José Mourinho did not expect that. At the start of this new exercise, the Special One seemed to have found the right formula at Tottenham. Indeed, his team delighted observers and accumulated successes under the leadership of his duo Kane-Son. The Londoners had even climbed to the top of the Premier League podium between the 10th and 13th day of the championship. We thought then that the Spurs were on course to have a good season and that they could even hope to annoy Manchester City and Liverpool. But the tide has turned for Tottenham.
In recent weeks, the English club has been moving slowly or even no longer moving forward. In the last 8 matches played in all competitions, the Spurs lost 6 retakes (2 successes). In the Premier League, they have taken only 12 points out of 36 possible in the last 12 days. Ninth with 36 points and behind, the Londoners must react quickly. And the leaders of the club are counting on José Mourinho to restart the machine after Sunday’s defeat against West Ham (2-1). One too many for Daniel Levy and his teams who put pressure on the Portuguese coach, more than ever in the hot seat.
Part of the locker room does not like his methods
This was explained on Tuesday on Daily Telegraph. Tottenham are said to have set an ultimatum for the former Real Madrid coach, namely to fill up on points and victories over the next 12 days, that is to say during the meetings against Wolfsberger AC (Europa League), Burnley, Fulham and Crystal Palace ( PL). A point will then be made by President Levy, who would have made Julian Nagelsmann his priority in the event of Mourinho’s dismissal. Which would cost Spurs 35 million euros. Suffice to say that all parties have an interest in the Portuguese succeeding in reversing the trend.
For this, he will have to win back his players. Because The Athletic and the Daily Mail revealed this Tuesday that a good part of the locker room would not really appreciate Mourinho’s methods. The players are said to be unhappy with the work done during the training sessions. Indeed, these would be lightened to such an extent that the Spurs would ask to work much more. Some players would like to go back to the old method put in place by Mauricio Pochettino, with double sessions and fewer days off.
Mourinho does not doubt
In addition, we learn that several elements think that the team wants to improve the defensive game too much and not to make mistakes to the detriment of the offensive game. Which would frustrate and annoy part of the locker room. The media cite the example of a session before the game against Liverpool where the team spent hours working on the defense on the throw-in. Mourinho’s goal is to exploit the weak points of the opponents and not to rely on the strength of its troops. A reluctance that would annoy Tottenham (37 goals scored, 27 conceded).
A source close to the English club told The Athletic : “Everything has changed, even training is now so defensive. There is no plan to move the ball forward. The plan is to defend, to throw the ball at Harry Kane and Heung-min Son. That’s all.” Despite this, José Mourinho believes in his methods. “No, I don’t doubt it, not at all. Zero. Sometimes the results are the consequence of multiple situations in football. My method and that of my coaching team are second to none in the world. I don’t know what you mean by crisis. If the crisis is frustration and sadness in the locker room, I would say yes, because no one is happy. “ The site is therefore immense for a Mourinho who must convince his players and his club that he is still the man for the job.