Tottenham Hotspur surprised the footballing world on Tuesday evening with the announcement that Mauricio Pochettino would be leaving his role at the club after five and a half successful years at the helm. Then Wednesday was wrapped up with chatter about Jose Mourinho’s appointment.
After his tumultuous reign at Manchester United many will look at this move by Daniel Levy as a huge risk but there will also be a lot of fans who see the potential of what could be with Jose in charge. We lean towards the latter viewpoint and here’s why.
The mentality of a winner
There is absolutely no denying that Pochettino did a phenomenal job during his stint in London, however, for as well as he did, Spurs didn’t lift silverware. If you’re serious about being regarded as a genuinely top side, then ‘close but not close enough’ simply isn’t good enough.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese resume speaks for itself. Mourinho in his 20 years as a manager has 25 trophies, including 2 Champions League and 2 Europa Leagues/UEFA Cups. Tottenham, in all its history, has actual less: 24!
Mourinho is walking into a dressing room that hasn’t been far away over the last few years and the Portuguese’s know how in those high-pressure situations may well prove enough to put trophies in the cabinet at Spurs’ shiny new ground.
Many Tottenham stars have come out with glowing tributes to Pochettino since his departure but if the truth be known the Argentines voice was becoming stale after a prolonged spell at the club. A fresh perspective, new ideas and different sessions will inject some much-needed energy into the playing staff. Is there a better man than Mourinho to deliver that?
He has managed at five different clubs and has delivered every single time, which means he’ll have the dressing room hanging on his every word from the get-go. In the press, a lot is made of how Mourinho generates a toxic atmosphere but listen to those who buy into his methods – the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard to name just a couple – and you’ll find a mould of player that would run through brick walls to keep their gaffer happy.
‘Parking the bus’ is a myth
It’s easy to paint a Jose side in a negative light as ‘defensive’ or ‘pragmatic’ but it’s much fairer to describe him as a manager who sets his team up to win whatever game is in front of him.
During his spell at Man United, the side were not equipped to go toe to toe with teams like Liverpool or Man City but glance back through his past and you’ll soon realise that Mourinho will happily set up a team to blitz the opposition – just look at the records he set in his first spell at Chelsea or how good his Inter side were.
It’s also a fabrication through time that he doesn’t like offensive players; Eden Hazard has stated Mourinho is the one former manager he’d be keen to work under again and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has played for him more than once! Don’t get us wrong, he’ll ask players of all kinds to work hard and Spurs will become harder to beat but that doesn’t mean they won’t be an entertaining watch.
A point to prove
A few years back, Mourinho was seen as the manager everyone wanted but after a couple of bitter divorces – from Chelsea and United – there are plenty of football fans and pundits who see him as yesterday’s man. Mourinho has too much ego to allow the judgement of others to influence how he manages but that same ego will learn from his past errors.
That along with the fact many will view this role as a ‘last chance saloon’ at the top table will ensure the Special One comes out with the spirit of an actual horse stud competing in the Kentucky Derby race. All those elements may well bring out the brightest and best Mourinho we’ve seen in years.