The Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman believes that putting Tottenham Hotspur’s decline down to Jose Mourinho’s failures is too simplistic and pointed the finger at the club’s unwillingness to invest into the first-team squad as the main reason.
Jose Mourinho has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism since taking over at Spurs.
The Spurs boss’ critics have once again made their voices heard over the past week as the Lilywhites look set to miss out on Champions League qualification for the first time in five years.
There have been suggestions that the Portuguese coach was the wrong appointment for Spurs, with his tactical approach to games being scrutinised by some.
While Ladyman accepts that the 57-year-old might not have been the ideal choice to replace Mauricio Pochettino at the helm, he insisted that the main factor behind the club’s decline is their recruitment strategy.
In his latest column for The Mail, he wrote: “The appointment of Jose Mourinho was probably not the right one but it’s lazy to say he could never be successful there. It is not completely inconceivable that he could make Spurs a top-four club again but to do so he would need money that he just is not going to get.
“Certainly the manager is not the only cloud that will hover over Tottenham’s beautiful new stadium at kick-off on Monday night.
“The club borrowed £637million to build their home and what was a huge sum a year ago seems altogether more significant in the Covid-19 era.
“With no supporters spending money, two American football fixtures cancelled — the first one held at the stadium last October generated £1m in beer sales alone — and Champions League qualification no longer likely, it stands to reason that Tottenham will not be breaking a long-term habit of parsimony when the transfer window opens.
“And that, more than anything, is the problem. Of all the missteps made at Spurs in recent times, the mismanagement of the squad has harmed the club the most.
“Some good players — Walker, Kieran Trippier, Christian Eriksen — have moved on. Others — Dier, Dele Alli — have regressed, while many of the replacements — Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Tanguy Ndombele — have not yet made a significant mark at the club.
“It does not really matter who your manager is if your players aren’t good enough and, although Mourinho is clearly part of the problem at Spurs, he is not the whole problem. Not by a long way.
“And this is what is sad — not so much what Tottenham will become under Mourinho, but thinking instead about everything they have lost.”
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One wonders if Levy would have still appointed Mourinho if he had known that the COVID-19 pandemic would hit and seriously cripple the club’s finances. I suspect Levy appointed Jose with the intention of backing him considerably in the transfer market. However, that clearly will not be possible now and it is up to the Spurs boss to prove that he can get results by being creative in the market, something that he is not really known for.
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