Football Expert & Columnist
Tottenham need 'four or five' new players, says Jamie Carragher
Carragher: Jose Mourinho 'needs four or five players just to get back to where Mauricio Pochettino was, never mind actually getting to where Tottenham want to get.'
Last Updated: 14/01/20 11:36am
Jamie Carragher believes Jose Mourinho needs up to five new players after watching Tottenham fall to defeat to Liverpool, while Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp joined him in debating Spurs' style of play.
Tottenham's inconsistent form under Mourinho continued against the league leaders as they failed to win for the third game in a row. Having won only two of their last six games Tottenham find themselves 31 points behind Liverpool and nine points adrift of the top four.
Carragher believes Spurs have "fallen so far behind" that there will need to be "major changes in the summer", while fellow Sky Sports pundits Neville and Redknapp have been left wondering if Mourinho will need to change his style of play to bring success to Tottenham.
'Major changes in the summer for Tottenham'
Carragher believes that Tottenham will need to bring in a number of players just to get back to where they were a couple of years ago under Mourinho's predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino.
"There will have to be major changes in the summer for Tottenham," said Carragher in the Sky Sports studio.
"Pochettino was one or two players away, I think, from winning the league. I think Jose Mourinho's team he has got now, if he is looking to play the way he wants to play, which is not the way these players are used to playing, needs four or five players just to get back to where Pochettino was, never mind actually getting to where Tottenham want to get."
Former Tottenham midfielder Redknapp agreed that Mourinho faces a tough challenge, outlining the gap between Liverpool and Tottenham.
Redknapp said: "Two years ago when Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1 at Wembley, I thought there is a massive gulf now between Tottenham and Liverpool; it looked like [Spurs] could move on.
"All of a sudden there is a 31-point difference between Liverpool and Tottenham. That's incredible, the turnaround.
"You can't blame the manager, you have to look at why didn't they go and add players when they had their opportunity. They have fallen so far behind right now and with Jose, I don't know, because he is not really a Tottenham fit, he's a winner, but this is going to be hard for him."
'People don't want to see that type of football anymore'
Carragher discussed how he had enjoyed watching Mourinho teams in the past - but admitted Tottenham had lost some key parts of their play under their new boss.
"I've loved watching Mourinho, I hate the fact that every team wants to play the same way," Carragher said.
"But Tottenham were a team who pressed from the front with energy, who played from the back. Those two big things from the Pochettino era have gone now with Jose Mourinho. They don't press at the front and when they play out from the back they don't have any idea what they are doing. They just go back to the goalkeeper and he smashes it forward.
"People don't want to see that type of football anymore."
'Will Tottenham fans accept dropping deeper?'
Neville believes Mourinho gave his gameplan away while he was working in the Sky Sports studio - but the former Manchester United captain questioned whether the Tottenham fans will accept a new pragmatic approach.
"Fans are not accepting a pragmatic style of play, they want entertainment week in week out," he said.
"The plan of dropping deep is working less and less, fans are accepting it less and less and more importantly players are not accepting it, they don't like it, they want to be on the front foot."
"Jose Mourinho gave us an insight into how he was going to play against Liverpool earlier on in the season in the studio. In hindsight, we should have recognised he wasn't going to change. One thing I would say is Liverpool do like teams coming on to them, Mane, Salah and Firmino would have loved it if Tottenham would have committed."
"I was waiting for Tottenham to go gung-ho with 20 minutes to go and commit men forward. That back four never moved for Spurs. Jose Mourinho recognised that if he had thrown his fullbacks forward and left his two centre backs exposed they would have probably got beat two or three-nil. In a calculated manner he recognised that keeping his back four together and waiting for those one or two moments was the best way of getting a result."
However, Neville does believe that Mourinho is open to changing his style, saying: "He has changed his coaching team at Tottenham so I imagine he is doing different things."
'Attacking front-foot football'
Redknapp agreed with the other pundits, saying that Tottenham fans "want to see attacking front-foot football".
"The fans want to see a bit of style, they want to see the team get on the front foot," he said.
"There wasn't really a plan. When you play out from the back you're either going to play it to one of the centre backs, they split, you play out to the fullbacks and you try to play out into midfield. They did that but it was almost like they had to do that because this is the modern way of playing but it just didn't look right, they were never comfortable doing it.
"The only time they had any success - and it's not really a plan - was when Jordan Henderson got caught a couple times in the first half and they nicked the ball off Wijnaldum, when they looked like something might happen."
Tottenham will hope to turn their fortunes around when they face resurgent Watford on Saturday - follow the game with our live blog and watch free match highlights from 5.15pm on the Sky Sports website and app.