Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy agreed a club-friendly contract with manager Nuno Espirito Santo in the summer, which includes a clause allowing him to sack the boss for free next summer if Spurs finish outside the top six.
After a brief honeymoon period under Nuno, which saw Spurs climb to the top of the league after three wins on the bounce, the team came crashing back down to earth with a run of heavy defeats – a streak which came to an end with Sunday’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
The victory leaves Spurs eighth in the Premier League table, two points adrift of the top four, but Levy is obviously wanting more from Nuno’s side.
That was made abundantly clear to Nuno when he was hired as, according to The Athletic, Levy inserted a clause in the boss’ contract which means he can be sacked for free next summer if he fails to lead Spurs to a place in the top six.
That deal gives Spurs a lot of freedom. The hope is that Nuno leads them back to the Champions League or at least the Europa League, but if he fails to bring either, he can be cut loose with minimal hassle.
Performances like that in the victory over Villa will go a long way to steering Spurs back to where they want to be, but after the game Nuno confessed that Spurs still need to work on their consistency before they get carried away.
“We are aware we have been through a tough moment,” Nuno told Sky Sports (via BBC Sport). “When the players gel and combine they can do very well. We have to find the balance between the defensive and attacking part of the game.
“All the players did well, we have talented players and when they are confident, they are unstoppable.
“We needed a win but a well-deserved win. We did a good match against tough opponents. Important for us, the boys and the fans. We reacted well after conceding and [were] positive in a lot of ways.
“The boys did well. Villa are a very good team with the press so it was about taking risks. Our front three were always in the middle. They played well.”