Jose Mourinho and the return of Gareth Bale… Thoughts on Tottenham Hotspur adventure this season
|Gareth Bale holding a Tottenham shirt after completing his loan move from Real Madrid.|
While many may not have given it a thought, the union of Gareth Bale and Jose Mourinho was one that looked like it was never going to happen.
The flying Welshman joined Real Madrid after the Portuguese showman had left the Bernabeu.
For the two and half seasons that Mourinho spent at Old Trafford, he did all he could to sign Bale all in futility.
Fast forward to the post lockdown summer, he has his man, on loan from Madrid, and not alone, with a certain left back that everyone except Zinedine Zidane wanted.
Strong addition to say the least, but where does this leave the Spurs team in the context of the title chase and the top four finish?
Mourinho tried a couple of times to sign Bale from Spurs while he was the manager at Real Madrid.
It didn't work out, all efforts as a United manager to get the Welshman from Madrid failed, now that the union is a reality, fans will expect so much from the team especially with the firepower upfront.
Gareth Bale is a proven athlete, a Mourinho kind of player with pace and power.
How the "kicking legs" part of Mou's philosophy will pan out is left to be seen but happy times are around the corner for fans of Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham Hotspur finished sixth last season, two places outside the top four and are already involved in the preliminary rounds of the Europa League, something the manager has been moaning about, but did the home defeat on day one necessitated the acquisition of Bale and Sergio Reguilon?
How does the former Chelsea and United manager plan to field his forwards and the balance in the middle?
In the loss to Everton at the new Tottenham Stadium, Jose Mourinho fielded a midfield of Pierre Emile Hoijberg, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks, good runners but it didn’t pay off.
They were well neutralized by Abdoulahi Doucoure, Allan and Andre Gomes.
Mourinho sent in an extra body but it was too late to salvage a result that means they would have to chase from day one.
Eric Dier remains Jose Mourinho’s extra man, whether in defense or in the middle as the fulcrum.
His rash nature and overzealous tackles mean you really can’t trust him on big days, his other choices lie with Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele.
The former is a very good option but the Argentine needs to add goals to his game to become a world-beater while the Frenchman is uncertain of his future with Inter Milan lurking.
The real question will be, how does Jose line up his forwards, he currently has Harry Kane, Eric Lamela, Heung Min Son, Lucas Moura, Gedson Fernandes, Steven Bergwijn, Dele Alli and you know who? Gareth Bale.
Pundits are already trying to make it easy for the Portuguese manager by offering Harry Kane as the man in the hole after his four assists to Son in their 5-2 victory at Southampton.
In a 3-4-3 formation, Lucas Moura and Bergwijn can flank either side of Lo Celso, and Harry Winks in the middle (with a mention for Sissoko should he want to go for power as always.
And the trio of Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, and Son Heung Min can stay up front.
But in the case of the availability of Dele Alli and a need to give Reguilon and Doherty their fullback/wingback roles, a 4-2-3-1 formation of Alli in the hole, Bale on the left, Kane upfront, and Son on the right, whichever way, the opposition defense won’t have a good day.
If there’s anything that will impede Spurs this season with the avalanche of strong players to compete, it would be ego and off-field issues.
Jose Mourinho is known to be successful in his second season everywhere he’s been, champions at Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, Chelsea again and second at Manchester United.
But one thing that is also a part of Mourinho is his clash with big players with his days with Paul Pogba one to remember, will this change with Gareth Bale?