Tottenham stuck in a rut as clouds gather over Mourinho
By Martyn Herman
LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – When Tottenham Hotspur topped the Premier League in December even those fans who opposed the visit of Jose Mourinho as manager were beginning to think the Portuguese may be the Unique One after all.
After Thursday’s dismal defeat by Chelsea, Tottenham’s 3rd on the spin, that belief has actually vaporized with the north London club reversing at a disconcerting rate of knots.
While Chelsea under brand-new supervisor Thomas Tuchel have moved up to 6th in the Premier League, Tottenham have sunk to eighth and there appears little indication of things improving soon.
The season begun with Tottenham putting 5 goals past Southampton and striking Manchester United for six with Mourinho, better-known for the practical football that has won him sackloads of flatware as a manager, obviously throwing caution to the wind.
That was replaced with grinding performances but Tottenham still reached the top with a counter-attacking win over Manchester City in November and returned there in December after beating Arsenal.
Pretty it was not, however effective it most definitely was.
Now, nevertheless, Tottenham’s design is neither and had their stunning stadium been full with 60,000 fans on Thursday, Mourinho would have withstood an uncomfortable night.
Admittedly they lacked injured talisman Harry Kane and quicksilver right back Sergio Reguilo but even if they had actually been fit it is not likely to have actually made much difference with Tottenham out-passed and out-witted by an impressive Chelsea side who should have won by more than Jorginho’s first-half penalty.
Tottenham’s slogan is “to attempt is to do” but there was valuable little proof of that as, apart from a late flurry, they were utterly without creativity or spirit.
With a League Cup final to come versus Manchester City, offering the possibility of a first trophy considering that 2008, and with the club still in the FA Cup and Europa League, it is not likely Mourinho will not see out the season.
But he understands his track record as one of the world’s best supervisors is in danger of further damage if Tottenham’s season continues to decipher.
Mourinho waited his group on Thursday, but might not disguise a terrible start.
” The efficiency in the first half was inferior to Chelsea. They had the initiative. They had the ball,” he stated.
” However the reality of the first half is that with them being superior, it was a charge that chose the first half which chosen in the end the outcome of the game.
” In the second half we were far better and since we were better they were not remarkable at all.”
Although his side did finish highly and might have made an undeserved point had Carlos Vinicius not missed a marvelous opportunity it was still a chastening night for Mourinho who suffered consecutive house league beats for the first time in his career.
” Confidence levels are extremely, extremely important to play football,” he stated. “When a team does not have good results, a duration when results are bad, you require that click back to go back to normality.” (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond).