On the Pitch – Match Previews & Reports

Five talking points from Spurs’ 2-1 defeat to West Ham

Son badly needs a rest

Heung-Min Son has been one of Spurs’ key players this season, but all of the minutes he has played this season seem to have caught up with him. Son was visibly tired in the last ten minutes of the derby against West Ham, seen on his haunches, looking like he was all out of energy.

His recent form has been the polar opposite of his amazing start to the season with only two goal contributions in the past eight league games. When you dive into the stats of how many minutes the South Korean has played it’s hardly a surprise he looks tired.

Son has played at least 84 minutes in every single Spurs league game since the 6-1 win over Manchester United all the way back in November, as well as being played in every single game this season bar two. Son desperately needs a break and the game against Wolfsberger in the Europa League in midweek gives Mourinho the chance to do just that.

With Spurs 4-1 up in the tie it is the perfect opportunity to play a youngster like Dane Scarlett in his place. If Son isn’t rested midweek there’s no way he’s going to be able to perform anywhere near his best due to the fatigue he’s clearly been suffering with in recent weeks.

Centre back woes

Whether it be Alderweireld alongside Rodon, Dier paired with Tanganga, or even Tanganga with Rodon, it’s extremely clear to everyone – apart from Mourinho it seems – that Dier and Sanchez just aren’t working together.

What makes it even more strange is the fact Spurs had a solid centre-half pairing in Alderweireld and Dier up until the Crystal Palace game and have been chopping and changing at the back ever since.

Spurs desperately need consistency at the back and failing to start the same back four since December certainly hasn’t helped Spurs’ defensive woes, Prior to the Palace game, Mourinho’s men had the best defence in the league, only conceding two goals with Dier and Alderweireld at the back. but ever since that game there has been no consistency with Mourinho not looking like he knows his preferred back four at all.

Dier and Sanchez just don’t work alongside each other at all, with the pair conceding five goals in their last two matches. There needs to be a breath of fresh air in the defence, whoever it may be, and then Jose needs to back the pairing that he picks.

The Mysterious Case of Joe Rodon

There was hope when Rodon came in the summer that he would be able to help with our defensive problems. Initially he did so and after a mistake against Liverpool Mourinho gave the Welshman his full backing. But after the 1-0 defeat against Brighton Rodon hasn’t played a single minute of football and has been left out the last two league squads altogether.

Rodon has completely vanished for the Spurs team/squad in recent weeks with no clear explanation as to why. His brother Sam confirmed on Twitter today that Rodon wasn’t injured, so why on earth has Mourinho excluded him from his plans entirely, especially with the defensive problems Spurs are facing currently?

He wasn’t out of place in a poor team performance at all against Brighton so it is mind-blowing why he has suddenly been excluded from the team. Joe Rodon could be that breath of air that Spurs need to restart their campaign and push on now, with Burnley an ideal game for Rodon to come back in.

Bale’s Brilliance

One of the few positives from the disappointing performance was the second half display from Gareth Bale. The Welshman has severely struggled for form since his return to Spurs, however, glimpses of the old Bale have certainly been brought to light in the last week with a good performance against Wolfsberger too.

Bale hit the bar with a powerful volley which definitely had Fabianski beaten as well as chipping in with an assist for Lucas Moura’s goal with a beautifully delivered corner. You just got that feeling that when Bale was on the ball that he was going to do something special, something Spurs have been missing from any player in a while now.

There is no reason why he shouldn’t start against Burnley in the league next Sunday and, if he manages to build up his fitness, the 31-year-old could be a key player for Spurs towards the end of the season, especially if he manages to sustain any run of form. He could be the third attacker that Spurs are most certainly missing alongside Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.

Jose Mourinho’s similar record to a sacked Mauricio Pochettino

Jose Mourinho came out after the game and insisted that his and his coaching staff methods “are second to none” and that he will not question his methods at all regardless of league position. Which may give Daniel Levy that bit of disbelief he didn’t previously have about Mourinho.

It has been widely reported that Mourinho will cost Spurs around £30 million to sack, but with the recent form and his latest comments Levy may well be considering it.

With 12 points out of a possible 39 in his last three games, Mourinho is replicating the type of form which saw Pochettino removed from his position as Spurs manager, the Argentine having gained 14 points out of a possible 36 in his last 12 games. With Spurs now nine points off the Champions League and gradually slipping down the table in recent weeks will Levy be bold enough to pull the trigger?

Mourinho has managed so far to get us into the Carabao Cup final as well as the Europa League Round of 32, but it seems as though his focus is now purely on the cup competitions after the defeat at the London Stadium – will Levy be willing to take that risk and pin all Spurs’ European qualifying hopes on just the cups?

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