Jose Mourinho may well target Andy Robertson once again on Wednesday. The Tottenham Hotspur boss tried it last season – and it nearly worked.
We know that Jose Mourinho rates Andy Robertson highly. Very highly, in fact.
He called him an ‘amazing player’ in an interview with RT back in June 2019. And most notably, he singled him out in 2018, too.
Mourinho’s last game as Manchester United manager was a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool. After that game, he said he was ‘still tired’ simply from watching Robertson run up and down the wing.
And that praise translated into a tactical decision when Spurs faced Liverpool last season.
The Reds beat Spurs 1-0 last January after coming up against a strange formation. One seemingly designed purely to stop Robertson.
We wrote about it at the time – Mourinho played a hybrid 5-3-2/4-4-2.
Spurs lined up with a traditional 4-4-2 but with Serge Aurier at right-midfield. Whenever they defended, however, the Ivorian dropped back to play right-back.
Essentially, he was there to track Robertson all game. They had the security of another right-back behind him to watch Sadio Mane and Aurier could man-mark the Scot.
It nearly worked. Liverpool dominated possession but couldn’t get going down the wings. Fortunately, Roberto Firmino found a bit of magic to win the game.
This time around
We’re expecting similar on Wednesday. Especially at a time when Liverpool’s forwards aren’t firing on all cylinders, placing extra pressure on the full-backs to create.
Stopping Robertson, then, will really harm Liverpool.
We know Mourinho rates him highly from both words and actions. Thus we can almost guarantee that the Portuguese manager will target stopping Robertson as a key tactic at Anfield.
Don’t be surprised if we see another tactical trick from Mourinho as he looks to stop the £10m man.