• Friday, Sep 18, 2020
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EPL 2019-20 Review: Sloppy start, but better finish in the end for Spurs

  • Published at 10:25 pm August 4th, 2020
Tottenham players celebrate

The overall performance needs to improve if they want to finish as a top four team, or even challenge for the title next season

Tottenham Hotspur were one of the standout performers last season as they reached the final of the Champions League under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino.

To taste more domestic success this season, Spurs signed highly-rated France midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais. 

Surprisingly, Spurs, whose owner Daniel Levy is known to be a strict negotiator, splashed the cash for Ndombele for a club record 60m euros (£53.8m).

The start of the season however, did not go well at all as they won only thrice from their first 10 matches in England’s domestic competitions. 

Among these 10 games, they lost their League Cup third-round match against Colchester United, a fourth-tier team, on penalties!

Pressure was mounting on manager Pochettino but Spurs couldn’t manage to turn the tables around and as a consequence, the Argentinian was sacked on November 20, 2019.

Poch departed with Spurs lying 14th in the Premier League table on 14 points after 12 games.

It was perhaps a harsh call on Pochettino as he turned Spurs into a very competitive side in Europe. 

The Spurs management hired an even bigger name in world football, Jose Mourinho, to build their team furthermore and win trophies in the near future.

Prior to Pochettino’s sacking, the title hopes were already gone for Spurs as they had only 12 points, and were 22 points behind league leader Liverpool at that point.

Securing an European spot looked to be a stiff task for Spurs back then. 

Mourinho provided some sort of hope for the Spurs fans as his charges got back on track initially by clinching four wins out of their first five games (lone defeat coming against Manchester United).

Spurs’ style of play changed significantly since Mourinho arrived as Pochettino and the Portuguese are different types of manager, especially considering tactics.

But more importantly, Spurs started winning again, although they lost some important games as well.

But eventually they managed to finish sixth and secure a play-off spot for the Europa League, which seemed impossible at one point.

In that sense, Mourinho and his team must get some credit after finishing sixth, especially following a poor start.

Club record signing Ndombele flopped in the whole season as he managed to play 1,002 minutes in the Premier League with just two goals and as many assists, and also had off-field issues with the manager. 

If the Frenchman stays next season, he must need to perform and prove his worth. 

Spurs need to find another genuine striking option upfront as there is too much dependency on marksman Harry Kane. 

If Kane gets injured then Spurs could face a serious problem, just like they encountered in the 2019-20 season.

Their defence was unimpressive this season as they conceded 47 goals. 

Back four needs to reshuffle as well as long serving defender Jan Vertonghen has already left the club this season.

Among 19 away games, Spurs managed to win only four times. 

The overall performance needs to improve if they want to finish as a top four team, or even challenge for the title next season.

But next season will be more challenging for Mourinho as finishing sixth again will surely not be good enough for Levy.

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