Spurs evolving under the radar

Tottenham Hotspur 7-2 Maccabi Haifa – Reaction

Slowly, but surely it seems something is evolving in N17.

It’s hardly been a ‘Jose Mourinho revolution’ – Nevertheless, there seems to be a belief that Tottenham Hotspur’s wait for some silverware might not be as far away as some would have you believe.

Ok, so Maccabi Haifa, spirited and honest, perhaps didn’t provide the Lilywhites with anything too strenuous. But there was a ruthlessness, an arrogance and, of course, when led by Harry Kane, an avalanche of goals.

Transferring this blueprint to the rigours of the Premier League might still come up against some obstacles. But a trophy is a trophy and Mourinho has set his sights on the Europa League – a title he lifted under similar circumstances in 2017 when he was the Manchester United boss.

“Job done,” he enthused after the Lilywhites seven-goal hammering of the Israeli Premier Leaguers.

“Group phase, almost at the end of an incredible period. Good for the team, good for the boys. The hat-trick (by Harry Kane). He’s scored so many and has so many balls at home, that is always nice. And good for Dele to come on – to create a proper penalty – and to score.

This was the third of four matches in a crazy eight-day spell for Spurs – a schedule Mourinho described as inhuman; “What Eric Dier, Bergwijn and Toby did is not human,” the Portuguese chief added.

“It’s proven, scientifically proven, every sports scientist person knows that what they did shouldn’t be done.

“To play one hundred and eighty minutes in three days shouldn’t be allowed. These three guys did it, I know that some others played also until their limit, but we managed because we have a good squad and we have a squad with different options.

“We managed to share players in these matches and we managed to go through two knockout competitions in the Carabao and Europa League but we could have gone out. Job done – I am really happy for the job done.”

Mourinho mentioned Steven Bergwijn – another to go above and beyond during the hectic timetable: “After seventy-five minutes or so he played against Chelsea he was really good. The team needs that, playing against a team that was pressing so high and giving space in behind.

“He was very important. He didn’t lose the ball. He dropped, he got the ball, he beat people. He was really good.

“I am sorry for him that he did not score. A very good performance. Physically he is getting better, he is getting sharper. We have incredible options in the attacking positions and I’m very happy.”

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Brian Jeeves

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