but is it the right man? Is it the same man?
Within hours of sacking Mauricio Pochettino Daniel Levy had installed Jose Mourinho as the new Spurs boss, ending over a decade of pursuit. Will he regret getting what he wished for?
I Tweeted the night of Poch’s sacking with the rumours that Levy was finalising the hiring of a manager who has a history of spending big on established players… had Levy and Jose actually heard of each other?
Levy has wanted Jose since the Portuguese was sacked by Chelsea back in 2007. Apparently trying to hire him five times in one day. Jose wasn’t interested but in 2019 Spurs are a different beast but so is Mourinho.
Back in ’07 how many Spurs fans would welcome Mourinho with open arms? A man they’d seen win leagues and cups with Porto and Chelsea. Contrast and compare to 2019, where Spurs are an attractive option – even with Levy and ENIC present – but Jose isn’t the “Special One” any more.
The fanbase is split. Some like the prospect of someone who has won trophies at Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Madrid, Chelsea again and then Man United finally delivering silverware to a club that hasn’t got anything in the trophy cabinet since the ’08 league cup.
While others see a short term fix built on boring football, followed by a quick downfall and exit at great expense, as seen at Chelsea twice, Madrid and United. The United one being the most recent is most in the mind. It was an omniclsuterfuckshambles. His only stint at a club where he didn’t deliver the league title – it was just the league and Europa cups over two and bit years.
But even though Spurs are 14th in the league, haven’t won away since January and have been dire of late they are not the basket case United were when Jose replaced van Gaal. Let’s not forget he got that basket case to second in the league just two seasons ago. In the process scoring just six fewer goals than Spurs while conceding eight fewer.
Mourinho’s win percentage at United, 58.3%, was actually higher than Pochettino’s at Spurs, 54.3%.
The whole United thing for Jose seemed to be a careful what you wish for. He wanted that job, wanted it badly but wanted to replace Fergie not replace the guy who replaced the guy who replaced Fergie.
Yes this is a different Jose, one that’s coming into a team that’s on a bad trot of results but isn’t a bad team, as United were – I mean Spurs may have contract holdouts in Toby and Jan but that’s better than having Smalling and Jones.
A different Jose that knew his next job would be at a team down the league looking to rise. A Jose that’s got the fire to prove the doubters wrong and rebuild an image that’s been tarnished, especially by the United job. A Jose that’s talking like he won’t want to spend his way to success. A Jose that’s hopefully happy from the start – he always seemed to be miserable at Utd, looking for fights left, right and centre, whether it be with the media, the board, or his own players.
And there’s the thing, if the players take to him it should be successful – for now, at least. It’s not a difficult game and Jose knows he just needs to get the ball to Harry Kane and things should get better. Harry wasn’t getting the ball so much in these last few months under Poch.
Some players will relish playing under Jose, some obviously won’t. I would think Harry would. Jose likes a big fella up front and likes his players to feed the striker and well Harry is better than most he’s had.
Dier should be another who we should see back. The player hasn’t quite been the same player of late. Many blame the illnesses and injuries but he hasn’t been the same since Jose tapped him up going into the tunnel at old Trafford. Mourinho wanted him that summer, Dier maybe wanted to go, he didn’t and along with the hindrance of being managed by Roy Hodgson he just wasn’t the Dier that underpinned that defence in Poch’s best two league seasons.
Jose has talked previously about not wanting players who don’t want to stay. I do hope this means he won’t give the rats a chance to ingratiate themselves – yes, I’m looking at you Eriksen and Rose.
One thing that’ll really be different is substitutions. Players on the Spurs bench will need to be ready before the 60th minute. No more bringing the likes of Eriksen off after 87 minutes when he’s been absolutely useless, no, never mind the 60th minute, he’s getting the hook in the first half.
I like the fact that Jose has brought in a new face, Lille coach Joao Sacramento, as his assistant and it would probably help if his friend Luis Campos, also from Lille, came in as a director of football. Just imagine anyone could do with a buffer between themselves and Levy, even Jose.
Was there any other option than Jose? Even though Levy has wanted him for many years apparently Jose wasn’t first on his shortlist. Brendan Rogers was. Now I may have grown to dislike Mourinho but I’d rather put up with him than the Leicester leprechaun. Oh dear god. “We won the passing”. Leicester wouldn’t let him go this early into his stint there and he wouldn’t leave, thankfully.
According to reports other names on the shortlist were Julian Nagelsmann, you do feel the young German is more a Levy type of hire. Doing well at Leipzig but has only just joined them from Hoffenheim where he took them into the CL after saving them from relegation. Carlo Anchelotti. History of winning including the double at Chelsea , things have dropped off a bit at his current club, Napoli, so he might have been available. Eddie Howe. There’s a number of fans want Howe and I don’t know why. He’s the 2019 Alan Curbishley, ideal where he is but that’s his level. Max Allegri is available and has a decent record, managing Milan to their last league title and winning five straight with Juve but was Serie A a one horse town during that run? They tended to fall short in Europe.
In the end it’s all a wait and see exercise… beating Wet Spam in the first game on Saturday would be a good start, play well and some doubters might be placated… for a little while…