How Jose Mourinho must evolve to stop Spurs rot.
It is hard to imagine that just eight games ago, Spurs were sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table ahead of a trip to Anfield for what was dubbed as a six pointer in a potential title race.
Fast forward to the present day, and Spurs now sit in seventh position 14 points off of top spot after a frustrating festive period.
One of the key factors behind Spurs’ sudden fall from grace is the increasing tendency to sit on narrow leads instead of adding to them.
This is a skill that Jose Mourinho has proved time and again that he is capable of perfecting, as we have seen this season with wins over both Man City and Arsenal as well as earning a creditable draw at Chelsea.
Despite Tottenham’s early season form, Mourinho’s over-emphasis on security has saw his side struggle against lower placed teams in the league sitting back and inviting pressure against sides such as Brighton, Fulham and Wolves.
Spurs flew out the traps earlier in the season with emphatic wins over Southampton and Manchester United showing his side’s attacking potential.
However, surrendering a 3-0 lead against West Ham has saw the Portuguese coach deploy his plan B tactic of sitting and maintaining leads, favouring defensive discipline instead of attacking expression.
An improvement in defence was key to Spurs’ great form before the festive period, however defensive mistakes and failure to punish sides with inferior squads has backed Mourinho into a corner to evolve his tactics.
Spurs’ biggest struggles this season has been breaking down low block defences and over reliance on both Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min.
Many would suggest that Mourinho should revert back to his previous free flowing attacking football against inferior sides in a bid to realistically challenge on all four fronts.