The Rising Stars in the Champions League
Atalanta and RB Leipzig have to be this year’s Champions League.
The Italians, who made their way to the round of sixteen after being on the brink of elimination half way through their UCL Group. An impressive 3 game 7 point run against Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb, with a pinch of luck, allowed to make their way through.
The two legs of the game against Valencia showed a team that isn’t that timid team that suffered a 4-0 defeat against Dinamo Zagreb on their Champions League debut. They are now a very confident team that can cause damage to many teams, when they’re in an evening of good form. Their roster isn’t the strongest one of the teams left in the competition at this stage, but their team organization and tactics are outstending.
Just take a look at Atalanta‘s form in the Italian Serie A against the top teams of the league. Also Gasperini and his men are on course for a second consecutive Champions League participation next year. This is not a team to underrate, especially at the quarter final draw.
About RB Leipzig
This German side sprung out of nowere a couple of seasons ago making their debut in the German Bundesliga powered by the powerful Red Bull group. They built a well structured team without going wild with spending on the transfer market. Mostly players that hadn’t performed matching the initial expectations in their club were brought in. Players like Schick, who had performed terribly in AS Roma, has been completely revitalized by the RB Leipzig.
Under Nagelsmann the excellent work started by Rangnick has continued. Improvements have continued and the team is now a contender for the Meisterschale this year.
There’s No Bottom To Hell for Tottenham Hotspur
We all thought Spur’s worries were over with Mourinho’s arrival at the club. The initial results illuded us all that this might have been the case. It looked like the problems the team had under Mauricio Pochettino were gone. This illusion was soon to be blown away by bad luck and tanking morale.
Bad Luck Took Its Toll
The injuries Son, Kane and Sissoko certainly didn’t help improve the already complicated Tottenham situation after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino. Furthermore it definetily didn’t help with their Champions League campaign.
Has Mourinho Lost His Touch?
Probably if Mourinho was in charge during the summer transfer season he might have requested some players more in line with his football philosophy. We also all know that Spurs are far from being a big spender for transfers, nor do they often satisfy their coach’s requests. So even in the case that Mourinho had been appointed at the start of the season it is very likely that at this stage he would have had exactly the same squad he has available now.
So this brings us to te million dollar question: has Mourinho lost his touch? My opinion is that something either broke in his way of training or his tactics and team managing have become outdate and ineffective. Something went wrong from his second spell at Chelsea. It’s normal to expect a coach with his paycheck to be a game changer for teams he goes to, but recently that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. Is Mourinho still “The Special One”?