Premier League

Jose Mourinho's disaster-class risks taking Tottenham to irrelevance

Spurs' opening-day display should be of real concern for a team that have descended far from their Champions League final appearance

6:00pm on Monday 14th September 2020
Paul Macdonald

Were Everton good, or were Tottenham merely woefully bad?

In fairness to Carlo Ancelotti's side, they look a far more composed and formidable unit with their new signings than before. All three arrivals, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan and James Rodriguez, formed a midfield that already looks to be coalescing nicely.

Tottenham 0-1 Everton: Player Statistics, Match Stats, FC Ratings

And in Dominic Calvert-Lewin they had a shrewd target man who bulleted home a quite brilliant header. But they were allowed to do all of these things by a passive, emotionless, directionless Tottenham performance.

You can talk about there being different ways to play, and win, a game of football. And there's certainly still merits to establishing your team in a defensive, stoic manner that puts the emphasis on keeping the opposition out. But in order to have anyone come with you to make it work, it's got to be planned well. And Tottenham's simply isn't.

There wasn't much between the sides statistically in terms of shots, shots on target and passes completed. But the eye test showcases a gaping chasm between what Ancelotti's team deem is possible under his tutelage, and the body language displayed by those in white.

F (C), AM (R) - Everton - 23 yrs
Sep 13, 2020
90Minutes played
7Total shots
3Tackles won
9Touches in box
12Ball recovered

Apart from one or two fleeting first-half moments from Son and Dele Alli, this was as flat as it gets. No real desire to retain the ball, (hence Harry Winks' substitution at half-time, to be replaced by Moussa Sissoko) but no real desire to press and win it back either.

This was an entire entity going through the collective motions and without any clear way out of it. Eric Dier looks increasingly like a player whose confidence and indeed all motivation has been obliterated, but Spurs have so few options in that area that he either plays or is replaced by the young Japhet Tanganga.

Alongside him, Toby Alderweireld appeared to have lost any pace he once had, while on either flank Ben Davies and Matt Doherty, though time will definitely tell on the latter, don't seem to have the right balance for what is happening around them.

The Jose Mourinho show - also known as All or Nothing: Tottenham - shows a lighter side of the Portuguese but also showcases a real, tangible disconnect from what the players expect and the type of football he will offer.

But they were allowed to do all of these things by a passive, emotionless, directionless Tottenham performance. FC

He has taken a year to mould this team in his own image, and, unfortunately, it's not pretty. The team has had all of Mauricio Pochettino's dynamism sucked from it, leaving a vacuum of football that now feels so archaic that it's from another time altogether.

And there was little on show here that suggests there will be a move in the other direction. Harry Kane is already exhausted and Spurs have a gruelling schedule ahead with Europa League qualifiers. The squad is not deep and Jose has already made it known to some of the fringe players that he isn't particularly Interested in what they do or say.

And so what are you left with? Well, simply, the Jose-fication of a team, in record time. It happened to Real Madrid, to Chelsea, to Manchester United eventually. And it's happening to Spurs faster than ever.

This is a team fast becoming an anachronism.


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