Spurs v Liverpool: What Happens to Either Klopp or Mourinho With a Defeat?

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Klopp v Mourinho: Who is Under more pressure with a loss?

Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho face off against one another for the first time since a late Roberto Firmino header separated the two sides back on the December 16th. A game which saw Liverpool leapfrog Tottenham to take top spot, but now, 43 days later the two early pace setters find themselves slumped in 5th and 6th.

So where has it all gone wrong and what are the ramifications of a defeat to both managers?

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New year, new Liverpool?

Since the 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace back in December, Liverpool’s only win has come against an Aston Villa team made up of under 23 and under 18 players in the FA Cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men are without a win in five now; a run which has seen them fail to score in each of the last four Premier League games and even a loss to rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup.

So, what has gone so catastrophically wrong at Liverpool since the turn of the year? It is difficult to pinpoint, and it is well noted the Reds have fallen victim to a serious injury crisis, particularly at centre back with long term injuries to Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, however, their defence has remained relatively intact despite the injuries.

Despite this, the injury to Van Dijk was sustained on the 17th of October in the Merseyside derby, and Gomez a couple of weeks later in an England training session, so it is difficult to put their form down solely to these absences.

One thing is clear, Liverpool have been nowhere near as clinical as they have been in recent times. Add this to a lack of presence in the midfield area is worrying, as the likes of Henderson and Fabinho have had to drop back in the centre of defence with numbers incredibly slim there.

If Liverpool and Klopp want any chance of mounting any sort of a defence of their title in the second half of the season, they need to recapture the spark and basic performance levels that have served them so well over the last three seasons.

what happens if Klopp loses?

Considering the German has won the Champions league and ended a 30-year wait for the top flight title in the last two years, it would be obscene to suggest that Jurgen Klopp’s job would be under threat with a defeat. Simply put, they will still, mathematically, be in a title race and still be in the Champions League stages, so asking for his number would be too much regardless of a defeat.

Nevertheless, the pressure will mount considerably if the Reds suffer back-to-back Premier League defeats and would strengthen Jamie Carragher’s claims that "Liverpool could be fighting for their lives to make top 4," a statement which would have been laughed at by many at the start of the season.

If Klopp does lose, he won't move closer to the exit door. But he will become arguably the most under-pressure manager in the Premier League.

Same old spurs?

the title as they sat top after a flurry of performances that can be described as anything but ‘Spursy’. 2-0 victories at home to both Arsenal and Manchester City were standout performances that had qualities reminiscent of Mourinho sides of old; desire to keep a clean sheet, potent on the break and boasting arguably the best strike partnership in the league with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

Despite this, recent draws against the likes of Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers, coupled with a home defeat to Leicester City, Tottenham’s progression has stagnated and seen them slowly slide down the table and fight more for the Champions League spots, rather than the title.

Tottenham not achieving top four his season is unthinkable, as this is both worse than what Mauricio Pochettino achieved and one which Mourinho simply cannot let happen, given his nature.

Furthermore, it is unlikely that the likes of Kane and Son will want two consecutive seasons without Champions League football, and both will have plenty of suitors if it cannot be achieved.

What happens if Mourinho loses?

Tottenham are slumped in sixth, but with games in hand on some of the teams above them. However, with a defeat, the pressure - like with Klopp - will slowly start to build on Mourinho if Tottenham fall victim to another defeat at the hands of Liverpool on Thursday.

Similarly, to Klopp, Mourinho might just have accumulated enough brownie points with the Tottenham board to withstand any pressure on his job after years of success and clearly turning Kane into one of the very best goal contributors in world football.

Unlike his Premier League counterpart though, these points may have been accumulated based on potential future success, instead of his past achievements at the club. This comes with Tottenham looking strong on three fronts this season: both domestic cups and the Europa League.

Mourinho already has a date booked with his arch-rival Pep Guardiola with a Carabao cup final looming, and with strong performances in both the FA Cup and Europa League so far, Mourinho has a strong case to end Tottenham’s 13-year trophy wait come to the end of the season.

The ex-Manchester United man won't necessarily be more under pressure in the grand scheme of things, however, his league position will begin to look very worrying, with Everton level on points with Spurs.

By Harry Charlwood

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