Ramon Vega, Swiss retired football player says Tottenham’s under-achieving players must take more responsibility after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked as head coach on Monday.
Nuno’s four-month tenure ended following the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, with Antonio Conte being a strong favourite to replace the former Wolves boss.
Tottenham were awful and didn’t register a shot on target in an abject display against United and Nuno departed with the London club eighth in the table, with five wins and as many defeats from his 10 Premier League games in charge.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former Spurs defender Ramon Vega made clear his feelings that players have not been showing the right attitude, while also questioning why the club did not try harder to bring Conte in four months ago before appointing Nuno.
“The players here have to take responsibility with the way they are playing,” Vega said.
“I’m a little bit unhappy with how the players are really showing their attitude and willingness to play for the club , there’s no anxiety or willingness to strive and win.
“It’s irrelevant if it’s Nuno or any other manager there. You’re playing for the club, you get paid by the club and you need to show some commitment, passion, zeal and that’s not what I’ve seen from these players so far.
“My personal understanding at the moment is that Antonio Conte is the frontrunner to be appointed. But my question is why was he not given what he wanted in the summer instead of wasting time and potentially [damaging the] reputation of a very good manager, because Nuno is a very good manager but he did not have the time or the chance to really improve the team to be strong and title contenders.
“So, why suddenly now does Conte have the facilities that Tottenham can give him and not in the summer?”
Nuno’s 10 Premier League games at the helm is the lowest tally of any permanent Tottenham manager, one fewer than Jacques Santini’s 11 in 2004.
Vega also pointed to the transfer saga surrounding Harry Kane, who was strongly linked with a move to Manchester City and didn’t want to renew his contract and pledge to the club, suggesting that it has played a role in Tottenham’s stuttering start to the season.
“The Harry Kane scenario, this is exactly the reason why we are here now today,” the former Switzerland international added.
“There’s no doubt the dressing room went apart and there was unhappiness and I think that when the players don’t click together or are not playing as a team you will see that on the pitch.
“From my point of view the Kane saga was a disaster for the club. But there is a responsibility as a player – how he actually acted at that time he didn’t act professionally like how stars do. At the same time you have to play him now, there’s not even a question mark or any way out.”