From being in contention to finish in 4th place, Jose Mourinho's side has been stunted by inconsistency and injures as they have been abrupted yet again, this time by Burnley, who held them to a 1-1 draw, which takes the team from North London to 8th on the table. To think it was Sean Dyche who was unhappy after bagging a point against a 'top six' side speaks volumes about Tottenham's performance at Turf Moor.
Winless in their last 5 games in all competitions, Tottenham Hotspur are traversing through a torrid time right now and Jose Mourinho, a two-time Champions League winner, seems out of his depth to get his side back on track.
Mourinho, for all his experience, has failed to instil his philosophy in the team and a lot is also due to the fact that he has been unlucky with injuries to his key players. The 'new manager bounce' was apparent but Tottenham's rise in form lasted for a fleeting moment. Now, they're likely to miss out on European football as we enter the business end of the season.
#3 Zero depth in offense
Just when the season was getting tougher, Tottenham were dealt two huge blows as their all-time top scorer Harry Kane suffered a hamstring injury against Southampton in January. Spurs went on to lose the game, courtesy of a Danny Ings strike in the early minutes, and Spurs announced the day after that Harry Kane would be out until April.
If this was not enough, just two games after Kane's injury, Son Heung-min took a hit on his shoulder in the game vs Aston Villa. Although he played 90 minutes and scored the winner for his team, reports came out after the game that Son has fractured a bone in his forearm and is expected to be side-lined for nearly 8 weeks, i.e. two months minimum.
Tottenham are struggling to outscore their opponents and the pressure is mounting on the defence, who have been as poor as the offense, if not worse. Not signing a striker in January has likely killed even the slightest of chances Spurs had of finishing in the top four. Now they see themselves on 8th, a point ahead of an in-form Arsenal who have won three out of their last three league games and four behind Chelsea, who sit 4th.
#2 Big-money signings failing to repay the faith
The likes of Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura have failed to fill the temporary void left by Harry Kane and Son, but the players behind them are equally to be blamed, for not stepping up when the team needed them the most. Spurs' lacklustre performances up-front was noticeable and acceptable, but the fact that Tottenham's midfield has been unsuccessful in controlling games and be creative in and around the box has not helped the forwards.
Two big-money signings, Tanguy Ndombele and Lo Celso have had rocky starts to the campaign. Although one could argue that the latter has settled in just fine, Ndombele has been a huge flop in his debut season and looks far off a comeback.
After last night's game versus Burnley, Jose Mourinho slated Ndombele for having a below-average game. He went on to say this about the French international.
"In the first half we didn't have a midfield. He's a player with great talent. He has to know he has to do much better and know I cannot keep giving him opportunities to play because the team is much more important."
The £54 million summer signing is yet to impress his boss. Tanguy Ndombele has got 2 goals and 2 assists in 12 starts this season in the league, but he plays a role which cannot be judged by the number of goal involvements he gets. The 23-year-old has to step up tremendously to help his side achieve their targets for the season.
#1 Toughest run-in till the end of the season as compared to their rivals
Tottenham have dropped 8 points in their last 3 games and are quite lucky to still find them in contention for top six. To make things worse, they are playing Man United and West Ham at home in their next two games; two teams who have incredibly improved in defence since the turn of the year. If Tottenham struggled to outperform Norwich and Burnley's defence, I cannot see them scoring against the likes of Man United and West Ham. These are two potential defeats, and with a blink of an eye, they could find themselves adrift of 6th place.
To add insult to injury, the Lilywhites are yet to host Leicester City, Arsenal, Man United and Everton; they've already lost to three of those four teams this term. In between these games, they have to travel to Bramall Lane, Selhurst Park and St James' Park. Only true Premier League followers would know that these are three of the toughest places to travel to and taking into account the form Tottenham are in, they don't look like a side who could come away with the 3 points in any of those games.
Jose Mourinho will need to pull off a masterclass from now on till the end of the season if they are to finish anywhere near 6th place. The competition for the European spots has been incredible this season, and without the likes of Kane and Son, Tottenham are unlikely to compete for it.Published 08 Mar 2020, 20:06 IST