Mourinho’s 12-day plan to save his job at Tottenham as replacement identified

Jose Mourinho faces a make or break 12 days as Tottenham boss with pressure mounting following Sunday's loss at West Ham.

The Portuguese manager is favourite in the sack race and the north London outfit have reportedly lined up his replacement.

RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann is on their radar following his excellent work in Germany, reports the Telegraph.

Mourinho is understood to have the backing of chairman Daniel Levy – for now at least.

He said today: "I am more motivated than ever and I never felt what normally coaches feel when results are bad.

"Normally, the coach is a lonely man. In this club, in this building, I never felt that. Never. I always felt, not just respected of course, but supported."

Tottenham face four games in the next 12 days and the results could go a long way to determining his future.

They play Wolfsberger in the Europa League before taking on Burnley, Fulham and Crystal Palace in the league.

Mourinho had Tottenham looking like title challengers back in December, but a swift decline now has them down in ninth.

The defeat at the London Stadium was their fifth in their last six league games.

His problems are growing and there is a sense of deja vu about this situation which we've seen previously at Chelsea and Manchester United.

Mourinho was unable to arrest the slide on those occasions, but at the age of 58 has he learnt from previous mistakes.

We take a look at what the Tottenham boss needs to address if he is to make the current season a success.

Be on the front foot

Mourinho certainly came out fighting in the aftermath of the West Ham defeat.

"Mine and my coaching staff methods are second to nobody in the world," he claimed.

Clearly the Portuguese manager is in no doubt that he's doing the right things, although results suggest otherwise.

That siege mentality has dominated his managerial career is certainly a part of his DNA.

What he could do with now is his Tottenham team forcing the agenda much like he did on Sunday.

He had no problem saying he was second to none – now get your team to prove it.

Too often since their defeat at Liverpool on December 16 have Tottenham allowed points to slip away.

Mourinho cannot employ the shut up shop method in north London, he doesn't have the players to do so.

Clearly then when Tottenham get in front they need to push forward, not sit back.

They were pegged back and forced to settle for draws in games against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Fulham in the space of a month.

Those six points are the difference between ninth and sixth.

Earlier on this season Harry Kane and Heung-min Son couldn't score enough goals. Heavy wins over Southampton and Manchester United proved that.

Mourinho has proved himself to be the ultimate pragmatist throughout his career. Finding solution has been his modus operandi.

If so he should be demanding goals galore from his side, especially against the teams they have coming up.

Remember the remit

It has often been said that without trophies Mourinho leaves you with very little given the style of football he favours.

That may have been true at the likes of Chelsea, United and Real Madrid.

But with Tottenham so starved of success a trophy may well prove to be enough to save his job.

A Carabao Cup final against Manchester City offers the first chance of silverware, although they will be major underdogs.

The Europa League, won twice by Mourinho, is another chance at success and the one-off nature of the games suits the 58-year-old.

A heavy lead over Wolfsberger means they are realistically in the last 16, although some top teams remain in the competition.

Opinion would be split were Tottenham to win a trophy but finish in say eighth.

Such an achievement would almost certainly buy Mourinho another year however and success in Europe's secondary competition would provide a route into the Champions League.

Ensuring they are at Europe's top table next year is ultimately the remit. Should he achieve that then the ends would justify the means.

Mourinho has always been a results coach and 9/10 he has delivered. Old habits die hard and if he can produce it would quieten a lot of the doubters, at least for now.

What's wrong with Bale?

This issue has dominated Tottenham's season and almost served as a metaphor for the entire team.

Big expectations, delivering in patches, an uncertain future. The parallels are certainly there.

The Welshman has often been left on the bench and that is where he has stayed for a lot of games.

He was called upon to find an equaliser in the loss at West Ham and so nearly did when his volley struck the bar.

People have questioned Bale's desire to really prove himself and get his career back on track, but what is never questioned is his quality.

Mourinho earlier in his career made a habit of getting the best from players by making them feel a million dollars.

That seems to have eluded him in recent years but a Bale firing on all cylinders will certainly help his case for the remainder of the season.

Harry and Heung

These two were football's deadliest partnership back in September, October and November.

When they combined in the 2-0 with over Arsenal, Tottenham's 11th game of the season, they had teamed up for 11 goals – almost half of Tottenham's 23 goal total at that point.

Since then though the chemistry has certainly dwindled.

For all Tottenham's quality their reliance on Kane especially is almost unrivalled throughout the league.

Only Bruno Fernandes at United could you argue was more important to their team functioning.

His recent injury served to show how he led the Kane-Son combination with the South Korean far less effective without him.

Since the turn of the year Son has scored just twice in wins against Leeds and West Brom.

In the same time span Kane has managed to net four times.

Lucas Moura and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are the only other two men to score in the past six games, which sort of underlines Tottenham's problem.

If Kane and Son don't fire neither do Tottenham. That has long been an issue, but not one that is going to be solved before the summer transfer window.

Defensive instability

In Mourinho's first decade as a manager you'd have been laughed at if you'd said that one day a brittle defence would be among his issues.

That is the harsh reality however and Tottenham have kept just two clean sheets in their last 14 games.

Were their attackers firing on all cylinders then perhaps those cracks would be covered up, but they aren't.

Mourinho has long been a fan of Eric Dier, but throughout his career the versatile Englishman has been switched between a midfielder and a centre-half.

Mistakes are becoming all too regular in his game and the same could be said for Davinson Sanchez.

That said chopping and changing your back four is asking for trouble.

Young Joe Rodon has often been on the bench as has Toby Alderweireld, despite being seen by many as the club's best defender.

As Mourinho enters crunch time he must be able to trust his defence to see them through challenging times.

That means picking a defensive two that can realistically partner each other for the remainder of the season and produce clean sheets.

Hojbjerg has been tasked with protecting the back four, but even with him in front the defence has leaked goals.

Hugo Lloris is also error prone but it is not as if Tottenham have a back-up pushing the Frenchman.

Defence has always been the cornerstone for any Mourinho success. Should those foundations fail it is fair to suggest things look bleak.

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