Tottenham were so far off the pace in their 3-0 shellacking at RB Leipzig on Tuesday that the main question swirling around Jose Mourinho’s team is simply: what now?
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Injury-hit Spurs have been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup over the last week and now they have nine Premier League games to try and qualify for the Champions League.
They currently sit seven points behind fourth-place Chelsea and even if fifth-place in the PL ends up being a Champions League spot (due to Man City’s European ban, which they are appealing) they are four points off fifth-place Man United and could fall seven points off the pace if they lose at home against the Red Devils this Sunday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
After getting the ‘new manager bump’ when he arrived in November, Mourinho is winless in six games, the longest run in his managerial career, and he has now lost three games in a row in Europe for the first time as a manager. So, he’s in unchartered territory in the short-term even though their schedule between now and the end of the season is pretty favorable.
Of course, somehow cobbling together some wins and qualifying for the Champions League is now Mourinho’s one and only goal for the rest of this season, but looking beyond this season, which players should Spurs keep and how should Mourinho set up this team?
Below is a look at the areas where Mourinho needs to strengthen.
Tottenham possible starting lineup, 2020-21 season
—– Lloris —–
—- ? —- Alderweireld —- ? —- ? —-
—— ? —– ? —–
—- Son —- Dele —- Lo Celso —-
—– Kane —–
So, Mourinho basically needs a brand new defense and two holding midfielders and even including Alderweireld and Lloris in the lineup above is generous.
Anybody who has watched Tottenham over the last 12-18 months knows that defensively they’ve badly needed reinforcements and in midfield they have never truly replaced Mousa Dembele who left in January 2019.
With Tanguy Ndombele called out by Mourinho, his future at Spurs seems very uncertain and the likes of Harry Winks and Eric Dier have struggled massively in recent weeks. A Nemanja Matic-esque destroyer is needed in midfield and that should be a big aim, along with improving the defense, this summer. Going forward they have plenty of options even though the injuries to Son and Kane have underlined just how important they both are to Tottenham.
Tottenham need six new players, at least, to turn them into genuine top four contenders again and this rebuild was needed a long, long time before Mourinho arrived.
Mauricio Pochettino‘s reputation is growing by the day as Tottenham continue to unravel. Poch did all he could to stem the tide of regression but it is clear that Daniel Levy needs to sanction an almighty squad overhaul with only a few core players kept at the club beyond this summer.
Mourinho should be given time and a full season to be judged but this summer is going to be massive in determining the direction Tottenham head in. What is there identity as a team? Which players can they rely on? How many new signings will they make? Tottenham have a busy offseason coming up, no matter what happens in the final weeks of the season.