Premier League

Tottenham: Is Jose Mourinho building another great team?

The Portuguese has made encouraging progress as he seeks to lift Spurs back into the Champions League next season

11:30am on Sunday 15th November 2020
Robin Bairner

Jose Mourinho’s remit as Tottenham manager this season is to get the club back into the Champions League.

He took over last time with Spurs flirting with the relegation zone, though under his guidance they enjoyed a renaissance that saw them spring up the standings to sixth.

Mourinho’s task is to build on that flying finish and restore the London club to the European elite, which is company they have become accustomed to in recent years.

Tottenham: The season so far

The early weeks of the 2020/21 season have been challenging for Tottenham, if not because of the quality of their opponents then because of the sheer volume of fixtures that they have had to play.

Spurs entered the Europa League at the second qualifying round, which has meant they have played six European fixtures on top of their eight league games. While Mourinho has typically used these as an opportunity to give minutes to rarely used players, Harry Kane, Heung-min Son et al. have still be dragged to outposts such as Tetovo in Macedonia for matches.

Unsurprisingly, Tottenham have largely negotiated these hurdles with comfort, although a 1-0 defeat to Antwerp did see the team receive a stinging rebuke from their boss. Nevertheless, they remain on course on the continent.

Tottenham summer moves in

InFromReported fee
GIovani Lo CelsoReal Betis£28.8m
Sergio ReguilonReal Madrid£27m
Matt DohertyWolves£15.1m
Pierre-Emile HojbjergSouthampton£14.9m
Joe RodonSwanse£10.9m
Carlos ViniciusBenficaLoan
Gareth BaleReal MadridLoan
Joe HartBurnleyFree

Man Utd summer moves out

OutToReported fee
Kyle Walker-PetersSouthamton£12m
Jan VertonghenBenficaFree
Oliver SkippNorwichLoan
Juan FoythVillarrealLoan
Ryan SessegnonHoffenheimLoan
Cameron Carter-VickersBournemouthLoan
Michel VormRetired-

Domestically, too, they are going well. After suffering a 1-0 opening day loss to Everton, they have gone undefeated in seven, including a spectacular 6-1 victory away to Manchester United.

The combination of Son and Kane in attack has been remarkably potent, with the pair combining for 23 goals and 15 assists already. The Englishman, particularly, has had a phenomenal start to the campaign, with seven goals and eight decisive passes already in the league.

In recent weeks, Spurs, who have welcomed Gareth Bale back to the club via a loan deal, have been grinding out wins. Burnley, Brighton and West Brom were all defeated by single-goal margin, although that could be seen as some cause for alarm given that all three are in the bottom five.

Far sterner tests lie ahead for Spurs. Their next three Premier League matches are Manchester City at home, Chelsea away and Arsenal at home. Crystal Palace should provide some reprieve, but before Christmas they visit Liverpool then host Leicester. It is a period in which Spurs mettle will really be tested.

Tottenham: Grade A-

There is no question that Jose Mourinho has his Tottenham side playing very well currently. Until recent weeks, they had been scoring goals and playing fluently, ruthlessly dismantling an error-strewn Manchester United at Old Trafford.

In Kane and Son, they have two of the form attackers in the Premier League, while second place reflects the manner in which they have started the season. And Bale is not even close to full fitness yet.

However, doubts should be cast over their ability to maintain this pace. The fixture computer has been kind to them until this point, but that stops now. This is when Spurs season really gets going.

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