Is Mourinho losing the Tottenham dressing room?
By Louis Reeves
You would think with Tottenham’s previous results in the Europa league and the fact they had a 2-0 advantage going into the second leg that they would be cruising into the next round of the competition. However, that was far from the case against Dinamo Zagreb as the hosts battered the Lily whites 3-0 in an utterly embarrassing performance from the North London side.
Spurs needed a result from this game on the back of their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in Sundays North London derby. Credit should not be stripped from Dinamo Zagreb as they did deliver an astonishing performance, especially from forward Mislav Orsic who stunned Tottenham with a hattrick.
This has left Tottenham fans scratching their heads, wondering what is going on behind closed doors at the club. It is clear to see that the attitude amongst the squad is deteriorating, evident in some performances this season. Could it be with Son and Kane basically being a double act, providing the majority of Tottenham’s goals and assists this season, is causing an impact with the squad’s morale? Maybe other players within the team feel undervalued? These questions are yet to be answered but it is clear as day that there is an issue at Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho has said himself that he was disappointed with the difference in attitude between the two sides and that he feels that his side also lack life skills in regards to the fact that his players do not respect their job. Harsh but very true words from the head coach.
This is a major contrast from the famous 2019 champions league run. Cast your mind back to the second leg against Ajax where Spurs came back from a 3-0 deficit. In the dying embers of the game a blessing of a goal from Lucas Moura secured Tottenham a place in the Champions league final. Every player on the pitch gave it their all, practically died for each other, fighting for the badge. How can a team that was prepared to fight for survival become so heartless in the course of two years? I personally feel that Tottenham is a team that tends to lose the connection to their manager. Although when the much-loved Mauricio Pochettino was in charge, he was a dearly valued member at Tottenham and he did have a great connection with his players, he did lose the dressing room after the defeat in the champions league final, leading to his sacking the next season. Now look at current boss Mourinho. When he was appointed, he carried Tottenham to a sixth-place finish with an excellent run of form. And now he looks like he has lost the dressing room. When appointed, Jose looked like he had a plan with how he made Tottenham play. Tactically sound with minimal error and maximum conviction. However, recently the team looks lost, no plan and just free to do what they like. After speaking to a die-hard Spurs fan on the current issue he told me “All it looks like is that Jose has said to the players, give the ball to Kane or Son and hope for the best”. This answer alone made me question Tottenham’s recent tactics and how all of their goals are coming from these two players.
With that being said, I do think it would be harsh to sack Jose at this point in his Tottenham career. It has only been the past two fixtures where things look unstable. It seems that a lot of people forget the monstrosity of goals scored prior to these two games. A four-goal win was not a surprise to Tottenham, but with the two back-to-back losses, those huge margin wins are buried deep in the forgotten closet of everyone’s minds. Let’s see if Tottenham can sort their attitude and chase for a top 5 finish this season.