Glenn: Matt's key for Jose
FORMER Tottenham manager Glenn Hoddle believes Jose Mourinho's move to sign Matt Doherty was the first step in his attempt to rebrand the team in his own image.
Ireland full-back Doherty joined Spurs from Wolves in a move that came as a surprise to many, yet Hoddle believes the deal was evidence that Mourinho is keen to change the DNA of a side he inherited from Mauricio Pochettino.
The Amazon Prime documentary chronicling Tottenham's turbulent last 12 months saw Mourinho constantly encourage his players to add steel to their promise, and Hoddle told the Sunday World that Doherty is a key figure in the evolution.
"The Doherty deal looks like great business for Spurs, as they have signed a player who is proven in the Premier League, and gives Mourinho a chance to change the way his side is set up," stated Hoddle, speaking to us at a BT Sport event.
"He has brought Sergio Reguilon in to play on the other side of his defence and, for me, it looks like this is setting up for Mourinho to play with three at the back, using Doherty and Reguilon as wing-backs, and telling them to bomb forward.
"Clearly, Spurs have conceded too many goals over the last year, and Mourinho is a manager who has a reputation for building solid defences, so I see Doherty and Reguilon as part of a back-five that could include Simon Davies as part of a central-defensive three.
"That could shore them up a little at the back, but it might take a bit of time for that to be bedded in.
"With players like Toby Alderweireld in that line-up, there is no reason at all why they can't become a team that keeps clean sheets on a regular basis.
"If they can do that, they have a real chance to do well this season, because, going forward, they have so many options, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, Steven Bergwijn and, now, Gareth Bale thrown into that exciting mix."
Bale is not expected to be fit to play for Tottenham until next month at the earliest, but Hoddle believes the presence of the Welshman gives Spurs a chance to end their long wait for a trophy, with the north London club not having won any silverware since their League Cup success in 2008, and their last league title win coming way back in 1961.
"Having a player of Bale's stature in that dressing room can only help if they can get near the end of big competitions this season," said Hoddle.
Spurs will look to secure back-to-back wins in the Premier League when they take on Newcastle today, with Spurs legend Hoddle suggesting one area of the team still needs to improve.
"The centre of that Spurs side is a concern for me, because I don't see a lot of creativity in the midfield."
Sheffield United v Leeds and West Ham v Wolves are live on BT Sport today, with both matches available to Sky customers in Ireland with a Sports Extra package.Tottenham v Newcastle Premier League, today, 2.0pm, live on Sky Sports