Tottenham have three players causing concern for Nuno Espirito Santo after Arsenal loss

In pictures: Arsenal v Tottenham

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Nuno Espirito Santo is only six Premier League games into life as Tottenham boss but is already under fire. Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal means Spurs have now lost three consecutive league games under their new Portuguese manager’s tutelage, conceding nine goals.

A first-half blitz put Mikel Arteta’s Gunners out of sight at the Emirates in the north London derby as Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka capitalised on shocking Spurs defending. 

Nuno won the Premier League’s August Manager of the Month after an ideal start but the level of discontent among the Spurs fanbase is already ominous for the 47-year-old following a shaky September.

Questions over Nuno’s style of play were almost inevitable given he was initially overlooked for his pragmatic approach after Jose Mourinho’s sacking, but the lack of creativity and attacking ambition in his side is increasingly concerning.

Express Sport picks out three underperforming Spurs stars who are causing particular problems for Nuno just months into his time at the club. 

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Harry Kane 

Tottenham’s talisman envisaged starting the season elsewhere and is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League this season. 

Kane cannot be accused of a lack of effort but his form certainly reflects his mood after being denied the chance to claim silverware at Manchester City this season. 

Instead, the realistic target is a ‘top six’ finish in north London and Nuno must find a way to get the England captain firing to even achieve that more modest goal.

The striker is too often seen dropping deep in games but did miss a big chance at the Emirates. 

But those opportunities are few and far between, with a damning Sky Sports graphic showing Spurs are creating the least chances from open play in the entire league.

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Perhaps Kane could do with a helping hand from those around him to kick start his season and relieve the growing pressure on Nuno…

Dele Alli 

A bystander at the Emirates on Sunday, there is now a strong argument that Alli is beyond saving at Spurs and needs to restart elsewhere.

Nuno continues to persist with Alli but his substitution at half-time was telling and it was clear the Englishman was not following his orders. 

Once one of the most exciting attacking talents in the country, Alli’s fall has been dramatic and he is now a shadow of the player that looked destined for the top. 

Nuno’s faith in Alli is misplaced and bright new signing Bryan Gil should offer a more creative and motivated alternative in midfield.

Eric Dier 

In truth, problems lie all across Tottenham’s back four. But Dier’s showings have been particularly abject of late.

Dier’s defensive positioning during Spurs’ first-half collapse was woeful and he has been in the starting team for the last three chastening league defeats. 

Nuno needs to settle on a central defensive pairing to bring continuity and the absence of new signing Cristian Romero at the Emirates was bizarre. 

Dier’s partnership with Davison Sanchez kept three clean sheets at the start of the season but the vulnerabilities have become glaringly obvious. 

Perhaps Dier, now low on confidence, should be taken out of the firing line and Romero should be given the chance to stake his claim.

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