After crashing out of the FA Cup, Tottenham Hotspur now must prioritise some key upcoming matches in their remaining two competitions. Just how far do Tottenham Hotspur need an overhaul this summer? Jose Mourinho claimed that there was no overhaul planned, and yet the squad lacks depth, especially in terms of a striker.
Tottenham Hotspur Overhaul Needed as They Falter Once Again
‘First of all, that’s not what we think we need. Second, because of the profile of our club and third because of what the market is. Year after year, it’s more difficult.
‘I’m not thinking of an overhaul.’
It really depends on what constitutes an overhaul. Aiming to ship out large numbers of players and replacing them would be wholly unrealistic. But, if an overhaul constitutes moving at least three players on and bringing in more talent, then failing to do this would harm the club’s progress. Tottenham so desperately lack strikers to back-up Harry Kane. Furthermore, their defence has been weak. The wingbacks, in the case of Serge Aurier, have been inconsistent. Admittedly, the midfield has been strengthened; the attacking midfield options have the most depth. Otherwise, the injuries to many key personnel have led to a general lack of depth in the squad.
Disappointing Defeat to Norwich City
Following the defeat to Norwich City, this rejection of an overhaul seems a little baffling. This match simply repeats the errors that ingrained into this side. There is a weakness in mentality. At first, this is represented in the failure to really take the game to Norwich, giving up a 1-0 lead that should have been built upon. Furthermore, the penalty shootout was a dismal affair with three missed penalties.
Tottenham are devoid of any real confidence and commitment. In the FA Cup match, this may relate partly to the tactics of the team sitting deeper. Mourinho was happy with how his team played overall. But, this is a style that the players, and moreover the fans are not used to. Pochettino’s press was non-existent until the lead was given up in a truly shocking fashion by Michel Vorm. An attacking line-up with Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Steven Bergwijn, and later Gedson Fernandes and Erik Lamela failed to capitalise on chances. Serge Aurier had a great chance to win the match, but his shot was cleared off the line.
Dele Alli was deployed in that elusive false nine position to little success. He struggled to make any impact on the game and was eventually substituted. It will be interesting to see if Mourinho chooses to continue to field Dele in this position.
Fatigue and Squad Depth
In the post-match conference, Mourinho spoke of how Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso and “[o]ther players on the pitch…were also in big trouble“ in terms of fatigue, cramp and potential injury threatening to strike.
In addition, Mourinho stressed the need to prioritise either the Premier League clash against Burnley, or the upcoming RB Leipzig Champions League tie:
“I have to think about a Saturday match and a Tuesday match and try to decide which one is the priority and which one is the one where I can give some of my boys under huge fatigue the best possible chance.”
Mourinho Adapting to Tottenham Hotspur Resources
Mourinho has to work with the relatively limited resources that Spurs have at their disposal in comparison to some of the illustrious clubs he has previously managed. As a result, he has to be cautious about promising an overhaul. Furthermore, he says he must prioritise one competition over another since the squad simply isn’t deep enough to compete on all fronts. He may not even get the chance to have such a deep squad as he might prefer.
In the summer, there is an opportunity for this disparate, faltering side to unite and regenerate. There may be limited resources, but the squad itself still contains some brilliant players. The next two matches against Burnley and Leipzig could prove to transform this recent patch of poor form. Two wins could give a boost of confidence and direction; to get knocked out of two competitions in two weeks would be crushing.