Toby Alderweireld

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Spurs’ Mourinho quotes Mandela in discussing Man Utd return

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Jose Mourinho is playing down his return to Manchester United, saying he hopes for a fine reception but is simply looking forward to the future with Tottenham Hotspur.

“This is a closed chapter for me,” he said. “I left the club and took my time to process everything that happened and to prepare myself for the next challenge. Manchester United for me is in my book of experiences. A little bit like Mr (Nelson) Mandela was saying: ‘You never lose. You win or you learn,’.”

[ MORE: Rodri, Jesus star in Man City win ]

United is two points back of Spurs heading into Wednesday’s match at Old Trafford (Watch live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Mourinho’s answering questions about his side’s future, too, with January nearing and Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, and Christian Eriksen amongst those who either are or might be angling for moves away from the club.

He said he’s spoken to club chairman Daniel Levy and the players about what’s next, and that he has no worries about playing them.

“The important thing, really, is [they are] great professionals, big relationship with Tottenham, amazing understanding of what the club is and what we need from them,” Mourinho said. “So, all three ready to play, all three ready to forget the contractual situation. And that’s the most important thing now because we’re in three competitions. And these boys are great players and Tottenham people. I trust them.”

Dele drives Mourinho’s Spurs past Bournemouth

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Dele Alli‘s double drove Tottenham Hotspur to a third-straight win under new boss Jose Mourinho, a 3-2 defeat of Bournemouth at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Spurs led 3-0 on the day as Moussa Sissoko also scored in leading the hosts into fifth with 20 points. Bournemouth drops into 12th with 16 points.

Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson scored twice for Bournemouth, the second coming deep in stoppage time, as the Cherries conceded multiple goals and lost for the third-straight match.


Three things we learned

1. Dele’s resurgence continues: Dele’s star status has not been in question, in terms of talent and resume, but the English attacker had been anything but brilliant over the past year. Jose Mourinho publicly mentioned his desire to get Dele back in a groove, detailing his conversations with the winger. The pressure and support were both on the player, who has delivered in a big way for his new boss. It’s worth noting that he had scored twice in the weeks leading up to Mauricio Pochettino‘s exit, but his total performances are now worth more than goal or two.

2. Loanee the lone bright spot for struggling Cherries: It’s not cruel to say that Bournemouth had one strong player on Saturday and 10 guys just kinda out there. Liverpool loanee Wilson scored his free kick and added another from the heart of the box in stoppage time as Eddie Howe

3. Tempers boil over: Jefferson Lerma is no shrinking violet, and saw a yellow card and inspired one from Moussa Sissoko after stepping on Dele’s foot on the edge of stoppage time. There hadn’t been a lot of animosity in the match, but Spurs showed quick reaction to defend their teammate.

Man of the Match: Heung-Min Son. Two assists for the South Korean, who is delivering the goods when Harry Kane struggles to find his best self.


Kane cued up Heung-min Son for a 19th minute chance, but the South Korean bounded his shot just wide of Aaron Ramsdale‘s far post.

Spurs went ahead moments later, with Son taking a Toby Alderweireld long ball out of the air and laying off for Dele. There was no mistake from the rejuvenated attacker as the score line moved to 1-0.

It was nearly 2-0 when Son layed off for Moussa Sissoko’s shot, which ricocheted off defenders and Davinson Sanchez’s arm before he finished. VAR, though.

Dele got his second in the 50th minute, a sensational play as he got behind the Cherries back line to chest down the ball before dribbling through the 18 to smash past Ramsdale.

Sissoko made it 3-0 with a sexy leaping back post volley of Son’s cross in the 69th minute.

Harry Wilson pulled one back for Bournemouth off a sweet free kick that Paulo Gazzaniga couldn’t quite sort in the 73rd, and then prodded home a stoppage time winner to give the Cherries an unlikely look at a point.

Back to Sissoko’s goal. How about this technique?

Report: Mourinho arrival could see Vertonghen, Alderweireld stay at Spurs

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Belgian duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are two of many Tottenham players out of contract in the coming summer, and to this point talks with both on a new deal had stalled.

However, there seems to be renewed hope that both stick around now that Mauricio Pochettino has departed and Jose Mourinho is on as the new manager in North London.

Lyall Thomas of Sky Sports reported Wednesday that Vertonghen is “keen to discuss” a new contract with the club now that Mourinho has been brought aboard. The report states that Vertonghen was open to discussions with Pochettino in the past, but no offer was ever officially extended. Vertonghen was reportedly informed this summer that the club would not let him leave and he would play for Spurs in the final year of his contract.

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At 32 years old, Vertonghen has made six appearances for the club in the Premier League this season, with another three in Champions League play. He has battled a muscle injury of late but was on the bench for the comeback win over Olympiakos this week.

Alderweireld, meanwhile, has been quite open about his desire to leave the club this summer at the expiry of his deal, as the club has not offered him a new contract and there are thought to be a number of clubs interested in his services. However, a report by The Telegraph says that Alderweireld feels the arrival of Mourinho could calm his desire for a new challenge.

The 30-year-old defender admitted as such publicly after the win over Olympiakos, saying of Mourinho, “I am happy that I’m playing. I’m proud to work with a manager that has won it all. I am grateful that I can become a better player under him. I want to repay him for the faith he has shows in me.”

HLN reporter Kristof Terreur claims the club has not formally offered Alderweireld a new contract, but it was always expected he would leave even should they open talks. However, now it could be that Alderweireld desires to stay and talks can progress.

One of the biggest challenges Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy faced this season was the gaggle of players all out of contract either this summer or next, with very few seemingly willing to consider an extension. Alongside Alderweireld and Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen is also out of contract this summer, while the club will need to make a decision on the future of Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis. Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama, and Oliver Skipp all have contracts expiring in the summer of 2021.

Mourinho off to perfect start; Tottenham beat West Ham

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LONDON — Jose Mourinho got off to the perfect start as Tottenham’s manager, as his side won 3-2 at West Ham United to secure their first Premier League away win since January.

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After a tough week for Spurs’ players after Mauricio Pochettino was fired and then Mourinho hired, they delivered a dominant display as they outclassed bitter rivals West Ham from start to finish.

First half goals from Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura set Spurs on their way and Harry Kane added a goal in the second half as Mourinho celebrated wildly on the sidelines. Michail Antonio scored a late consolation for the Hammers.

With the win Spurs momentarily moved up to sixth place in the table, while West Ham are now without a win in seven as Manuel Pellegrini‘s continue their alarming slump towards the bottom.


3 things we learned

1. Mourinho off to perfect start: It doesn’t get much better than this for Mourinho. His Spurs side were solid, albeit it against a lackluster West Ham, and were lethal in attack. There was a clear plan to get the ball wide to Moura and Son as quick as possible and it worked. Spurs looked more like a counter-attacking team than one that pressed high as that was the biggest change from Poch to Mou. It worked a treat and Mourinho has settled in very well at Spurs.

2. Dele Alli delivers: During the week Mourinho revealed what he said to Dele Alli. “I asked him if he was Dele or Dele’s brother. He told me he was Dele. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘Play like Dele.’” And boy did he prove he was the real Dele Alli. An assist for Son’s goal and a big hand in Moura’s with a majestic flick while he was on the ground showcased his undoubted quality. Dele now needs to deliver on a more regular basis.

3. Hammers need Haller to regain his mojo: This was poor from West Ham as Pellegrini could well lose his job in the coming days and weeks. There was no bite, no grit and no real plan in their derby game against their biggest rivals. Sebastian Haller looked lost up top as the Frenchman wasn’t bothered about holding the ball up and his first touch was abysmal. He scored three goals in his first three games for the Hammers but has scored just once since August and he is low on confidence and support. Haller needs to regain his mojo and West Ham need to give him support. The 3-2 scoreline didn’t tell the story of just how bad Spurs were.

Man of the Match: Dele Alli – His flicks and tricks set up this win for Spurs and he looked back to his best. He tired in the second half but Mourinho has shown he will but his faith in the English playmaker. Dele repaid that faith.


Mourinho thought he’d got off to the perfect start as Dele Alli played in Kane who slammed home, but the offside flag chalked off the goal as Spurs didn’t get the goal their bright start deserved.

At the other end Ryan Fredericks cross found Haller at the back post but Paulo Gazzaniga saved thanks to a deflection from Serge Aurier. Spurs then sat back and struggled to get in the game but Roberto pushed Heung-min Son’s effort from distance away and Lucas Moura then headed wide.

Felipe Anderson was then set free and as he raced towards goal he lost his composure as his pass was behind Sebastian Haller. Toby Alderweireld went close from two set pieces and Son and Kane were then denied by Declan Rice after two lovely flowing moves.

But Son wasn’t to be denied as Alli found him in the box and he made space for himself before smashing a shot on goal which Roberto should have saved but the ball went in. Mourinho punched the air with delight and moments later Son was clattered by Fredericks who should have been sent off.

Before half time Dele Alli delivered a majestic flick while he was on the floor to set free Son and his cross was finished by Moura as Mourinho slid on his knees in celebration.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Spurs should have been 3-0 up at the start of the second half as Moura was played in and raced clear but instead of shooting or picking out Dele Alli, he did neither.

Soon they were 3-0 up as Kane headed home Serge Aurier’s cross to leave Spurs’ fans, players and manager in dreamland.

Kane was almost in again soon after as Spurs were lethal on the counter and Mourinho stood on and watched calmly on the sidelines as his side eased to their first Premier League away victory since January.

West Ham were poor throughout but substitute Michail Antonio did grab a fine goal but that did little to ease their woes, as they also had a late goal correctly chalked out by VAR due to offside and Ogbonna finished in stoppage time to make it 3-2.

Aside from conceding the two late goals, this was the perfect start for Tottenham’s new manager as Jose Mourinho celebrated with the Spurs fans at the final whistle.

How should Tottenham line up under Mourinho?

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Jose Mourinho takes charge of his first game as Tottenham’s new manager on Saturday away at bitter rivals West Ham (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

But who will start? What formation will he use? Which players will he favor?

There are plenty of questions around Mourinho’s team selection, as he’s already hinted that he will keep things very similar to Mauricio Pochettino in terms of personnel and tactics.

Here’s a look at who we think Mourinho will select if he has his strongest possible XI to choose from.


Jose Mourinho’s preferred XI at Tottenham?

—– Lloris —–

— Aurier — Sanchez — Alderweireld — Davies —

—- Dier —- Ndombele —-

—- Sissoko —- Dele —- Son —- 

—– Kane —–


Analysis

Mourinho loves players who are strong, powerful and know how to defend. This is why I’ve picked this XI above. Hugo Lloris is the obvious starting goalkeeper when he returns from injury, while Serge Aurier will get the nod at right back and Ben Davies at left back. Jan Vertonghen has shown signs of struggling this season, as Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld would be a preferred partnership for Mourinho. Although he did the try and sign both Eric Dier and Alderweireld while he was in charge of United, so perhaps that will be his go-to partnership if Dier isn’t deployed in midfield. Dier in central midfield would make Spurs more solid defensively as he could slot in for one of the back four if they push forward.

In midfield the duo of Dier and Tanguy Ndombele could play together, but don’t be surprised if Mourinho brings in Victor Wanyama alongside Dier to bring some extra stability. He could also place Moussa Sissoko back out on the wing to use his incredible engine in wide positions, as he loves wingers who can get up and down the pitch. Having Sissoko and Heung-Min Son flying up in support of target man Harry Kane (who will be asked to channel his inner Didier Drogba) would be Mourinho’s ideal scenario. When it comes to a key playmaker, Mourinho loves Dele Alli and he will hand him the keys to Spurs’ attack given his recent upturn in performances. Christian Eriksen, Vertonghen and Danny Rose all seem to be on the outside looking in as Mourinho’s arrival could spark their early departures in January.

There are clear winners and losers from Mourinho’s arrival with Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane delighted, while the likes of Eriksen, Vertonghen and Winks know it could well be the end of the road for them at Spurs, and even Giovani Lo Celso too, as his loan spell from Real Betis can end without a permanent deal in the summer.