Jose Mourinho must harness frustration to turn it around at Tottenham
Jose Mourinho must harness frustration to turn it around as anger grows for struggling Tottenham
- It seems that anger is the only emotion felt at Tottenham Hotspur of late
- Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is angry, Eric Dier is angry and the fans are angry
- The Portuguese must harness that anger and use it to turn the form around
Anger is the only energy Tottenham have left as they attempt to salvage their wretched season in Leipzig tomorrow night.
Jose Mourinho is angry with Tanguy Ndombele, Eric Dier is angry with fans and Spurs players were angry with each other in a heated half-time inquest at Turf Moor on Saturday.
They ended up with four bookings as they fought back from 1-0 down but still haven’t won in five matches and have difficult fixtures ahead, starting with the Champions League.
Anger seems to be the overriding emotion at Spurs as their struggles don’t look like waning
Jose Mourinho aimed his anger at Tanguy Ndombele after his poor 45 minutes at Burnley
‘All the players were angry with the first-half performance. Of course we expected more. We have to show more,’ admitted skipper Hugo Lloris.
‘We made a plan but knew we had to react when we conceded the first goal. That is what the gaffer did at half-time and it worked well. We have stopped the negative run but of course it’s not enough.’
Mourinho was appointed in November to end Tottenham’s trophy drought. So far, not so good. They crashed out of the FA Cup to struggling Norwich, are eighth in the league with Manchester United next and trail Leipzig 1-0 ahead of their last-16 second leg.
Optimists will recall last season’s miracle of Amsterdam when Spurs overturned the same deficit to reach the Champions League final, but Lloris isn’t a believer in sentimentality.
Eric Dier’s anger boiled over in midweek as he climbed into the crowd to challenge a fan
‘That game belongs in the past. We have to write a new story,’ he warned. ‘I am not surprised Leipzig are fighting for the Bundesliga title. We have to go there and make the perfect game.
‘We must be ready for this fight. It’s tough but we are still alive, even though the confidence is not right up there.’
Mourinho blamed Tottenham’s awful opening 45 minutes at Turf Moor on personnel, most notably Ndombele, rather than his own decision to play 3-4-3, an experiment he abandoned at half-time.
Creating a siege mentality is what he has done through his career. If that sounds old hat during the Klopp- Guardiola era, it’s not going to stop him now, particularly with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min injured.
Mourinho is harbouring a siege mentality with the injuries of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min
The Portuguese also aimed his tough love at Steven Bergwijn who hobbled off at Burnley
‘We’ve got two choices: go to Leipzig and win or go and lose but give everything. Tired, injured, give everything,’ he said.
Steven Bergwijn, who spent the final few minutes hobbling around the pitch on Saturday, is the latest recipient of his manager’s tough love. ‘Let’s see if he makes the effort,’ challenged the manager when asked about the Dutchman’s availability for Germany.
How the Spurs fans would love to see a player like Burnley winger Dwight McNeil on their books.
The 20-year-old was the best player on the pitch and set up the opening goal for Chris Wood after 13 minutes in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate before Dele Alli’s equalised with a penalty early in the second half.
Mourinho would love to have a player of the quality and tenacity of 20-year-old Dwight McNeil
McNeil has started 48 of the last 49 Premier League games and can’t lose when the next international squad is named later this month. He will either win a first senior call-up or get an emotional buzz playing for the Under 21s at Turf Moor, with Burnley hosting the game against Turkey on March 30.
He’s enjoying life and manager Sean Dyche thinks he should show it more. ‘He’s always telling me to smile more. Every day in training,’ revealed McNeil. ‘He calls me “Smiler” a lot.’
Dyche thinks McNeil is knocking on the door of full England recognition. ‘If it was me, I’d consider him,’ said the Clarets boss, whose side are unbeaten in seven Premier League games.
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