After a whirlwind week that began with Mauricio Pochettino however will finish with Jose Mourinho, there was a palpable sense of reduction among the many Tottenham gamers on the London Stadium that the main target had shifted again to on-field issues.
For a membership so susceptible to upheaval in the course of the early years of Daniel Levy’s tenure, Pochettino’s reign introduced a welcomed calmness for gamers and supporters alike however that script was ripped up this week as the membership turned to Mourinho, a supervisor that ensures drama above and earlier than the rest.
The method of Mourinho’s exit from Manchester United and certainly Chelsea earlier than which means there’s legitimate query marks over his capabilities however there was sufficient proof on show against West Ham to recommend he retains a few of the man-management that when made him probably the most coveted supervisor in world soccer
Mourinho was solely afforded three coaching classes with the group earlier than his facet’s journey to the London Stadium, which means any tactical modifications can be tweaks moderately than grand overhauls. Even then, there’s merely not been sufficient time for him to imprint his tactical imaginative and prescient on a Spurs facet which have heard the identical voices for the final five-and-a-half seasons.
But even small modifications could make a distinction and the proof of that was all too obvious in Deli Alli’s efficiency. Alli’s been a shadow of his former self within the final 18 months as he moved deeper into midfield, additional away from purpose and additional nonetheless from the participant that made him one of the thrilling skills in world soccer.
As Spurs followers pored over every bit of footage from Mourinho’s first 72 hours on the membership, there was proof of a marked distinction in his method to sure gamers. His first encounter with Heung-Min Son, for instance, was mushy and pleasant. There was an arm across the shoulder for the South Korean, who was one of many few gamers who didn’t permit his efficiency degree to dip too far under the required customary in Pochettino’s last days on the membership.
The distinction when Mourinho meets Son and Alli for the primary time in Tottenham coaching. Man administration.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 22, 2019
That was in stark distinction to Mourinho’s method to Alli. A clip circulated of Mourinho boisteriously slapping Alli on the chest in coaching and it was clear from his first press convention that the Portuguese was already engaged on getting contained in the midfielder’s head.
‘I asked him if he was Dele or Dele’s brother,’ stated Mourinho. ‘He told me he was Dele. ‘OK,’ I stated. ‘”Play like Dele.”‘
It didn’t take lengthy on the London Stadium to grasp Mourinho’s phrases had had the specified impact. Setting-up in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, Alli was given a job behind Harry Kane with real tempo in Lucas Moura and Son on the flanks.
The 23-year-old was discovering pockets of house behind West Ham’s midfield and in entrance of a defence that was dropping ever deeper to guard the weak Roberto. In a primary half of few probabilities, one finally got here within the 36th minute when Alli picked the ball up on the half-turn and performed in Son down the left channel. The ahead neatly created house with a few stepovers earlier than firing a left-footed strike via Roberto.
The first purpose of the Jose Mourinho regime! ⚪️
Son powers it dwelling as Tottenham take the lead 👊 pic.twitter.com/UhtiueImcU
Toby Alderweireld gained a one-on-one tussle with Sebastian Haller on the midway line within the moments earlier than the opener and Mourinho’s response the Belgian’s power was telling, as he swung in direction of his backroom employees and applauded the defender relentlessly.
The Hammers haven’t gained a league recreation since beating Manchester United in September and so they wanted to attain first in the event that they had been to get a outcome against their London rivals. Heads dropped after Son’s opener and with that got here more room.
Spurs doubled their benefit shortly earlier than half-time when Son turned supplier for Moura when the Brazilian tapped dwelling the ahead’s fizzing cross from the left previous a helpless Roberto. But the transfer was instigated by Alli with a elegant piece of talent on the touchline. The ball regarded destined to exit of play earlier than Alli executed a second of inventive brilliance to play Son in. It was emblematic of Alli’s efficiency and a sign that he’s began a journey of rediscovery.
Great improvisation from Alli!
Son places it on a plate for Moura after Dele Alli’s ingenious flick 🔥 pic.twitter.com/VKy46GbbyM
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 23, 2019
Spurs’ half-time benefit would have happy Mourinho, particularly as his facet didn’t should be wherever approaching their greatest to earn it. Manuel Pellegrini launched the fit-again Michail Antonio at half-time however the Hammers discovered themselves three behind inside moments as Harry Kane headed in Serge Aurier’s cross.
The dissent among the many dwelling followers began instantly, with some leaving for the exit doorways within the 50th minute. There was ironic cheers for goalkeeper Roberto when he managed to gather the ball, who’s clinging onto his place even within the absence of first selection Lukasz Fabiański.
Kane’s third gave Spurs an invitiation to sit-in and if there was a criticism of Mourinho on his first recreation in cost it’s that he allowed his facet to slide into a passive state. West Ham not often threatened however they discovered a purpose via Antonio’s endeavours as the ahead powered a superb effort previous Paulo Gazzaniga 17 minutes from time.
The Hammers thought they’d lowered the deficit to a single purpose within the 89th minute however Declan Rice’s close-range end would accurately dominated out by VAR as replays confirmed he was offside. Pellegrini’s facet finally discovered a second when Angelo Ogbonna tapped in within the 96th minute however there was barely sufficient time left on the clock for the restart.
It meant Spurs held on to the win, which is their first league victory on the highway since they beat Fulham in January. As vital was Mourinho tasting victory on his first recreation in cost as Spurs boss as the Portuguese bids to win coronary heart and minds in north London. Despite rumblings of dissent, Pochettino by no means misplaced the dressing room and he retains enormous swathes of help from followers.
But nothing mattered extra at this time to Spurs than the outcome. Their appointment of Mourinho was based mostly on their desperation to climb the desk. The three factors imply they’ve climbed from 14th to sixth, above rivals Manchester United and Arsenal, albeit having performed a recreation extra.
At full-time the three,000-strong away help sung Alli’s title with further zest and there have been enormous cheers as Mourinho made his manner over to applaud. It’s been a troublesome week for supporters who’ve discovered themselves so indebted to Pochettino however in that second the Argentine’s period was over and Mourinho’s had begun.
Full-time rating: West Ham 2-3 Tottenham
Man of the Match: Dele Alli