José Mourinho arrived in the North East of London to take on a young and talented team that was losing effectiveness under the command of Mauricio Pochettino, and despite having gotten off to a good start on this new project, the truth is that the injuries allied to a scandalous defensive weakness have been making everything much more difficult.
Elimination from the FA Cup was the last straw for the fans
The serious injuries suffered by Harry Kane and Heung-min Son have somewhat been protecting José Mourinho from harsher critics since they were left without two of the most influential players of the team offensively speaking.
Still, the team continues to show very little intermeshing and some lack of ability of managing the results, frequently allowing their opponents to tie or even revert the scoreline after being in the lead.
Yesterday, at home and against the afflicted Norwich City, we’ve seen that scenario repeat itself again with Tottenham being in the lead at first and trying to maintain that lead from a certain period, something that once again proved to be fatal when Drmic tied things up with about 10 minutes to go until the end.
With the FA Cup as the only option for them to lift a trophy until the end of the season – based on the idea that they won’t be able to reverse their Champions League’s tie against RB Leipzig – the fans ended up getting enraged due to the fact they were eliminated on penalties at home against a clearly inferior opponent.
Everything suggests that José Mourinho will continue having a good support from the club’s board since he arrived with the objective of starting a process that leads to a much stronger Tottenham side on the next season, and we should highlight that the absence of the top goal scorers of the team have somewhat killed the ambitions the club could have until the end of the season.
Eric Dier lost his mind and jumped to the stands
As if the delicate period the club is going through wasn’t enough, one of the captains completely lost his composure when he decided to jump to the stands to confront a fan that was allegedly insulting his younger brother.
As Mourinho stated at the end of the match on the press conference: “Dier did something that a professional can’t do, but that any of us would do on a situation like this”.
Eric Dier escalando as cadeiras do Tottenham Hotspur Stadium para ENFIAR A PORRADA em um torcedor do #Tottenham que, supostamente, foi racista com o Gedson Fernandes, que perdeu o último pênalti na desclassificação do time na FA CUP. pic.twitter.com/8In7wZN2HK
— Gustavo Lucinda (@GUSTAVO_SACADA) March 4, 2020
In a certain way, the Portuguese manager tried to make a statement where he condemned the attitude of the player but that at the same time defended him and understood him, because Mourinho can’t exactly afford to simply punish players because his current resources are scarce and every player is important at this stage.
On this case, there was a lot of talk on the post-match, taking into consideration that the rumours the player had stood up for Gedson Fernandes due to alleged racist insults quickly invaded social media.
However, not everything that leads people to react is racism, and on this case, it was only about defending his brother.
Gedson Fernandes missed the decisive penalty
These days, it is increasingly more common to take penalties in the same style of Bruno Fernandes or Pizzi, players that almost stop completely when they get close to making contact with the ball.
In any case, that way of taking penalties carries some risks, since in case the player isn’t able to fool the goalkeeper, he will probably allow him to save the penalty, since the shot won’t be as powerful as it would be otherwise.
And that’s what happened with Gedson Fernandes, that stopped right before shooting, but wasn’t able to trick the experienced goalkeeper Tim Krul.
That allowed the Dutch to stop the shot of the Portuguese with ease, increasing the frustration levels of the fans that contested the nonchalance of the young Portuguese player.
In fact, Gedson had actually had a good impact on the match when he came on during the 2nd half. However, he can’t continue like this on a league like the Premier League.
It is clear that Bruno Lage relinquished this player on Benfica because he didn’t fulfil all the defensive tasks that were attributed to him, as well as probably due to playing with less intensity than what was desired by the Eagles’ manager.
And although his technical quality isn’t at stake, because he is a very talented player, the truth is that on today’s football, that isn’t enough for a player to be successful at the highest level, especially in the Premier League where the intensity levels tend to be much higher than in other countries.
What’s left for Tottenham this season?
With the club being out of the domestic cups and only barely holding on in the Champions League, Tottenham needs to focus on the attempt of ensuring a spot amongst the top 5 of the Premier League in order to secure a place in the next edition of the Champions League.
The club is currently in 7th place, only 2 points away from that objective, but they need to improve a lot in terms of their performance levels if they want to reach that objective.