The Spurs legend believes replacing Nuno Espirito Santo with Antonio Conte was a wise decision.
can still make their way to the top four in the Premier League table after
was appointed as
Nuno Espirito Santo
Spurs did not get off on the right foot this season as they were defeated in five of their ten opening games.
Before Sunday’s battle againstEverton
, which was the Italian tactician’s first match at the helm, the Tottenham legend said Nuno’s dismissal was the right decision as they now have a chance to end the season in the top four to get Champions League qualification.
Mabbutt told Stats Perform:
"I think that in the summer there was a lot of due diligence done on managers and going after different managers. And of course, some of them Spurs went after obviously weren't available.
"The chairman was looking for a manager to bring back the DNA of Spurs, the attractive attacking flair type football, and they believed in Nuno that he could do that.
"After the first month of the season, they were top of the table, not conceded a goal, played three games and got nine points, and Nuno got the Premier League Manager of the Month. It was all looking good.
"But since then it was a real roller coaster ride with performances, ranging from being good enough to be able to scrape away with a one-nil victory.
"But then there were occasions against Crystal Palace, the second-half against Chelsea, against Arsenal, and against Manchester United – they were well below-par performances.
"The remit was for Nuno to bring back the DNA of Spurs. That didn't seem to be working, and I think the chairman and the board had to make a decision.
"They’re four points off the top four. We want to be in that top four, and things had to be addressed. I was delighted that the board acted very, very swiftly and brought in Antonio."
Mabbutt, who featured in 619 matches for Spurs, contributed to the UEFA Cup victory in 1984 and was the captain of the team when they won the FA Cup in 1991. He hailed Nuno’s job at Wolves but insisted that he didn’t fit with the Tottenham’s needs.
If you look at what Nuno achieved at Wolves over the last few years, I think he's done an incredible job there, and he was given an opportunity [at Spurs], and yeah, it didn't work out for him,"
"Nuno is a really good guy. He is a gentleman and is the sort of chap that you want to do well. But I think it was clear to see after the first four months of the season that what the club were looking for to be fulfilled was not going to happen.
"As I said, a decision had to be made quickly because we're still in with a chance to getting into that top four. That's where we want to be."
When quizzed Spurs’ different managers in recent years, Mabbutt said that hard decisions had to be made and now they have to get “back on track”.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. You look back at the past, to things we would change if we could. You know [Mauricio] Pochettino was very, very popular at the club. He came in and he took us to the Champions League final,"
"But again, things towards the end of his tenure didn't seem to be right. And again, the board had to make a decision.
"I think for Mauricio getting the Paris Saint Germain job, for him, is a dream because he loves Paris. He played there, and of course with the squad they have built up at the moment, I think he's enjoying himself there.
"It's easy to say, 'What if we kept Mauricio? What if things had been different?' But that's always going back in hindsight, it's always wondering what could happen.
"But we have to deal with the facts as they are, and position that we're in. Mauricio left, Jose [Mourinho] came in to replace him.
"And then of course after that Ryan Mason came in for a short spell, and then Nuno, and after that Antonio. So, I think it's something like four managers in the last six months we've had in place. So, we now need to get back on track.
"We now need to get more of a solid background I think for the manager and the staff coming in. Antonio has been given an 18-month contract with a potential year extension on that. So yes, I think everyone's been excited by Antonio coming."
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