Jose Mourinho’s post-game words contradict Tottenham’s team setup

Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /

Unable to score a second goal at Wolves, Jose Mourinho faulted his Tottenham side for being unambitious, but it was the gaffer who let the side down by his negative approach.

HIs post-game words contradicted the way he set his team up. Quite frankly his comments about his side’s inability to put the match to bed were as perplexing as they were maddening. Tottenham failed to register an attempt on target after the 21st minute, a fact summarizing perfectly the away performance, correlating directly to Mourinho’s team selection.

What does Mourinho expect when setting his team up in such a cautious, defensive way. He only has himself to blame and, quite frankly, should be ashamed for scapegoating his players, who, other than a defensive mishap on a late set piece, executed perfectly the gaffer’s unimaginative game plan.

Mourinho started the match with two left backs, one of whom, Sergio Reguilón, took his place as a makeshift left midfielder. Credit goes out to Reguilón, who made some intelligent runs in the first half to cause Wolves a few problems. Couple that by starting Matthew Doherty as the right winger against his former side and your asking for trouble.

Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Ben Davies rounded out a back five, with Harry Winks and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg playing centrally just in front.

I’m not sure, considering the seven incredibly defensive minded in the starting team, how Mourinho expected his side to create enough offensive chances needed to put a team with Wolves’ quality to bed.

Yet he fully expected them to do just that.

He then withdrew Tanguy Ndombele, one of only three attacking options in the side. Ndombele enjoyed a man of the match performance, shouldering entirely the responsibility of shifting the ball from defence to attack. Other than a few moments in isolation, Ndombele had an inspired performance.

The Frenchman, however, rarely plays a full 90 minutes. It must be a fitness issue, as there was no other reason to take out one of Spurs’ only threats going forward. In fairness to Mourinho, he did bring on Steven Bergwijn to provide another attacking option. But the Dutchman was clearly shackled by the defensive onus his gaffer placed upon him.

Next. Opportunity missed as Spurs draw at Wolves. dark

Mourinho sent his troops into battle without the ammunition they required to strike a lethal blow. And when all was said and done, he blamed his side for lacking a killer instinct. Jose can’t have it both ways, and should at least shoulder some of the responsibility for not providing his team with the tools needed to finish the job.