Saturday, January 28, 2023

Three Things Jose Mourinho Must Do To Ensure A Win Over Brighton And Hove Albion

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Tottenham Hotspur face Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, looking to recover from their disappointing 1-0 defeat to Royal Antwerp in the Europa League. The Lilywhites have performed well away from home in the league this season, but Jose Mourinho’s side cannot take anything for granted, especially against the Seagulls, who have a lot of quality in their ranks.

Here, at The 4th Official, we will talk about three things Jose Mourinho must do to ensure a win over Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend.

A Complete Midfield Overhaul

Jose Mourinho shuffled his pack in midfield during the midweek game against Royal Antwerp as Harry Winks, and Giovani Lo Celso were deployed in the double-pivot with Dele Alli operating in the number ten. None of these three players managed to impress, with Winks notably making an error that could have led to the second goal for the opposition.

Mourinho, therefore, must revert these changes and recall the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele back into the starting lineup. The midfield combination of Hojbjerg and Sissoko, in particular, offers better protection and stability in the middle third of the pitch while Ndombele’s ability to act as a ball-carrier should offer more creativity to the table.

Better Use Of Wide Attackers

Tottenham’s defeat to Royal Antwerp, as well as their narrow win over Burnley earlier this month, showcased their problems in creating chances in the more central areas of the pitch, especially if the opposition adopts a compact defensive stance.

Three things Jose Mourinho must do to ensure a win over Brighton - Son-Kane duo could be critical.
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 26: Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate after the Premier League match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor on October 26, 2020, in Burnley, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jason Cairnduff – Pool/Getty Images)

Brighton, in that regard, could definitely allow similar tactic this weekend, so the onus will be on Mourinho to instruct his team to use more width going forward. Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguilon, in particular, could be vital to this system as both of them are marauding fullbacks who can move forward and provide width to the attack.

Moreover, Mourinho is tipped to bring Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura back into the starting lineup, so it will be interesting to see how Spurs utilise their wide attackers this weekend.

A More Secure Transition Play

Mourinho, as a coach, is an advocate for a more direct style of play with an emphasis on long passes out from the back. It has been prevalent in their performances this campaign, but the club really needs to find a more balanced build-up play from the back.

Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier are both talented passers of the ball, but they need a proper messenger in terms of build-up. So it won’t be a bad idea for Mourinho to start with Winks, although Sissoko is by far a better option if he opts for more balance in midfield.

Winks has a brilliant range of passing and often tends to act as an auxiliary centre-back during the build-up phase. His laser passes should help Tottenham create more chances and be more effective in the transition.

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