Tottenham Hotspur 2019-20: Jose can you see?

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Ornstein says the new manager will be in place tomorrow and that while Mourinho is a contender there are others in the picture as well.

The whole thing seems a bit weird to me. Would Levy really fire Poch without having lined up the successor? I can understand waiting a bit to make the announcement, both as a form of respect to Poch and if you still had some contractual details for the lawyers to hammer out. But its hard for me to imagine firing Poch, not really knowing who you're going to replace him with, and just figuring it out in the 12 hours afterward.

View: https://twitter.com/David_Ornstein/status/1196943595179257856
 

mikeford

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By that measure there are about 4 successful clubs in Europe every year, those who win the big leagues, plus the one winning the UCL if different, and everyone else should fire their manager. And yet they don't, and (for many) it's not for lack of ambition.

"winning the biggest prize there is" is not the only measure of success. That's a pretty facile and taunting post, honestly.
How about winning any prize? He didn't win a league or FA Cup either.
 

Vinho Tinto

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It's clear he lost the locker room, but I view this primarily as a power struggle between Levy and Poch. They worked wonderfully together for 4 glorious years but last summer Poch said "clear house, I need new guys" and Levy said "I can't sell without getting the better part of a deal". Well, it blew up spectacularly this season and both deserve some blame.
I agree with this completely. Last season was a classic example of results hiding fissures in the foundation. Pochettino did not hide his issues with Levy one iota. And now Levy will be working with a man who wears a resting bitch face 24/7 when things aren’t going his way.

Sam Allardyce. Mourinho’s reputation has truly tanked.
 

Vinho Tinto

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How about winning any prize? He didn't win a league or FA Cup either.
A manager is judged by the club’s standard. Finishing runner up to Leicester and Liverpool, and finishing ahead of Arsenal, are like winning trophies for Spurs. To your point, stupid Harry Redknapp won a league cup. So squeezing out a Europa would have been legendary.
 

Kliq

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I agree with this completely. Last season was a classic example of results hiding fissures in the foundation. Pochettino did not hide his issues with Levy one iota. And now Levy will be working with a man who wears a resting bitch face 24/7 when things aren’t going his way.

Sam Allardyce. Mourinho’s reputation has truly tanked.
Hey, hey, I said PREMIUM Big Sam.

I'm not happy with the firing; but to Spurs credit, they sold Trippier this summer but also spent serious money to bring in Lo Celso, Ndombele and to a lesser extent Sessegnon. They didn't sell Eriksen, either of the Belgians or Rose. That is in addition to the record new contracts for Kane, Dele and Son. Yes there have been injuries, but what do Spurs have to show for all of that so far this season?
 

DJnVa

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Their form dipped and you can't fire the players. What did people think was going to happen? Since New Year's, in all competitions they are (back of envelope) 17 wins 7 draws 18 losses. So, wins in 17 of their last 42 games. In that time:

--They freaking lost to Colchester in the League Cup in a game that went to PKs 0-0. They could not score a goal against a team 63 places lower than them in the table. Four days later Colchester lost to Crawley Town.

--They lost at home 7-2 in the Champions League.

--In the EPL this season they lost, at home, to Newcastle, a team currently sporting a -7 GD. They only teams with a worse GD are all in relegation spots. Then they squandered a 2 goal lead to Arsenal. Then they gave up 2 goals to Leicester in last 20 minutes to drop 3 points. Then a 3-0 loss to mighty Brighton followed by a 1-1 draw against bottom of the table Watford at home--Watford has scored 8 goals all season. Then Everton scores in 97th minute to grab draw and then this all culminates in a 1-1 draw to newly promoted Sheffield. A game in which they, again, dropped points late. There's at least 9 points either lost to crap teams or given up in last minutes of the game. Those 9 points would have them sitting in 5th place, just 3 points back of second place.

Supporting Tottenham this season is like supporting the Celtics last season.
 

Gunfighter 09

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It feels like a dream just died. I wanted Poch to stay 20 years. Amsterdam was the happiest a sporting event has made me since 2004 or 2002.

And perhaps I am a bad person who just likes negative football and entertaining asshole managers too much, but I am very much here for the Mourino show.
 

veritas

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Mourinho official


I need some time to process this. I think he’s overrated but tactically could be a good fit here. They aren’t built to press anymore for a variety of reasons. Jan and Toby are still very talented CBs who are better suited to playing a lower line at this point in their careers. Jose has always had success when he’s had talent at CB if you look at his history.

I’m just looking for positives here...
 

Spacemans Bong

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Mourinho to Spurs and Poch to Arsenal would be exquisite.

(But really, I wouldn't wish that combination on any club - not even Tottenham.)
If the club had any foresight and vision they would do this. It could be the English football version of Leo Durocher managing the New York Giants and turning them around (at the expense of the Dodgers no less).

But they won't.
 

SocrManiac

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I can't even come in here for the bantz... I don't think Mourinho is good for thee game in general. He's a walking soap opera, believes he's the center of focus for the club and fans, and generates chaos in his wake. Spurs deserve better.
 

Zomp

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At United, especially towards the end, I felt like the new generation of players just weren't up to Mourinho's incredibly high standards. Not every player can be a warrior like an Ibrahimovic, Matterazzi,or Essien. I often felt he was frustrated at what he perceived was a lack of commitment to his way of playing. Sometimes his tactics looked great (even if they were defensive) but the players just couldn't keep it going for 90 minutes. Other times though, it really looked like the game had passed him by.

I mean philosophy wise you cannot be more different than Mourinho and Pocchettino. Plus, if Jose though Woodward was tight with the purse strings then wait til he sees Levy.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I think Mourinho is probably one of the best possible options for salvaging something from this season and competing for top four next year after adding a few veteran pieces to the current squad.

But he’s a terrible choice in terms of rebuilding the team, developing young players, and creating a platform for success beyond his tenure.

He’ll leave around the same point that Kane and Son are really declining and the club will be in a bad state.
 

mikeford

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A manager is judged by the club’s standard. Finishing runner up to Leicester and Liverpool, and finishing ahead of Arsenal, are like winning trophies for Spurs. To your point, stupid Harry Redknapp won a league cup. So squeezing out a Europa would have been legendary.
And a club is measured by it's silverware.

And Arsenal finished runner up to Leicester, not Sp*rs.

Your post stinks of Wenger "Fourth place is a trophy", my man
 

coremiller

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This just makes me sad. Pochettino was a coach who was fun to root for. Mourinho is not. His schtick is obnoxious, he cares about himself more than the club or the fans or the players, his football is boring, and he doesn't even win a lot anymore. Poch liked to talk about a long-term project, clearly that is all out the window now. Mourinho doesn't do projects.

They may even win more now but it won't quite be the same.
 

Zososoxfan

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I think Mourinho is probably one of the best possible options for salvaging something from this season and competing for top four next year after adding a few veteran pieces to the current squad.

But he’s a terrible choice in terms of rebuilding the team, developing young players, and creating a platform for success beyond his tenure.

He’ll leave around the same point that Kane and Son are really declining and the club will be in a bad state.
This. So much this. Mourinho is hopefully seen as a hired gun who has a clear philosophy and can take a talented squad and salvage a top 6 finish. If they give him next season too, I hope it's because they want another year to hire the right manager for a longer term. I can't stomach more than 1.5 seasons of Mourinho.

This just makes me sad. Pochettino was a coach who was fun to root for. Mourinho is not. His schtick is obnoxious, he cares about himself more than the club or the fans or the players, his football is boring, and he doesn't even win a lot anymore. Poch liked to talk about a long-term project, clearly that is all out the window now. Mourinho doesn't do projects.

They may even win more now but it won't quite be the same.
I'm well and truly devastated I have to root for a Mourinho team. Get ready for slog after slog and dirty physical play [insert puke emoji].

Mou may be able to salvage something out of Aurier and Dier's brutish game may find a place in Mou's system. My dreams of a dynamic free-flowing attack featuring GLC, Tanguy, Son, and Eriksen are long gone.

This is going to be a low block 4-4-2 that looks to hit on the break in traditional Mou fashion. Get ready to see Son at LMF/RMF and tracking more than ever before. I bet Rose gets more run at LMF with Davies behind him (hopefully some Sess/Rose combos too). I wonder if we'll ever seen a central MF not featuring Sissoko. There's not another central MF I trust in defense on the squad (Ndombele is the closest, but Winks showed this to be a weakness, GLC is wasted this far back, and Eriksen LOL). If Dier can flourish in this system it actually may open up opportunities to settle central MF.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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This. So much this. Mourinho is hopefully seen as a hired gun who has a clear philosophy and can take a talented squad and salvage a top 6 finish. If they give him next season too, I hope it's because they want another year to hire the right manager for a longer term. I can't stomach more than 1.5 seasons of Mourinho.
Hi contract runs until the end of the 2022-23 season that is supposedly worth £15m per year. His well documented pattern is to implode/shoot his way out of town during the third year at a club, but I think Levy will be loathe to move on from him before then.
 

Zososoxfan

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Hi contract runs until the end of the 2022-23 season that is supposedly worth £15m per year. His well documented pattern is to implode/shoot his way out of town during the third year at a club, but I think Levy will be loathe to move on from him before then.
The devil is in the details though--it's easy to imagine a buyout that goes down after each season and more likely, after each transfer window. I'll be surprised if Mou makes it that long.
 

Spacemans Bong

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It's interesting how it's heavily implied Spurs' budgeting relies on them making the CL consistently. That's a big ask given the volatility of the top six, or possibly seven given what Leicester's doing. Spurs have only made the CL four times this decade after all. Look at Liverpool or Arsenal or United, even Chelsea. Liverpool missed the CL six out of seven years at one point. United have missed it twice, and would have missed it a third time had they not won the EL. Chelsea have missed it twice (and like United, would have missed it three times had they not won the EL). We know about Arsenal.

If they need CL appearances (and let's be honest, they're probably budgeting to make the knockout stages in those appearances) consistently, they could be in deep shit. They borrowed 2.5 times what Arsenal borrowed for the Emirates.
 

InstaFace

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Supporting Tottenham this season is like supporting the Celtics last season.
You'll get no argument that the results have sucked thus far this year.

The 2016-17 Celtics started out 14-12 with 3-game losing streaks to the Cavs/Nuggets/Wizards, Toronto/OKC/Spurs, and later on the Knicks/Blazers/Wizards, which left them 26-18 as of January 24th. They then went on some massive runs, winning 11 of the next 12 and finishing the second half 27-11. Should Wyc have fired Brad Stevens when things weren't going well? Or certainly last year, when clearly he'd "lost the locker room" and was underperforming the massive talent on his roster, right, should've canned him.

On July 2nd, 2004, Tito's Boston Red Sox were 42-36, having suffered a brutal sweep in the Bronx (I was there, I can't believe we lost that last one) and then a walkoff 12-inning loss in Atlanta the next night. The grumblings on SoSH could have powered a small island nation. We then ran off a 5-gamer before the ASG, and of course starting mid-August morphed into a world-destroying team full of grit and chemistry and intangibles and yadda yadda, capable of the greatest comeback in sports history.

Tito's team, largely the same minus Pedro the next year, then sleep-walked the first part of the season to a 32-29 record. Then turned it on and went 12-1, taking 1st place and holding it almost without interruption until mid-september. But something was off with that team, they lacked some resilience that they'd shown in 2004, and we of course got swept by the white sox in the ALDS. Tito's squads had all sorts of periods of underperformance - second half of 2006, middle of 2008, long losing streaks in 2009, to say nothing of the injury-marred 2010 or the 2011 that got him fired. But if JWH had overreacted in 2005 or 2006, would we have gotten 2007? Should he have cut bait before 2011? Of course not, he was plainly a great manager.

Point is, you don't toss aside someone you know to be a great manager just because they have a rough stretch, or can't figure out how to keep maximum motivation for all his players. Over-blaming the coach is a great way to ensure you never get a great coach (or if you do, you fail to keep them).
 

Zososoxfan

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You'll get no argument that the results have sucked thus far this year.

The 2016-17 Celtics started out 14-12 with 3-game losing streaks to the Cavs/Nuggets/Wizards, Toronto/OKC/Spurs, and later on the Knicks/Blazers/Wizards, which left them 26-18 as of January 24th. They then went on some massive runs, winning 11 of the next 12 and finishing the second half 27-11. Should Wyc have fired Brad Stevens when things weren't going well? Or certainly last year, when clearly he'd "lost the locker room" and was underperforming the massive talent on his roster, right, should've canned him.

On July 2nd, 2004, Tito's Boston Red Sox were 42-36, having suffered a brutal sweep in the Bronx (I was there, I can't believe we lost that last one) and then a walkoff 12-inning loss in Atlanta the next night. The grumblings on SoSH could have powered a small island nation. We then ran off a 5-gamer before the ASG, and of course starting mid-August morphed into a world-destroying team full of grit and chemistry and intangibles and yadda yadda, capable of the greatest comeback in sports history.

Tito's team, largely the same minus Pedro the next year, then sleep-walked the first part of the season to a 32-29 record. Then turned it on and went 12-1, taking 1st place and holding it almost without interruption until mid-september. But something was off with that team, they lacked some resilience that they'd shown in 2004, and we of course got swept by the white sox in the ALDS. Tito's squads had all sorts of periods of underperformance - second half of 2006, middle of 2008, long losing streaks in 2009, to say nothing of the injury-marred 2010 or the 2011 that got him fired. But if JWH had overreacted in 2005 or 2006, would we have gotten 2007? Should he have cut bait before 2011? Of course not, he was plainly a great manager.

Point is, you don't toss aside someone you know to be a great manager just because they have a rough stretch, or can't figure out how to keep maximum motivation for all his players. Over-blaming the coach is a great way to ensure you never get a great coach (or if you do, you fail to keep them).
Not sure if serious, but football managers have a lot more impact on outcomes than baseball managers IMO. There's certainly an argument to be made that Poch is more important to Spurs' recent success than Levy (I'd disagree), but this analogy is not how that argument is made properly. Not to mention that Poch himself has looked disinterested and frustrated this season and likely had a fair amount of input into these developments.
 

InstaFace

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They put in place a system, decide player rotations and substitutions game-to-game, and try to stick to that system within the limits of squad depth, rest, success in varying competitions, and various other season-long strategic considerations. I think the analogy to baseball managers is pretty strong - just that baseball game results are less reliable indicators of a team's superiority to another than they are in football (either form) or basketball. The better team probably wins/draws 90%+ of the time in the footballs, whereas it's more like 60-65% in baseball. Other than that, their impact on a given game, and on planning for approaching the season, seems largely analogous.

But if you don't like baseball analogies, take basketball. I can find as many examples as you like. The 2009-2010 San Antonio Spurs were 9-9, and later 25-18, despite an in-his-prime Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, etc. It was the same core team that had won it all 3 years prior, but the last year they'd gone out - shocker - in the first round! Clearly, Popovich had lost his magic and it was time for a restart. Except, they don't have as itchy a trigger finger in the NBA, particularly when you're dealing with the most successful (only successful) manager in the team's history.

The Seattle Seahawks could have cashiered Pete Carroll after two 7-9 seasons to start his tenure, or even when they drafted Wilson, went 11-5 in 2012, and then lost a crusher to the Falcons in the Divisional. His defense wasn't clicking, they gave up 30! They were underperforming their talent level! Time for someone else to lead this squad to the promised land, right? Well, uh, no.

And don't get me started on Andy Reid. Did the Iggles fire him after successive losses in the NFCCG? Or when he failed to make the playoffs at 6-10 in 2005 or 8-8 in 2007? No, and then they ran to the NFCCG again in 2008 with, frankly, a rag-tag squad.

I don't know Hockey but I bet there are plenty of hockey examples. Look, nobody's arguing that bigtime euro football teams don't have an itchy trigger finger. They clearly do, nearly all of them sans Arsenal. I'm just saying that they shouldn't, and that it's self-defeating to be so impatient, and we have plenty of examples in other sports of great coaches being given the rope to figure it out and then ultimately doing so.
 

Gunfighter 09

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And a club is measured by it's silverware.

And Arsenal finished runner up to Leicester, not Sp*rs.

Your post stinks of Wenger "Fourth place is a trophy", my man
Thank you for you valuable contribution to the Spurs thread. Now leave.

Poch changed the goals and expectations at Spurs. He made UCL football a regular thing and competed for titles, both of which seemed impossible five years prior. He made finishing ahead of the other North London team a regular amusement, though not quite a holiday.

If they need CL appearances (and let's be honest, they're probably budgeting to make the knockout stages in those appearances) consistently, they could be in deep shit. They borrowed 2.5 times what Arsenal borrowed for the Emirates.
I’ve had this worry, but it doesn’t quite square with things like not having a title sponsor for the stadium yet. If they were cash desperate, I think they would have taken a deal by now. And they can look forward to the Chargers providing a bunch of sweet extra revenue in the near future. The Arsenal ownership can tell Levy how great it is to share a stadium with the SpanoS family.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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Thank you for you valuable contribution to the Spurs thread. Now leave.

Poch changed the goals and expectations at Spurs. He made UCL football a regular thing and competed for titles, both of which seemed impossible five years prior. He made finishing ahead of the other North London team a regular amusement, though not quite a holiday.
Right, I mean, I'm a casual Arsenal rooter, but there's no question that the Spurs are far ahead of where they were previously. Poch recognized and kept Kane around, he went from 4 straight Europa League finishes to 4 straight UCL finishes, and really solidified Spurs' position in a "Big 6" of the EPL despite having a payroll (and transfer budget) that's half of the other big names. They're the Oakland Athletics of the EPL, and there's plenty of honor in that, particularly in such a crazily uber-capitalistic sport with ossified hierarchies. Breaking into those ranks is an enormous accomplishment, and remaining there even harder (just ask Leicester!).

The biggest thing to happen with the overall finances is the stadium capacity. They went from a 35-36k capacity to an average attendance, thus far this year, of 59k. Even though ticket sales make up a lower fraction of team budget (relative to TV rights and sponsorships) than in, say, MLB, that is nevertheless a massive difference, and really capitalizes on the team's appeal exceeding its ability to take its fans' money. With a few years of having that budget to influence the squad, who knows what a Pochettino could have accomplished.
 

DJnVa

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Point is, you don't toss aside someone you know to be a great manager just because they have a rough stretch, or can't figure out how to keep maximum motivation for all his players. Over-blaming the coach is a great way to ensure you never get a great coach (or if you do, you fail to keep them).
I just don't think that essentially 11.5 months is a "rough stretch". I mean, I loved Poch, and with all the other teams I follow winning so much, the Spurs were the team that made me agonize over regular season wins and losses more than the others, so this sucks. But sometimes things just have to change.

Honestly, if we win this weekend and don't give up a late goal it's going to feel like a ray of sunshine. Park the damn bus.

More seriously, I did read somewhere and I'll try to find it, that the buyouts here are not prohibitive and that Levy has some young coaches that he has his eye on should they become available in summer of 2021, if not 2020.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
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6, 7 and 8 months ago, Spurs had some of the greatest victories in their history, offing teams with much bigger payrolls. EUR 148M for Spurs,= vs 178M for Dortmund, 334M (!) for Man City, and then admittedly only 60M for Ajax but doing so on an enormous stage, and frankly stood a chance of toppling Liverpool at 244M too.

It came at the expense of some league results but he managed to squeak out another UCL berth at the same time. It's hardly been a lost 12 months. Arsenal wishes it had those 12 months. Man United is shitting themselves because they didn't come close to that, and yet they kept OGS on board.

I'm glad to hear you're optimistic going forward, because if I were in your shoes I'd be bummed. And it's damned rare for a fanbase to be bummed when a manager's replaced. Boston fans were fine with cashiering Doc Rivers, Claude Julien, Pete Carroll, John Farrell, even Terry Francona (to say nothing of the interregnum between them). In each case we seem to have gotten an upgrade, Tito excepted. Seems like the odds for upgrading on Poch are fairly small in the short-term, but maybe the medium term looks a lot better as you say.
 

veritas

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Jose’s reputation for leaving teams in worse shape than when he started doesn’t seem to be based in fact. Chelsea won the league the year after he left, Real was obviously fine, United was a mess before and after. If anything, it could be evidence he’s not a great game manager.

I think it is true that players get sick of him eventually. I think that’s true of most managers. It just happened with Poch. I don’t think it’s something to lose sleep over.

To me it’s a huge sign of progress that Spurs signed a manager with his prestige, whether you like him or not.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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And a club is measured by it's silverware.

And Arsenal finished runner up to Leicester, not Sp*rs.

Your post stinks of Wenger "Fourth place is a trophy", my man
Clubs in world football are most definitely not measured by silverware - but rather by progress (by their fan base). Was Liverpool a successful team prior to the European Championship? Of course they were - they were miles better than two or three years previous despite lack of silverware.

That’s why Arsenal fans were so upset by Late Career Wenger - they never got any better.

Measured by this Poch was extremely successful - not to mention highly entertaining.

He will be missed (unless he ends up at ManU)
 

DJnVa

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It came at the expense of some league results but he managed to squeak out another UCL berth at the same time. It's hardly been a lost 12 months. Arsenal wishes it had those 12 months. Man United is shitting themselves because they didn't come close to that, and yet they kept OGS on board.
I didn't say it was a lost 12 months. I said results in the last 12 months, overall, have not been good. You don't have to tell Spurs fans how magical the UCL run was. We were there.

And yes we squeaked into another CL--but that was built nearly 100% on the strength of the team's play from the start of the season through December. On 12/31, the Spurs were 3rd in table, 2 points behind Man City. But starting Jan 1 through end of season Spurs were 13th in table, they just had luckily banked enough points to hold on. They were 7 points from the "relegation zone" and 7 points from top 4 during that time. They had 23 points in 17 games--a full season rate that gets them mid-table.

It wasn't good enough. And unless you can say we have another ridiculous UCL run in us, with a last second VAR ruling in our favor and Moura's Magic again, then what're we doing?
 

67YAZ

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Gunfighter 09

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Oh, I am all in on this gloriousness.


Fuck yeah. The hangover is really, really going to suck, but this should be fun.

Speaking of Carty Free, Brian Ashlock was awesome brining the “fuck it, this will be fun” vibe on WDR while the rest of them bitched and moaned. It’s a good listen for any Spurs fan.
 

Zososoxfan

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View: https://twitter.com/NBCSportsSoccer/status/1197221392598601728


And Carty Free's take on who may blossom and who may whither under new leadership:

Good article, but I disagree about Dele flourishing under Mou. Dele is somewhat willing to track back, but when he does he's not that effective. And unless he's given some freedom to drift forward, he won't be in his best attacking position on the wing in transition. I think more mobile and physical players like Lucas and Lamela are better fits at LMF/RMF for Mou than Dele.

But the biggest question boils down to how Mou attacks the same squad weaknesses at RB/RMF. A low block that features Dier as a true DMF lets other CMFs (namely Sissoko and Ndombele) slot in appropriately, but the question remains who plays RB, and what to do with the other good players who don't quite fit together (Dele, Lamela, GLC, Eriksen, Lucas).

If Mou goes with a strict 442, I'd like to see the following:

Gaz
Rose-Jan-Toby-? (Sissoko/Foyth/Aurier)
Lamela-Dier-Tanguy-Son
Kane-Lucas

The MF spot next to Dier really could be Sissoko or GLC. I'm not really sure how GLC fits into Mou's system. But I'm curious to see how the roles of outside MF and Secondary Striker differ, and how those roles interact with the attacking CMF playing next to (presumably Dier).
 

DJnVa

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Good article, but I disagree about Dele flourishing under Mou. Dele is somewhat willing to track back, but when he does he's not that effective. And unless he's given some freedom to drift forward, he won't be in his best attacking position on the wing in transition. I think more mobile and physical players like Lucas and Lamela are better fits at LMF/RMF for Mou than Dele.
This article also argues Dele will be key man:
 

Zososoxfan

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This article also argues Dele will be key man:
Paywalled. But in any event, I'm open to and hoping to be wrong about Dele. But before seeing how this works out, Dele doesn't strike me as a candidate as a player that fits Mou's system because he's not a particularly good defensive player, he's not pacey, and he's slow on the ball. None of those things alone makes him unlikely to work in a Mou system, but as a MF with all 3 traits I think it makes him an unlikely fit. Doesn't mean I don't think he's a good player (he absolutely is) or that he can't thrive under Mou (he absolutely can and a couple or writers wrote the same), I just don't think he's going to be the player that benefits the most from Mou's system (Toby, Dier, Jan, Arry), or that will surprise with their integration and success (Lamela, Lucas).
 

veritas

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Paywalled. But in any event, I'm open to and hoping to be wrong about Dele. But before seeing how this works out, Dele doesn't strike me as a candidate as a player that fits Mou's system because he's not a particularly good defensive player, he's not pacey, and he's slow on the ball. None of those things alone makes him unlikely to work in a Mou system, but as a MF with all 3 traits I think it makes him an unlikely fit. Doesn't mean I don't think he's a good player (he absolutely is) or that he can't thrive under Mou (he absolutely can and a couple or writers wrote the same), I just don't think he's going to be the player that benefits the most from Mou's system (Toby, Dier, Jan, Arry), or that will surprise with their integration and success (Lamela, Lucas).
Dele isn’t great defensively as a central midfielder but he definitely is as a 10/second striker. He presses well and has the work rate to track back *and* make attacking runs into the box in transition. I’m excited to see how he’s used.

Jose has a history of using one very attacking fullback and one defensive one. I wonder if we see Rose/Sess on the left and Foyth/Dier on the right. Dier has been bad for a year now but apparently he had a legit illness that he’s finally recovered from. And as the Double Pivot also mentioned today, Mourinho tried really hard to sign him at United. Playing one of those guys on the right would give Son or Lucas more freedom to attack from that side, with GLC or Eriksen as a wide midfielder on the left, drifting to the middle in possession as the more attack minded LB overlaps.
 

coremiller

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
4,793
Why do you think Dele is a bad defensive player? For an attacking midfielder, his defensive action numbers (tackles/interceptions/etc.) have always been good. He's been a key part of Spurs' best pressing teams and has successfully man-marked opposing players out of the game (remember his obliteration of Jorginho?). I wouldn't play him as a six, but I think his defensive contribution is above-average for his level of offensive contribution.

The guys who I think will be the odd men out under Mourinho are Eriksen and Winks. I think Mou's preference will play 4-3-3 with an attacking 3 of Son/Dele/Kane and a midfield 3 of Sissoko/Ndombele/?. I think Mou will want someone more defensively sound than Eriksen for the third CM spot. It could be Dier if he has the mobility given his current fitness or Lo Celso.
 

Zososoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 30, 2009
6,388
South of North
Agree with both of you @veritas and @coremiller that Dele is fine defensively as a forward. But, assuming that Jose wants a 442 shape in defense, I don't think Dele is a good fit to pair with Kane as the top 2 because neither is pacey or mobile. I feel like in that shape it has to be Son, Lucas, or maybe Lamela with Kane. If it's Dele, I think his defensive abilities for that spot are fine.

But if it's a 442 with Kane-Son/Lucas/Lamela up top and Dele is the LMF, I don't think he's good enough defensively from what I've seen and again, I think his offense would suffer.
 
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DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
43,123
Paywalled. But in any event, I'm open to and hoping to be wrong about Dele. But before seeing how this works out, Dele doesn't strike me as a candidate as a player that fits Mou's system because he's not a particularly good defensive player, he's not pacey, and he's slow on the ball. None of those things alone makes him unlikely to work in a Mou system, but as a MF with all 3 traits I think it makes him an unlikely fit. Doesn't mean I don't think he's a good player (he absolutely is) or that he can't thrive under Mou (he absolutely can and a couple or writers wrote the same), I just don't think he's going to be the player that benefits the most from Mou's system (Toby, Dier, Jan, Arry), or that will surprise with their integration and success (Lamela, Lucas).


Here's the main part:

Alli, however, is a different case — and might be the prime candidate for a Mourinho rejuvenation. Like Pogba, he’s another player whose best position is often questioned, but this could actually prove very useful for Mourinho.

“For me, the No 10 is a very special player in my team,” Mourinho explained when manager of Chelsea in 2015. “In a system of two midfield players and a No 10, I demand a lot from a No 10. Every position is important, but it is an important position. I like a No 10 to score goals. I like a No 10 to get in the box… No 10 for me is a No 8-and-a-half when the team loses the ball and a No 9-and-a-half when the team has the ball.”

That’s a perfect description of Alli, who shines either when bustling and scrapping in midfield, or when bursting forward into the box as a support striker just off Harry Kane. He’s a No 10 who isn’t actually a No 10 in terms of the traditional No 10 things: receiving the ball between the lines and slipping the ball through for the forwards.

Instead, at his best, when he has the energy to perform both roles, he’s a box-to-box midfielder and a free-running goalscorer. His average position is that of a No 10 but he specialises in the position either side of that role. The above quote, at the time referring to Oscar, should be music to Alli’s ears.