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3 reasons why Jose Mourinho has failed to spark Tottenham's season to life

  • After a positive spurt following Mourinho's appointment, things have taken a turn for the worse for the enigmatic manager and Spurs.
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Modified 15 Jan 2020, 10:15 IST

Jose Mourinho seems a bit exasperated at his new job already
Jose Mourinho seems a bit exasperated at his new job already

The sacking of Mauricio Pochettino and the subsequent hiring of Jose Mourinho in November had the potential to be one of Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy's biggest masterstrokes.

At the time, he was equally praised and criticized for getting rid of the manager, who got Spurs to regularly finish in the top-four and also reach the Champions League final and replacing him within 48 hours with Mourinho, a man who was twice in charge of London rivals Chelsea, and whose stint at Manchester United ended in unceremonious fashion.

After an initial spurt of positivity since his arrival, Tottenham are once again struggling, having won just one of their last five Premier League outings and presently finding themselves eighth in the standings.

It seems as though the problems lie much deeper than expected at Spurs, with some of them being completely out of Mourinho's control.

Here are three reasons why the Portuguese tactician has failed to spark Spurs' season back to life.

Inept contract negotiations

Christian Eriksen has been a shadow of his formal self this season
Christian Eriksen has been a shadow of his formal self this season

Tottenham's wage cap is one of the highly-praised policies of Levy and the club's board, and it has helped Spurs to be able to compete at the very top without paying top dollars. Although it is a move which is supported by many, in the context of today's football where Spurs seem to be the only major Premier League club following such a strict rule, it isn't tough to see the negative implications of such decisions.

Key players such as Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose have looked disillusioned with life in north London for a while now.


Although Mourinho has managed to make Alderweireld sign a new deal, the damage done in early season has clearly affected the dressing room morale.

Spurs torn between Mourinho and Pochettino's contrasting philosophies

Tottenham have to get their act together
Tottenham have to get their act together

This might not be the most apparent issue at the club but it certainly is something which has to be dealt with at the earliest by Tottenham. The present Spurs side is Pochettino team - the personnel, the attitude of the players, and even the style of football imprinted on this group of players has the Argentine's touch.

Mourinho is at the helm of a group of highly talented individuals, who might not be apt ingredients for what he considers to be a recipe to success. An uncharacteristically porous defence, questionable squad selections, continuous change in shape and system have completely made this team bereft of any identity.

The appointment of Joao Sacramento from the very attacking Lille side as assistant manager shows that Mourinho was aware that a change in his approach was needed, but as of now Tottenham seem to be caught in transition between two contrasting gameplans.

Inadequate squad depth

Spurs' strike force will be without their captain for the foreseeable future

Some might disagree with this point, owing to the signings of the likes of Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon over the summer, but injuries, suspensions, and existing insufficiencies compounded by the busy Christmas period has forced the team to produce uncharacteristically lethargic performances, with the cherry on top of the unwanted cake being the fresh injury to Harry Kane, who face a lengthy period on the sidelines due to a tendon injury typically associated to overuse and fatigue.

All these point towards a major surgery required for the playing squad as the manager is recently acquired and there is no scope for change in the backroom staff. With the winter transfer window being open, it looks like Levy might have to spend his way out of trouble this time.

Also Read: AS Roma's Xherdan Shaqiri loan bid rejected, Reds table €15m offer for Turkish goalkeeper and more: Liverpool Transfer Roundup, 14th January 2020

Published 15 Jan 2020, 10:15 IST
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