Jose Mourinho’s tactics are “a bit dated now”, according to Darren Bent, who says that a Carabao Cup final triumph would only “paper over the cracks” at Tottenham.
Spurs have endured a turbulent 2020-21 campaign under Mourinho which has seen them suffer early exits in both the FA Cup and Europa League while falling off the pace in the battle for a top-four Premier League finish.
The pressure increased on the Portuguese after a stunning defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in Europe, but Bent is concerned that he will be let off the hook if he delivers the Carabao Cup when Tottenham take on Manchester City in the showpiece event at the end of April.
“I wouldn’t say he’s a bad manager, but I just think for whatever reason his tactics might be a bit dated now,” the ex-Spurs striker told talkSPORT.
“He was brought in to win trophies. He was never going to be a manager that was brought in as a project – three or four years down the line he’s going to be building teams. That was [Mauricio] Pochettino.
“When they got rid of Poch when they did, and we know they were on the decline then, they brought in Jose Mourinho to win a trophy.
“It will paper over the cracks. A lot of people had put them and United as favourites. The fact they went out like they did against Zagreb – I don’t think winning the League Cup is enough.
“At the end of the season if he was to go, [if] they sacked him or he walked, he’d go ‘I did my job, I won them a trophy’.”
Spurs could have still been in the running for two major trophies were it not for their spectacular collapse in the second leg of their round of 16 Europa League tie against Dinamo.
Mourinho’s side had a healthy two-goal lead to protect in Croatia, and looked to be sailing through comfortably until Mislav Orsic struck a superb individual goal to open the scoring just after the hour mark.
Tottenham folded completely thereafter, with Orsic scoring twice more to complete a sensational hat-trick which saw Dinamo qualify for the last eight after extra time.
“It was quite sad. They should not lose that tie,” Bent said of his old club’s latest defeat.”I could not see another winner. The fact they lost 3-2 could arguably be their biggest shock in history in terms of European football.”
Mourinho appeared to have his team heading in the right direction again before their north London derby meeting with Arsenal last weekend, having overseen a five-match winning run in all competitions.
However, the Gunners ran out deserved 2-1 winners at Emirates Stadium to hand their arch-rivals a timely reality check, and the loss in Zagreb showcased Spurs’ glaring weaknesses once again.
Hugo Lloris hinted at internal issues at the club after they were dumped out of Europe, telling BT Sport: “The team at the moment just reflects what’s going on inside the club.
“We have lack of basics, lack of fundamentals. All performance is just in relation to that.”
Mourinho still has over two years left to run on his contract at Tottenham, but another loss could force the board into action heading into the business end of the campaign.
The Lilywhites must beat Aston Villa on Sunday to close the gap between themselves and fourth-placed Chelsea to three points, otherwisetheir chances of Champions League qualification will go up in smoke.
Source : goal.com