Jose Mourinho is known to be a manager who builds his successes at every club he’s managed on his solid backline given his typical and usual defensive philosophy but he’s yet to find the right rhythm at Tottenham to make his defense formidable.
As witnessed in his past jobs at Chelsea and Manchester United specifically, his early days at both clubs saw the Portuguese manager set records of the least goals conceded in a Premier League season (15 goals in 2004/05 season) and the second lowest goals conceded (28 goals in 2017/18 season).
But at Spurs, it has become a herculean task for Mourinho to recognize his best center-back pairings, and has constantly chopped and changed over the course of the season.
With their latest Spurs performance against Chelsea on Thursday, it’s become obvious that Mourinho is not closer to solving his defensive conundrums at Spurs as the pressure to fight for an European spot mounts.
Eric Dier’s name dominated the headlines for the wrong reasons after conceding the needless penalty that gave The Blues the much needed and deserved three points at the White Hart Lane.
Jorginho of course scored the penalty which condemned Tottenham and Jose Mourinho to a third successive league defeat and a back to back home defeats in the league.
As a result, Spurs have found themselves down in eighth and 14 points off leaders Man City.
Dier’s irrational decision was avoidable, at least an experienced center-back would avoid conceding such a penalty because what they cannot afford to do is give away silly goals that would mount more pressure on their attackers given Tottenham’s struggles in the final third lately due to Harry Kane’s absence.
Having started Joe Rodon in a three-man defence for the past three Premier League games, Mourinho decided to make changes at the back by reverting to his four-man defence as both Joe and Sanchez made way.
Serge Aurier also came in alongside Eric Dier who’ve started 19 of Spurs’ 21 league games so far but his performance last night has resurrected the long-term question as to if the former Sporting CP man is the relief of Spurs’ back pain.
Not only the penalty he conceded, Dier in the second half also put Lloris in trouble with a lofted pass that the goalkeeper had to head away from danger under pressure.
Mistakes like this are what has attracted criticisms for the England international regardless of his past impressive performances.
Hence the need for Jose Mourinho to decide on his strongest backline to give his side the best chance of going on and winning games, some of Dier’s recent performances have only highlighted that he is not the long-term solution to the problem.
Also, another question that comes to mind is if Eric Dier would be in Jose’s good books in seasons to come because it’s quite evident that he would look to bolster his defence at the Summer and this will possibly jeopardize Dier’s place in the team.
Babajide Adewunmi – EverBlazin