Spurs column: Mourinho's Tottenham in limbo
- Credit: PA
The Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho has been under intense scrutiny for his defensive approach to matches, with his tactics often labelled as ‘boring’ and ‘outdated’.
In the days where his counterparts Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are getting results - winning major silverware all while implementing an exciting, attacking brand of football – the regard in which Mourinho is held has shifted.
Thursday night saw Mourinho invite the newly-appointed Thomas Tuchel, another manager with a philosophy built on attack, to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the first-ever meeting between the pair.
It was an opportunity for Spurs to write the wrongs of their previous performances and show supporters a positive reaction.
Reality said otherwise, the display ended in a 1-0 defeat, a limp showing from the players. It was arguably the worst of the season to date. For the lilywhites’ sake, it was positive that spectators weren’t present, they would have been booed of both at half and full-time.
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For the first time in his Premier League career, Mourinho had lost three consecutive home fixtures. Unprecedented waters for the ‘special one’.
The performance further highlighted the over-reliance on Kane and how pivotal he is to Mourinho’s system. His return from injury ahead of the fixture against West Bromwich Albion would have come as a relief.
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His re-introduction into the starting XI made all the difference. Tottenham started the game on the front foot with attacking intent and control on the game.
On his return, it was fitting for Kane to be the one to open the scoring, making it 13 for the current league campaign. He was also heavily involved in the build-up to the second, which sealed the 2-0 victory.
Ultimately, Mourinho’s legacy is built solely on his silverware, wherever he has gone he has won trophies. It is why he is heralded as ‘the special one’ and it is what he will forever be judged on.
Goodison Park was the scene for an enthralling fifth-round battle between Everton and Tottenham, but it was Spurs who suffered. Narrowly losing 5-4 after extra-time in a nine-goal thriller.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men piled the pressure straight back onto Mourinho, slashing the odds on the Tottenham trophy drought ending. In what could go on to become a pivotal moment in Mourinho’s Spurs career, it leaves him with just the Carabao Cup and Europa League to aim for.
Pressure on the Wembley showdown against Manchester City increased, with the bow out of the FA Cup, and with the struggling form of late, the race for the top four will be a difficult one.
Mourinho will be desperate to get his hands on a trophy and Spurs back into Europe’s elite, he wants nothing more than to silence his critics.
However, with this arguably the toughest position he has been in during his managerial career, results over the next few months will have a huge impact on the longevity of his leadership at Spurs
Could recent results mark the beginning of the end for Jose Mourinho as manager of Tottenham Hotspur?