Jose Mourinho’s stint at Tottenham hasn’t been the best so far. As always, there is a divide between fans for as to who is to be blamed. That is always the case with Jose and whenever things start to go haywire for him which is why many of the analysts involved in Sports Betting in Nigeria are suggesting Jose will be gone by the time the new season finally gets underway. But this time around, it is easy to say that this isn’t his team yet.
Jose’s teams have a regular structure that have followed him around at every club. That structure has seen his team reap trophies- even at Manchester United. At Spurs, Jose doesn’t have that structure. In fact, he doesn’t have the right players for it. If he’s had them, injuries haven’t helped that.
The defensive midfielder has always been an important part of Mourinho’s teams historically. At Porto, Costinha had the role of sitting in front of the back four and breaking up play in dominating fashion. At Chelsea, Claude Makelele made sure that the role was named after him. At Inter, Thiago Motta or Esteban Cambiasso would do that. At Man Utd, Mourinho had Nemanja Matic win tackles in defensive midfield and circulate it forward.
At Spurs, he hardly has any player in that mould. Eric Dier was tried but he failed. Victor Wanyama has left for Montreal Impact. Harry Winks has been playing that role but he isn’t the proper ball-winner than Wanyama used to be. For Jose’s teams, proper ball-winners set the tone of the defence and attack.
As per Wyscout, Winks losses the ball 7.56 times per game in his own half. That clearly shows that the England international isn’t the defensive midfielder Jose is looking for.
While that is the most important position in the team for Mourinho, Tanguy NDombele’s issues haven’t helped. Like Michael Essien was, NDombele is seen as someone who can play the role of that all-action midfielder.
After Spurs’ 1-1 draw against Burnley, Mourinho slammed NDombele. He said: “But I’m not going to run away and I have to say he [Ndombele] has had enough time to come to a different level.
“I know the Premier League is difficult, and some players take a long time to adapt to a different league. But a player with his potential has to give us more than he is giving us, especially when you see how Lucas, Lo Celso and those players are playing. I was expecting more in the first half from him.”
While it shows that there is a problem, the attacking injuries have taken anything Jose had to rely on. Harry Kane’s hamstring injury is the highest problem. When Spurs were having the same midfield issues under Mourinho, Kane would drop deeper to add an extra number.
His heatmap for the season shows that Kane would often drop deeper and allow support to a light midfield. This allowed the wingers in Son and Lucas Moura more space to run into. It became a trademark of how Spurs would play under Jose.
Injuries to Kane, Son and Steven Bergwijn have seen a large amount of burden fall on Dele Alli. He isn’t a proper striker and has struggled due to that. The lack of a structure has seen Mourinho use varying formations and not find a system.
The light midfield would leave the centre-backs without any cover. This has seen Spurs pick up the least number of clean sheets in the whole season.
While it does come down to lack of a proper midfield, Jose will have the summer to himself. The recruitment he does in the summer will be key for his future at the club. If it goes well, he can stay longer. If he doesn’t, his Spurs stint might last lesser than three years.