Another chapter was written in Troy Parrott's football education under the watchful tutelage of Jose Mourinho today. A few days after 'club sources' were spinning against Parrott and questioning his professionalism, the Dublin striker was back in the Spurs first team. Parrott ended up making his second-ever Premier League appearance today. He came on in the 90th minute for Ben Davies as Spurs chased an equaliser against Wolves. He was on the pitch for roughly five minutes. He didn't touch the ball and then the referee blew for full time. Spurs lost again.
— Tottenham Hotspur (at 🏡) (@SpursOfficial) March 1, 2020
We should probably view this as progress. Bringing Parrott on is a new twist for Mourinho. Wonderful then that Mourinho seemed to go out of his way in his post-game press conference to make it clear he didn't think Parrott belonged in his team. Mourinho was again dismissive of his 'readiness' for the Spurs first team.
“He’s not ready. He’s not ready. He’s a good kid we want to help, not only on the pitch but off it. He’s a kid who’s going to have real opportunity but when we decide it’s right. He was on the bench because Lamela said he was not ready to go on it. He was on the bench so for the past five minutes we brought him on to give some more space for Dele.”
Mourinho's use of Parrott has been greatly scrutinised by football fans on this island. Obviously Parrott is still a teenager and it's presumptuous to believe he should be a regular in a Spurs team chasing Champions League qualification. That said, Mourinho's man management of Parrott has hardly been inspiring. Start with the mixed messages. If Parrott is actually 'not ready', why throw him in on to pitch of a huge game at a pivotal stage? It was if Mourinho wanted to prove his point about Parrott and was setting him up to fail. Mourinho also suggests Parrott needs 'help' in that interview. Imagine what Parrott will think when he reads those comments this evening.
If anything, it's Mourinho who no longer seems 'ready' for this level. Spurs blew two leads before losing today at home to Wolves. They've lost their last two league games, they'll need a huge result away to Leipzig to reach the Champions League quarterfinals and all we hear from Mourinho are injuries, injuries and more injuries. But for a coach who's supposed to be a defensive genius, Mourinho still can't fix Tottenham's defence.
Mourinho will win the big games blah blah. He’s had 3 months to improve this defence and there’s not a single bit of evidence to indicate he has. Can moan all he likes about strikers but if we ship goals for fun doesn’t matter who’s up top 🙄
— TAS⚽️ (@coys100) March 1, 2020
74% of Tottenham's goals conceded in all competitions under José Mourinho have been from either individual errors or set pieces. pic.twitter.com/wc8TVZnsul
— Spurs Web Stats (@SpursWebStats) March 1, 2020
I really don't want to judge Mourinho until next season but he has this defence since November and it hasn't improved at all. Nor has our defensive tactics in game.
— Trevor Lloyd (@Trevorlloyd92) March 1, 2020
You'd wonder how a manager like Klopp or Guardiola would handle a talent like Parrott's. Unfortunately, Parrott and Mourinho seem bound together at Tottenham for the near future. We really hope - for Parrott's sake - that they can make it work.