The last time Spurs lost 3 games in a row they ended up finishing 5th under AVB.
While they would love to replicate a certain Gareth Bale’s form that season they will still have aspirations of finishing higher than 5th and securing a place in the Champions League for next season.
Spurs are arguably entering one of most important weeks of Jose Mourinho’s Spurs managerial career and do so on the back of a far better performance at home to West Brom.
Spurs started the game v with Davinson Sanchez replacing Eric Dier and Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane being restored to the starting line-up.
Dier appears to have paid the price for his mistake in conceding the penalty vs Chelsea. However, it should be remembered that he has, on the whole, had a good season and played a large part in the strong defensive performances from earlier matches.
While Jose will be desperate to get Dier back into the team as he epitomises the Portuguese coaches values, I wonder if he now realises that an Alderweireld / Dier partnership is lacking when faced with a pacey forward line.
Steven Bergwijn also lost his place. Jose is obviously a big fan of the Dutchman due to his work rate and has trusted him in big games this season. He has clearly bought into the Jose tracking back requirements but seems to lack a spark going forwards at the moment. Maybe he struggling to find the balance between defence and attack, maybe acting under instruction….. Either way I feel he needs a goal.
Such is quality and aura of the player, the appearance of Kane on the team sheet lifts his teammates and fans instantly.
While his quick recovery from injury bought about a change of dynamic to the team, not to mention his goal, I feel that the reintroduction of Lamela and Moura gave Spurs a cutting edge that they have been missing in recent weeks.
Moura tends to at least try to drive forwards at every opportunity and his positivity in the first 5 minutes eclipsed that of the whole team v Chelsea. He has his critics amongst the fans but looks to have a positive mind-set and always appears to be trying hard.
Lamela always seems to lift the side, usually by being tenacious and not afraid to put in a tackle, but today he looked strong in the number 10 position always busy and trying to move the ball forwards. If his right foot was stronger he’d be the first name on my team sheet.
Goals from Kane and Son gave Spurs a much needed two-goal victory. The latter another player needing a goal as he looked like he was struggling with the responsibility of single-handedly trying provide the attacking spark in recent weeks. He will be as pleased to have Kane back as anyone.
It was also nice to see Jose give a few minutes to 16-year-old Dane Scarlet who is pulling up trees for the academy sides this season.
All in all the team looked far more energised than the lacklustre display v Chelsea.
Although a far better and more progressive, West Brom did have 2 goals disallowed for offside…….
It could’ve gone sour. Let’s not get carried away……
While there is a feeling that Jose’s time at a club is very cyclical in terms of seasons, Spurs fans are experiencing the wave of emotions on a game by game basis!
The green shoots in season 1, flourishing into trophies by season 2 before combusting in season 3.
There was been some talk of Spurs missing the season 2 Jose and skipping straight to mark 3. (Let’s face it, it would be typical Spurs). The jury is out.
This next week will give us an indication of whether Spurs can build on a solid performance v West Brom and retain an interest in the FA Cup v Everton at Goodison Park as well as needing a statement performance v a Man City side looking imperious.
Everton are in a similar position to Spurs targeting trophies and a top 4 finish and will be a tough proposition on their own turf under the wily Ancelotti.
One of Jose’s biggest achievements during his time at Spurs so far has been his success against Pep Guardiola. The league game next week will provide a tasty appetiser to the league cup final in April.
I am sure Pep has been working on a game plan but so will Jose. Although criticised in some quarters for an outdated approach, there is no doubting his meticulous preparation.
Although someone not to be swayed by the comments of journalists and fans, even Jose admitted the game v West Brom was a ‘must win’. The more attacking line up also suggested that he too was upset by the weak showing v Chelsea.
A week is a long time in football and this one is a biggie.
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