Wolves journalist Tim Spiers has revealed that Nuno Espirito Santo’s tenure at the club could have come to an end sooner than it did.
The club announced on Friday that the Portuguese head coach’s time at the club would come to an end after their final game of the season against Manchester United, a game that ended in a 2-1 loss. It brings an end to his four-year spell in charge of the club following his appointment in the summer of 2017.
But speaking on the latest edition of The Athletic’s Ornstein and Chapman Podcast (8:14), Spiers revealed that it could have come to an end an awful lot sooner, as the club were considering getting rid of him following their Black Country derby defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion in January, a result that at the time left them 14th in the table:
“From what I understand it, they were very close to sacking him after that West Brom game that I mentioned.
“Fosun just cannot afford for this club to be relegated, and for all that there were lots of issues out of Nuno’s hands this season, I think they felt that with the club sleepwalking down the table, and they were sixth at the end of November when Raul Jimenez suffered his sickening injury, and 11 games later they were 14th having won one game, nine [points] ahead of relegation, they were headed in one direction.
“I understand they came close to sacking him after that game.”
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TIF Thoughts on Tim Spiers’ comments about Nuno Espirito Santo
This would have been a very shocking decision, to say the least, and probably undeserved. As Spiers mentions, there were some things that were taken out of Nuno’s hands, such as the injury to Raul Jimenez, so to sack him at that stage would also have been incredibly harsh.
Although it does perhaps serve as a major warning for whoever ends up taking the job this summer, if Nuno can be on the verge of losing his job despite the fantastic work that he has done, it shows just how ruthless the owners at Molineux can be, and that there won’t be a lot of room for error next season or they could find themselves out of the job pretty soon after taking it.