Has Mourinho made improvements at Tottenham since replacing Pochettino?
The season is currently at a pause as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic. With no footballing action taking place, it is as good a time as any to look back and reflect on how the season has panned out for Tottenham.
Having made a poor start to the campaign, the club quickly ended up sacking Mauricio Pochettino in November last year. In came former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, amid much skepticism. There was a positive start under the Portuguese tactician, with results going our way.
But injuries to key personnel since the turn of the year meant that our form was on a decline again, as we crashed out of the Champions League and the FA Cup, while dropping to eighth in the Premier League table.
The results haven’t all been favourable for us, but there have been some positives under Jose. But, how does his performance match up against Pochettino’s in his final days at the club?
We decided to take a look, by comparing Mourinho’s first seventeen league games in charge to the last 17 league matches that Poch was in charge of;
During the final few months of Pochettino’s tenure, our team struggled for goals. That, in spite of the availability of both our star forwards Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
In Poch’s last seventeen matches in charge, Spurs managed only 21 goals in the Premier League – which comes up to an average of 1.24 goals per game. Only in six of those matches did our team score two or more goals.
In comparison, during Jose’s first seventeen Premier League games in charge, Tottenham have found the back of the net on 29 occasions, averaging 1.71 goals a game. It must also be noted that on nine occasions have Mourinho’s Spurs scored two or more in a single game.
Kane and Son’s injuries have dried up goals for Spurs under Jose. 18 of our 29 league goals had come in the eight games in November and December. Since January, only eleven have been scored in nine matches, indicating the impact of injuries.
There had been cracks appearing in our defence during the final phase of Poch’s reign. In his last 17 league games, we conceded 22 goals at a rate of 1.29 every game and managed to keep just two clean sheets, which came against Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion, teams not really known for their goal-scoring exploits.
Mourinho, who arrived at our club with the reputation of building teams with an excellent defensive record, has struggled to do that so far. Indeed, in the Portuguese’s 17 league games in charge so far, 23 goals – one more than what our team shipped in during Pochettino’s last 17 matches.
Although, we have kept a clean sheet more under Jose, one each against Burnley, Watford and the mighty Manchester City side.
Coming to the most important aspect now, Tottenham won just four of our last 17 matches under Pochettino, losing seven and drawing the remaining six. Spurs went winless in the Argentine’s last five league games in charge. That is a win percentage of less than 25.
Under Mourinho, Tottenham have registered eight wins in 17 matches, double the number that we managed in Pochettino’s final 17 games – a win percentage of 47. The club has also lost a game lesser than what we did under the Argentine in his final 17 matches. However, Jose too has gone without a win in his last three games.
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Based on the numbers, it is evident that there are positive signs for Tottenham under Mourinho. There have been more goals scored, the win percentage has seen a major improvement as well and could have been better if injuries to the likes of Kane and Son hadn’t happened or we had a proper backup to replace our frontline striker.
Yet, the defence remains a major concern and will surely need some restructuring before the next season starts.