Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Crisis? Mourinho scrambles for answers to Spurs’ slump

Crisis? Mourinho scrambles for answers to Spurs’ slump

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tottenham Hotspur’s head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match against West Ham United on Sunday. AFP

Crisis? Mourinho scrambles for answers to Spurs’ slump

Jose Mourinho has played down talk of a crisis at struggling Tottenham but is scratching his head as he seeks a way to pull the club out of their spiral of decline.

Their 2-1 defeat at West Ham on February 21 was the Spurs’ fifth in their past six Premier League games, and they now trail the fourth-placed Hammers by nine points.

Tottenham appear a shadow of the side that topped the table in December and Mourinho is in one of the worst spells of his long managerial career.

The Portuguese has earned 81 points after 50 league matches in charge of the London club, the lowest total at this stage in any managerial stint.

In sharp contrast, he had 126 points at the same point of his first spell in charge of Chelsea.

“I wouldn’t say crisis,” said Mourinho when asked about the form of his team, now languishing in ninth spot in the Premier League table.

“If crisis is frustration and sadness in the dressing room, I’d say so because nobody is happy and we all showed that in this game.”

Things might have been different at the London Stadium had Gareth Bale’s fierce strike gone in instead of hitting the crossbar or Son Heung-min’s deflected effort not looped onto the post.

Mourinho, 58, admitted his team needed a change of fortunes.

He will be only too aware that his predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino, was fired just months after guiding Spurs to the Champions League final in 2019.

Despite Tottenham’s struggles, Mourinho can win the club’s first silverware for 13 years when they take on league leaders Manchester City in the League Cup final in April.

And they are well-placed to reach the last 16 of the Europa League – another potential route back into the Champions League.

Ultimately, his future could hinge on whether Spurs can find a way back into Europe’s top club competition, which he has won twice before, with Porto and Inter Milan.

“Very hard, yes, very hard, but mathematically possible,” Mourinho said when asked about his team’s chances of finishing in the top four.

“Of course our team has problems, and the problems they have reflect on results and on points, but I also believe that a little bit of that light, a little bit of that luck that you also need in football to win matches, has to be back.”

The consequences of missing out on the Champions League would be enormous, not just financially but also the possibility that stars such as Harry Kane could lose patience and look elsewhere.

Ex-England striker Alan Shearer said Tottenham had not improved under Mourinho despite significant sums of money spent.

But the Portuguese received support form Spurs great Glenn Hoddle, who urged the club to stick with their manager.

“How can you sack someone who has got you to a cup final? It’s ridiculous,” Hoddle said on his Glenn Hoddle Footy Show podcast.

“He has earned the right, with what he has done in his career, to be given more time. Average at times, but a couple of wins, the confidence comes back.”

Mourinho himself is confident that he remains the right man to turn around Spurs’ fortunes.

“Mine and my coaching staff’s methods are second to nobody in the world,” he said. “Sometimes the results are the consequence of multiple situations in football.

“I think for a long, long time, we have problems in the team that I cannot resolve by myself as a coach.”

The problem for Mourinho is that time is not on his side, and he knows that whatever the frustrations, the buck ultimately stops with him.


  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and