What does Jose Mourinho need to do to improve Tottenham?
Jose Mourinho, at his best, is a trophy machine. At Tottenham, he may be facing the biggest task of his managerial career. Spurs haven’t won a trophy in 12 years, and, right now, they’re a long way off it.
Mourinho has done well during his short time in North London so far – the side have picked up 16 points in eight Premier League games, which is a decent return.
They’re in the Champions League knockout round and they’re still in the FA Cup. Happy days.
At the weekend, however, they drew with Championship side Middlesborough, and, this Saturday, face unbeaten Liverpool.
We’ve had a look at what Mourinho needs to do at Tottenham in order to improve them, and maybe even win that piece silverware Spurs fans crave.
Sort out Christian Eriksen
Eriksen was, arguably, the only success story from the Gareth Bale money Spurs received, then quickly spent, back in 2013.
The Dane has been Spurs’ playmaker for years, registering an incredible 104 assists for the club since he joined, but, this year, he’s gone a bit off the boil.
His contract is up at the end of the season and there’s plenty of talk about him going. Tons of teams seem to be interested, Eriksen himself, apparently, wants out, and Spurs fans are sick of it.
Situation around Christian Eriksen: lots of clubs are interested, (Madrid, Atletico, United, Inter) however inter are currently leading the chase, although the player prefers a move to Real Madrid. @premier_inside pic.twitter.com/hbz9kzVMMe
— Tottenham transfer news (@DavinsonDelight) January 2, 2020
There were rumours of a rift in the camp between he and teammate Jan Vertonghen, and, although they were rapidly shut down, it wasn’t an ideal situation.
When a new manager comes to a club it’s important everyone is on board and pulling in the right direction. Morale should be high.
The situation is far from ideal for Mourinho, and he himself will want to know what’s going on in regards to Eriksen’s future.
If José can convince Eriksen to stay, then great. If not, then it needs to be sorted quick.
Eriksen is a great player, and he’ll need replacing if he does leave. Mourinho won’t want the situation to linger for too long, and he should make sure it doesn’t.
Read More: Should managers respect the FA Cup more?
Find a midfield formula
Everyone knows Mourinho loves the 4-2-3-1 – the two pretty much come hand-in-hand.
So who are the two going to be that protect the defence?
It seemed early on that it was going to be Harry Winks and Eric Dier. The duo started Mourinho’s first two games together, but the Portuguese soon went off the idea – and Eric Dier.
Winks has been in and out of the side, too, as have Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele.
It’s possible Mourinho is still experimenting, but he’ll want to fit a formula that he likes quickly. He doesn’t have Claude Makélélé now.
It’s very possible he’ll need a signing or two, as well. He may want that man that’s going to really protect the defence. Nemanja Matić, maybe?
Daniel Levy finish buying a midfield please
— NathanAClark (@NathanAClark) January 1, 2020
Find some full-backs
Full-backs are a crucial part to the modern football team. Look at Liverpool, look at City, look at Barca.
That hasn’t always really been the case, but it is now. At United, Mourinho was accused of not developing as a coach. He has to do that at Tottenham.
Ben Davies started Mourinho’s first game at left-back. Danny Rose played the second, but it’s pretty much been Jan Vertonghen since then.
Davies and Rose have both struggled with injuries since Mourinho’s arrival, but, being honest, he probably needs to invest in that area anyway.
Vertonghen isn’t the long-term solution. He’s, arguably, the best centre-half at the club, so he should be playing there, even if he is, currently, doing a job out wide.
Ryan Sessegnon is an option – he’s a huge talent and played there loads for Fulham – but many would argue his future lays further forward.
At right-back, following the departure of Kieran Trippier in the summer, Spurs have Serge Aurier, and that’s pretty much it.
2020 is upon us and Serge Aurier is still a Professional footballer
— ⚽dhruv (@dhruvthfc__) December 31, 2019
Kyle Walker-Pieters hasn’t come on as much as many would have hoped and maybe needs a loan move, and, apart from that, you’re probably looking at Foyth or Sissoko filling in – if it comes to it.
Aurier is clumsy. He’s okay, but he’s not going to take Spurs to the next level.
It’s time for Daniel Levy to put his hand in his pocket and give Mourinho what he wants.
Although Mourinho, maybe, isn’t as good a manager as he once was, he definitely knows what he’s doing.
These are just a few things to improve on – he’ll know what else needs to be done and, to put it simply, he has to do it.
All of the hard work carried out by Pochettino and co. shouldn’t and can’t go to waste, so it’s important Mourinho gets the team ticking and competing again.
He’ll have time, that’s for sure, but he needs to improve Tottenham. Time indeed will only tell if he can bring the club that illustrious trophy they’ve been craving.
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