Premier league news Mourinho's Levy message, Spurs' transfer situation and the Bale and Dele mystery Last spor news
MetiNews.Com - Here are our talking points from Tottenham Hotspur's 1-1 draw with Fulham in the Premier League on Wednesday night
Breaking News ! All rather predictable Tottenham Hotspur fans could have at least earned some money to balance their frustration had they placed a bet on the incredibly predictable outcome of their club's latest match. As Jose Mourinho's men failed to build on their first half lead on Wednesday night, with Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola pulling off a couple of reflex saves and Son Heung-min hitting the right-hand post, this result was only heading in one direction. Tottenham's defence would eventually flick off the concentration switch, as they have done on numerous occasions this season. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now Only Brighton and Sheffield United have dropped more points from winning positions, 12 and 11 respectively, than Spurs, with 10, in the Premier League this season. Mourinho's teams are known for being able to fall back upon their solid defences, safe in the knowledge that even if they aren't firing up front so they can rely on the backline to hold firm at the other end. This Mourinho team cannot do that. The only surprise about Ivan Cavaleiro's 74th minute goal was that it came from open play. Spurs have only conceded four goals from open play in their 17 Premier League games, the other 12 coming from set pieces. Tottenham still have the joint second best defensive record in the English top flight but much of that has come from the defensive set-up employed by Mourinho to protect the defence. Once the backline has been exposed to danger it has struggled, set pieces proving that point in particular. Against Fulham, Mourinho would have been left shaking his head as Serge Aurier was caught out of position, Davinson Sanchez turned too easily and Eric Dier out-jumped as if he wasn't there. There was a certain irony in the fact that Mourinho filled his team with central midfielders, four of them taking to the pitch or five if you count the former man in the middle Dier, yet Spurs looked more open than ever. Read More Related Articles Every word Jose Mourinho said on Tottenham's defending, not taking chances and Fulham draw Read More Related Articles Tottenham player ratings: Full-backs impress, Kane scores but too predictable up top in draw Sergio Reguilon and Aurier were unshackled somewhat in the system and meant to provide the width, but also left plenty of space in behind them, particularly down the Ivorian's flank. Hugo Lloris only made a couple of saves but much of that was to do with the visitors not having real firepower up front in the absence of Aleksandar Mitrovic. A team with more attacking threat would have gratefully accepted Tottenham's open and giving nature. "I understand that in the first half we had chances to kill the game," said Mourinho. "Some of them are Areola's responsibility. In the second half we had the biggest chance to kill the game but when you don't do it you cannot concede goals the way we did do it. "This is the same story basically since the beginning of the season. We can talk about not killing the game yes, we can speak about that, and today was a clear situation where we could and should have killed the game in the first half but then you go back to the goals that we concede and it's not also easy to assimilate that." Mourinho must be bored of saying the same things and the fans are growing tired of hearing them. Jose Mourinho reacts during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham Mourinho and the fans The relationship between Jose Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur fans will likely always be a fragile and turbulent one. Some will never forget that he managed their London rivals across two spells and some of the things he said. Some don't like the way his teams play football. Some don't like the way he acts or speaks. Others simply see a winner who knows what has to be done and can bring a silverware-starved club what it has craved for far too long. When Spurs are winning games and Mourinho is coming out with zinging one liners in his press conferences, the reservations about him can be ushered into a dark corner. When Tottenham stutter and stumble and bore, so those grievances come out to play. You can't help but wonder what 62,000 fans inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would have made of some of the home matches this season. On one side the players might well have been more inspired by the roar of the crowd, not least that south stand, and pushed on in their efforts. Spurs won both matches 2-0 in front of just 2,000 supporters last month before fans were locked out again, so you can only imagine how they might have performed with 30 times that number behind them. However, there would have also been 62,000 groans and sounds of frustrations at some of the football on offer, likely boos at some of the halves of football. On Wednesday night the fans would have witnessed their team share almost the same amount of possession and have the same amount of shots on goal as a promoted team in the bottom three of the Premier League. Read More Related Articles Serge Aurier opens up on battle with Matt Doherty and how hard his brother's death hit him Read More Related Articles Jack Clarke loan switch to Stoke City from Tottenham set to be finalised today "Not good enough, but good enough to win," the Spurs boss told football.london afterwards. "Not good enough because I think we have to play better in a more consistent way, but good enough to create four or five big chances, good enough to give Hugo in a very quiet evening. "Good enough to win the game but not good enough because we have to play better than we did." He's right of course, in that had Tottenham taken some of their chances they could have had the game won by half-time. They didn't though and the blame must fall somewhere between Mourinho and the players. The players were all fresh and should have had no tiredness. Only Sissoko started on Sunday at Marine and he played just 45 minutes that day. Yet they huffed and puffed and struggled to impose their game on Fulham, with Scott Parker letting everyone know that his team only had 48 hours to prepare for the match. On Mourinho's part he put out a team lacking inspiration and creativity, with too much pressure placed on Tanguy Ndombele to create and just two players able to finish in Kane and Son. All of which brings us to the bench. Dele Alli didn't look happy in the image he uploaded to his Instagram story straight after Tottenham's draw against Fulham (Image: Dele Alli Instagram) Dele, Bale and the wasted bench Look at Tottenham's bench on Wednesday night and you have to wonder what's going on. Gareth Bale, a player Tottenham have been desperate to bring back to the club for years and a four-time Champions League winner, left unused. Dele Alli, a player who has scored goals from midfield at a rate that outstripped the likes of Lampard, Gerrard and Scholes, left unused. Even Lucas Moura, a man known for his ability to bag a late goal on the biggest of stages, left unused. On the night, Mourinho brought on just two substitutes, Erik Lamela and Carlos Vinicius. Lamela made a slight impact, Vinicius barely touched the ball. Right now, the Bale deal is looking like an utter dud. More than £200,000 a week spent on a player who either doesn't trust himself to fully let loose on the pitch or doesn't have the trust of Mourinho to do so. That the Portuguese choose to play Moussa Sissoko as a right winger ahead of Bale and then brought on two other players instead of the man long heralded as one of the world's best players is not a good look and makes a mockery of a transfer deal his chairman Daniel Levy longed for ever since the Welshman left for Madrid in 2013. Bale could yet come good, if the 31-year-old can restore some confidence in his body and get a run of games under his belt. Against Fulham, he didn't even warm up down the touchline until the latter stages of the game. Spurs have an option for a second season of the Bale loan, having expected him to take some time to get back to full speed following a season marked by injury and inaction, but now back from his most recent injury he needs to start showing what a man at the top of the earnings ladder at the club should be. As for Dele, the 24-year-old posted a caption-less image on his Instagram Story on the journey back from the match, looking simply bored and frustrated, with his hand on his face.
. When he's left unused once again in a game like this, when Spurs needed to create more chances and they needed to put them away, it raises questions over his Premier League exile, especially after being praised for his attitude and professionalism just days earlier in the FA Cup match at Marine. Dele Alli makes goals happen. Even last season, when his form was questioned, he scored eight goals and laid on four assists in the Premier League, meaning a direction involvement in 12 goals in 25 matches. Spurs are reluctant to let him leave permanently because all he needs is to find his mojo again and a player who might not fetch a big price now could be worth mega money again within a year. Right now Kane and Son need help. Kane's headed goal from Reguilon's perfect cross was from the top drawer and it was his 25th headed Premier League goal, making him just the third player to score 25 or more goals with his left foot, right foot and head, netting 34, 94 and 25 respectively in the English top flight. Son had an off day in front of goal, a rarity in a clinical season for him but it shows that if the duo are not firing then neither are Tottenham. Kane's goal meant the pair have now scored 23 of Tottenham's 30 goals in the Premier League this term. A two-man team is better than a one-man one but Spurs cannot afford to be so reliant on them. Others need to step up and help out, but they have to be given the chance to do so first.
Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho during the Premier League match against Fulham
Mourinho's message to Levy Jose Mourinho has made it very clear that he does not expect Tottenham to make any signings during the transfer window. That's not because he doesn't want them but because he doesn't "feel the right to ask for something" after the club's efforts during the summer in bringing in seven players amid a financial mess of a year. "One thing is to analyse, which of course I do, one thing is to analyse and commit to that analyse and to write a report and be committed to that report, which of course of which I did as I have to be professional," he said this month. "Another thing is to demand something which I never do. Another thing is to ask for and I'm not going to ask for anything because I respect the effort the club makes." However, when asked what he would say to his defenders after another poorly conceded goal on Wednesday night, Mourinho's frustrations with the ability of some members of his backline shone through in what seemed like a message to Levy and the powers that be. "I think there are things that have to be with the characteristics of players. There are things that are difficult too," he said. "There are some things they have to do with organisation of the team, but other things they have to do with individual skills, individual ability, and its as simple as that." The problem for Mourinho is that finances for transfers have not improved. Clubs still have no idea when they might get fans back in stadiums, and with them the accompanying gate receipts, food and drink and merchandise sales. Tottenham are losing millions as their state-of-the-art home remains empty. They are not alone in a transfer window that is expected to be a quiet one for most of the Premier League clubs, particularly for many of those in the top half of the table. Spurs are furthered hampered by their problems with foreign players and their squad size. Their Europa League squad is bloated, with Paulo Gazzaniga, Gedson Fernandes and Joe Rodon outside of the 17 non-locally trained players already registered in the 25-man squad.
Jose Mourinho and Daniel Levy's number one transfer priority has now become clear at Tottenham
Jose Mourinho and Daniel Levy have a January transfer window headache to deal with at Tottenham
In the Premier League, Rodon took up the final spot in the 25-man squad when he joined from Swansea. Just to get the Welshman into the Europa League squad for the knockout stages, Mourinho would have to leave out someone else other than than Gedson and Gazzaniga. Whether they are homegrown or foreign, ultimately a Premier League club can only have 25 players in their squad, although they can have as many U21 players as they like in a separate list. In the Europa League, any young player needs to have been at the club for two years to get on a similar bonus list. So for Tottenham to bring anyone in, they would need to move someone on. Gedson has been linked with a return to Benfica, but cutting his loan short changes nothing really for Spurs, with the young Portuguese outside the Europa League squad and on that separate U21 list in the Premier League squad. His exit would not affect the main squad numbers in either competition. Tottenham need to sell non-vital squad players at a time when nobody is looking to spend decent sums of money. Selling while values are low is also not the best way to operate from a business point of view and most clubs are only looking at loan deals. football.london understands that unless something unexpected happens, this window is set to be one of simply moving out players on loan, such as Jack Clarke's imminent move to Stoke City. Links with Real Madrid defender Eder Militao, who turns 23 this week, are wide of the mark for all of the above reasons, a good player but also not believed to be near the top of Tottenham's list of targets should money or squad places magically free up.
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The situation makes it difficult to move for someone like RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer. The versatile 26-year-old Austrian is a player Spurs like but, on top of the other restrictions in their ability to sign players, it makes more financial sense to go for Sabitzer in the summer window when he hits the final years of his contract, similar to how they moved for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg last year. Mourinho's only slim hope of bringing in a new face in the next fortnight or so would be if someone came in with an offer for a squad player that was just too tempting to turn down. In that scenario Spurs would move for a like-for-like replacement, but clubs are not queuing up for the players Mourinho would allow to leave. For now Mourinho must work with the squad he has, one with plenty of depth after the summer transfer work done, and then look to further refine it in the summer when the income in football may have returned to something nearer its previous norm. Mourinho praised the squad and the tools he was provided with following the summer business. Now he needs to work out how to get the best out of it and that might just involve trusting more of the players within it.
Source = MetiNews.Com