Tottenham kicked off the 2021/22 Premier League campaign in style with three successive wins over champions Manchester City, Wolves and Watford, but have since suffered a drastic dip in form, losing five of their last 11 matches in all competitions.
However, the north London outfit sit sixth in the table and could rise back into the top four with victory over the Red Devils at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend.
Legendary ex-Arsenal striker Wright was impressed by Spurs’ barnstorming start to the season, but reckons the club’s weaknesses in midfield have been badly exposed in recent games which has, in turn, limited Harry Kane’s contribution.
The England captain has scored just one league goal this season which Wright believes it’s hardly surprising given the lack of service and support he has received from those behind him.
‘I think with Nuno his major problem is his midfield,’ Wright said on Optus Sport’s The Kelly Wrighty Show.
‘You’ve got Harry Kane who is not getting chances. We know everything that’s happened with Harry Kane, he’s trying to do his stuff and trying to get on with it.
‘But when you’re looking at [Tanguy] Ndombele and [Giovani] Lo Celso, who are supposed to be the creative element of Tottenham, they’re just not consistent enough. Then if he’s going to play [Oliver] Skipp, [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg and maybe [Harry] Winks, you can’t see a lot of creativity coming from that.
‘The fact that Dele Alli has done his best work as that second striker… Son’s doing that now so what happens to Dele Alli? I can’t see where it’s going to get better, I can’t see the pattern of what they’re trying to do.’
Wright believes Nuno’s ‘pragmatic’ playing style is a ‘level down’ compared to that of his predecessor and fellow countryman Jose Mourinho.
‘I’m trying to see with Nuno how it fits. Off the back of the Manchester City game, you’re thinking, “Ah, Tottenham!”, but since then I’ve not seen anything,’ he added.
‘The Arsenal result was one we’re very pleased with from an Arsenal point of view, but it wasn’t a Tottenham team that turned up there that, to me, looked like they knew what they were doing.
‘I’m not going to take anything away from what Arsenal did because you have to put teams away and I thought Arsenal did that very ruthlessness,
‘But at the same time I looked at the Tottenham side and I didn’t know what their game-plan was.
‘Nuno is very pragmatic in what he does. I think he’s a level down from Mourinho in respects of his game, it’s even more pragmatic, on the break, that kind of stuff. Tottenham need a lot more than that.’
The former England forward has a theory that Kane’s failed move may actually have disrupted Nuno’s plans for the summer transfer window and the season ahead.
Wright went on: ‘I just get the impression that Nuno, when Kane started, was almost like: “Oh, he’s staying? Oh!”
‘So now he can’t maybe bring in a couple of players that he wanted to embed his style into the team and now it feels like they are just ambling along.’