss made the bizarre claim that his side were the better team, despite struggling to create clear chances as Mikhail Antonio’s goal in the second half continued the positive start to the season for Hammers.

But the loss – especially the manner of defeat – raises more questions about the direction Tottenham is heading under Nuno.

Nuno Espirito Santo insists his Tottenham side was the ‘better team’ against West Ham

Chairman Daniel Levy promised supporters a manager who, following the resignation of Jose Mourinho, whose pragmatic approach infuriated fans, would implement an attacking type of football more in line with the club’s progressive traditions.

But not for the first time this season, Tottenham were flattered to decide the attacking third, although son Heung-min and Harry Kane missed two good chances in the first half.

Still, Nuno refused to throw his team under the bus after another disappointing afternoon.

When asked directly if he felt his side was struggling creatively, Nuno replied, “No. I think the team has to be in balance. To be balanced in terms of the presence of the players. Besides being good players, they give us the balance the team needs. And we have enough creativity with our fullbacks, our attackers. I do not agree with you.’

Michail Antonio muscled Harry Kane out of the way to tap Aaron Cresswell's looping cross

Michail Antonio muscled Harry Kane out of the way to tap Aaron Cresswell’s looping cross

Antonio uncorked one of his crazy celebrations when West Ham beat rivals Tottenham

Antonio uncorked one of his crazy celebrations when West Ham beat rivals Tottenham

When asked why his team struggled to create chances, Nuno replied: ‘Because West Ham defend with a lot of men in the penalty area.

“There wasn’t a lot of space and we should have moved the ball faster and went to wide areas. But it’s always hard when the team and all the men are behind the ball, it’s hard to find spaces and holes.”

The result and performance were particularly disappointing as Nuno made 11 changes from the team that lost to Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday – all players who started at the London Stadium spent a midweek in London to prepare for the clash against West Ham.

Indeed, Harry Winks, who started in Europe, wasn’t even on the bench against the Hammers. In hindsight, Nuno may have felt he could have used the midfielder’s technical prowess as his team struggled to tear down West Ham.

Spurs struggled to muster the enthusiasm to fight for the equalizer at London Stadium

Spurs struggled to muster the enthusiasm to fight for the equalizer at London Stadium

It was another toothless display for Spurs as they lost a fourth consecutive London derby

It was another toothless display for Spurs as they lost a fourth consecutive London derby

But again, Nuno refuted claims that his fully equipped starting squad was not fresh, adding, “I disagree. I think all the players worked really hard and were available in terms of fitness to handle the game.

‘Where did it go wrong? The way we gave in. But other than that I think we played a good game, we had possession, we had the game under control, we created, besides the West Ham counterattacks we didn’t allow many situations.

“We should be better in the attacking field, the chance to be aggressive at that point in the game. This is my thought.

“It’s always frustrating, a London derby that we know means a lot to our fans, a lot to us and we haven’t been able to win it. I’m disappointed because it hurts, I know it hurts.

“There aren’t many positives, but when you lose a game like that, I believe we were a better team.”

Consecutive defeats vs Vitesse and the Hammers is a blow to Nuno's hopes for a turnaround

Consecutive defeats vs Vitesse and the Hammers is a blow to Nuno’s hopes for a turnaround

Meanwhile, after an outstanding win that propelled West Ham to fourth place, David Moyes said: ‘We are growing characters. If you look at where these guys were two or three years ago, they’ve all blossomed.

“The club is thriving. That comes from the team and it comes from inside the building. Those players all improve together and that’s a great thing.

“I’m happy with today because there was resilience in the team. Patience is a good word for today, lots of good performances and all credit to the players for how they continue to grow.’

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