Football.London’s Alasdair Gold, who was in attendance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for Spurs’ pre-season friendlies against Reading on Friday has revealed that Jose Mourinho and Joao Sacramento were relentless in demanding the players to press their opponents.
Tottenham used to press with considerable intensity a couple of years ago under Mauricio Pochettino, with opposition teams often struggling to keep the ball under waves of pressure from the Lilywhites.
That is an aspect of Spurs’ play that has disappeared over the last couple of years, with the team being more intent on sitting back with a mid to low block.
That situation has unsurprisingly not changed since the arrival of Mourinho, with the Portuguese coach preferring his team to play on the counter-attack last season.
However, on the evidence of Tottenham’s showing in the pre-season friendlies so far, that might be about to change as Mourinho’s men hardly allowed Ipswich, Reading or Birmingham any time on the ball.
Gold revealed that there was one moment in the first-half during Tottenham’s clash against Reading on Friday when the home side were 2-0 up and cruising.
After not being impressed with what he saw from the team, Joao Sacramento reportedly sprinted to the edge of the technical area and began screaming at Tottenham’s attacking players to press the opposition defence.
Mourinho and Ledley King also reportedly joined in demanding the Spurs stars to press with more intensity, which suggests that the coaching staff might be trying to transition the team into a more front-foot approach.
Spurs Web Opinion
What was interesting to note during our pre-season friendlies so far is that we are not really pressing high and playing with a high block. We are defending fairly deep and are still playing with a mid to low block for the majority of the game.
However, we are picking our moments to press the opposition high up the pitch and win the ball in the final third. There are clearly specific complex pressing triggers that the coaching staff are working on, with a lot being demanded of our attacking players.
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