With Jose Mourinho’s first game as Tottenham Hotspur manager imminent, one of the big questions is which players should be looking forward to working under him, and which ones should be nervous?
This was a topic of discussion on the latest Totally Football Show, and one player who could be in for a tough time is Harry Winks, in the opinion of Tom Williams.
“Generally the profile of player that Mourinho likes in that deep-lying midfield role, where Winks has been playing – although we’ve seen him play a bit further forward for England – is a bigger, much more physically dominating player.
“So if Winks is going to keep his place, it’s going to be a bit further forwards, because in recent history there haven’t been many examples in recent history of Mourinho trusting a player with those physical characteristics with that responsibility as the chief protector in front of the back four.”
Speaking of that back four, Lynsey Hooper believes that the Tottenham centre-back situation should be among Mourinho’s top priorities.
“He has to nail down Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen to the club for longer, even though Daniel Levy doesn’t like giving more than one-year contracts to older players. He needs those two in that team.
“He also needs to decide what he’s doing with Danny Rose, who is a key player in all of this too. But he will have to act quickly, if he knows those players aren’t going to stay.”
However there are a few players for whom Mourinho’s arrival could actually be good news.
“If you look at the age profile in the Spurs squad,” said Tom, “we know he’s struggled to get his message across to younger players, most of the players he’ll be working with are all quite seasoned players now. Some of those have lost their way, like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen – I think those are the sort of players that might be receptive to a new message.”
And with the centre-forward available to him, Mourinho could actually be a big success – so said Duncan Alexander.
“The first season at Manchester United when he had Zlatan Ibrahimovic, they were pretty good: they won a European trophy, they won a domestic trophy. If Zlatan hadn’t got injured then I think the second season would’ve gone better too, and now he’s got Harry Kane to call on.
“There’s obviously been a lot of meme-worthy lols about what could happen, but I think this will work out in the short-term at least.”
You can listen to the latest edition of the Totally Football Show here, and even better, you can subscribe here. If you wish to reproduce any of the material in this article or from the podcast you are very welcome to, but please credit The Totally Football Show and include this link.
If you’d like to keep up to date with everything we do at the Totally Football Show, sign up to our newsletter.