Jose Mourinho unclear on best defensive set-up for Tottenham

Jose Mourinho has indicated that Tottenham’s defensive woes have made it impossible for him to know his best line-up at the back.

Spurs’ surge up the table under Mourinho has been undermined by a weak defence and that was on show again against Norwich as they gifted the bottom-club two goals in a 2-2 draw.

Mourinho began the game at Carrow Road with a back three, but hooked off Juan Foyth and Jan Vertonghen at the break, while Serge Aurier, who scored an own goal, and Toby Alderweireld also had poor games.

While the Portuguese is in no doubt about his attacking options, he says performances have made it difficult to be so sure at the other end.


“It’s normal, no?,” he said. “Do I have doubts that Harry Kane is my number nine? Do I have doubts that Dele Alli is my number 10 for example?

“Performances create your doubts or performances kill your doubts, that’s just the way it is.”

Those defensive errors cost Spurs the chance to move into the top four of the Premier League for the first time since September.

Ryan Sessegnon, handed his second start of the festive period, knew it was an opportunity gone begging.


“I think from our side it was very disappointing,” he told Spurs TV. “We knew coming here was a chance for us to go and get three points and push us further up the table and you could say it was a chance wasted.”

The outcome might have been different had the perpendicular lines of VAR not saved Spurs from going 2-0 down in the first half.

After Mario Vrancic’s opener, Teemu Pukki looked to have doubled Norwich’s lead only for VAR to rule the Finland striker offside by a matter of millimetres.

Christian Eriksen then brought Spurs level and after Aurier’s gaffe, a late Harry Kane penalty denied Norwich a first home win since September.

Norwich City v Toulouse – Pre-Season Friendly – Carrow Road
Grant Hanley has urged Norwich to stay focused amid VAR reviews (Joe Giddens/PA)

Canaries skipper Grant Hanley says that the video replay system has changed the game.

“It’s a strange feeling, you work so hard to get a couple (of goals) up against a team like Spurs and you’re looking at the board and thinking, ‘Oh no, what’s the outcome going to be?’ but that’s the game today,” Hanley said.

“That’s how it’s developed, that’s how it is and it’s not going to change, so as a player you have to take it as it comes, stay focused on the game in hand.”