Tottenham: Mourinho Happy with Team, Rodon, but Not Results

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham (Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham (Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images) /

Tottenham Hotspur came to Stamford Bridge and left with one point from a 0-0 draw, however, neither Mourinho nor his players were satisfied with the result.

Tottenham Hotspur have not historically won at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, with only 1 victory there in the history of the competition. Leaving with a draw and being upset not to have won, gives us some sense of just how much Tottenham have grown as a team under José Mourinho. So, what else did the coach have to say about the game and his team?

What Makes Coach Really, Really Happy

After the draw at Chelsea José Mourinho made a point to talk about the attitude and mood in the dressing room. There was a time when Tottenham Hotspur would be incredibly happy, if not ecstatic to leave Stamford Bridge with a point. However, after dispatching Manchester City a week earlier, to not get more against Chelsea is a bit disappointing.

The good news is that disappointment is something shared across the Tottenham nation, among fans, the coach, and most importantly the team. Not being satisfied with good is what makes a team great. While taking four points from two games with City and Chelsea really is good, Tottenham want to be great and six points would have been.

As Mourinho notes this “is a complete change of personality and a complete change of mentality” for Tottenham from what there was previously. On a weekly basis José Mourinho and his players both speak about mentality, a winning mentality, and the idea that Spurs come to win every game. If your approach and mindset is to win every game then yes, you should be disappointed when you do not. Hopefully that disappointment drives the team with another big week of Europe and then the North London Derby.

Mourinho on Rodon’s Debut

José Mourinho was asked about Joe Rodon’s debut for Spurs and had mostly positive words about the young back. Noting Rodon did make a mistake that almost gifted Olivier Giroud a goal, he conceded Rodon will get better. Further, José noted how it was a difficult situation, but Rodon showed good “personality” and was “comfortable” and “brave” in the match.

To add some perspective to the overall discussion Mourinho compared Rodon to Chelsea’s new signing at center back Thiago Silva. Silva is one of the most accomplished and decorated defenders in the history of the world football. In terms of the last decade, Silva and Sergio Ramos are pretty much 1 and 1a at the position. So, on the one hand you have someone “coming from the highest level of football” as Mourinho coined it and the other coming from Swansea in the Championship, so “yes” he was happy with Joe.

Did Tottenham Deserve the Win?

In what ultimately is a dumb question in sports, Mourinho was asked about who deserved the three points more. Ultimately, it was a game where nobody gambled or took chances and both sides did not want to lose. In the HotspurHQ preview of the game, one of our keys was the coaches and the idea that one of the two of them would blink or change something and force the others hand. That never happened on the day.

Tottenham were set up to counter waiting for Chelsea to essentially give the ball away, which they eventually did on enough occasions. However, Chelsea has seen enough Spurs to not allow them to counter with numbers so the Blues worked hard to get people back in front of the ball whenever Tottenham got possession. Instead of the foul and walk back approach of City, Chelsea worked and were rewarded with shutout, but did little offensively.

Likewise, Tottenham were set up to prevent the small exchange of passing the Chelsea wants to do near the center of the pitch and forced them to play from the flanks. None of the wings or backs had the pace or drive to bother Spurs defense and the crosses that were sent in – and there were only a few – were all dealt with.

From a defensive perspective both teams deserved to win and the fact that Chelsea never expanded their game to try and take three points at home tells me Spurs deserved this one more. Of course, deserved has nothing to do with it and they still just both take a point. But that point leaves Spurs top of table, which is where everyone wants to be.