Jose Mourinho has claimed that Tanguy Ndombele has the talent to play in various positions across the midfield due to the attributes that he possesses.
The Spurs boss has been primarily using Ndombele as a number ten this season but he opted to play him in a deeper role against Sheffield United as the Frenchman partnered Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in a midfield two, with Tottenham lining up with a back five.
The position seemed to bring the best out of the 23-year-old, who was one of Tottenham’s best players on the day.
He showed defensive discipline and was also the away side’s most creative player in possession, capping off his performance with a brilliantly taken lob to help his side run out 3-1 win winners.
Some pundits have suggested that playing in a deeper midfield role suits Ndombele but Mourinho insisted that top players, like the former Lyon man, can perform in various roles.
When asked what he thought Ndombele’s best position was, Mourinho told Football.London: “A top player plays in every position, and it’s not a problem for a top player.
“Top players they play in every position, top players they don’t get excuses about the system, the position, the way the team plays.
“Top players they play in every team, in every system, with every coach. When sometimes I listen ‘Player x is not playing well because the team plays this way or that way’, that is (swears).
“That is typical excuses from players’ entourage, directors without any idea of what football is, that is just speculation.
“Tanguy is a midfield player. Of course, if he plays right-back or left-back it is difficult for him, but with his physical condition, the way he is now, he can be perfect as a midfield player like he was today, a number ten position with his creation, his change of speed is also very, very possible, I am very pleased with his performance today.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Mourinho is right when he says that Tanguy can play in several positions but the 23-year-old showed today that he can offer more to the team when he plays deeper and sees more of the ball. What we might sacrifice in terms of defensive cover by starting Ndombele ahead of Sissoko in a two-man midfield, we more than gain in terms of creativity and fluidity in possession.
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