Classic Jose away performance as Tottenham draw Wolves

Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho (Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

It was a classic Jose Mourinho away performance, as Tottenham scored early, sat back and conceded late to leave Wolves with a share of the spoils. 

The margins are simply too tight in the gaffer’s current setup. Had Tottenham held on to their one-goal lead, Tottenham supporters would easily forgive the disappointing performance. Instead, everyone in Spurs land must ruminate and remonstrate over another “what could have been” afternoon.

Tottenham had their last attempt on goal in the 21st minute, a stat that summarizes the away side’s afternoon.

Classic Jose Mourinho away performance

Organized and tough to breakdown, Tottenham played a customary defensive, tight system away from home. Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, who’ve scored 20 of the team’s 26 Premier League goals so far this season, barely had a sniff.

The dynamic duo protected the ball well, drawing numerous fouls from Wolves’ defence. But they rarely had the chance to set their sights on goal, more often running from side to side without the ball to close the home side’s space.

Spurs tried to soak up the pressure and maintain the narrowest of fragile leads. Missing out on a glorious chance to gain ground on Liverpool, the draw leaves Mourinho’s men in fifth place. It wasn’t the type of enterprising performance many hoped it would be.

Then again, very few expected Jose to change his dogmatic philosophy.

Tanguy Ndombele was Spurs outstanding player, the Frenchman showing positive intent with numerous rangy runs from deep. He protected the ball well, and was one of Spurs’ only threats.

Harry Winks endured another tough day at the office, missing on many of his wayward passes. Mourinho pulled Ndombele off in the second half, a curious decision when taking into consideration the fact that Winks was struggling, and on a yellow card.

You’d hope at some point Jose will allow his creative players the license to express themselves.

Wolves equalized from a late corner kick. Curiously, Tottenham failed to place a defender on the back post. Many teams in the modern game opt for this tactic, but I still can’t come to terms with leaving a gaping hole at the back stick. It’s easy to comment in hindsight, but Spurs may have maintained their narrow margin had someone simply stood at the back post.

Positive takeways

There were some positive takeaways from the dogged, stoic performance. Eric Dier marshalled the defence with confidence and poise, showcasing precisely the reason Mourinho has so much faith in him. Dier almost rued a momentary lapse in concentration, losing Fabio Silva in injury time, but the 19-year-old was unable to make Spurs pay, saving Dier’s blushes.

Spurs played a back three and held a physically explosive and technically gifted side at bay for a large portion of the match.

Prior to losing Romain Saiss Ben Davies stuck to his job expertly. But everyone will most likely only remember the Welshman losing his man inexplicably on Wolves’ equalizer. Davies, like the rest of his teammates, needs to cut out these senseless mishaps.

Davinson Sanchez, whose propensity to lose his head and make a costly mistake, enjoyed a rugged, athletic, determined and, most importantly, disciplined, unerring match.

Next. The signing that transformed Spurs into a title contender. dark

A one-goal lead is incredibly precarious in the Premier League, especially when the team with the narrow advantage has no intention of trying to score a second.

Spurs need to learn how to find a killing instinct and go for the jugular when leading by a goal. Sitting back and absorbing continuous pressure will not yield the results Tottenham require to challenge for a Premier League title.