Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United – Reaction
It’s clear to see that Jose Mourinho has used these past few months wisely.
When Tottenham unwillingly signed off ahead of the global pandemic, it was difficult to see exactly where their Portuguese boss was going to start? Out of sorts at both ends of the field, appearing stale and fresh out of ideas.
However, turn the clock forward. Four points from six on return a goal for Harry Kane and above all, defensive confidence and resolve which has been notably absent in recent times.
Nevertheless, an otherwise routine victory over struggling West Ham allowed Mourinho a little satisfaction, and he was quick to praise his charges as they closed the gap on the top four to six points.
“First of all, it was three points – they were not important, they were crucial,” the Spurs chief explained.
“I told the players that at half-time, I don’t think if we don’t win this match we can still think about chances (of the top four) – tonight was three points or nothing. Three points were fundamental. Then a great clean sheet, it is not just a clean sheet because sometimes you are really lucky in moments and the goalkeeper is man of the match. It was a clean sheet – consistency and dominancy.
“In some periods in the game, especially in the first half, we were too slow and too predictable and we couldn’t break their defensive organisation.
“In the second half, we were stronger, more intense and after 1-0 the game was more broken and we could score more goals.
Spurs have looked a whole lot more solid since returning to action, something Mourinho had installed into the team during the unscheduled lay-off
“We worked hard and we started that when we were only allowed to work in groups of five,” he added.
“We chose always the back four to be together and we worked a lot on that. In the past two weeks, we did it collectively and I am really happy that in the last two matches we have only conceded one goal from a funny penalty and we managed to be really solid.
“We also trained attacking organisation and we know we have to improve a lot. We have to be more consistent in our movement, in our dynamic and our intensity which is difficult to keep in this moment.
“Tonight I had a rich bench, I had a bench full of options which allowed me to make changes to try to win and then to have a player of Winks quality on the bench to help us cool down and hide the ball from West Ham. The bench tonight was very important for us.”