The Season Ticket
Review | ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ episode six
If the Michael Jordan epic The Last Dance’ was the most hotly anticipated sports documentary series of 2020, ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ wasn’t far behind.
The all-access docuseries finally dropped on Amazon Prime this month.
‘All Or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ documents the club’s 2019/20 campaign, from Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking to Jose Mourinho’s appointment, and features everything from transfer drama to the coronavirus pandemic.
In this article, David Smith reviews episode six, ‘Running on Empty’.
If you missed his reviews of the first five episodes, you can find them here.
Episode number: 6
Episode title: “Running on Empty”
Length: 45 minutes
Episode six opens with a press conference in which Jose Mourinho compares Spurs' injury crisis to being in a bed with a blanket that only covers half your body.
After that abstract analogy, Mourinho tells the camera that "we are building something really strong".
The players and staff are on a high following Steven Bergwijn's dream debut in the win over Manchester City, and are given a boost by Erik Lamela's return to training ahead of their FA Cup replay against Southampton.
However, the tenacious Argentinian lasts just half an hour in training before withdrawing due to concerns over his injury, with the medical team deciding to send him for a scan which reveals an injury to his groin.
We are introduced to 10-year-old Spurs fan Gabi from Brazil - who idolises Lucas Moura - as she arrives for a guided tour of the stadium alongside other fans.
In a separate scene, Moura - with impeccable English - describes growing up in a difficult area of Sao Paolo, and discusses the positivity around being a role model for young Brazilians.
Gabi and the tourists are shown into the press room, where Moura manages to sneak in to the seats at the back. The tour guide duly asks if anyone has any questions, at which point Moura interjects to ask one.
Gabi is awestruck, and jumps out of her seat to run back to Moura and embrace her hero in a hug.
Moura and Heung-min Son shoulder the attacking burden as Spurs line up against the Saints without Harry Kane, Dele Alli (named on the bench) and Bergwijn.
Spurs take the lead through an own goal, before Shane Long draws Southampton level at half time.
Hugo Lloris slams his teammates' attitude and lack of aggression in the dressing room.
"It's our responsibility... everyone in this fucking changing room."
Danny Ings fires Southampton into the lead in the second half before Moura makes it 2-2. Son wins a late penalty, and the South Korean subsequently converts it from 12 yards to send Spurs through to the next round of the cup.
The mood in the dressing room is one of elation, and no one is more delighted than Mourinho.
"Can I speak one second?" he asks, embracing Lloris.
"If you make a lot of noise, I give one more day off."
He is greeted by a roar from the players, drawing a wry smile from the Portuguese native.
"Not enough!" he jokes, causing the players to celebrate more wildly.
After a few days off, Mourinho - sporting a newly shaven head - and his players arrive back to the training ground ahead of a crucial period of games. Jose tells his players they are entering "probably the most important week of the season" and says he needs them to "protect" him as a result.
"I need your protection, and your protection is give me results."
Ben Davies, a player earmarked by Mourinho as crucial to Spurs' defensive solidity, returns to training after 12 weeks on the sideline following his injury in Jose's first game in the dugout.
Davies is handed a start for Spurs' trip to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa, and makes a crucial goal-line block to deny Douglas Luiz a goal for the hosts.
Villa then take the lead when Toby Alderweireld inadvertently steers the ball into his own net under pressure, but the Belgian defender makes amend when he smashes home an equalizer from a corner. Son scores his 50th Premier League goal to hand Spurs the lead, netting the rebound after seeing his penalty saved by Pepe Reina.
Björn Engels draws Villa level in the second half, before coughing up a mistake that Son punishes ruthlessly in stoppage time, resulting in a 3-2 win for Spurs.
Tom Hardy informs us that the win leaves Spurs one place and one point behind Chelsea, who they will face in their next league match.
Son emerges as an injury concern - due to a swollen elbow - ahead of the Champions League clash against RB Leipzig. He says he does not want an MRI scan, as the medical team suggest, and says he just wants to play against Leipzig. Mourinho discusses the scan with a member of medical staff, and says Son "must play".
The scan reveals a serious elbow fracture which will require surgery, and could keep Son out for the rest of the season.
We are shown Lucas Moura's house, and the player proudly shows off his boots and the ball from the Champions League semi-final in which he scored a famous hat-trick against Ajax to send Spurs through to the final.
Mourinho briefs his team before Leipzig's visit to North London, and repeats several times that mentality will be the most important aspect of the match.
The episode fades to black just as the game is about to begin.
Moment of the week:
Mourinho's assertion that Leipzig "are going to give us very good chances to fuck them."