04 Feb Tottenham’s shortcomings vs. Chelsea plain to see in duel between Mourinho and Tuchel
Jose Mourinho was proper: It’s simple to handle Chelsea, particularly if their opponents play like his Tottenham Hotspur team did in a 1-Zero loss to the Blues.
The Tottenham supervisor had a wry smile on his face when suggesting within the prematch press convention that “I do not assume it’s totally tough to teach” the Blues, citing his success there as a supervisor along with league titles for Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte.
This was Thomas Tuchel’s first huge check since succeeding Frank Lampard, however he can’t have imagined it might ever be this comfy, even when the scoreline suggests a level of jeopardy proper till the tip.
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The result was solely unsure because of Chelsea’s profligacy in entrance of purpose, a hangover from the Lampard period which Tuchel will want longer than 10 days to repair. It displays effectively on him that there are clear indicators of change already, nevertheless, with the Blues adapting shortly to a 3-4-Three system and a requirement for brief, sustained passing paired with a excessive line of defense and common interchanging of positions.
If there have been any early nerves, Spurs’ passive strategy allowed the guests to settle, simply as was the case every week earlier when a fragile Liverpool team have been allowed to seek out their rhythm to emerge with a snug away win over Mourinho’s team.
Tottenham ceded the initiative from the outset, relying on the contain-and-counter model that briefly threatened to see them enter the Premier League title race, significantly after beating Manchester Metropolis 2-Zero in November.
That day, that they had 4 pictures in 90 minutes, scoring with their solely two on goal. They’d seven on Thursday evening, the principal distinction being that Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min have been then within the midst of a devastatingly environment friendly run — far outperforming their anticipated purpose return for many who place significance on such statistics — and on the again, Eric Dier was marshalling an especially effectively organised defence to power their opponents into over-committing gamers.
Spurs have misplaced their means defensively since and, with out Kane, there may be no one capable of hyperlink the play to maximise Son’s counter-attacking menace.
It’s curious, then, that Mourinho selected to arrange similarly regardless of beforehand admitting this doesn’t play to Carlos Vinicius’ strengths.
And Mourinho’s strategy relies seemingly greater than another on scoring the primary purpose. Vinicius had a second inside the primary 10 minutes when he might have launched Son, free in area to his left as Spurs broke. But Vinicius, on his first Premier League begin, struggled to regulate the ball for a second and the possibility was gone.
It was a microcosm of what Spurs have been lacking and given the fantastic margins Mourinho’s model required to go in his team’s favour, massively important, significantly as Chelsea monopolised possession, registering 77 p.c of the ball within the opening 20 minutes.
That Chelsea hadn’t registered a shot on goal in that point – and required a penalty to take the lead – was proof of Tuchel’s forwards nonetheless looking for their greatest kind.
Timo Werner’s watch for a League purpose extends into 13 video games, however he was higher right here restored to a centre-forward function – on a floor the place he excelled for RB Leipzig final season, scoring the winner from the penalty spot. He received the penalty this time, being fouled by Dier within the field because the England defender flailed his legs carelessly within the field.
Jorginho netted the spot kick and, though Spurs confirmed a little bit extra invention thereafter, they didn’t register a shot of any description till the 79th-minute. Vinicius might have snatched some extent on the loss of life, however headed Serge Aurier’s cross huge from six yards out.
As soon as once more, none of Chelsea’s attacking gamers discovered the web. They wanted targets from Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso to beat Burnley, however Tuchel as soon as once more discovered a framework during which his off-form gamers might nonetheless be threatening.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was once more a menace in a extra superior place, whereas Mason Mount proved he’s way over a Lampard pet-project, excelling once more and the unluckiest to not rating.
Spurs by no means acquired themselves able to capitalise and the shortage of attacking intent calls Mourinho’s methodology into query. He stays able to securing one-off outcomes — and there may be an EFL Cup Last to return in April — however the suspicion stays this can be very robust to conquer a 38-game season with such conservatism. This post-Manchester United Mourinho was alleged to be extra adaptable.
Mourinho can level to the absence of Kane, Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso, however ostracising Dele Alli — injured for this sport — and limiting Gareth Bale’s involvement (he was an unused substitute right here) seem more and more counter-intuitive.
And in any case, this appears like being a season outlined on the prime finish much more than typical by the teams that address their absentees one of the best.
Manchester Metropolis lead the desk regardless of being bereft of a recognised striker till Gabriel Jesus returned to motion final week.
Jurgen Klinsmann offers his ideas on Thomas Tuchel’s first few matches in cost.
Liverpool’s centre-back disaster has led Jurgen Klopp to call 12 completely different partnerships there this season. Accidents on this COVID-19 affected marketing campaign are inevitable and Mourinho can’t hail chairman Daniel Levy’s work in assembling this squad one minute after which act as if securing leads to tough circumstance is past him the subsequent.
After Spurs suffered their third consecutive League defeat for the primary time since February 2012 and Mourinho was crushed in back-to-back dwelling video games for the primary time ever, the Portuguese threw in a swipe at referee Andre Marriner.
Mourinho: “I informed him one thing that he is aware of already, which is I think about him the most effective referees within the Premier League. He’s a referee I’ve an enormous admiration [for] and that provides me an excellent place to inform him that I did not like he efficiency.
“Reguilon means one thing for our attacking football, Harry Kane means one thing for our attacking football, Lo Celso means one thing once more for our attacking football, an excellent Dele Alli that we did not have but however we hope we will have sooner or later, means one thing for us.
“And never simply what they imply, however they imply we do not have many choices to rotate and in the long run we end with folks with some indicators of fatigue due to the buildup of matches.
“The second factor is confidence. They’re essential to play football. When a team has a interval when the outcomes should not good, you want that click on again to return to normality.”
Postmatch feedback apart, Mourinho was sodden on the touchline by the tip, regardless of periodically wiping himself down with a white towel all through the match. Spurs performed like he’d thrown it in earlier than kickoff.