Jermaine Jenas has suggested Moussa Sissoko’s introduction against Manchester United summed up the negative impact Jose Mourinho’s defensive attitude is having on Tottenham.
Midway through the second half of Sunday’s match, Mourinho brought Sissoko on for Giovani Lo Celso. The score was 1-1 at the time, but Spurs went on to lose 3-1.
Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to bring on at attacking player paid off as substitute Mason Greenwood registered a goal and an assist.
And Jenas, speaking on Match of the Day 2, argued that the contrasting approaches of the two managers encapsulated Tottenham’s troubles under Mourinho.
“It was clear as day today. You’ve got one team who wants to win the game in Manchester United, making changes like Mason Greenwood coming onto the pitch,” Jenas said.
“And you’ve got another team (Tottenham) trying not to lose a game of football, making changes like Lo Celso off and Sissoko on, when you’ve got players like [Gareth] Bale and Dele Alli on the bench.
“It’s a mindset the team has had all season long and it’s going to be the reason why they don’t get in the Champions League.”
In fairness to Mourinho, the Spurs boss pushed Tanguy Ndombele further up the pitch when Sissoko came on.
But if he truly wanted to take the game to Manchester United, he could have replaced Lo Celso with a more attacking player.
With that in mind, Jenas is right. Mourinho simply don’t possess the confidence to take risks in games of this magnitude – or any game for that matter – and it is only hurting the team.