Nuno Espirito Santato, Tottenham's boss, has been fired with the club at eighth in the Premier League.
It speaks volumes about Tottenham's current state of affairs. Nuno Espirito Sante's unhappy reign at the club could not have ended any faster than the 17 games it took to axe.
After game 10, the unfortunate defeat to Arsenal at a north London derby against a side trying to stabilize their campaign after a poor start that left Mikel Arteta the subject of crisis talk, BBC Sport was informed that Nuno couldn't last as manager and that it was only a matter of time before his services were terminated.
Because nothing was unusual to anyone who has worked with Nuno at Wolves, the reasons given - communication and style of play - were somewhat odd.
Nuno's Wolves cannot be described as fluid because of their rigid three at the back, and two holding midfielders. They were extremely effective for three years. Only last term was when he attempted to change the system to make it more expansive that things started to go wrong at Nuno at Molineux.
Similar to Nuno, Nuno preferred to keep information private within his coaching staff and outsiders could best be described as a challenge. His programme notes were often only three to four paragraphs long. Face-to-face media conferences proved to be a disappointment due to Nuno's preference to not discuss tactics or individuals. Zoom calls made him more comfortable and he was able to speak about topics that he felt personally attached to, like the effects of the pandemic.
Nuno was appointed to the Tottenham board in the knowledge that they knew exactly what they were getting. Spurs are currently in eighth place and Man Utd is in fifth.
This is the Premier League's reactive nature. Your managerial future could be at risk if you have a few bad results. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United and Arsenal's MikelArteta are already under pressure, while Dean Smith from Aston Villa is now facing increasing questions.
Tactical tweaks that didn't work
Tottenham's victory over Manchester City was the opening match of their season. There was no sign that fans were unhappy.
After what felt like an outstanding performance and the promise of a bright future, Tottenham fans continued to cheer on the new manager and the players. After a two-month long search that saw many names being mentioned, Nuno was appointed Jose Mourinho's successor. Now, all doubts seem to have been dispelled.
Despite this success, there are some troubling statistics. The percentage of possession was 32%. Three shots were on target. The win was more than just a smash and grab at the moment - it came straight from the Nuno playbook.
The optimism was replaced by stark reality when they got to the Arsenal match at the end September. Tottenham held the majority of possession at Emirates Stadium, but did very little with it.
Oliver Skipp replaced Dele Alli at half-time, ending the experiment of him playing in a deeper role as a midfielder. It became increasingly difficult to find a winning formula, which included Harry Kane, Tanguy Ndombele (53.6m club record signing), and Tanguy Ndombele (53.6m club record signing), who both missed the Manchester City match.
Alli did not play in the Premier League again until 17 minutes after the Manchester United match. Harry Winks was completely ignored. Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga were all on the bench against United. This meant that three quarters of Tottenham's defense had changed since the City match.
Nuno's decision to not take any of the 11 Premier League players who won at Newcastle on 17 Oct to the Netherlands for Vitesse Arnhem's Europa Conference League group match four days later was demotivating to some of those who were part the back-up group, such as Winks. This decision proved to be a mistake as Tottenham lost to Vitesse and West Ham on the weekend following. Nuno was also affected by the storm clouds.
Trouble at the top
Tottenham's supporters were not content with Nuno's defeat. Both barrels were also awarded to Chairman Daniel Levy.
Levy celebrated 20 years of service to the club earlier this year. Levy is not one to worry about what the public thinks of him, but now that Tottenham's new stadium has been built to their state-ofthe-art training facility, all eyes are once again on his decision-making.
It is hard to comprehend how Tottenham got from reaching a Champions League final 2019 to sacking Mauricio Pochettino to hiring -and firing - Jose Mourinho. They also brought in a football director in Fabio Paratici (highly rated former Juventus supremo), and then ended up with Nuno after discussions with Pochettino. Antonio Conte. Gennaro Galtuso. Gennaro Gattuso. It is possible that it is an entirely separate matter. This highlights the fact that Levy, a brilliant negotiator, astute businessman and unquestionably brilliant negotiator, can sometimes overlook the significance of a situation.
Even though it was advised that it was a bad idea and would make a terrible impression on the outside world, Tottenham are owned in part by Joe Lewis, a billionaire tax-exile. In April 2020, the coronavirus pandemic had shut down football. Levy made the decision to furlough all non-playing staff. Two weeks of negative headlines later, Levy reversed his decision with a humble note of regret.
Recenty, Levy reversed his decision to not meet with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust in order to address their concerns about the club's direction. Levy has met THST many times over the years - one the few owners of a big six club' to maintain a line of communication. He even turned that negative into a positive.
The Kane puzzle and a solution
Nuno Tottenham reign lasted just 17 matches
Harry Kane is a key figure in the future direction of Tottenham.
Levy refused the England skipper's request to join Manchester City in the summer. Kane missed the City win in the summer stand-off and was then back for Wolves' victory. Kane was mocked by Tottenham fans.
These same fans are turning against Kane once again, given their reactions during the Manchester United match, when Kane failed to score a Premier League goal.
Kane has seven goals across all competitions, but five of those came in Europa Conference League matches against Pacos Ferreira (NS Mura) and Pacos Ferreira (NS Ferreira). His form has been poor overall. Questions were again raised about how often he drops deep to try and influence games, rather than pushing forward like a traditional striker.
Any manager, regardless of Nuno's replacement, will face problems until Kane's situation is resolved.
However, Tottenham can be hopeful if Levy makes the right move - former Chelsea boss Conte is now their top target.
Tottenham is only five points behind the top four despite their inconsistent form. Arsenal gets all the plaudits at the moment but their current unbeaten run does not include any wins against a team currently above them in the Premier League.
Tottenham are still top of their Europa Conference League group, with two home matches left to play. Their EFL Cup campaign features a home quarterfinal against West Ham. This game, while difficult now, could be a different one when it is played just before Christmas.
Nuno's experience has shown that football is changing very rapidly these days. Tottenham and Levy can only hope that this brutal call will get them moving in the right direction.