Tottenham are in the thick of the Premier League race still, and that’s good for Jose Mourinho
For the Special One, this year has been strange to say the least. His team Tottenham appeared in a very positive place earlier, with Sergio Reguilon settling in nicely on the backline, and Gareth Bale providing yet another threat to accompany the likes of Son Hueng-Min, Harry Kane, Lucas Mouro and the like.
Yet after that rather hot start, the club has sank back into the pack. While the Carabao Cup champion is still to be determined, and might yet be the trophy that bolsters the Portuguese managers case to remain at the club, it would be a massive upset to beat Manchester City with their current form.
The hope therefore, has remained that Mourinho could end the hardware drought via the FA Cup or Europa League, if not in the Premier League itself. Unfortunately for that side of north London, it appears as though none of those other scenarios will be happening.
Everton knocked Tottenham out of the FA Cup in extra time at the beginning of February, while Dynamo Zagreb pulled a shock 3-0 comeback in the second leg of their round of sixteen draw just days ago. The latter event, one which appeared impossible after the 2-0 victory just the week before, sent shock waves across England and Spurs fans in particular.
Would the Special One even keep his job to the end of the season? After reaching the Champions League Finals under Mauricio Pochettino, the sluggish domestic start cost the Argentine his job; the regression under Mourinho feels more obvious than that sluggishness of the end of the Pochettino era, yet it surely has to do with injuries and poor luck as well. But a top four position would save Jose Mourinho for at least another summer transfer window, the question now persists whether he can attain this however.
Jose Mourinho: Yesterday’s Man
The Special One is a legend. He is a legend in every nation he has managed at and might even become a legend as a national manager should he desire the challenge after his club days are behind him, whether permanently or for but a spell. Yet his last two stops are likely proof that his style and theories might be best suited, at this stage in the development of football, in countries like Italy, Portugal or even the Netherlands.
This is no disrespect, to either him or the aforementioned nations; he is still an excellent coach who could likely make noise as an international manager as well, as I previously stated. Yet in the toughest leagues in the world, there is becoming a disconnect visible to those who have witnessed his time at both Manchester United, and now at Tottenham.
It is as though he cannot get the entire machine functioning in unison. If the offense is positive, the defense might very well be negative; should the defense be positive and assertive then perhaps the chances to score are not capitalized upon. And of course there are days where we see both either functioning or failing as well.
The injuries to players across the campaign, from Gareth Bale not being fit at the start of the season, to Harry Kane going down with an injury, only to return healthy before Hueng-Min injured himself in the most recent North London Derby, have taken their toll clearly. Dropping points across the season always comes back to bite a team, whether that team is Everton with Newcastle United, or Arsenal with Burnley and West Ham (who are playing quite marvelously actually).
Yet we see all teams contending with injuries, and Tottenham have talent to be sure, from the front to back of the shape. The expectation of European football is massive with Arsenal still relatively lame after decades of success, and it will be hard to keep the brilliant talent they have there without the enticement of European trophies. With nine Premier League games remaining, Spurs will have to get to it, and without the easiest of schedules as well.
Tottenham and Jose Mourinho: A few bad losses from an early divorce.
After securing three points against Aston Villa, Tottenhham are just a point off of West Ham for fifth place, and three off of Chelsea in fourth. With their next match featuring Newcastle United, another three points should be expected, and would do wonders for the outfit as they face an absolutely turgid stretch as it relates to the high quality of the opposition, before finishing the season with easier competition.
Man United come to visit after the Newcastle game, with Tottenham traveling up to Goodison Park after that. The EFL Cup finals against Manchester City follows; those three matches and their results could very well offer us insight into the teams prospects for the remaining matches.
Victories in all three sees the clubs trophy drought broken, humble-bragging by Jose Mourinho, as well as confidence going forward; losses create just the positive mindset and energy. If they can remain in positive spirits passed those games, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Wolves, Aston Villa and Leicester City end the campaign; I can see Spurs losing at least three of those games as well, and so it could very well be closer than it should be at the end.
While Spurs are absolutely better than at least four of the last five teams they face, it has been seen that this team will play down as much as they’ll play up. That is a dangerous mindset and could ultimately cost them; if the Special One is sacked in the coming months, we will not be confused as per why it occurred. It is obvious to everyone, isn’t it?