Tottenham Hotspur have completed a rather impressive turnaround under Jose Mourinho.
When the controversial Portuguese manager was appointed in November, the 2018/19 Champions League runners-up were languishing in 14th position but Spurs ended the campaign in sixth place and will compete in the Europa League next term.
Whilst he’ll still have his doubters due to his pragmatic nature, Mourinho does indeed deserve praise for what he’s just accomplished and it should after all be merely a solid foundation to life in north London.
It’s clear that some sort of overhaul or turnaround in players is required. That much is already known with the club reportedly seeking both Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Max Aarons as their top targets this summer, as per The Athletic.
However, Sunday’s drab draw at Crystal Palace should have given Mourinho plenty more food for thought, particularly at left-back after Ben Davies dropped a clanger.
Per SofaScore, the 27-year-old won just two of his 12 duels (17%), recorded zero tackles, lost possession 21 times and also committed three fouls. It was quite a disastrous display all-round.
And it’s not like the Welshman has pulled up any trees throughout the course of the season – in fact, he’s been distinctly average, which is summed up by his WhoScored rating of just 6.77.
He’s gone missing in big occasions too – against the likes of arch-rivals Arsenal, Man Utd, Wolves and Chelsea, he’s struggled to surpass the 6.66 mark.
Spurs’ attacking output from the left flank also ranks as the worst in the division at just 35% and given Heung-min Son has bagged ten goals from that side this season, the brunt of the blame falls with Davies.
As much as Mourinho could probably do with a defensive lynchpin now that Eric Dier has cemented his place in the backline – something Hojbjerg certainly would bring having averaged 2.4 tackles and 1.5 clearances per game – it’s clear to see that left-back spot is one of the weakest spots in the team.
Whether young starlet Ryan Sessegnon or a mooted target such as Ben Chilwell can fill that attacking void very much remains to be seen.
But if the two-time UCL winner is to bring what Mauricio Pochettino couldn’t to north London, then he ought to find his next Ashley Cole or Cristian Chivu before bolstering elsewhere.
AND in other news, Mourinho eyeing timely transfer reunion with ex-Spurs man…