Jose Mourinho revealed that their lack of pace was the reason that both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen were left out of the Tottenham starting XI for their 3-2 Premier League defeat against Wolves on Sunday.

The Portuguese surprisingly benched Spurs’ two Belgium defenders – opting for three at the back, with Eric Dier returning to the side, playing between Davinson Sanchez and 20-year-old Japhet Tanganga in a much-changed defence from last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Chelsea.

Sanchez and Tanganga are quite clearly Spurs’ quickest central defenders, which is why they got the nod against a dangerous counter-attacking Wolves side, but it came as a major shock to many when the teams were released and Tottenham’s experienced duo both found themselves on the bench.

Mourinho was asked to explain his defensive line-up – with both Vertonghen and Alderweireld left out.

“Eric [Dier] played very well. I think Eric played very well. So I think if Eric’s performance was not as good I would understand the question but I think it was very good,” Mourinho said. “The thinking was simple, the think i was Davinson and Tanganga are the two fastest central defenders that we have.”

The Spurs Head Coach then went on to heavily praise Dier’s performance.

“Eric is the one who by nature is a midfield player so playing in the middle between those centre backs is the one who is normally more comfortable to step up, he’s more comfortable with reading the game and passing.

“So it was a mixture of giving security but at the same time keeping fast people at the back. I think they played well, especially Eric was very, very good and sometimes you concede goals and you blame goalkeepers and defenders. Other times you concede goals and it is a global situation and I think it was when it comes from a transition. Sometimes when it comes from behind midfield I think it’s not about them.”



  1. Sorry but I have to agree with jose here on this. Both Jan and Toby have been caught this year playing against pacy teams so although our defence was very poor its more to do with not enough quality players either being purchased or coming through from the youth.

  2. That may be true but Sanchez hasn’t got a decent pass in him. The real reason for our loss today is Levy not getting a centre forward in January. That was unforgiveable. And I really like Levys running of the club in general.

    • So one trophy in twenty years you like. You are happy with scraping for fourth each year and paying massive ticket prices. You are happy we now have a massive debt through the new stadium. Tell me this who got it right Levy or Liverpool. We were at one point a few seasons back ahead of them and beating them. Now we can’t even finish within thirty points of them. So who is getting it right. Liverpool loose CL final to Madrid and finish second in the league. Next year defeat us in CL final and finish second in league. So if Levy is getting it right we should be progressing but no Liverpool are going to win the league are world club champions and we will under Levy be lucky to now finish above the worst arsenal team in years. Sheffield could finish above us along with Leicester, wolves man utd also worst team in years. Yes I see why you like Levy. Just saying.

      • Wish Levy would leave our club. We will never get any further with him at the helm. Any spurs fan who sticks up for him are deluded

    • I agree lack in transfer market from levy an mourinio not getting in strikers will cost us European football ?

  3. I have supported Spurs for 60 years and I have never seen such a dreadful team. Totaly aimless. I live in New Zealand these days and most of the A league teams would stroll around us. Please don’t bring the team to Oceana I couldn’t stand the embarrassment. Jose has a massive job.

    • 60 years? , have you forgotten the dreadful teams of the 80’s when we were fighting relegation at this time of each year, Scholar nearly bankrupting use…ENIC may not be perfect but they have worked wonders with our club, were are constantly fighting at the highest level, best stadium possibly in the world, its a blip year, trust the manager, support the team

      • My friend, you live in the past. Most teams have moved on since the era you are describing…..look at Wolves, Leicester, Sheffield United and others.

        Congratulations, Tottenham is European champions for Best Stadium! At the end of the season people world over will be talking about champions on the pitch….Liverpool and others, but for you we should carry on deluded. We have got the best stadium….HURRAH….!!!

  4. I’m sorry but Dier was terrible as were our defence they seemed like strangers.
    So much for our wonderful manager getting his tactics right.
    And by bringing on Parrott in injury time was a joke.
    We were losing not two goals up.
    Unless Levy spends some money for another striker plus a central defender and full back we are going backwards.
    Look at the stats on how many times our defenders failed to find their own player.
    This is just not good enough and Mourinho is to blame for he picks the team and tactics.

    • So who would you play Toby and Jan. Both been ripped new arses this year with teams with pace so who. The truth is he picked what he had there was nothing or no one else to pick. Not defending him just trying to make spurs fans open their eyes. Who do you pick when this is all you have. I think today we played ok but we missed a holding player to protect the defence which we don’t have as Levy can’t get rid of wanyamma. With what we have at the moment our play was ok but a big guy up front would have also changed things. Had Jose had both I think he would have played Toby but he didn’t. Blame must go to Levy and also poch for not moving players on quicker and keeping the squad fresh.

    • Yes, Mourinho should do better. So far, it is a poor pass for him in terms of game management. His selection is extremely curious and very questionable.

      At the moment Mourinho is living on his laurels.

  5. Liverpool were in a transition phase a few years ago and it obviously went well. But that included spending £80m on a centre half, we would or could never do that or attract some players that would go to Liverpool.
    In contrast our team aged and for two windows no regeneration happened, that has put us massively behind. We have to rebuild a squad in two windows that we could have had four or five to complete.
    Also I respect his past but Mourinho is not a Spurs manager neither Utd type manager. I could see him at Arsenal or Leeds in the 70’s as they were more pragmatic in their approach, don’t lose a game then try to win it. We needed a Klopp, we actually had one but got rid of him for the pragmatic approach.

    • We got rid of him for two reasons first we were on a terrible run since January 19 slidding down the table and second it was cheaper to replace him with jose than a squad rebuild.

  6. All we can do is hope we win the FA cup. If we don’t make Champions League then so be it. Perhaps a year without European competition might help? Give Mourinho his own pre season, let him clear the deadwood and add what he can sell to a healthy transfer budget and then judge him and the team? Pochettino left a royal mess behind and if he’s so sought after then why is he still not working?

  7. Agree Poch left a right royal mess behind and probably lost half the dressing room. However, we have to get back to his first years at the club where we were progressive, trying and changing ideas and players. Everyone fighting for the boss and the club, in some games they just refused to be beaten. I can’t see that camaraderie in this team, they go on the pitch hoping to win but they used to have a certain arrogance expecting to win and refusing to lose.

  8. Got to agree with Colin & David, sad to see Poch go, but it was time, & a rebuild is necessary, & a year without Champs League might be a blessing in diguise. We need a really dominant centre back, & another versatile striker!! And we must support, not whinge all the time. Jose is still a very good manager!

  9. Haha……he didn’t play Toby for lack of pace….so he plays Dier at CB our slowest player. That’s laughable

  10. Could not of been happier when Mourinho went to Spurs, now you know how Man Utd fans felt when he was at Old Trafford. Sometime’s you get what you deserve, especially when you got rid of a good if not bordering on a brilliant manager and replaced him with someone who no one else wanted.

  11. I am a member I mean like mad at our present situation. Forget this season if win the F.A cup so be it. Looking forward to next season then we will see what’s really going on with our squad. We have had a bad run with players injured new ones trying to adapt to our style of play. Give it time hey


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