Spurs chairman Daniel Levy knew what he was getting when he put the future of his club in the hands of one Jose Mourinho.
Unlike his predecessor, the Bielsa disciple Mauricio Pochettino, one of the 21st century’s most successful tacticians is no football purist who values entertainment over all else. Mourinho is a man who sees the game in black and white, in winners and losers.
The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss will leave nothing to chance as he strives to become a Champions League winner for the third time. And if that means turning one of Europe’s most attractive footballing teams into a well-drilled, pragmatic unit with a proverbial bus stationed right in front of the goal-line, then so be it.
And Nagelsmann, a coach who combines Pochettino’s romanticism with Mourinho’s eye for the finer details, knows what to expect when his free-flowing Leipzig side make the trip to Tottenham next week.
“(Spurs will) defend deep to their own goal, not give us space behind the defensive line,” said the 32-year-old coaching prodigy.
“(I am) prepared that Jose will change the approach home and away, but also within each leg.”
Nagelsmann, like Jurgen Klopp before him, is taking the Bundesliga by storm with his unique brand of exhilarating attacking football. And the former Hoffenheim boss admits that Klopp’s all-conquering Liverpool side represent something of an inspiration as he looks to end Bayern Munich's long-running domestic dominance.
“In the first two seasons under Jurgen Klopp, it was more about counter-attack and creating attacking moments. That’s the same process we are going through now at Leipzig, expanding to not only rely on pressing and counters,” he adds.
“If you want to be a good manager, you have to watch Liverpool games. What they are doing is incredible. It’s the performances that you can learn from, but more importantly, is what you can take away from their mentality.”
Nagelsmann always has a tactical trick up his sleeve and one of the game’s sharpest minds will be thinking outside the box as he plots Tottenham’s downfall.
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