• Drew Farmer


Can Jose finally lead Tottenham Hotspur to silverware?

Jose Mourinho Harry Winks

There is no doubt the end of the Mauricio Pochettino era at Tottenham Hotspur was a long time coming. By the time the club pulled the trigger on his sacking in November 2019, problems had been brewing since around the time Tottenham qualified for the Champions League final the season prior. While Spurs could have opted for a manager that would have continued with the progressions made under Pochettino, the club decided against that move and hired Jose Mourinho, a manager destined to blow up everything his predecessor created.

Mourinho has never been the type of manager to accept what he has been given. Everywhere he has managed, Mourinho has requested transfer funds and players. In spite of the personnel Pochettino acquired and worked with, there is no question Mourinho will want his own players in at the club.

His very public falling out with Tanguy Ndombele is proof that Mourinho is more likely to disagree with old guard members and seek new individuals. Although an argument can be made that his determination to get behind the long-term out of form Eric Dier is evidence Mourinho will stick with players who were at the club before his arrival.

The 57-year-old has been in charge of Tottenham Hotspur for over 230 days and up to matchday 34 in the Premier League, overseen 30 Premier League matches. Spurs have posted a 13W-6D-11L record under Mourinho and averaged 1.5 points per match. For the most part, this is the same team that Pochettino coached last season. The big difference is the arrival of Giovani Lo Celso, who was played sparingly under the Argentine manager.

Mourinho’s tactics have taken Spurs a step or two back. Under Pochettino they were forward thinking and played attacking football. With Mourinho as manager, Spurs are more reactive and play on the back foot.

Football moves at lightning speed and Mourinho’s tactics look behind the times. While many teams have favoured high pressing football that wins the ball up the pitch and turns defence into attacking quickly, Mourinho has stuck to the guns that led Chelsea to so much glory more than a decade ago.

Spurs are now a team that gets men behind the ball and seek to hit on the counter from their own half of the pitch. But it isn’t just the tactics that make Mourinho the wrong man for the job. For a club like Tottenham Hotspur that are not the biggest spenders and pay close attention to the transfer fees they pay, Mourinho is one of the worst managers to hire.

In 2019, it was revealed that Mourinho has the highest managerial transfer expenditure of all time. Prior to joining Spurs, Mourinho had purchased a total of 59 players while managing five different clubs. He spent an incredible £1.05 billion at FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, and Manchester United.

Mourinho won’t be judged on this season, in spite of it being a train wreck in many ways. It will be next term that Mourinho’s full impact on Tottenham Hotspur is graded.

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