A shambolic defensive show in Bramall Lane sends Tottenham back to the top spot as trouble for Jose Mourinho grows … with money running dry and Champions League football seeming like a pipe dream, Spurs keep looking to a VERY uncertain future
- Sheffield United pushed Tottenham aside on Bramall Lane on Thursday evening
- Jose Mourinho questioned his party’s mental vulnerability after the 3-1 defeat
- It hardly ends Spurs’ hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League
- The money for transfer funds dries up as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
- Questions remain about the future of Tanguy Ndombele at the club in North London
In the aftermath of Sheffield United’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, a dispirited Jose Mourinho discussed the mental vulnerability on his part – a problem that has been with the club for quite some time.
“You have to be ready to deal with negative moments and move to the last moment,” said Mourinho, after seeing his side on Bramall Lane emphatically collapse.
“Now I know the profile of my players more. I felt it. I was afraid we wouldn’t be strong enough to cope in the second half. ‘
Jose Mourinho doubted his party’s mental frailty after Sheffield Utd’s 3-1 defeat
The Portuguese manager’s words were scathing, but it’s not something Spurs fans didn’t already know on their part.
In fact, it was a major criticism that had been directed at Mauricio Pochettino during his last 18 months or so with the club before finally getting fired earlier this season.
And while there were some controversial incidents with VAR that went against Spurs on Thursday, their defense against the Blades was sometimes shambolic.
While the Blades had to cut through Mourinho’s defense to get the first goal, Lys Mousset’s second and Oli McBurnie’s third for the hosts were like a knife through hot butter – it was far too easy.
Lys Mousset (No. 22) saw Eric Dier asleep while tapping home for the Blades’ second goal
Oli McBurnie led Davinson Sanchez to cast doubt on the result
Yes, Spurs can feel hard after VAR ridiculously ruled out Harry Kane’s equalizer the seconds after the opener, but their inability to dust and kick themselves revealed the task Mourinho has on his hands.
Eric Dier, who has admirably acted as a central defender since the campaign’s resumption, was caught taking a nap and allowed an unmarked Mousset to tap from three yards away.
McBurnie added a third six minutes from the end after being given Davinson Sanchez’s goal-side to almost end Spurs’s dreams of securing Champions League football for next season.
For a third consecutive game, Toby Alderweireld was nowhere to be seen, leaving fans wondering why perhaps their best defender was not involved.
Veteran defender Jan Vertonghen made a cameo appearance on Bramall Lane, but his time with the club will end once the current campaign ends, leaving Spurs to fill a gap.
Toby Alderweireld has yet to appear for Tottenham after the lockdown
However, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to prevent Daniel Levy from splashing the money and will prevent Mourinho from reinforcing parts of his team that are in dire need.
A new fullback seems to be high on the agenda, while a defensive midfielder is another place the team has to fill.
Tanguy Ndombele, who first appeared as a second-half substitute against the Blades after the lockdown, still has questions about whether he has a future under Mourinho after a reported feud between the pair.
Missing Champions League football will only further hinder Spurs, leaving them with little means to improve a squad that needs to be refreshed.
There’s also the disturbing prospect that Harry Kane will leave his youth club if the results don’t improve.
Persistent questions linger when signing the club Tanguy Ndombele (left)
Harry Kane can eventually leave Tottenham if the club does not meet its title ambitions
Spurs’ talisman striker admitted during the lockdown that he would move away from White Hart Lane if the club didn’t match his ambitions to win silverware.
Judging by the recent results and form of this season, Tottenham is far from looking, especially if it is considered the strength of the Liverpool and Manchester City teams, while Chelsea will look forward from next season.
It remains to be seen if Mourinho can work his magic with his current group of players, but the Portuguese boss will get the benefit of the doubt as he has not yet completed a full campaign at the club.
However, with the thriving drought, the unlikely Champions League football, and the daunting prospect of their biggest names leaving, Spurs are staring into a very uncertain future.