Tottenham Hotspur are a long way off competing for silverware, let alone the Premier League title, on a regular basis, under Jose Mourinho.
The north Londoners do have a Carabao Cup final on the horizon, the very trophy of their last true success in 2008, but this fails to compare to that of the top-flight, the FA Cup or European success.
One of Spurs’ biggest problems lies in defence, where the ‘Special One’ simply cannot find a backline suited to his defensive nature.
In 2004/05, Mourinho’s title-winning Chelsea side conceded only 15 goals throughout the season – a Premier League record that still stands to this day. Given the way football is played now, it may never be beaten.
The Blues were incredible, even unbeatable, at the back. Arsenal’s Invincibles side conceded 11 more goals than that, even Liverpool with Virgil van Dijk spearheading the defence leaked 33 goals.
It was the colossal presence of Peter Cech between the sticks, with natural leaders in John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho in the middle, though one name was certainly an unsung hero – William Gallas.
The French defender was already at Stamford Bridge courtesy of a £6.2m deal conducted by Claudio Ranieri.
Then, 28 years old, Gallas slotted in anywhere he could in that backline. A serious injury to Wayne Bridge meant that he primarily played at left-back, but was a central option by trade.
That versatility was crucial for Mourinho that season and interestingly, the Spurs boss could take inspiration from that masterstroke now.
In academy product Japhet Tanganga, he has the perfect prototype to replicate that stroke of genius, as the 21-year-old has already played in all three positions at the back since making his debut against the Reds in January 2020.
Former Spurs striker Darren Bent was soon talking about him, too. He told Football Insider: “He’s a very, very exciting prospect and he’s not let them down.”
The £7.2m-rated gem has only featured ten times this campaign, but again, has shown immense versatility to play through the middle – keeping clean sheets against Lugogorets and Antwerp in the Europa League – and on the right, where he most recently stood out against Aston Villa in the absence of both Serge Aurier and Matt Doherty.
At 6 foot in height, the “multi-functional” Tanganga is perhaps best suited at full-back, a position that Mourinho believes is his best, though the fact he can play centrally could prove to be a hugely valuable asset over the coming years.
Earning just £25k-per-week in north London, the young prodigy should thrive under the tutelage of assistant coach and club legend Ledley King.
Mourinho could certainly unearth his new Gallas in Tanganga if he hands over the reins to the emerging prospect.
AND in other news, Spurs’ next midfield gem: Jamie Bowden…