Jose Mourinho: Tanguy Ndombele 'Phenomenal' in Tottenham Draw with NorwichDecember 29, 2019
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele was "phenomenal" in his team's 2-2 draw with Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
The France international was brought back into the starting XI at Carrow Road, having been left out of the squad for the Boxing Day clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Although Spurs were unable to get over the line against the Canaries because of a number of defensive lapses, there were some standout performances, with Ndombele's all-action effort in central midfield catching the eye.
Afterwards, Mourinho commented on Christian Eriksen's man-of-the-match award and how other players could have taken the accolade, per Nick Wright of Sky Sports:
"I am happy with his man-of-the-match [award], but it could have been others. I think Ndombele was absolutely phenomenal. ...
"He played very, very well. We played without a positional midfield player—no Winks, no [Eric] Dier. But Ndombele and Eriksen played so, so well. Totally in control. The football—the passing, the movement, the turning—was fluid. They never played back passes and always looked forward to play in between the lines or to the wingers. It was fantastic quality of football."
Here is more of what Mourinho had to say after the match:
Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL
Jose Mourinho shares his thoughts after a @SpursOfficial performance full of yet more defensive calamities. He had plenty of praise, though, for his side's response in the second half following his half-time changes. 📲 More here: https://t.co/yKy0CROD32 https://t.co/wUH1w3WVCe
These are the highlights from a breathless contest, with Harry Kane's late penalty earning a point for the visitors:
It's clear Mourinho still has a lot to work on at Tottenham. If he can start getting the best out of Ndombele, his job will become a lot more straightforward.
When Spurs signed the 23-year-old from Lyon in the summer, he was regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in European football. However, he's had an up-and-down beginning to life at the club.
On Saturday, there were indications of the type of player he can become. Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Athletic highlighted Ndombele for special praise for his display, noting how entertaining he is to watch in full flow:
Dan Kilpatrick of the Evening Standard believes the France international should get a prolonged run of games alongside Eric Dier in midfield:
Ndombele's energy, dribbling skill and ability to make contributions in the final third make him a hugely effective player. If he can get a prolonged run in the side and find some consistency, he could be a transformative figure for Tottenham.
Spurs are in action against an in-form Southampton team on Wednesday before they take on Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Jan. 5. It will be intriguing to see in which of those games Ndombele starts.