Jose Mourinho has started with back-to-back wins as Tottenham manager, with the side showing the early benefits of the managerial change. However, in each fixture, they have conceded two goals and that is an area to work on, as the Portuguese manager likes his teams to be difficult to break down. Bournemouth will be the visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, who will be hoping for a turnaround of their form following back-to-back defeats in the Premier League.
The atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday was a strange one in Mourinho’s first home match in charge. The supporters are still mourning the departure of Mauricio Pochettino and aren’t ready to fully embrace their new manager yet, which is a unique situation for the Portuguese coach. He is used to being loved and it may take some time for the relationship to build. The second half performance was encouraging for Spurs, as they managed to come from behind and score four goals. The players look to be freed by the new appointment and there is reason for optimism in North London.
Bournemouth are stationed in mid-table as they look set for another good campaign in the Premier League. They have never once been close to being relegated, but they continue to keep one eye on the drop zone. The Cherries currently have a six point advantage to Norwich in 18th and they will want to keep that margin. Eddie Howe continues to overachieve at the club, which brings speculation regarding his future. There are a number of clubs that may be seeking a new manager soon and it is crucial that the talented Englishman isn’t taken.
Harry Kane is now averaging a goal per game this season, having scored 23 in 23 for club and country.
Since the start of last season, Ryan Fraser has contributed more assists than any other Premier League player with 17.
Dele Alli could be energised by the appointment of Jose Mourinho with early positive signs for the midfielder. The England international was once considered as one of the biggest talents in the Premier League, with excellent goal scoring form in the 2016/17 campaign. During that season, he managed to score 18 goals. He followed that up with another solid season, in which, he contributed nine goals and ten assists. However, last season, he only scored five goals and there was a clear drop in performance levels. This has resulted in him being dropped from the England squad and he needs to improve in order to be selected for the European Championships. The managerial change may lead to that performance level increase, as he has a goal and an assist in the first two matches of the new era. It is easy to criticise Alli, but he is only 23 and his best years are definitely ahead of him.
The Bournemouth defence was praised following their victory over Manchester United, as it marked three clean sheets in a row. This was a surprise to many, as the Cherries have been known for defensive frailties since their promotion to the Premier League. Nathan Ake has been vital in their improvement at the back and he is regularly linked to top-six clubs as a result of his performances. The Dutchman is a complete player at the back, as he is good in the air, quick across the ground and impressive on the ball. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get a big money move in the next 12 months and Saturday’s opposition could be one of the teams interested in signing him. The weekend offers an opportunity for Ake to impress against a big team and he will be relishing the opportunity to face Harry Kane. Bournemouth need him to perform well if they are to earn a positive result.
Ben Davies will be missing after picking up a leg injury. Erik Lamela and Hugo Lloris are both still injured.
Phil Billing and Simon Francis are both suspended. David Brooks and Josh King are closing in on returns, but they won’t be back until early next month. Andrew Surman, Lloyd Kelly and Dominic Solanke are all doubts.
This will be a fixture that tells us a lot about the progress made under Jose Mourinho, as Spurs have struggled at home in the Premier League. They dropped points to Sheffield United in their last fixture at home under Pochettino. They should have enough to beat Bournemouth, but it is too soon to expect a complete performance as the players continue to adapt to the new manager.
Tottenham 3-1 Bournemouth