Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has launched a defence of his tactics that saw his Tottenham side lose 1-0 to Liverpool at home over the course of the weekend. Indeed, it was an approach criticised by the Independent and described as the approach of a ‘small-team’.
However, speaking to the Standard, Mourinho said: “You go for every game and you try, even if you have to be more strategic than philosophical. But another thing is when you’re in trouble and you have to be pragmatic, creative and try to build something. That’s what we did against Liverpool.”
There’s little doubt that the North London out if surrendered possession on home soil in an attempt to catch the European champions on the counter-attack. In fact, they actually finished the game with just 33% of the ball, but ended up having more shots than the Reds (via BBC).
Added to this, Mourinho picked a team without a recognised striker, with main man Harry Kane out injured. Still, this isn’t an overly negative move as it may seem, as Heung-Min Son is averaging 2.7 shots per game in the league this season, just 0.1 fewer than Kane (via WhoScored), while he also impressed in that berth at times last season.
As a result, Spurs fans were quick to jump to their manager’s defence, here’s how some of them reacted to the criticism:
There are legitimate questions about Mourinho’s overall approach but I’ve found the criticism of his approach for this game absolutely baffling. Came up with a clever gameplan & very nearly got a point against a side who had won 18 in 19. https://t.co/Mlhdpojzhx
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) January 14, 2020
Defende? It was a tactical masterclass. Destroyed by a mistake by the ref. which went in Pools favour (again)
— Bernhard Trogrlic (@Beno_Hotspur) January 14, 2020
Jose set up was right considering liverpool form and our form and injuries. Nearly got a draw or possibly a win with last 25mins.poch never changed our set up and just said we need to be brave….and then get beat in big games.thats where in time jose will be the difference
— Lee Watson (@lee41watson) January 14, 2020
Mourinho made great tactic to the game and in the second half he take dangerous attackers away from the Liverpool game made Klopp angry and confused and we made several good chances and only players poor finishing made us loss the game and with good attackers we would take points
— Pasi Virtala (@PasiVirtala) January 14, 2020
With the squad available and how shot of confidence we are i’m fine with how he set up vs Liverpool and it should have got us something (if Lo Celso hadn’t missed a sitter)
The issue will come if he starts doing this at home to teams like Burnley, Watford etc.
— Joe Bennett (@Keanogoals) January 14, 2020
Was the right approach given our injuries and form. Any other day it would’ve come off (had Son or Lo Celso scored their chances).
— Al Burnell (@Al_Burnell) January 14, 2020
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