Three stats which show Tottenham have gone backwards under Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho breaches health protocols
The Tottenham coach made the headlines again, this time for breaching COVID-19 protocols. Copyright: imago images / MIS

Saturday’s stalemate against Burnley means that Jose Mourinho’s side have failed to win a game in any competition for almost a month.

He would make this team play predictable but practical football. That was the unwritten memo Tottenham Hotspur fans got when their club’s higher-ups decided to replace the extremely innovative Mauricio Pochettino with an about-to-be outdated Jose Mourinho in the middle of November.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United manager had learned his lessons from his failed spell at the Old Trafford stadium, we were told. A ten-month period out of management had taught the Portuguese the lessons which he hadn’t learned from a nearly two-decade-long experience, was the mantra.

There was also an unspoken expectation that after being unable to land a ‘top’ job since his latest sacking, he might have grown mild. That his appearances on the television as a pundit, in which he was all smiling, should convince everyone that ‘The Special One’ had changed.

Except that a leopard never changes its spots. Less than five months into his new job, the Portuguese has already thrown his players under the bus and blamed the board for his team’s poor form. Worse, the 3rd season syndrome, in which everything falls apart under and for Mourinho, has come two seasons’ early for Spurs.

#1: No wins in five games

José Mourinho Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur s Manager Jose Mourinho R looks dejected at the final whistle after a loss for his team in the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: 4th December 2019. Picture credit should read: Darren Staples/Sportimage PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK SPI-0349-0047
When the referee blew the final whistle at the Turf Moor Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it confirmed that Spurs are now winless in their last five games.

More damning is the stature of teams that Spurs have faced during this period. True, they have met the likes of Chelsea and Wolves over the past month, but relegation-threatened Norwich City and Burnley have also stolen 1-point each from Mourinho’s side.

During the run, Spurs have let away one-goal lead three times – twice against Wolves in one game and once again while facing Norwich. For a manager like Mourinho whose unique selling point is his teams’ ability to defend, that should be hugely worrying.

#2: Six defeats since November

Starting from a 2-1 loss at Old Trafford stadium at the start of December, which was Mourinho’s first defeat as Spurs’ manager, the North London side has lost six games out of the fifteen they have played under the Portuguese pragmatist.

What’s perhaps more alarming for Spurs is their recent string of defeats. It has come at a time before which the side had won three consecutive games in the league, including a fortuitous 2-1 victory against Manchester City. That shows that confidence has gotten them nowhere in the league.


Steven Bergwijn Tottenham Hotspur

#3: Three clean sheets in 25 games

José Mourinho Tottenham Hotspur
Football - 2018 / 2019 New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Test Event, Two - Spurs Legends vs. Inter Forever Jose Mourinho, assistant manager of Inter Forever, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. COLORSPORT/ASHLEY WESTERN PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK

As journalist Daniel Storey has noted on his Twitter account, Mourinho’s teams’ teams perform at their best defensive during his first season at the club.

During his first stint as Chelsea manager, the Portuguese led the Blues to 17 clean-sheets during the same period. Inter Milan managed ten clean sheets in their first twenty-five games under him, whereas, once at Madrid, Mourinho once again showed his class by helping them keep their goal shut 15 of the first twenty-five times.

His second tenure at Stamford Bridge, which was soon followed by a maiden one at the Old Trafford, yielded 10 and 9 shut-outs during the same period, respectively. All of them are league winning statistics by any definition of the term

That isn’t the case once you look at his record as Spurs manager. During his first 25 games, last season’s Champions League runners-up Spurs have managed to stop the other team from scoring in only three matches. That, as one might guess, is an indicator of a side battling for survival, not of one which is fighting to play in the Champions League next season.

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