Merson Says: I can't see Jose Mourinho enjoying current situation at Tottenham
"If he has been brought in to entertain, they've brought the wrong manager in"
Last Updated: 10/03/20 10:03am
Paul Merson says he can't imagine Jose Mourinho is enjoying the current situation at Tottenham, and feels their current style is "not his sport".
Tottenham are now without a win in five games, having been knocked out of the FA Cup in midweek by Norwich, and must overcome a 1-0 deficit in their Champions League last-16 second leg at Red Bull Leipzig on Tuesday night.
Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November, has had to deal with long-term injuries to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, but Spurs are now in danger of missing out on the top four, while playing an open style of football that some feel is uncharacteristic of a Mourinho team.
Here, Merson is confused by the current situation at Tottenham, insisting Spurs need to win silverware, not seek to entertain.
'This does not look like Mourinho'
This is not really Jose Mourinho's sport.
They should have bought someone to cover for Kane's injury, it has come back to bite them, and that isn't necessarily Jose's fault. But I've followed Mourinho's entire career, and I've seen him with worse teams than this, able to shut up shop and not concede goals.
What I'm watching now does not look like Mourinho. They are in end-to-end games too much.
He's got to go with what he knows best; he's a proper coach who can get people into positions and be hard to beat. At the moment, I don't see that with Tottenham.
If I'd watched Tottenham for the last 10 weeks, and someone asked me: 'Who manages this team?' - I wouldn't have said Mourinho if I had 1,000 guesses. That's not good if you're a Tottenham fan, and not good for Mourinho.
The game is too open, too flowing, it's not the way he is. I don't know what is wrong. I know that he could easily get this team to not concede a goal, and if they did let in a goal, they wouldn't let in more than one. He would make sure of that.
If he has been brought in to entertain, they've brought the wrong manager in. Tottenham need to win trophies, not entertain the rest of the country.
Watching Tottenham recently is like watching Arsenal of the last seven or eight years. You'd love watching them because you knew you'd get an entertaining game. Everybody loves a team that doesn't win anything!
Maybe Jose is thinking: 'I'll just show you, this is what I've been left with!'. I don't know. It's very, very strange.
They're scoring goals, and he's got defenders, and I just find it very open. Maybe he's trying to change the way he is, and he is trying to change with the times.
But if you don't let in a lot of goals, you've got a chance of winning anything, and I mean anything!
I can't see him sitting there and enjoying this. When Chelsea won the league, it was all 1-0, 2-0 wins. Be hard to beat first and foremost.
He's a winner, he's a serial winner. He isn't going to be enjoying this. Going out of the FA Cup to Norwich, then going to Burnley and being second best, losing to Leipzig where it's a walk in the park for them. He can't be enjoying this.
'It's like Sterling played snakes and ladders'
Pass, pass, pass, pass, going nowhere. That was Manchester City at Old Trafford on Super Sunday.
Teams are now sitting there, watching City do it. Sitting on the edge of their box, standing there, watching City do it, because they're not going anywhere.
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Manchester United were outstanding, don't get me wrong, but I've never seen a City side give the ball away as cheaply as they did in the first half, not under Pep Guardiola.
Raheem Sterling looks to me like he's playing snakes and ladders, he's got to number 99, and has hit the snake and fallen all the way down again. This kid was putting up figures that had us talking about him being the best in the world. On Sunday he looked lost.
'Man Utd turning a major corner'
We were looking at United earlier in the season and thinking: 'How are they going to break teams down at home?'. But now you look at them, and they've got two players who can pass it around, with the legs of Fred too. And with the pace up front, they're starting to look like a team.
I think Manchester United are turning a corner, not a bend, but a major corner. I think Chelsea will do well to finish above United, with their fixtures.