Positives emerge for Mourinho’s Tottenham despite Liverpool defeat


Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham team lost 1-0 to Liverpool on Saturday in a result which leaves them nine points off the top four. But it’s not all doom and gloom in North London.

Although another defeat extends a rather unfruitful run for Tottenham, the second-half display will have seen many fans leave with hope for the future.

The future in the middle of the defence may well be Japhet Tanganga, who made his Premier League debut and impressed throughout. The 20-year-old started the game with a goal-saving block and continued the whole 90 in a similar vein to leave Mourinho comparing the Londoner to a new signing after the match.

“Can we say Tanganga is a new player? He proved he can now play in the Premier League. It’s a pity he’s not a striker or a midfielder but he’s one more player that we have. I think Mane and Salah know who Tanganga is now.”

The introduction of a home-grown talent will always excite fans and Tanganga is no different. At a time when Tottenham are conceding goals at an alarming rate, keeping one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League games, Tanganga’s arrival is a timely one.

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It will not take long before eyes and ears are directed back towards the transfer market however. The need for midfield reinforcements and a back-up striker for the injured Harry Kane are essential.

Rumours will continue to swirl this month but Mourinho should be encouraged by his team’s attacking output of 14 shots, the third-highest total that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have faced in the Premier League this season.

A criticism of Mauricio Pochettino, despite his largely successful spell in charge of the Lilywhites, was his failure to make effective substitutions.

Mourinho will once again be happy with the impact his changes made to proceedings. The Portuguese coach decided to introduce Argentine pairing Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela around the 70 minute mark, in the hope that their freshness and willingness to carry and pass the ball will help Tottenham save something from the match.

Both were influential in Tottenham’s creation of chances in the late periods as Lamela’s direct running and Lo Celso’s passing caused the Reds’ defence problems.

Indeed, Mourinho felt his substitutes contributions and the chances Spurs wasted, most notably from Heung-Min Son and Lo Celso, translated into his team justifying more from the match.

“I think we deserved a point. That’s why I have a good feeling with the boys. We’re speaking about one of the best teams in the world at the maximum of their potential. We are a team with difficulties as you know. I think we deserved more.”

A third round replay now beckons for Tottenham as they look to progress passed Middlesbrough at the second attempt.

Mourinho’s team selection will likely convey how seriously he views the competition. For many Spurs fans, the thought of winning a cup could surpass another top four finish and trophy-hungry Mourinho may well concur with that opinion.

Over two weeks of the transfer window also still remain and additions appear probable, Christian Eriksen rumoured to be leaving imminently.

Regardless of transfer incomings and outgoings, Tottenham have a battle to rescue their season.

Mourinho now has the task of building on the positives of another defeat as he looks to maintain Spurs’ Champions League status and his own reputation as one of Europe’s elite coaches.


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