Opinion: How issues within the dressing room are impacting Spurs on the pitch

Image: SpursWeb

A major problem that has recently surfaced is the Tottenham clearly have a disjointed dressing room. After our disgraceful loss against Dinamo Zagreb, club captain Hugo Lloris hinted towards this in his post-match interview.

Lloris said: “You cannot let it down if you play or you don’t play. To behave as a team is the most difficult thing in football.

“Whatever the decision of the manager, you have to follow the way of the team. If you follow the team only when you are in the starting XI it causes big problems for the team because you pay” (BT Sport).

These comments are riddled with hints towards the dressing room not being fully committed to backing Mourinho. This has been building up over time and, in recent weeks, the cracks are becoming more and more prominent.

This, coupled with the recent situation with veteran Alderweireld and his exclusion from the club’s draw against relegation candidates Newcastle, shows there are some deeply ingrained issues at the club.

It was originally reported by Mourinho that Alderweireld had turned up for training only on the Saturday prior to the game, meaning that he only had one session before the away fixture.

The Spurs head coach put this down to the Belgian returning late from international duty and having to get COVID tested.

However, sources within the club reportedly revealed that Alderweireld was present in training with the team on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Evening Standard).

Whatever the real reason for Alderweireld missing the fixture last Sunday it must be something that Mourinho does not want to be made public.

A fully committed dressing room is something that Mourinho has thrived off in his career and has also been absolutely vital in his success over the last two decades.

Michael Ballack, who played for Mourinho at Chelsea, explained clearly that for things to work and a team to be successful under Mourinho you always need to be 100% committed, even if you do not agree with aspects of his coaching style.

“You have to deal with him, and as a club and as players, you have to find a good relationship with him. If you appoint Mourinho, you know what you get.

“You have to be 100 per cent committed to his way and you have to accept that. Even if sometimes it’s difficult, you know it can be really successful” (FourFourTwo).

Currently, at Tottenham, it is clear that although he may have the backing of influential players such as Kane and Lloris, there are quite a few in the dressing room who are taking an active stance against the Portuguese manager.

The lack of trust and commitment from squad players will be something that Mourinho takes very personally and will be ruthless toward those who he deems to be actively affecting the team’s spirit.

I personally believe that a team under Mourinho needs to be completely committed to him and need to get fully on board with his plans in order to be successful.

He is reliant on strong characters such as Terry and Ramos as examples from his previous clubs to help him keep the team together and concentrated on the long term goal of silverware.

It was clear at Madrid when there was a dispute between Mourinho and club legend Casillas that Mourinho kept the backing of players and Casillas was cast aside.

Even with such an influential player like Casillas being publicly shunned, the players remained loyal and supported the manager all the way through. They understood that even though they may not agree with the method the outcome was always going to be success.

This is one of the key failings currently at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the fact that players are not fully behind the manager is leading to cracks in the dressing room and this, in turn, has started to spill out onto the pitch.

Eventually, this could be the downfall of Mourinho as once you lose a dressing room it can become increasingly hard over time to win it back.

The only way I can see him overcoming this period of fragility is by bringing in silverware, proving to players that although they may not agree, the methods used clearly produce results and success.

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