Nuno Espirito Santo has decided to end his time at Valencia. The Portuguese coach is leaving before Peter Lim, his friend and backer, had to take a decision, or he had to hear “Nuno go now” in the Mestalla next weekend against Barcelona, game at which the magnate will be present. Nuno has thrown the towel in. The coach took the decision before tonight’s game against Sevilla (Valencia lost 1-0). His relationship with the Valencia fans has reached a point of no return and he’s well aware of that.
The exit of Amadeo Salvo and Rufete weighed heavily on Nuno. That, the football and the results this season. The results, in effect, couldn’t get the coach out of the focus of a group of fans who blamed the departure of the president and general manager on Nuno. Quite the opposite. The ‘Nuno go now’ campaign has gained momentum among the supporters as time went on. He was whistled at the start of the season despite having qualified Valencia for the Champions league play off and with the record number of points in the Liga (76). But whistles have now turned into chants against the coach, the sound track to the games against Betis, Levante and Las Palmas in Mestalla.
Nuno arrived in Valencia on 3 June 2014. He was placed there by Peter Lim, when the latter wasn’t even yet the owner. Amadeo Salvo accepted the investor’s decision and got rid of Juan Antonio Pizzi, who still had a year left on his contract, who had come in under Rufete. The relationship between Nuno and Rufete started off on the wrong foot because of that, despite the fact the general manager understood Amadeo Salvo’s reasons.
As Valencia coach Nuno was in charge for 63 competitive games (Liga, Copa and Champions League). He says goodbye with a record of 32 wins, 16 draws and 14 defeats. Eight of which have come this season.
From one year to the next everything has changed for Nuno at Valencia. Last season he was able to ask the fans to turn out and more than 2,000 appeared to receive the players after a win in a standard league match against Villarreal. This year however, particularly in the last few weeks, the polls on social media and in the press showed the fans wanted him out.
With his decision, Nuno is doing a final favour to Peter Lim. It’s a strange case in football, for a coach to resign. But Valencia right now is different in every way. Nuno is leaving and until Lim and Layhoon Chan decide who will take over there is no—one in charge on the sporting side of things. There’s no sports director, Nuno was in charge of everything.