Tottenham Hotspurs seemed to be poised to challenge for the English Premier League at the beginning of the season, but a few months later, the London club is in a very different situation, having lost many leads in key games and failing to get the most out of some of their players. What can Jose Mourinho do to turn this situation around?
Tottenham have done fairly well in the other competitions, having qualified from the Europa League’s group stage, reached the Carabao Cup final and won their only FA Cup game so far, but their league form of late has been quite worried.
After a few weeks in the league, it seemed that Jose Mourinho had found his groove back as a top manager and was leading Tottenham to a title challenge, with Son and Harry Kane delivering some of the best football of their careers. The rest of the team looked as solid as iron and had that classic Jose Mourinho “us vs. them” mentality instilled.
Fast forward a few months and things seemed to have reached a very different point. While Son and Kane are still delivering the goods, the team as a whole looks a lot more conservative than needed. In fact, after taking an early lead in games, Tottenham easily allows the other teams to equalize (and sometime to win) such as in the matches against West Ham (from 3-0 to 3-3), Newcastle, Wolverhampton and recently Fulham. It’s no secret that Jose Mourinho has always preferred defensive solidity to a more cavalier approach to football and that is fine in certain scenarios, but right now that is not enough for the team. Not only because of the setup and tactics, but also because of some players’ performances.
Simply put, Kane and Son cannot be all of Spurs’ attack. Players like Gareth Bale, Carlos Vinicius, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli need to chip in with their own goal contributions or Tottenham are going to continue looking pedestrian with the Korean and the England international players are on peak form during the games. Tottenham have a quality squad and Mourinho needs to be willing to take a bit more risks after taking leads because it’s not just about challenging for the league title, but also to secure qualification for the next Champions League.