Gary Neville explains the tactical shifts Jose Mourinho has made at Tottenham
Writing in his column for Sky Sports, former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has highlighted the subtle tactical changes that Jose Mourinho has made at Tottenham in comparison to his methods in the past.
Mourinho took over at Tottenham Hotspur in November last year, following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino. There were a lot of questions about whether the Portuguese tactician was the right man for the job. A year down the line and he has done very well to silence those doubters.
Indeed, after having led us to Europa League last season, Mourinho has taken Tottenham to the top of the Premier League table. The Lilywhites haven’t lost a league game since the opening day defeat to Everton and currently have 21 points in ten games.
Mourinho’s teams are known to be defensive-minded and his work to tighten things at the back can be seen this season as we boast the best defensive record in the league, letting in just nine goals.
At the same time, however, Tottenham have been scoring goals for fun this season, something that isn’t always associated with a Jose Mourinho team. Spurs have scored 21 goals in the league thus far, with only Chelsea and Liverpool (both 22) scoring more.
Neville, comparing Mourinho’s current tactics to the ones he deployed at Manchester United in his last job, has claimed that he has found the right balance. (h/t Sky Sports)
“It’s a subtle change, but it’s the same system as before in a different way. It is far more palatable and it’s easier on the eye as you’ve still got the attacking players in attacking positions. Jose has adapted, and he’s got the balance of being good defensively with the threat on the counter-attack.”
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Neville does add that Mourinho is still not entirely convinced of his backline, which is why we will see the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg drop deep and make it a back-six essentially. (h/t Sky Sports)
But he has found the balance, that he wasn’t able to at Manchester United, with Harry Kane dropping deep and Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn near him to break at pace. (h/t Sky Sports)