Opinion: The problem with Mourinho’s bizarre substitutions

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Jose Mourinho
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Spurs are on, undoubtedly, a poor run of form. Often trailing or drawing games they should be winning in the final 15 minutes or so, naturally, fans assume that Jose Mourinho will bring on someone to change the result.

However, over the course of the past six matches, five of them have finished with Moussa Sissoko, our midfielder with the least influence in an attacking sense, on the field.

In four of the last six matches, Spurs have ended with Sissoko and Højbjerg on the field. To put that into context, Spurs have lost three, drawn two, and won one out of our last six. The single game we won was the match Sissoko did not play.

Another factor of note is Spurs have used their last substitute in the final 10 minutes of the game in each of their past four games, giving next to no time for that substitute to make their mark.

It would be one thing if Spurs had N’koudou, Chadli, and N’jie on the bench, but the Spurs bench is loaded with attacking talent nowadays. Players like Gareth Bale, Lucas Moura, Giovani Lo Celso, Dele Alli, Carlos Vinicius, and Erik Lamela.

Yet Mourinho rarely uses these players. This has been extremely evident with Gareth Bale and Dele Alli. The pair have managed only eleven minutes combined in Tottenham’s last four matches, despite having healthy track records of scoring and creating goals.

Another topic up for discussion is the players Mourinho decides to take off. A favourite of his in this area is Tanguy Ndombele.

Tanguy is the most talented player in the squad and one of the most influential in the final third yet is consistently taken off before the end of the match, regardless of the score.

At the beginning of the season, this was due to Ndombele’s fitness, but he has improved in that area. Mourinho even gave the midfielder “total credit” for turning his career at Spurs around.

Jose now has little time to turn his own Spurs career around with just six Premier League fixtures left as well as the all-important Carabao Cup Final.

If he has any hope of achieving anything this season, Mourinho needs to start using his substitutes in a more influential way.

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