The new Tottenham boss has ought to create his side more difficult to break down, but he’s been warned that fans expect a greater experience. “Jose Mourinho might have decided that he couldn’t anticipate his Tottenham team when inheriting the reins but will find quickly that fans won’t settle for”negativity in each home game”, says Jermaine Jenas.
Spurs’ latest outing saw them embody the dogged determination that their Portuguese trainer is famous for.
Mourinho set up his side against Manchester City to include and frustrate old adversary Pep Guardiola, with the hosts ready to sit at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and await mistakes.
Spurs made their Premier League foes cover their shortcomings, as Steven Bergwijn and Heung-min Son secured a 2-0 win, but Mourinho was cautioned that more will be expected from his group after a new training regime has its own feet under the table.
Ex-Tottenham midfielder Jenas told BBC Sport: “I do not blame Jose for enjoying the way he did against City, due to the way results went when he took control of Spurs.
“He knew he’d goals in his team so he went out and just let them play, and they had some crazy effects in the first couple of months when they were winning with all kinds of scores.
“That was not going to last. He couldn’t expect his team to go out and score goals, particularly if Harry Kane got hurt, so instead he began setting them up to not be beaten. This was clearly Tottenham’s strategy against City on Sunday.
“Look at Japhet Tanganga in left-back, for instance. He was told ‘you aren’t going anywhere today’, so he had to return all game.
“It paid off for Mourinho at the end, but Spurs fans won’t allow that sort of negativity in each home game.
“So he needs to work on his side’s style of play, but of course getting a result this way still has lots of positives.
“Mourinho was talking a lot about how his players lack assurance, which he probably didn’t anticipate when he arrived at the club.
“Well, getting through games such as this one will provide the players’ plenty of belief, and we watched some other significant signs too.
“Mourinho has piled out Christian Eriksen’s scenario, by selling him to Inter, while Jan Vertonghen, another participant whose future is uncertain because he’s from this contract at the end of the year, was on the seat.
“I looked out on the pitch and there wasn’t a player out there whose attention I’d be worried about anymore.
Victory over City has lifted Tottenham back into fifth place in the Premier League table, four points adrift of London competitions Chelsea and the last Champions League eligibility place.