Tottenham Hotspur’s players are simply not doing enough to cope without Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. Whilst any team would be struck hard with two high profile players the remainder of the squad is, in general, failing to do enough – which is the main reason the soccer bets are telling us Spurs will fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.
The main characteristic of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign at Tottenham Hotspur and his period in Southampton was the high press. Constantly harassing the opposition players and not giving defenders a moment’s peace. That has gone. Whilst all eyes are on Spurs’ attacking nightmares, it’s in defence and midfield where bigger concerns lurk. Chelsea barely got past second gear at Stamford Bridge in this match between two sides vying for the top four. Tanguy N’Dombele was supposed to bring a spark to the side when he was signed. Against Chelsea, he showed one part of skill before being hooked off by Jose Mourinho. That aside he seems nowhere near match fit. His injury-prone start at Spurs and his fitness record raises questions about the thoroughness of his fitness test when he signed in the summer. £65 million looks like very bad value for money, at the moment.
Harry Winks is much slower than he was and his passing is either into an opposing player or sideways. The Chelsea backline had much freedom. As did their midfield. A Jose Mourinho team parking the bus is not anything new. However, the players of Tottenham Hotspur are incapable of defending as a unit. It makes the tactic looks naive from such an experienced manager. Japhet Tanganga and Davinson Sanchez both played well and are the future for Tottenham. Alongside them, though, Toby Alderweireld was woefully out of place for the opener of Olivier Giroud. Even worse was the fact that Chelsea were allowed three shots before the ball finally went in at Hugo Lloris’ near post. Not the first time that the World Cup-winning keeper was guilty of this. The second goal came from a great Chelsea move. When the ball came to Marco Alonso who provided a superb finish, he had no one around him. No midfielder or defender. The space he was afforded early into the second half was incredible. Jan Vertonghen appears to be finished at this level. Slow and discarding the ball too frequently. A fantastic servant to Spurs but definitely he will be moved on in the summertime – and you can cash in on this inside track by opening a sports betting account and betting on Jan moving on.
Jose Mourinho’s strategies against Chelsea and in the Champions League against RB Leipzig in midweek were unfavourable. He put up his side to attempt to not lose rather than to attempt to win the matches and lost both. When professional football players cross that line, they have jobs to perform. Tottenham Hotspur’s players aren’t currently doing that right now. Players can adapt to any formation. They have this job because they’re professionals. Against Chelsea and RB Leipzig, too many have gone lost.
Getting through this period without two of their main attackers was always going to be tough for Spurs and Jose Mourinho. The problems run deeper than that. Struggling to buy a striker in January was just one mistake in the transfer window by Spurs and Daniel Levy. Failing to shore up a creaking defence was another. The injury to Son was poor timing. However, Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko have been out for some time now.
Daniel Levy likes to keep out of the limelight and rarely puts himself in front of the camera. Jose Mourinho thrives in the limelight. Levy is in for a rude shock if he expects a quiet summer. The watching football world and Jose Mourinho can see that the players of Tottenham Hotspur need refocusing, re-energising and re-motivating. Some will need to move on. With or without Kane and Son, performances like those at Chelsea and at home to Leipzig aren’t acceptable. Next up is Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium prior to an FA Cup tie against Norwich, again at home. If the players of Tottenham Hotspur do not buck up, their year will be over before spring has had the opportunity to blossom.