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2020/21 Premier League Previews | Tottenham, Jose Mourinho and their attempts to become special again

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Tottenham season preview

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2020/21 Premier League Previews | Tottenham, Jose Mourinho and their attempts to become special again

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SportsCafe Desk

09/13/2020

The 2020/21 Premier League season is around the corner and for Tottenham, this season could mean something special in reference to their history. With Jose Mourinho leading the charge, Daniel Levy and co hope that the Portuguese can inject something special and end a decade long trophy drought.

How well did Tottenham do in the 2019/20 Premier League season?

With their docu-series already out, we already know what happened behind the scenes and simply what happened to Spurs. To put it in the easiest context, they had a serious hangover from their glorious run into the Champions League final. Combine that with losing, in that particular manner to Liverpool and you’ve got a team that’s shell-shocked and needed changes. Mauricio Pochettino instead got two new faces and it saw him sacked twelve games into the season.

Mourinho took charge and Tottenham finished the 2019/20 Premier League season with 16 Wins, 11 Draws and 11 Losses with them finishing sixth. And their numbers went along the same tangent, as Spurs finished as the league’s sixth highest goalscorer (61), had the eleventh highest xG per 90 (1.20), the sixth best assists per 90 (1.03), the ninth highest key passes completed (327), the sixth highest touches overall (24347) and the eleventh best non-penalty xG or npxG (42.4).

Defensively, you would think things would improve with Jose Mourinho’s arrival but Spurs were broken when the Portuguese took over. He did do a relatively decent job as Tottenham ended with the seventh best defensive record (47), the tenth best PSxG (Post-Shot Expected Goals) (52.4). They also produced the eighth fewest errors leading to a goal (11), the eighth best successful pressure percentage (28.2%). Not only that Spurs committed the seventh most fouls (423), had the fifth worst clean sheet percentage (21.1%) and did that while averaging the sixth best points per game (1.55).

Stats taken from FBref © Sportscafe

Improvements they’ve made so far:

Well, so far Tottenham have made three permanent moves with them signing Matt Doherty for 16 million, got Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in a swap deal for Kyle Walker-Peters and Joe Hart for free. Now they aren’t flashy moves but they are moves good enough to help Jose Mourinho play the kind of football that his Tottenham side needs and have to play in order to get ahead. However, three moves isn’t enough and Spurs know that because as last season proved, their defense needs a few more new additions.

Their midfield needs a little more bite and creative impetus and Harry Kane needs to have a back-up. Its possible why Spurs have been linked with a move for Josh King and the Norwegian can add a little creativity if needed. But even then, while both Joe Hart and Hugo Lloris can do a decent enough job for a team, they’re both on the wrong side of thirty which means Tottenham may need to recruit a young goalkeeper. Paulo Gazzaniga is on his way out and that could free-up space for someone new.

Not only that Tanguy Ndombele is rumoured to be on his way out with AC Milan, Barcelona and a few other sides all interested in Tottenham’s record signing. That could free up a lot more wage space and add to their transfer budget, which could help Mourinho bring in a few new additions.

How well could Tottenham do in the 2020/21 Premier League season?

Tottenham’s ceiling is a top four place, if Harry Kane stays injury free. Now that is slightly impossible given that Kane has struggled with injuries over the last few years but it is certainly probable for the Englishman to play 38 games, score 25 plus goals and lead Spurs to the top four. Naturally, that would also depend on them being defensively sound as a team.

This is a Jose Mourinho team, so you’d expect that to be about as natural as rainfall but Spurs have proved to be a tad jittery at the back even when at their best. However, should they sign a few more defensive reinforcements and strengthen that midfield of theirs, then a top four berth shouldn’t be out of the question. It will be a tough task for the North London side but it’s certainly possible although the likelihood is them getting into the Champions League by winning the Europa League.

The floor for this team is top six unless Jose Mourinho throws his usual tantrum one and a half to two years earlier than initially planned, then things could be even worse for them. That’s if Kane spends half the season in the physio’s room, if their defense continues to have the same problems they currently have and if their midfield disappears from the middle of the park.

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