Ex-Spur Michael Brown insists it is “unbelievable” that Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is still trying to figure out his best starting lineup.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs star believes tactical changes and a busy schedule have prevented Mourinho from working out his favourite starting XI.
The Portuguese once again defended his team selections and queried why other managers like Frank Lampard, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are not questioned on their choices after Tottenham beat Newcastle 3-1 in the Premier League to mark the first time he has won at St James’ Park.
Spurs slumped to a shock 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United, but have begun to turn things around, and they are now on a four-game unbeaten run.
Brown told assistant editor Russell Edge “Mourinho’s come out this week and said about his team selection, why journalists don’t ask other people – it was a good win to ease the pressure but he’s still trying to find his team, isn’t he?
“I just can’t find out what their settled side is and I keep saying the same thing. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? I don’t know if he is closer to finding out. I think sometimes it’s tactical, I think sometimes it’s the run of games, the loading.
“It’s changing people’s opinions, you’re getting judged against different teams. I don’t think you’ve got much choice so I don’t think you’re getting a true reflection of who he wants. The thing you can say is the likes of Alderweireld, Vertonghen – why weren’t they playing?”
It is hard to argue with Brown on this one, as several factors have played their part in Mourinho’s team selection in recent weeks.
Questions remain over Tanguy Ndombele’s future as the club’s record signing has been in and out of the starting lineup lately, and he has now been ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up a knee injury.
Mourinho has messed around with his preferred formation since the Premier League restart, kicking off proceedings with a 4-2-3-1 system, before alternating between a 4-3-3 and 4-4-1-1 structure.
In fairness, matters have been taken out of his hands, as Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Juan Foyth have all missed matches for one reason or another.
Dier, who has established himself as part of Mourinho’s first choice pairing, has been missing for the past three games as a result of the four-match ban the FA imposed on him for his actions after the Norwich FA Cup defeat back in March.
Tottenham find themselves in the mix for a Europa League place after picking up three points against the Magpies, with both Wolves and Sheffield United also in contention with only two games remaining.
The Lilywhites next welcome Leicester City to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, knowing they need to win both games to qualify for the competition next season.
Tottenham fans, do you think Mourinho has been forced to tinker with his team selection? Let us know down below!
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