Tottenham playing Chelsea at the worst possible time

Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on January 31, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on January 31, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Tottenham’s home match against Chelsea comes at the worst possible time, with either side trending in entirely opposite directions. 

Chelsea, after sacking Frank Lampard, are unbeaten in two and experiencing a boost so often seen immediately after the appointment of a new manager.

Whenever a manager is sacked, one can almost always expect the affected club to react in a positive way. With individual places in the team up for grabs, each player will do everything in their power to impress Thomas Tuchel.

That desire to impress usually converts directly into a run of good results. The Blues are unbeaten in two under the former Dortmund manager, drawing Wolves 0-0 and beating Burnley 2-0. They didn’t exactly run the table against elite teams, but there were tangible signs that Chelsea could turn things around under their new boss’ guidance. Tuchel’s positive influence could be temporary, but not so fleeting that Spurs won’t strongly feel that opposing galvanizing force.

On the other hand, Spurs are coming off of their worst performance of the season, completely drained of confidence in the dire 1-0 loss to Brighton. Spurs are also missing their leader and talisman. But at least the match is at home, which will offer Spurs a morsel of solace.

If you are an eternal opposite, you’ll posit this is the perfect opportunity, by beating one of our most loathed adversaries, to get back on the right track. I truly hope the eternal optimists of Spurs land are right on the money. If we are able to quickly recover from that disjointed, pallid display on the south coast and put together a performance befitting our expectations, we could be in for a superb football match.

Though, admittedly, I’m worried. There were too many disconcerting signs from the last two matches not to carry some form of baggage into this London Derby. I hope Mourinho still has a pinch of magic left in that withering wand he so defiantly wields.

dark. Next. Player ratings from loss at Brighton

But if I were a betting man, I wouldn’t put money on it. Let’s hope Tottenham defy the odds and play the way we all know they can. If they don’t, Jose’s weathered wand won’t withstand much more pressure.