Tottenham players are reportedly unhappy at the ‘lack of focus on offensive patterns’ as Jose Mourinho’s tactics are questioned in the dressing room.
Having started the season brilliantly, Spurs’ form has dipped significantly with them taking just 12 points from their last 12 league games, leaving them ninth in the table and raising questions over Mourinho’s future.
The Athletic claim that while Mourinho ‘has not lost the whole dressing room yet, some of the team are increasingly unhappy with his approach’.
The attacking players are said to be concerned that training is focused almost solely on defence and not making mistakes, with some privately claiming they are reliant on attacking patterns learned under Mauricio Pochettino.
Players have remarked that the atmosphere at the club becomes increasingly based on fear of what might go wrong as the next game comes closer, with Mourinho constantly demanding caution rather than the more risky football they were used to under Pochettino.
The Portuguese manager’s method of developing gameplans against every opponent proved successful against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, but some players are said to ‘bored and frustrated’ at the amount of time spent on a particular aspect of their defensive shape. One Athletic source said the players are suffering from “tactical overload”.
“Everything has changed, even the training is so defensively minded now,” one dressing-room source told The Athletic. “There is no plan to move the ball forward. The plan is to defend, boot the ball up to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, and that’s it.”