Norwich City-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
Perhaps it was only a matter of time before the bloom would fall off the Jose Mourinho rose at Tottenham Hotspur.
With reported supporter displeasure arising from Spurs' latest sub-par showing in the Premier League, Mourinho's club look to snap a four-match top-flight winless rut on Wednesday night at home against the side the stretch started with: last-place Norwich City.
Tottenham (8-7-8) won their first three matches over all competitions with Mourinho in charge. However, since then, Spurs are 4-3-5, and though they own a victory over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup this month, are 0-2-2 in the Premier League since beating Brighton & Hove Albion on Boxing Day.
Following Saturday's rather frustrating goalless draw at Watford, hitc.com reported that Tottenham followers were not happy with Mourinho's post-match comments suggesting he was fine with the club's effort - the third in which they have not scored a Premier League goal and fourth overall minus star Harry Kane (11 league goals) - reportedly out until at least April after undergoing hamstring surgery .
"It was a good performance," Mourinho told Spurs' official website. "It knew it was going to be difficult game, I knew it was going to be physical, we are not physical. I knew it was going to be very direct, and we are not very good on direct, but I think we adapted well defensively."
Tottenham supporters took to social media to disagree with Mourinho's use of the words "good performance," according to the report. Spurs players, on the other hand, were obviously frustrated with going another match without a league victory, leaving them eighth in the table.
"OK, one point, we looked for three points, but (we) got one and that's maybe why we're a little disappointed," Tottenham keeper Paulo Gazzaniga said.
"We defended well, kept the clean sheet. We worked hard. The clean sheet is reward for everyone. Now, we look forward, prepare for the next game and do the same - work hard."
Spurs, who went five leagues games without a win from Oct. 5-Nov. 9 and shortly before sacking manager Mauricio Pochettino, have not gone four consecutive top-flight matches without a goal since the 2006-07 campaign.
They last scored in league play during a 2-2 draw at Norwich (4-5-14) on Dec. 28. Christian Eriksen opened the scoring in the 55th minute, but Serge Aurier's own goal leveled the match six minutes later. Kane's successful penalty in the 83rd proved to be the winner and last goal Tottenham has recorded in this competition.
Norwich, meanwhile, followed that defeat with a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, then lost 4-0 at Manchester United on Jan. 11. However, the Canaries rode a Teemu Pukki penalty in the 33rd minute to a 1-0 home triumph over Bournemouth on the weekend. It was the club's first league victory since beating Everton 2-0 on Nov. 23.
Though the win provides a massive amount of confidence for the Canaries, they still have a ways to go whilst sitting six points from safety.
"We're not over excited," manager Daniel Farke told Norwich's official website. "We know it's only the first step, and it will definitely be a long road to realise this miracle. But, it was a good step and hopefully we can go on."
Pukki has been the major bright spot for the Canaries this season, posting 10 goals to rank among the league leaders.
Updated January 20, 2020