If there was any doubting Jose Mourinho’s capabilities last season, he has responded to his critics in emphatic style.
This Tottenham side are not playing the prettiest football but they are getting the job done and in doing so, are mounting a surprising title challenge.
Mourinho has worked wonders with this Spurs team and has turned them into a rigid defensive outfit capable of holding the very best.
That was put to the test against an energetic Leeds team on Saturday but the Lilywhites passed their examination with flying colours. In keeping a clean sheet, the north Londoners won 3-0 to crown a perfect start to the New Year.
One of the most impressive performers was Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Dane has been seriously impressive since arriving from Southampton and this was a performance that typified the player he’s been for Mourinho.
Hojbjerg won five tackles and two interceptions at the base of the midfield, breaking up Leeds attacks on a regular basis.
However, in Germany, one of their current transfer targets was turning in a masterclass, one that was arguably even better than Hojbjerg’s.
The man in question is Marcel Sabitzer, someone linked with a move to the Premier League on a regular basis.
Once dubbed “remarkable” for his infectious personality, the midfielder was all over the pitch as his RB Leipzig side defeated Stuttgart 1-0.
Sabitzer was a ray of positivity, injecting imperious penetration into Leipzig’s play and preventing their opposition from breaking. The Austrian won four tackles and five interceptions – a combined haul higher than Hojbjerg’s and he also lost possession on fewer occasions.
Furthermore, the £31m-rated midfielder managed a solitary key pass and four shots on his way to engineering Leipzig to victory.
This was a perfect performance from the 26-year-old and demonstrated why Daniel Levy must push hard to sign him.
Sabitzer has had a fabulous few years and has contributed to 23 goals in the last season and a half. Capable of breaking up play too, he is the complete midfielder.
Spurs need him if they are to sustain their title challenge.