The Premier League rule which can help ease Jose Mourinho and Tottenham’s fixture nightmare
Jose Mourinho and his Tottenham side will discover their opponents on the opening weekend of the 2020/21 Premier League season later this morning.
Stringing together some good results at the end of last campaign to clinch a Europa League spot, the Lilywhites will be hoping to carry over their form as they look to make a drastic improvement on finishing in sixth.
Spurs’ results were so mixed 12 months ago and in the end it culminated in Mauricio Pochettino losing his job.
A fast start is going to be needed, although things are going to be rather hectic in September looking at the schedule they have to contend with.
Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Chelsea means that Tottenham now have to qualify for the Europa League group stage via the qualifying rounds, with their European journey beginning in the second qualifying round on Thursday, September 17.
The third qualifying round, providing they progress and avoid an early upset, then takes place the following week, with their crucial play-off game seven days later.
However, that’s not all they have to contend with as it was announced last week that the first four rounds of the Carabao Cup are all to take place in September.
While Spurs don’t enter the competition until the third round due to their European involvement, both rounds three and four are pencilled in to be played the same week as their Europa League qualifiers.
It means Mourinho’s men face the prospect of two games in the space of 48 hours in two successive weeks.
Given both are competitions the head coach will be intent on winning, it is a complete nightmare for him and his team.
It remains to be seen how the Portuguese boss will deal with the fixture congestion as he could possibly split his squads in two or, as Liverpool did last year, field of team of youngsters in the Carabao Cup.
Well, one thing that could possibly work in his favour is the new dates for the summer transfer window in England.
Given Spurs are likely to allow a number of players on the periphery of the first team the chance to move elsewhere for the season to play regularly, they now have the opportunity to hold off any deals until October rather than letting them go ahead of the new campaign.
With the transfer window closing for business on Monday, October 5, a domestic-only window will then take place from that date until 5pm on Friday, October 16.
During this window, Premier League clubs will only be able to trade with EFL clubs, whether that be loan or permanent moves,
This would allow Mourinho to keep the likes of Brandon Austin, Alfie Whiteman, Kazaiah Sterling, Anthony Georgiou, George Marsh and Jack Roles at the club for September when they could possibly be needed in either the Carabao Cup or Europa League, before then loaning them out the following month to teams in the EFL so that they can get some regular minutes under their belts elsewhere.
Jack Clarke is another player who could benefit from this after a torrid 12 months following his move to Spurs.
The winger only featured in three games for former club Leeds United during his loan spell back at Elland Road, with a further seven appearances coming his way after moving to QPR in January.
September is going to be an extremely busy month for Spurs but the new transfer window dates could work in their favour and certainly make life a little easier for Mourinho.