Jose Mourinho is the new coach for Roma but club slip out of European contention

The only news that seemed to matter this week for Roma is that Jose Mourinho will be the new coach for next season. The ‘Special One’ will come in and try to take Roma to the next level just like he did with Inter and this will be the first time that Mourinho will return to Italian football in 11 years.

The last time Mourinho was in Serie A will never be forgotten. He won the treble with Inter including the 2010 Champions League and that was the clubs first European Cup since 1965.

His appointment has been met with mixed reaction though. Inter fans are not happy obviously but some of Roma’s fans aren’t quite sure either. He is welcomed and more so given that Paulo Fonseca the current coach has not done the required job. But are Roma getting vintage Mourinho or a coach who is to stuck in his ways and hasn’t moved on? That’s the problem and although Mourinho did win trophies at Chelsea and Manchester United both of those jobs quickly turned sour and he was sacked. Of course Tottenham sacked him just a month ago and he left empty handed. If anything his time at Roma is going to be roller coaster drama and his presence in Italy will be filling the column inches no doubt.

As for this season Roma have slipped out of a direct route into European competition. The Giallorossi lost their 11th game of the season this past weekend going down at Sampdoria 2-0 and that was their 2nd loss in a row. Indeed Roma’s last victory came back on April 11th and they are now in 7th place. That position is good enough to be entered into the qualifying stages of the Europa League but not the competition proper. The club are 9 points from that target with 4 games left so the best they can hope for will be the qualifying stages. Even then that is in doubt as they only hold a 2 point advantage over Sassuolo.

The defeat to Sampdoria would have hurt because Borja Mayoral had a goal disallowed and Edin Dzeko missed a penalty. This has clearly been a poor period for the club but they will hope that the announcement of Mourinho as coach will propel the team to have a strong finish in Serie A.

Today Roma will play their 2nd leg in the Europa League semi-finals although that tie feels like a dead rubber given that they lost 6-2 to Manchester United in the first leg. More than a miracle will be needed tonight to turn this game round.

Roma will play Crotone at home this weekend and they will be the odds on favourites to win that game.

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Mikel Arteta the unmoved manager whose job at Arsenal may rest on winning the Europa League

For some it will feel ironic that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has survived two managers careers at the clubs biggest rivals Tottenham. Both Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho have been sacked under Arteta’s mindful watch over at the Emirates Stadium. Yet one would have to wonder has Arteta really been that much better than the two coaches to justify his stay at the Gunners?

Straight away of course we have to remind ourselves that Arteta won the FA Cup with Arsenal and it was an unexpected one. Having to beat Manchester City in the semi-finals and then Chelsea in the final was a brilliant achievement. Winning the FA Cup for clubs is still important but Arsenal had reached a level well before where finishing the season with just a cup win wasn’t good enough. Imagine for example Manchester City winning only the FA Cup in the season, to most clubs that would be glory beyond glories, for City it would gloss over that they had failed elsewhere.

At the same time no one was expecting Arteta to come into a team that had fallen out of the Champions League under Wenger in his final often lethargic years and win the title. But could one not have presumed Arsenal to be challenging for a top four place? In the past 18 months Arsenal have become a team who have flirted with 10th position. Tenth position? The Gunners are a proud team, a fantastic history, and they still have quality amongst their ranks. Three years ago you would have been laughed out of every football stadium in the country if you had suggested that Arsenal would become a mid-table team who would spend the majority of the season battling between 9th and 10th. This is no joke, but a reality.

Of course this season only marks Arteta’s first full one in charge. When he first came in it was already halfway through the season. It was never going to be easy to steer the club to instant victories, the Gunners had become shadows of their former brilliance under Unai Emery. Let’s not blame Emery for everything because in truth the rot had set in for Wenger’s final two years in charge. When Arsenal managed to finish in 8th place last season again after flirting with 10th it seemed like some sort of jaded victory, the FA Cup win propelled hopes way too high for the die hard Gunner but of course it was welcomed.

Arteta of course will be judged on results and week in and week out Arsenal are not justifying their grand name. With 5 games left to go for the Premier League season they are in 10th place. Newly promoted Leeds United are a point in front and West Ham for three decades well in the shadow of Arsenal are 9 points clear of them. Arteta’s former boss Pep Guardiola is enjoying a 31 point gap to Arsenal. On league terms alone Arteta is surely lucky to still be in a job, but he is and the pressure from the media hasn’t even begun yet, why is this?

The answer is quite simple, Arsenal have reached the Europa League semi-finals and they have looked assured and confident in the campaign. They will play Spanish side Villarreal this week in the 1st leg and will start as the favourites. Ironically Villarreal were the team the Gunners had to face in the Champions League semi-finals 15 years ago. If script goes to hand Arsenal could well reach the final, they could face Manchester United in it, and they could win it. If so a season has turned around within 3 games. Not only would Arteta have the prestige of winning Arsenal’s first European trophy in 27 years but the club would automatically qualify for next seasons Champions League, not bad for a business unit who wanted to jump ship to the Super League’s riches last week.

Of course that version of events is the glory one, the other version is Arsenal being knocked out to Villarreal who currently sit in seventh place in La Liga and have lost 3 of their last four games. Arteta should heed the warning signs if the Europa League dreams crashes down before the club just like it did with their rivals Tottenham, who were outplayed in a 2nd leg, chewed and spat out by Slavia Prague and Mourinho was out of a job less than a month later.

Let’s remember that Unai Emery was sacked after a win rate of 55% currently Arteta has 50% and that doesn’t look like rising anytime soon. Everything now is for the Europa League, and so much depends on it for Arsenal and Arteta going forward.

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Arsenal v Tottenham: Why the referee was wrong to award a penalty and why Lacazette should have been cautioned

Michael Oliver had to stand up and make a decision in an inevitable heated north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. With the game locked at 1-1 and time running down, Arsenal had an appeal for a penalty, and got it.

Alexandre Lacazette was put through on goal and it looked fairly obvious that he was going to score, the crowd if there was one were about to go wild, instead that was confined to living rooms up and down the country. Lacazette was about to score the winner, his 10th of the season, except he made an error. Instead of lashing the ball past Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, he instead swung at the ball and missed it. Chance over, not quite. After the miss kick Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez clambered into Lacazette and of course the Arsenal striker went to ground. A penalty was awarded.

Sanchez was booked, Tottenham protested, Jose Mourinho on the touchline had to watch the replay on an Ipad, all were in agreement, no penalty. Of course anyone associated with Tottenham will go down the no penalty route, but plenty of seasoned pundits felt the same. Andy Gray, Richard Keys and Ruud Gullit could not believe that a penalty had been given.

Let’s rewind a bit and try to figure out why referee Michael Oliver gave the penalty. On first glance at full speed and from where he was it did look like a penalty. However fair is fair and VAR flagged it up for Oliver to have a few looks on the monitor but Oliver wasn’t changing his mind. One could believe that Oliver came to his decision because he saw a foul, even after the incident. The problem with that is that if one says there was contact between Sanchez and Lacazette then it was minimal and the contact would have affected Lacazette’s right leg- so why was the Arsenal forward clutching his left leg when he went down?

If anything Lacazette played on the contact to earn a penalty to spare his blushes for the miss kick. A kick that has been forgotten about now. Imagine he had made that miss kick and Sanchez was 5 yards behind, it would be on a blooper reel for years. Instead he was able to sweep that incident under the carpet and score from the penalty spot.

Lacazette ended the game as the hero but he should have been booked for feigning injury on his leg. Everyone of course has different opinions of the incident, but it is sad to see such incidents that can split opinions either way in such big games.

Oliver believes he was right, maybe he won’t in a years’ time. But the very big games should be decided on quality not petty moments like this.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham

The north London derby at least for spectacle didn’t disappoint and it was Arsenal, so overshadowed in the past 3 years by Tottenham who took the spoils in a 2-1 victory.

The Gunners are trying to finish the season strong after another disappointing campaign in which they have flirted with the bottom half of the table, and even after this victory the club are still 10th.

There was entertainment so to speak even before a ball was kicked given that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had dropped star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the bench. The reason? Protocol and Aubameyang had turned up late for the pre match set-up.

As for the game Arsenal needed to start on a positive note and they did. Though there were no early goals the Gunners came out the block firing and were camped in Tottenham’s half with wave and wave of attacks. It seemed that it would be inevitable that Tottenham would concede. There was also a tinge of disappointment that Tottenham, who have had the better season so far than Arsenal, were letting the Gunners boss the game.

But such is this season it took the first shot on target for Tottenham to score and go 1-0 up. It was an important goal of course, but what a goal too. Erik Lamela would be hero an villain of this game but this was his heroic moment. Lamela shot at goal and the ball went through the Arsenal defend as if guided by the’ force’. What actually happened and it was more noticeable on the replay was that Lamela’s shot was the rabona one. The infamous shot that was actually invented 76 years ago in Argentina. It was a stunner that even Arsenal fans had to praise. As for Lamela, well he’s done that before in an Europa League tie six years ago for Tottenham.

Unfortunately for Tottenham though they were not able to calm the game down and try to sucker punch Arsenal again. A Jose Mourinho led team 1-0 up away from home in a big game, usually means 3 points for the club he is in charge of. However Tottenham were unlucky as Arsenal equalised soon after. The goal was kind of scored by new signing Martin Odegaard who was obviously delighted with it. But his shot took a huge deflection that left Tottenham goal keeper Hugo Lloris with no chance to stop it.

Arsenal had been the more attacking team, more was expected of Tottenham but it was questionable if this game should have still been 0-0.

The biggest talking point that has split pundits, media and the fans was the penalty that Arsenal were awarded late on. Alexandre Lacazette miskicked the ball and Davinson Sanchez came into him at the same time. The penalty looked harsh for some and for others was a stone cold one. That could be debated. It was enough however to win the game for Arsenal who had finished it with 3 shots on target. For all their attacking prowess in the match the Gunners had ended up with the same shots on target as Tottenham.

To add insult to injury for Tottenham Lamela was sent off as the visitors were losing their grip on the game.

The result is a blow for Tottenham’s top 4 chances as they slipped 6 points behind that objective but they do have a game in hand to play over 4th placed Chelsea, so that chase isn’t over just yet.

For Arsenal the goal is to lift the team up so they have a strong finish to the season and the Gunners have now gone a month in all competitions undefeated and could be heading in the right direction.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Tottenham 4-0 Burnley

Of course before a ball was kicked at the weekend Tottenham were the odds on favourites to win this game, but it hadn’t been a kind few weeks for a club who first slipped out of the title race and then seemed to slip out of a top 4 place.

Reports of behind the scenes shenanigans including manager Jose Mourinho happy to publically criticise players and then not play the £220,000 a week salaried Gareth Bale felt like club owner Daniel Levy and Mourinho could come to blows.

Mourinho was told by ex football players that all Bale needs was a friendly reminder of how good he is and a talk. So, when Mourinho announced before this game that he had done just that and would start Bale, like he had in the Europa League games, there was even more of a positive feeling surrounding this one. Add to the fact that Tottenham destroyed Sean Dyche’s team here last season 5-0, and surely we were looking at three points for the Londoners. We wouldn’t be wrong.

Bale took all of 120 seconds to score the opening goal swiftly shooting from a pass by Heung- Min Son. That was Bale’s 3rd goal for the club this season, despite missing a lot of game time and Son’s 8th assist.

This game felt over 12 minutes later when an energetic and rampant Tottenham side had made it 2-0 through none other than Harry Kane scoring his 14th goal of the season, sure there was a slight deflection one could say but it was all Kane’s. The misery of the first half was not over for Burnley and soon it was 3-0 this time Lucas Moura from an acute angle.

The first half wasn’t all Tottenham and to be fair Burnley had a couple of good chances too but then again the home side had 9 shots at goal and were 3-0 up and Mourinho would have been delighted in the dressing room.

In the second half the threat of more goals followed because Bale had scored his brace for the day just before the hour mark to make it 4-0. Son again assisted and Bale in the area shot low into the bottom left hand corner.

There would be chances for Son and Kane to add to the score but the game stayed at 4-0 and it didn’t matter because Tottenham had put in a superb and commanding display.

The club now have 39 points and are in 8th place and have a game in hand over 4th place West Ham. So there is still all to play for in the race for that final Champions League position.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City

These are the games that Tottenham must win if they are to achieve something great this season. A 2-0 win over a quality side such as Manchester City is huge for the London club. There was also the added spice of the great rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, and Mourinho yet again goes away from this weekend with the bragging rights.

After Heung-Min Son put Tottenham 1-0 win up as early as the 5th minute, one could tell how the game would play out. We’ve seen it before when Mourinho was manager of Inter Milan when they had to face Guardiola’s Barcelona in the Champions League. An early goal is great but from then on in its back to the walls.

While City dominated in possession that doesn’t mean that Tottenham didn’t have their chances to punish Guardiola’s team even more, but City could ill afford to lose this game and created most of the chances throughout the game.

In the first half alone City had 11 attempts on goal, Tottenham’s sole opportunity ended in a goal, which just underlined how the club seem transformed this season with more of a killer instinct. The second half was much like the first in that City controlled the ball and Tottenham defended well and looked for the counter attack.

Though he didn’t score at the weekend special mention should be given to Harry Kane who was all over the field, sprinting down the wings, looking to distribute the ball and even getting back, what a display the England international put in. But this was collective hard work from every player, Tottenham were that good and despite the riches on show from City the truth is that the club just ran out of ideas.

The game was effectively over just past the hour mark when Kane set up Giovani Lo Celso for Tottenham’s second. What was incredible is that Lo Celso had only been on the pitch for just over 30 seconds as a second half substitute.

City remained a threat but as the time went by it was clear that Tottenham had done their home work and the 2019 champions had become quite predictable in the process.

Tottenham are top of the league and unlike the last time they reached the summit, this counts more as the full weekend’s games have been completed.

It seems fitting that Tottenham reached 1st place by beating a great team in Manchester City, and it was a game that the home side bossed for the majority of the match. It also felt like a turning point. For Tottenham a new beginning filled with dreams under Jose Mourinho and for Manchester City perhaps the beginning of the end under Pep Guardiola.

Despite the many problems that Mourinho has faced in the last four years- failing at Chelsea in his 2nd season comeback with the club, then his nightmarish ending to his Manchester United managerial position, he seems to have come out the other end, and Tottenham could well be his last big hurrah before taking over on the international stage. Something special seems to be brewing at the club and one is reminded of Mourinho’s time a decade ago at Inter Milan. In Italy he took a well known club and turned them into serial winners.

At Tottenham the dream remains to be competitive and under former manager Mauricio Pochettino the club were heading in that direction, nobody can fault reaching the Champions League final. But something was just missing, a winning dynamic that for some reason couldn’t be achieved under Pochettino who left the club filling the hearts of many but not filling the trophy department.

This is why Mourinho was brought in to install that winning mentality. Forget Liverpool having to wait 30 years for a league title that ended last season and spare a thought for Tottenham who have had to wait since 1961. True it is early days and the Premier League is so hard to win, but there is hope at least, and Tottenham do have an uncanny ability to win trophies when the year ends in a 1. We will have to wait and see.

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Jose Mourinho is right to quash talk of a league title as the media put needless pressure on Tottenham

Everyone’s at it, and it is something that the press dearly love- raising up a team, selling the fans the hype and then watching when it all goes wrong. Everton fans have already witnessed it this season. After winning their first 3 games of the season and then holding the champions Liverpool to a 2-2 draw, there was talk that Carlo Ancelotti was about to deliver Everton their first league title since 1987. After four games….

Aston Villa were next on the agenda because, at one point, a team that escaped the clutches of relegation on the last weekend of the season were now the only side left in the Premier League with a 100% record. Because Everton and of course Liverpool were in the mix we were reminded that there was a 1980s vibe to the league campaign- that’s all very well but were the media jumping the gun? just a bit it seems.

Now attentions have turned to Tottenham, because even though the club have dropped a few points, they are starting to find the goals and form and have crept up to 2nd place, swishing past Liverpool who dropped 2 points with a draw at Manchester City this past weekend.

From their first 8 games Tottenham have won 5, drawn 2 and lost 1 and that defeat came in the opening weekend of the season against Everton, so they haven’t tasted defeat in the league for 2 months. That is impressive, the club have scored 19 goals and only Chelsea with 20 have more. Spurs also have the joint best defensive record in the league conceding 9 so far.

The talk is beginning that the club could be title challengers and for a brief moment the club did go top of the table after their 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend. That victory came courtesy of a Harry Kane goal- his 150th league goal for the club.

Jose Mourinho has been asked the inevitable question that Tottenham are league contenders and quite rightly he has had to bat the question away. Even if in his mind this is how he feels, he will know so well how quickly football changes, that one week you can be 2nd and just a point behind the leaders and within two be down to fifth place and looking over your shoulder at who is sixth and seventh.

Also talking of the title is no good for the players- forget about Liverpool having to wait 30 years, for Tottenham this season it will be 60. That is an incredible weight to carry and it is something that Mourinho will be all too aware about. However even if Tottenham had won league titles in the past decade and had enjoyed much trophy success there has to be some perspective, only 8 games have been played and the gap from 2nd where they currently reside to 6th is just 2 points. There are no big gaps and nothing to suggest that this league title can be wrapped up by any one team.

Let’s look at last season it was Jose Mourinho who was then out of a job who called Liverpool to win the league title and it was November, just like now. Of course the biggest difference was that Liverpool had pulled out an 11 point gap, challengers Manchester City were looking fatigued, and they were the only challengers that season and the campaign of course had started in August and was 3 months old.

Of course there have been moments that have made anyone who loves football sit up and take notice. The first quarter of an hour against West Ham was an exercise in supreme attacking which saw Tottenham score 3 goals. And no one will forget the 6-1 mauling they have Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Tottenham also have the deadliest strike partnership in the league in Harry Kane and Heung- Min Son who have scored between them 15 goals of the 19 the club have netted so far. And Kane has been involved either scoring or assisting in 15 of the 19 goals.

Matt Doherty in defence is current ranked as the clubs best defender with 10 points and he has shown over the past weeks of being a brilliant buy in the summer, it’s as if he has been with the club for a few seasons. Special mention should also go to another defender in Sergio Reguilon who has assisted in 2 goals this season. And of course the return of Gareth Bale with his experience will be very welcomed. The Welshman has already secured 3 points for the club with his winning goal against Brighton earlier this month.

But talk of the title does seem very premature, the club are in the mix but then again so is Leicester and Southampton and the Foxes have actually won the league in 2016 and yet no one is quite talking them up just yet. The ever looming threat of Liverpool remains and the champions are in 3rd place only denied taking over Tottenham by goal difference. And everyone expects that Manchester City will recover to go on a run and we haven’t even mentioned Chelsea who are in 5th and undefeated in 9 games in all competitions.

Perhaps we will have a clearer picture in the next month when Tottenham will have what looks like a nightmare fixture list- Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Leicester. Get through those mostly unhampered and there could be cause to start talking of league run ins. But as anyone who has followed football for years will tell you, in most seasons title talk should be reserved until just after the Christmas period, that is the vantage point where we can see which teams have it and which teams look likely to fall off.

Admittingly Tottenham are heading in the right direction, this is something that Mourinho is fully aware of, he just doesn’t at this point of the season need reminding from the media. He needs himself to remain grounded as do his players as the games are going to come thick and fast, as they say it is one game at a time.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Tottenham 3-3 West Ham

West Ham broke records as the first team since the Premier League started to come back from 3 goals down with just 9 minutes remaining in a game. And what a game of football this was. The often told tail that football is a game of two halves could be summed up here as fiery London rivals Tottenham and West Ham put on a dazzling, breathtaking show as the clubs drew 3-3.

But the game should never have been a draw, from the first whistle there was only one team in it and that was the home side Tottenham. Their last game here had ended in a controversial draw with Newcastle and it was clear that the players wanted to eradicate that memory with a memorable performance over David Moyes side.

Within 60 seconds Tottenham had made their mark and let it be known despite how the game would turn out Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are at present the deadliest strike force in the Premier League. And they both linked up as Kane set up Son for a good opening goal. Son returned the complement just seven minutes later as he teed up Kane for Tottenham’s 2nd, and West Ham looked finished.

A 3rd goal followed as early as the 16th minute and it was Kane who reeled away once again- his 5th goal of the season, indeed he has been involved in 12 of Tottenham’s 15 goals this season, an incredible statistic. New signing Sergio Reguilon set Kane up and up to this point manager Jose Mourinho would have been more than delighted. Tottenham were bossing the play and looking for a 4th against a West Ham team who thought it was the start of the season again and that they were playing Newcastle.

The Hammers simply looked a shadow of the team that had beaten Wolves 4-0 and then Leicester 3-0 in their previous two games, was the international break to blame? Or was it that David Moyes had returned to the dug out? That seems harsh, and as it proved was. Moyes has worked hard trying to get the best out of this West Ham team.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline at half time West Ham hadn’t been that poor but just lacking in ideas. They had made 3 corners to Tottenham’s zero and had 2 shots on target to Tottenham’s 4. Second best yes, but not quite out of the game. Although in truth it did look like it.

As the second half kicked off and went on West Ham played some good football but to no avail and Tottenham looked like adding a 4th or simply easing to a 3-0 victory. Gareth Bale made his emotional return to playing for the side in the first time in seven years, and his presence was felt on the pitch when he came on as a second half substitute.

Looking for more attacking options Moyes brought on Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini and Mourinho took off Son to shore up the team, and then the game changed. Some have blamed Son’s departure in letting Tottenham in again as their high line came more forward and suddenly Tottenham looked more exposed. And then Fabian Balbuena scored. Still with just 9 minutes left, 3-1 was acceptable- Tottenham were going to win this game. But just a few minutes later Davidson Sanchez unfortunately turned the ball into his own net after a dangerous low cross, now it was 3-2 and there was a belief that Tottenham could blow this.

But cometh the moment cometh the man, Bale showed just how good he is as he escaped his man and ran with the ball it seemed as if something he has done many times before for both Tottenham and Real Madrid would end up in the back of the net and it was deep into injury time, this goes in and Tottenham have won the game. But he missed and the Hammers counter attacked straight away as the seconds were running down.

And then it happened. Call it hit and hope or call it a piece of magic but in the 94th minute Lanzini struck from outside the area and the ball went flying in via hitting the bar, it was an unstoppable shot. And even without fans the players went crazy and seemed to generate some sort of atmosphere within the near empty stadium. It was joy for David Moyes too he hopped and skipped on the touchline.

The Premier League had rewarded us with yet another game of incident and goals. As for Tottenham they should take encouragement that Son and Kane are on fire, that there are goals in this side and that despite a bumpy start to the season they have in fact lost just once.

As for West Ham it seemed after their first defeat in the opening weekend of the season against Newcastle United that looking at their fixtures the club were doomed. That hasn’t happened and if the Hammers keep up performances like these they have every chance to keep surprising their critics.

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Premier League’s Game of the Week: Southampton 2-5 Tottenham

Our memories of the beginning of the 2020/21 Premier League season will be about goals, there has been over 60 of them already with a goal average of 3.6 per game. You want lots of goals, come to the Premier League and the match between Southampton and Tottenham would be no different.

On Saturday we witnessed Everton come from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 5-2 and the same scenario was repeated on Sunday when Tottenham travelled to Southampton. This was an edgy game of sorts even before a whistle was blown given that both clubs had lost their opening games. Southampton went 1-0 down to Crystal Palace and Tottenham were beaten by the same scoreline at their ground against Everton. A win was needed by both clubs, though you sensed Jose Mourinho at Tottenham was under more pressure to get it.

This was a game that felt like it had everything. Three goals, one for the home side and two for Tottenham were disallowed early on, Harry Kane thought he had put Spurs in front as early as the 3rd minute but VAR stepped in and it also denied Danny Ings for a handball. At the half hour stage the game was end to end but still 0-0 and nobody could have foreseen that there would be 7 goals to come on this Sunday afternoon. When Kane had another goal ruled out for offside it did seem like it was going to be one of those days.

But the Saints opened the scoring, their first goal of the campaign through Ings who got it right this time. Ings was one of the revelations of last season and he will hope to have a 2nd season just as good. Tottenham were able to equalise on the stroke of half time through Heung-Min Son and you have to wonder just how important that goal was for the Tottenham dressing room atmosphere.

In fairness Southampton seemed good to go in at half time in the lead because Tottenham on reflection had been the second best team in the first half, they managed just 1 shot on target. Still at 1-1 it felt that the psychology of the game had shifted, and with that goal which was Tottenham’s first of the season it seemed to be the switch that they were looking for. Within 2 minutes of the restart Son had pounced again to make it 2-1, Kane had assisted again. This was vintage Spurs or at least what fans had been expecting from the deadly duo in the first game.

If Tottenham were toothless in the first game then in this one they had teeth like a great white shark and they started to take the game to the home side. But Son completed his hat trick just after the hour mark. A fourth goal came ten minutes later for Son, by far the man of the match and yet again it was Kane who supplied the final ball. When Kane scored himself to make it 5-1 it felt that the team had come full circle and the defeat against Everton could be truly forgotten.

A small blip near the end of the game let in Southampton for a penalty in which Ings converted, but it was just a consolation goal, and there would be no miraculous comeback even in a season so far filled with goals.

It’s incredible in how just over a week Tottenham’s fortunes have changed, a win in the Europa League qualifiers and a league win is icing on the cake. But also the return of the prodigal son, one of Tottenham’s genuinely great modern stars, Gareth Bale is complete. Bale has joined the club on loan from Real Madrid. Injured at the moment, you get the feeling that the players have just welcomed him in the most perfect way possible.

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Jose Mourinho will be delighted that Tottenham have qualified for the Europa League

When Jose Mourinho took up the job at Tottenham the London side were flirting with mid table, so he will be delighted that the team have advanced since his arrival.

In the end Tottenham found some great form and consistency to surge forward and qualify for next seasons Europa League. A step forward has been made which sounds bizarre given that Tottenham reached the 2019 Champions League final.

However under Mauricio Pochettino this season had started poorly and that was when Mourinho was brought in. How quickly things change in football, one moment Pochettino was the hero and the next, at least to the clubs owners he was the zero.

Maybe there will be a tinge of disappointment that Tottenham are not returning to the Champions League for next season, they did seem to have a genuine chance as the campaign restarted. But in the end too many draws and not losses stifled their chances- they ended up finishing 7 points off the Champions League pace.

But on recent form alongside the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham have looked like a team on a mission and in fact on form are the 3rd best side in the league. The club went their last 5 games without defeat picking up 11 points in that time. They even defeated Newcastle at St.James’ Park. That may not sound like an achievement for the club itself but for Mourinho it was huge. He had an uncanny record at Newcastle’s ground no matter what team he managed where he kept losing games their. This season Tottenham won 3-1 though.

The least Tottenham could have hoped for is European football next season and after finishing 6th they have it edging out Wolves on goal difference as they finished with 59 points.

Whilst Mourinho wants Champions League football he will realise that for now Europa League football is good enough. And of course he has won the Europa League with Manchester United in the past. For United the trophy always felt like a stepping stone, for Tottenham to win in Europe again (the first time since the 1980s) it would feel like something completely different- a justification of Mourinho’s appointment.

Of course we are getting ahead of ourselves, but after some difficult moments perhaps Mourinho being at Tottenham is not as bad as some pundits have suggested, perhaps there really will be a trophy of some sort at the end of his journey, and a trophy really is what the club need and want.

Mourinho will also be hoping that the prospect of European football will settle some of his players. It has been suggested that star striker Harry Kane may want a move away, as time is running out for the player to win some silverware. Qualification at least is another opportunity for Tottenham to pick up something.

The summer will be interesting transfer wise at Tottenham that is for sure.

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