What we know ?
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Moussa Sissoko may have been a flop during his first couple of seasons with the Lilywhites after transferring from Newcastle United. However, the Frenchman enjoyed a drastic turnaround in his form and fortunes over the past two years in North London and became one of the first names on the team sheet for former boss Mauricio Pochettino. Lately with new manager Jose Mourinho, he has found a new fan in Jose Mourinho and possibly become a brother to a player Mourinho considers his prodigal son – Marouane Fellaini.
Sissoko was dropped for the first match under Jose Mourinho against West Ham but has since fought his way back in, playing in a variety of positions. Moussa Sissoko has spoken about the positive impact new manager Jose Mourinho has had on the entire Tottenham team, as well as himself.
Moussa Sissoko said “When he arrived, the team was mentally damaged. I think that you could see that. He tried to be positive with everyone and give them confidence. It was the main thing that needed doing. We had the quality. There was just a lack of confidence in a lot of players. The mental aspect was important. His arrival helped the entire group. It’s gone rather well. I alternate, because he knows I can play there or higher. I bend myself to the will of the manager and the group. He’s put stuff in place. Aurier plays much higher. We also play differently against different teams, like Manchester United, where we played with a different system. We change depending on the team to cause them difficulties.”
What Jose Mourinho has done
Under Pochettino, Sissoko was primarily a central midfield player over the past two seasons, although that is something Mourinho questioned last week.
Jose Mourinho said “One of the good things is that we can consider Moussa Sissoko multi-functional and he can play in various positions. But honestly, I don’t think he’s a midfield player in a core position, No 6 or a double 6. I don’t think Moussa is that. But he played in that position last match because sometimes the needs of team are more important than the player. But I think best position for Moussa is when the team plays with a positional midfielder and he has freedom to go, or from the right like he did against Bournemouth with Serge [Aurier] coming from the wide side and Moussa more central. He’s not a positional midfielder. He played there for Mauricio [Pochettino] and me and he will play there again. He is not a bad player obviously. But I don’t think he’s an organiser, not one who has control of the game.”
Sissoko has now openly disagreed with his new manager, claiming that he thinks his best position comes down the middle as a number 6, 8, or 10. Sissoko said “I haven’t spoken to him about [my position] but I saw [what he said]. He’s the manager, so if he says to me to play as a number six or at the front or on the right side, I will do my best. I know I’m capable to play every role. At the end [against Burnley], I even played right-back. But to be in the middle of the pitch is my best position. If it’s Number six, number eight, number ten, it doesn’t matter, but I like to be in the centre. For the team, I will do everything the manager asks me.”