Ex-Spurs player bewildered by Mourinho’s defensive selection against Burnley

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Jose Mourinho
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Former Tottenham goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, was left confused by Jose Mourinho’s decision to start Jan Vertonghen at left wing-back against Burnley over Ryan Sessegnon.

Spurs lined up with Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, and Toby Alderweireld in central defence, while Jan Vertonghen and Japhet Tanganga started as wing-backs at Turf Moor.

The set-up didn’t work as the home side were dominant in the first half and deservedly took the lead through Chris Wood.

Jose Mourinho decided to change the shape at half time by moving Dier to midfield and bringing on Giovani Lo Celso to partner him.

The Spurs boss singled out Tanguy Ndombele’s poor showing as the reason for the team’s lacklustre first-half display (Sky Sports) but Robinson believes it was down to Mourinho’s formation.

He couldn’t understand why Vertonghen started over Sessegnon on Saturday and insisted that the Portuguese coach’s habit of chopping and changing his backline suggests that he doesn’t yet know the best combination.

Speaking to Football Insider, the former England number one said: “I do not know how he (Mourinho) wants to play. The formation and personnel are changing weekly which means the manager is not happy. He does not have a formula.

“He has been changing it to cope with the players that are missing but he is persisting with five at the back. I do not think Vertonghen at left wing-back is the answer, at all. You have got to have a player to do that role.

“Ben Davies was not in the squad but Sessegnon was so if you are going to play that style then he has to be playing. He played there at Fulham. You have to play more attack-minded wing-backs.”

Spurs Web Opinion

The decision to go with the back five he did against Burnley was probably to curb the home side’s ariel threat and I would argue that it worked. However, there is no question that we looked much better going forward in the second half when we switched to a back four and brought Lo Celso on.

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