Category: tottenham hotspur

Precisely the tonic we needed after the tepid defeat at Old Trafford. 

Right from the kick-off, Spurs looked like a team with an overwhelming desire to win. Poor Burnley had no answer to the potent attacking play of Kane, Moura, Dele and Son. 

And Son provided the highlight of the match with a world class individual effort, picking the ball just outside his own penalty box and then racing down the length of the field, evading Burnley defenders’ desperate tackles before calmly slotting home. 

Kane opened the scoring with an early goal, putting a rocket past the helpless Pope, an indication of the day the Burnley goalkeeper was going to have. This was quickly followed up by a dynamic team move with ended up with Moura prodding home from close range. 

In the second half, Spurs took their foot off the pedal somewhat but still managed engineer a brace of goals – from Kane and Sissoko (!) to complete an excellent day out. 

Jose Mourinho would have been especially pleased with the clean sheet though to be honest, Aurier did nothing to enhance his reputation as a defender as he allowed Burnley winger McNeill too much time and space to deliver decent crosses throughout the game. Luckily for Spurs, nothing worked for the visiting strikers but certainly a problem to take note. 

Still work to be done BUT Spurs still heading in the right direction under Mourinho. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Midweek Old Trafford defeat somewhat brought Spurs back down to earth after the semi-euphoria of Jose Mourinho’s first three matches. The team reverted back to type – tepid, lacklustre and indecisive, all hallmarks of this troubled season thus far. 

Thankfully, there isn’t too much time to sulk over these issues as the December fixture crunch brings a competent Burnley side to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to provide another stern test. 

The Lancashire club is only two points off Spurs in 12th place but have lost their last two games giving Spurs the chance to continue the Mourinho rehabilitation with another three points.

What has concerned Spurs fans – aside from our defensive frailties – is the relative lack of game time for Lo Celso, Ndombele and Sessegnon and the continued reliance on Eriksen, despite rumours that the Dane has set his sights on a transfer. 

The Burnley encounter would be a perfect opportunity for Mourinho to declare his intentions regarding our trio of new recruits – do they have a place in Mourinho’s vision or will the Head Coach look elsewhere down the line?

Certainly, it was obvious that the players looked jaded in midweek and Mourinho might need to freshen the team and make full use of the squad available to him. Somehow I doubt it and would assume that Mourinho will continue to rely on the same group of players. 

Possible lineup : Gazzaniga, Aurier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Dier, Ndombele, Dele, Lo Celso, Son, Kane. 

Whatever the selection, this is 3 points for the taking and anything less would be a massive disappointment.  

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Apart from Dele’s wonderful equaliser, this was a match to forget for lacklustre Spurs as Jose Mourinho suffered his first defeat as head coach. 

Really nothing much to say. This was a typically tepid Old Trafford display from Spurs. Clearly lots of work ahead for the ‘special one’.

For 44 minutes, it seemed that the Mourinho bubble was going to burst in spectacular fashion as his Spurs team trailed Greek champions Olympiacos 0-2 in a key Champions League home fixture. 

Spurs’ first half performance was in stark contrast to that in the West Ham game over the weekend. No energy, no ideas and nervous defending led to the visitors taking a deserved two goal lead within 20 minutes! 

Mourinho – surprisingly made only one change – Rose replacing the injured Davies – from the West Ham starting line-up. But after 30 minutes, Mourinho make a drastic & decisive alteration to the game plan, taking off defensive midfielder Dier and putting creative attacking midfield (the out of form) Eriksen. 

Definitely, this tactical switch resulted in more offensive play from the home team and they were ‘rewarded’ when Dele Alli profited from a defensive error to half the deficit on the stroke of half-time. 

That good fortune – and Mourinho’s half-time team talk – galvanised the team and Spurs turned the match on its head scoring three more goals to take maximum points and qualify for the knockout stages. 

The confidence evident in the second half brought about two clinical Kane finishes sandwiching a sweet strike from Aurier (!) to provide Mourinho with two successive victories in his short Spurs tenure. 

Dele Alli deserves special mention for his improved second half, displaying once more the vim and verve which has characterise his best performances. Certainly, Alli will be a lynchpin in Mourinho’s future plans. 

With Ndombele, Lo Celso and Sessegnon hardly figuring so far in Mourinho’s tenure thus far, it is perhaps exciting to note that there is more that can be expected from this squad as Mourinho continues to mould them in his own image. 

While the manner of the win demonstrated character, Mourinho must be very concerned about Spurs’ brittle defence, conceding 4 goals in 2 games against less than stellar teams. Sure, the sublime forward play – resulting in 7 goals – provide joy but bittersweet is the knowledge that greater challenges are ahead. 

One feels that there is definitely more to come from Spurs and Mourinho in the days to come. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

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The humble one began his tenure as Spurs’ head coach with an away win at West Ham – Spurs first Premier League win on their travels for almost a year. 

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Jose Mourinho kept to his new image with these words post-match : "It’s not about me; it’s about the players and club. I will hate if somebody says ‘Jose made an impact.’ I made no impact. Nothing. I just helped them a little bit to win this match.“

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Truth be told. Mourinho selected a team that echoed the best days of Pochettino’s Spurs. A 4-2-3-1 formation that crucially played Dele Alli behind Harry Kane in a number ten role. For 70s minutes at least, Spurs played the Hammers off the park, with a deserved commanding three goal lead. 

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By all accounts, Mourinho’s humble words rang true, the new coach did nothing radical. However, the difference in the players’ confidence and attitude was marked and in contrast to recent league form. 

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Noticeably, there was a whole lot of vim and zest about Dele Alli’s performance as he linked play brilliantly in Spurs’ offence. And while it is true that West Ham’s defending was shambolic, the home team had no answer for the cut and thrust of Spurs’ play. 

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Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane all profited from Alli’s Man of the Match performance with a three goal lead established early in the 2nd half. However, the fact that Spurs faded badly in the last 10 minutes will be a cause of concern (not to mention the concession of two goals) for Mourinho but there is time for him to fix that. 

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There is no doubt that this much-needed win bore the thumbprint of the best of Pochettino’s management, there is no doubt that despite his protestations to the contrary Jose Mourinho did indeed make an impact. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

It’s back to business for Tottenham Hotspur after days of shocks and reluctant acceptance of the new normal. Yes, Jose Mourinho is the new head coach of Spurs and he leads his charges into a traditionally difficult fixture – away to West Ham United. 

Since his appointment, Mourinho has been making all the right noises publicly, paying tribute to the work of Mauricio Pochettino, praising his current squad and buying into the vision set out by chairman Daniel Levy. 

Whether or not any of this is true or simply an excellent PR exercise, the real test is on the pitch and really that’s the ONLY thing that matters to Spurs fans. Despite our affection for Pochettino (and what he has achieved), there’s no escaping the fact that our form in 2019 has been poor. Relegation form, in fact. With recent games and results casting a pall over everything related to Spurs. 

No more arguments over what might have been as all we have is the here and now with Mourinho and fingers crossed, we long-suffering Spurs fans will finally get the results that we deserve – Mourinho can talk all he wants, the irrefutable evidence of his impact will be seen in the upcoming games – with West Ham coming up first on Saturday.

Both Spurs and the Hammers have been having torrid times in recent games and so, this is a crucial match for both teams. It has to be noted that the last time Mourinho was at the London Stadium with Man Utd he lost 1-3 and the Hammers will be looking for a similar result, especially in the knowledge that their team typically raise their game for these fixtures, viewing it as some kind of cup final. 

Will Spurs get the benefit of a new coach bounce – Spurs fans are entitled to expect nothing less, considering Mourinho’s vaunted reputation. Emotionally, the players may also want to do well as a tribute to the departed Pochettino, though it would be all too little too late. Thus, I fully expect Spurs to get all three points. Nothing else matters. 

Starting line-up? Who knows. What is evident is that the likes of Lloris, Lamela and Vorm are out, with Ndombele and Vertonghen due for late fitness tests. Mourinho will probably keep faith with his favoured 4-3-3 formation but your guess as good as mine. 

Gazzaniga, Foyth, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Ndombele, Sissoko, Alli, Lo Celso, Son, Kane. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

JOSE MOURINHO’S FIRST TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR PRESS CONFERENCE

Saying all the right words. Still early days though … 

COYS!!!!

The appointment of serial winner Jose Mourinho has deeply divided the Spurs faithful. On one side, fans point to his excellent track record and hope he will bring his winning ways to the club. On the other, fans will highlight the manner in which Mourinho wrecks dressing rooms, even if initially he delivers the goods. There is historical precedent for such a divisive appointment. 

When the legendary Bill Nicholson retired in the 70s, the Spurs board appointed ex-Arsenal captain Terry Neill to the post. Obviously that did not go down well and Neill only lasted two average seasons before heading off to his spiritual home – Highbury. 

Incredibly, Spurs appointed yet another ex-Arsenal player (and manager) George Graham in the late 90s and despite winning the League Cup in 1999 (Spurs’ first trophy in 8 seasons) he was sacked in 2001 by the new incoming Spurs chairman – one Daniel Levy! 

Spurs fans never ever liked Graham and refused to sing his name – even though he won a trophy. His Arsenal roots were too big an obstacle for fans to overcome. 

So perhaps Mourinho is in a better position than Neill and Graham to win over the doubtful fans. Football is a results industry and even though many may not like his abrasive personality or the playing style of his teams, if he turns around Spurs’ fortunes, it is unlikely that these fans will remain reticent. 

Wait and see. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!

Jose saying all the right things. We shall see … 

The world of Spurs fans turned on its head in 12 hours as manager Mauricio Pochettino was surprisingly sacked and Jose Mourinho was brought in quickly to replace him!

Much has been made of the poor form of Spurs in 2019 (apart from the Champions League run) and Pochettino ultimately paid the price. Certainly, the under-performance of individuals and the collective resulted in unfavourable results that have left Spurs languishing in 14th place. 

However, many believed that Pochettino had enough goodwill in the bank to deserve at least the rest of the season to turn things around. They were wrong. One suspects that chairman Daniel Levy was already putting this plan together some time ago, maybe around the time of the Bayern Munich humiliation and the collapse on the South Coast that followed. 

The speed of Mourinho’s appointment bears out this theory. However unjust Pochettino’s sacking was (and it was), as mere spectators, Spurs fans cannot do anything about the situation but wish the magic man all the best in his future endeavours. No doubt, our loss will be another club’s gain. Pochettino gave us an amazing five years and for that we will always be grateful. 

Now, even if you subscribe to the theory that Pochettino had taken Spurs as far as he could, the question now arises – is Jose Mourinho the man to take Spurs to the next level i.e. winning trophies?

Granted, Mourinho has an excellent managerial record – winning trophies at every major club he has overseen. Considering Spurs’ tight financial constraints, will Mourinho be able to replicate his success at FC Porto, when his resources were similarly limited?

Detractors will argue that Mourinho is a manager in decline, his stint at Man United a less stellar one – despite winning the League Cup and Europa League in his first season. Like Man United fans, Mourinho’s tactics – built on defensive strength and lack of possession – will not be popular with Spurs fans but will the prospect of trophies cure all ills? 

Once more, we must approach the season one match at a time. Certainly, all eyes will be on the London Stadium on Saturday, as Mourinho takes charge of his first game, against rivals West Ham United. Mourinho’s first lineup will no doubt be an indicator of where Mourinho defers from Pochettino and while personally, I am gutted at the manner in which Pochettino was shabbily treated, I will get behind the team, no matter who the head coach is. Wait and see. 

COME ON YOU SPURS!!!