Tottenham boss Nuno makes grim admission and appears to blame players for Arsenal loss

In pictures: Arsenal v Tottenham

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Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo says his players were “not able” to carry out his gameplan against Arsenal and admitted there was not a single positive to take away from the game, but the Portuguese insists Spurs can turn things around despite suffering a third successive Premier League defeat.

Spurs slumped to a sorry 3-1 defeat at the Emirates on Sunday courtesy of a dreadful first-half showing that saw them concede three times in 21 minutes to the Gunners.

Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka all found the net with Son Heung-min’s second-half strike with 11 minutes to go merely a consolation.

Tottenham are now only the second team in Premier League history to win their first three games of a season and then lose the next three.

They now sit 11th and four points off the Champions League places after just six games of the campaign.

And Nuno soberly reflected that there was nothing good to take away from the match, and appeared to suggest his players did not carry out his instructions on the pitch.

He said: “The performance was not good, the gameplan was not good, the decisions were not good, it was not a good day for us, definitely not a good day.

“I’m going to be honest with you, when you have a gameplan you have to make the right decisions in terms of who you want to put on the pitch to develop the plan because the decisions were not according to the gameplan.

“I’m not going to individually tell you what decisions I didn’t do right but the gameplan was not according to the players on the pitch.

“We prepared the game, we had a good meeting but then we’re not able to do it, not strong enough.

“I’m being honest with you Geoff [Shreeves] because it’s not easy to, the decisions were not according to the gameplan so if we wanted to go strong in the midfield, then they were not the right decisions I made.

“That’s another issue [players not doing what he asks]. I’ll not say they’re not doing what I’m telling them to do. They’re not able to do it, credit to the opponent because they were better than us.”

Asked how quickly Spurs must recover from the defeat, Nuno continued: “Very quickly. It’s not about the consequence of the games, we have to separate each game, we lost at Crystal Palace, we lost against Chelsea in a different way.

“Chelsea I think we had something to build on, today again we have nothing, so we must find the right direction.

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“Of course [we can find solution]. All of us in football have been in tough situations, the only issue is good communication and believing in players, working harder, work much harder and improve mentally and physically the players.”

Quizzed then as to whether he felt Harry Kane should have been given a penalty for an apparent foul by Granit Xhaka, Nuno said: “I didn’t see the images. The referee and VAR are there to judge. My head is not focused on what I have to do now.

“We prepared the game, had a good meeting, but we were not able to do it. We were not strong enough. It is not easy to tell this.

“The decisions were not according to the game plan. If you want to be strong in the midfield they were maybe not right the decisions I made. Credit to our opponent, they were better than us.”

Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris meanwhile said to Sky Sports: “We lost complete control in the first half. We got smashed and then had a good reaction.

“It’s frustrating and very disappointing. It’s the moment to stick together and carry on. The players were ready but we lost a bit of control. We lost the balance in the middle of the pitch.

“When you concede three goals in each of the last three league games you cannot hide the problems. But we are professional. There is a long way to go. We need to stay calm.”

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