Opinion: An emptying glass

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

The statisticians tell us that Tuesday night’s defeat secured Jose Mourinho’s worst winless run in his 900 plus games as a manager.

Am I giving up on him? Of course not but my usual positive outlook is being tested!

Do I think Jose is the man to lead us to a bright new dawn, turning us from challengers to champion? Only time will tell but I do know that I will be watching the last 9 games from behind the sofa!

It really isn’t a great watch at the moment.  However, I am starting to feel a shift of blame towards the board for failing to address the ‘obvious’ slide with recruitment in previous transfer windows.

While Jose isn’t wholly blameless he has inherited a team that was already sailing close to the rocks and almost immediately was Shawn of its Captain and First Mate.

Although Son and Kane may be back towards the end of the season I fear that by the time they are back to any sort of sharpness the race for the top four will be lost.  Out of the Fa Cup and Champions League within the space of a week, Sunday’s game with Manchester United really is the most important of the season.

When Jose joined Spurs we knew there would be a shift in the style of play.  Just because the ‘high-pressing’ game is prevalent doesn’t mean it’s the only way.  After all Jose has had monumental success at his previous clubs with his own unique tactics.

A tight defence, letting teams play in their own half and hitting them spectacularly on the break can also be exciting and swashbuckling.  However therein lies the issue at Spurs.

Having lost our two most effective counter-attacking players Son and Berjgwin to injury, our third, Lucas Moura has been run into the ground. Boy has he ran his socks off for the cause.

However, the major issue and flaw in the plan is that we just can’t defend! For all of the debate around missing Kane and Son the simple fact is that we are appalling in defence at the moment. Basically Jose has been stymied at both ends of the pitch!

From a statistical point of view before the Burnley game it was reported that 87% of goals conceded were as a result of individual errors or set pieces.  Add in 3 goals in the last 2 games where Lloris ‘could have done better’ and the statistic is still going only one way.

Ossie Ardiles reign was a rollercoaster ride but synonymous with a ‘famous five’ attacking quintet of Sherringham, Barmby, Klinsman, Anderton and Dumitrescu.

In a desperate attempt to shore up the defence on Saturday Jose took to the field against Burnley with FIVE centre backs. I sincerely hope that come the end of Jose’s reign this isn’t what he is remembered for!

You then get the critics who suggest that Mourinho was wrong to criticise Tanguy Ndombele for his performance on Sunday.  Again I feel that this was a last throw of the dice by Jose to try and get some fire in the Frenchman’s belly.  He is our record signing earning 200k a week I have no sympathy and for anyone in any doubt as to how ineffectual his performance was I urge you to watch Jamie Carragher’s excellent piece of analysis.  To say he played as if he was trying to run off a 3-course meal is an understatement!

We were always told that Pochettino did his homework on all major signings.  I can only think that his dog must have eaten his piece on Tanguy.

If anything good can come from this I hope that the club tear up the current transfer process and start again.  While I can accept a couple of gambles not coming off like N’Jie or Nkoudou, this is our record signing!

The ramifications of continued non-performance from Ndombele will continue to be felt.  Not least having had his fingers burnt I would imagine levy’s wallet will be even harder to prize open.

While I have little expectation for the remaining 9 games all we can ask for as fans are displays that make us proud of the players again. The fans were immense in Germany and we need to carry on that level of support on Sunday.

We joke about the West Ham game being their cup final – let’s make it ours and create the best atmosphere we have had in the stadium.

Should Champions League qualification prove beyond us then at the very least we need to finish the season positively and see some green shoots of recovery leading into pre-season.  After that, Jose it’s over to you.  A clean sheet of paper.  Full Pre-season.  No more excuses.  COYS  

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