Spurs appoint Jose Mourinho: Without superclub baggage, Jose might prove he isn’t yesterday’s man

Jose Mourinho’s best work has generally come when he feels like he is working against the odds. Tottenham can benefit from that trait.

As football fans in the United Kingdom awoke bleary eyed to take in the Premier League story of the season, one word stood out in the statement announcing Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Tottenham’s head coach – a ghost of hubris past.

“I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters,” Mourinho said.

Heritage. Football heritage.

This was the subject of Mourinho’s self-pitying soliloquy in the aftermath of Manchester United’s limp Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Sevilla in March 2018.

A much-trumpeted union that returned two trophies in its first season was going south and Mourinho tried to circle the wagons.

During a 12-minute address where “heritage” was mentioned 10 times, his general point was he had been dealt a duff hand at United. Other rivals were better equipped, having spent more money more effectively to breed cultures of sustained success.

One of the flaws in his argument – there were a few – was the reality of him talking as the manager of Manchester United, the 20-time champions of England. He selected an £89.3million midfielder on the bench for the 2-1 loss to Sevilla at Old Trafford, where he trudged the technical area forlornly under the glare of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

Much as he would talk in reverent terms of his second-place in the Premier League that season, 19 points behind champions Manchester City, Mourinho failed at United.

Another press conference rant, where he exited the room demanding “respect” from those present, came after a 3-0 home loss to Spurs five months on from the Sevilla debacle. Mourinho was a man who had lost the thread and any notion of him succeeding Mauricio Pochettino, who so comprehensively bested him that night, felt beyond absurd at that moment.

 

Underdog, not top dog

Similarly, the 2011-12 LaLiga title triumph at Real Madrid took a heavy toll upon coach and squad alike, with his Santiago Bernabeu tenure concluding unsatisfactorily 12 months later. When in charge of greats of the game, clubs familiar with prolonged and recent success, Mourinho’s schtick came up short.

His greatest deeds played out in sharply contrasting circumstances.

No team outside Europe’s “big five” leagues had won the Champions League in the eight years before Mourinho masterminded Porto’s march to glory in 2003-04 and none have since.

Chelsea were flushed with Roman Abramovich’s riches but had not won an English championship since 1954-55. The self-proclaimed Special One delivered two in two seasons after arriving at Stamford Bridge as a freshly minted European champion.

Mourinho reacquainted himself with the continent’s big trophy at Inter. The 2009-10 Champions League was the Nerazzuri’s third win in the competition but first since 1964-65.

That triumph symbolically came at the Bernabeu, with the big job lying in wait for a man who had defined a decade in European club football. It concluded Mourinho’s imperial period.

The rancour and recriminations of the past nine years leads to an understandable conclusion Tottenham have appointed a downgrade on Pochettino, replacing one of football’s brightest contemporary minds with yesterday’s man.

But if anything should encourage tentative enthusiasm for the third act of Mourinho’s coaching career at the elite level, it is that Spurs bear more resemblance to the Porto, Chelsea and Inter teams he took hold of than Madrid or United.

Pochettino’s sustained excellent over the past five seasons in north London does not mean the scars of “Spursy”, “St Totteringham’s Day” and other mockery do not still sting a little for a club starved of trophy success. Spurs feels like a place where Mourinho can promise the world and demand everyone falls into line far more effectively than when in charge of a superclub.

Those are the jobs Mourinho aspires to – and probably the roles Pochettino will grace soon enough – but it is hard to escape the feeling he has always been better suited to the rung below, with a point to prove and the spite to fuel a siege mentality his men will buy into.

 

Alli as Lampard, Kane as Drogba?

So, what of that squad? That all important heritage.

It feels safe to say Mourinho is far happier with his lot than when he walked into Old Trafford. Not least because the likes of Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Harry Kane were all touted as United targets when he was in Manchester.

His best teams have featured a potent striker willing to work hard for the cause, hard running wingers and a goalscoring threat from attacking midfield. Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Dele Alli in tandem could feel instantly more “Mourinho” than anything he threw together at United.

Behind them, a combination of Dier and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele feel equipped to provide the power and control his most dominant engine rooms boasted.

As for an aging Tottenham defence, they will probably welcome the defensive line being dropped a touch deeper, in line with their new boss’ more reactive principles. Indeed, a squad featuring seasoned, maturing professionals arguably come under Mourinho’s charge at the right time – no longer the all-action, do-or-die tyros who served Pochettino so well until recently.

“It’s a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels happiness in relation to the squad that he’s going to have,” a suited and smiling Mourinho told Spurs TV. The smile won’t last over the course of a three-and-a-half year contract – it never does – but in the meantime, he might just have found the right place to earn a little more of that respect he craves.

Spurs appoint Mourinho: Jose Mourinho replacing Mauricio Pochettino at the ‘perfect time’, says ex-Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara

Jamie O’Hara has backed former club Tottenham’s decision to replace Mauricio Pochettino with perennial title winner Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho is replacing Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham head coach at the ‘perfect time’, according to former midfielder Jamie O’Hara.

Ex-Manchester United boss Mourinho was appointed by Tottenham on Wednesday, around 12 hours on from Pochettino’s five-and-a-half-year tenure being brought to an end.

The Argentinian was sacked on the back of a poor run of form that has left the club 14th in the Premier League, which O’Hara believes is an indication that change was needed.

“I think it was the right time to go,” he told Omnisport. “We’ve been struggling, the form hasn’t been great. I think we’ve got 24 points from 25 games. We’ve not been good in the league.

“The form hasn’t been good. The Champions League final overshadowed a lot last season in terms of the way we were playing. I think they just looked at it and thought it’s time to move on.

 

“The squad wasn’t getting the reaction you’d normally get and it was one of those moments where you thought, you’ve taken us as far as you can and now let’s move on.”

Pochettino guided Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes in the Premier League and reached the Champions League final in June, where they lost 2-0 to Liverpool.

However, the 47-year-old – tipped to take over at Bayern Munich – did not win any silverware during his time in north London and O’Hara thinks that will change under his successor.

“Poch is going to go on to a massive job. He’s not going to be out of work for long,” said O’Hara, who spent eight years on Tottenham’s books before leaving in 2011.

“He’s had a good pay-off, he’s had a fantastic time here, his stock is high, he will go to another massive football club.

“There’s no-one better in the world at winning trophies than Jose Mourinho. If you talked five years ago about Mourinho coming to Spurs, you probably would have laughed at us because we would never have been able to attract a manager like that.

 

“To be able to attract a manager that’s won everything in the game is an incredible feat.

“To get him over the line, it’s the perfect time for him to take over, the club will kick on now, we’ll move on, he’ll bring his own stamp in and I think you’re going to see Spurs competing for trophies very, very soon.”

Mourinho, a three-time Premier League title winner with Chelsea, had been out of work for 11 months since being axed by United.

O’Hara is confident the Portuguese will be financially backed by chairman Daniel Levy and expects Tottenham’s defence to be completely rejuvenated in the coming months.

“I think he’ll have money, for sure. I think he definitely wouldn’t have taken this job if there wasn’t a good budget,” O’Hara added.

“I think he’s got a good squad now where he can galvanise the squad to try and get us up the table. Once January comes, I think you’ll be looking at a whole new back four.

“I think he’s going to bring in a left-back, a right-back and a centre-half. Mourinho’s teams, when they’ve won trophies and dominated, had the best back four you could ever ask for, and I think that’s now where he’s going to put all his money.”

Spurs appoint Jose Mourinho: Jose hails Spurs squad and ‘best stadium in the world’ in first interview

Tottenham have a squad and youth system to be proud of, along with the best stadium in the world, says Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho “couldn’t be happier” with his inheritance from Mauricio Pochettino as he prepares to lead Tottenham at “the best stadium in the world”.

Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho was appointed as Spurs’ new head coach on Wednesday, concluding a whirlwind 11-hour period that began with Pochettino’s shock sacking.

Having railed against the resources at his disposal as his Old Trafford tenure turned sour, the 57-year-old spoke warmly of a Spurs squad languishing in 14th position in the Premier League this term.

“I couldn’t be happier and if I was not as happy as I am I wouldn’t be here,” Mourinho said in an interview with Spurs TV.

“What can I promise? Passion for my job but also passion for my club. It’s a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels that happiness in relation to the squad that he’s going to have.

“These are not words of the moment. They are not words of me being the Tottenham head coach. These are words that I told and repeated in the past three, four, five years – even as an opponent.

“I always told about the club’s potential, I always told about the qualities of the players, I always told the magnificent work the club was doing.”

A reluctance to promote young talent from within has been a criticism frequently levelled at Mourinho throughout a decorated career, although he suggested a Tottenham youth system that has produced first-team regulars such as Harry Kane and Harry Winks will give him the tools he requires.

“I really like this squad and looking to the younger players, there is not one manager in the world that doesn’t like to play young players and help young players to develop,” he said.

“The problem is that sometimes you get into clubs where the work that is below you is not good enough to produce these players.

“I look to our history and the academy is always giving the talents that the first team need. Of course, I look forward to working with that profile.”

A trip to face West Ham and old adversary Manuel Pellegrini is up first for Mourinho this weekend, before back-to-back games against Olympiacos and Bournemouth at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – a gleaming stage he cannot wait to grace.

“When you say beautiful stadium, you are too humble. You have to say the best stadium in the world,” he said.

“I think that is the reality. The training ground is second to none. It probably can only be compared with some American fooball training grounds.

“You cannot compare with European football at any level and I have been in the majority of the best places.

“It is impossible to compare anything, the same is the stadium. I think it’s something that has to make us all very, very proud.”

On Tottenham’s current lowly standing, Mourinho added: “In the Premier League, we know where we are and we know we don’t belong there.

“We should just play match after match, the next match we want to win and that’s the same about the next and the next and the next until the last.

“At the end of the season we will see where we are, but I know that we are going to be in a different position than we are now.”

FIFA 20: Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard form thrilling front three in FUT TOTW

Wednesday’s FUT Team of the Week includes a host of attacking stars, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard.

Cristiano Ronaldo has made FIFA Ultimate Team’s latest Team of the Week after moving onto 99 international goals for Portugal.

Juventus superstar Ronaldo is closing on Ali Daei’s all-time world record of 109 after another four goals in the international break.

Ronaldo hit a ruthless hat-trick against Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying, before netting again against Luxembourg to nudge towards three figures.

He is joined in a thrilling FUT front three by Harry Kane and Eden Hazard.

Kane ended the qualifying campaign having netted in all eight matches, hitting 12 goals in total as the competition’s leading scorer.

Hazard is struggling for Real Madrid but scored twice in Belgium’s win at Russia, while midfielders Toni Kroos and John McGinn were rewarded for their own goalscoring exploits.

Nicolas Otamendi, often seen as a liability at Manchester City, earned a place with his performances for Argentina.

We take a look at the latest squad in full below.

FUT TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) – 86

CB: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City) – 85

CB: Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 82

RB: Stefan Lainer (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 81

CM: Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid) – 84

CM: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) – 89

LM: Ole Kristian Selnaes (Shenzhen FC) – 81

CAM : John McGinn (Aston Villa) – 84

LW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Piemonte Calcio) – 94

LF: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) – 92

ST: Harry Kane (Tottenham) – 91

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Andre Onana (Ajax) – 84

LB: Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 81

RW: Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma) – 80

RM: Robert Skov (Hoffenheim) – 81

RW: Gerard Moreno (Villarreal) – 86

ST: Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – 83

ST: Teemu Pukki (Norwich City) – 81

RESERVES

CB: Scott Wharton (Northampton Town) – 74

CDM: Alex Kral (Spartak Moscow) – 80

ST: Famara Diedhiou (Bristol City) – 79

ST: Victor Osimhen (Lille) – 80

LW: Duvan Vergara (America de Cali) – 76

5 times Jose Mourinho insulted Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham confirmed Jose Mourinho as their new manager earlier in the day, in spite of the Portugese having some some less-than-complimentary things to say about his new employers in the past. FOX Sports Asia looks up the pages.

 1. “Yeah, but they didn’t have that song when we beat them at Wembley a couple of months ago, that final they had a big dream to go, a title they had a big dream to win, because they don’t win many.”

New Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho

In the aftermath of Manchester United’s 3-0 defeat to Spurs that kick-started the unraveling of his time at Old Trafford, ‘Ze’, as Mourinho is fondly called, was questioned about the “you’re not so special anymore” chants aimed at him by the Spurs’s supporters.

In typical fashion, he retorted with a cleverly aimed jibe of his own – reminding them how his United team had ended their trophy hopes in the FA Cup just a few months before.

2. “As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal.” 

One of the first reported instances of Mourinho taking a shot at Spurs was not very long after taking over Chelsea in his first spell at the club.

Clearly frustrated at Spurs’s defensive set-up against his Chelsea team, Mourinho coined the now infamous ‘park-the-bus’ phrase, which ironically has been attributed to him as much as anyone else ever since.

“I’m really frustrated because there was only one team looking to win, they only came not to concede – it’s not fair for the football we played.”, he said, perhaps not knowing he would have to pull off similar tactics many a time.

3. “ I couldn’t go, No, because I love Chelsea supporters too much. I’m Chelsea.”

Reports: Jose Mourinho keen on joining Premier League club despite Real Madrid interest

While not an insult per-se, Mourinho certainly made his preference known well before time. Ahead of Chelsea’s League Cup final against Tottenham in 2015, their then-manager revealed he had turned the North London club down after his first spell in the Premier League, out of love for the Chelsea supporters.

Whether owing to a lack of options or otherwise, the 360 degree turn of events shows just how fast things can change in football.

4. “Other players getting more money than them, other players getting more titles, look to Kyle Walker winning trophies, looking to the possibility to play for Real Madrid, for Barcelona, for Paris Saint-Germain. Maybe in this moment the team is not that focused family full of chemistry.”

 

Not even 3 months has passed since the new Spurs manager last criticised their team. Ahead of the North London derby, he cast a doubt over the team’s motivation – saying the players had their heads turned.

Some by money, some by the lure of bigger clubs, but a lack of motivation nonetheless. One cannot help but wonder what he plans to do about that.

5. “He [Harry Kane] was hidden all the time.”

 

Last on the list comes a comment on Harry Kane, after Tottenham’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League final. The Spurs boss, then working as a pundit, made his feelings on Kane’s performance clear as daylight.

While there was truth in his statement, such a brutal assessment when something subtle would have sufficed was trademark Jose Mourinho.

 

Spurs appoint Jose Mourinho: Oliver Skipp, Troy Parrott… Maurizio Pochettino – Tottenham talents for Jose to watch

The talent within Tottenham’s academy helped tempt Jose Mourinho to take up the job. We look at five young Spurs stars he might consider.

Jose Mourinho has been appointed as Tottenham’s new head coach, returning to the Premier League in place of the sacked Mauricio Pochettino.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss will be tasked with turning around Spurs’ fortunes in the Premier League, as they lie a concerning 14th heading into the weekend.

However, as well as those short-term issues, it appears Mourinho is keen to ensure Tottenham continue to bring players through from their academy – following in the footsteps of Harry Kane and Harry Winks.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me,” Mourinho said on Wednesday. “Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

The Portuguese has been criticised for his failure to make the most of young talents at previous clubs, but there are certainly some players on Tottenham’s books that should intrigue the new coach.

We pick out five Spurs prospects Mourinho may have his eye on.

KYLE WALKER-PETERS

Now 22, Walker-Peters has 12 Premier League appearances to his name, but having seen Kieran Trippier depart for Atletico Madrid, many feel the versatile full-back should have featured more under Pochettino this season. Serge Aurier was preferred at right-back but has consistently floundered, meaning Mourinho might have to turn to Walker-Peters sooner rather than later.

TASHAN OAKLEY-BOOTHE

Midfielder Oakley-Boothe appeared to have the world at his feet in 2017. He was named on the bench for a Premier League game in August, played in the EFL Cup the following month and then won the Under-17 World Cup with England in October. But Oakley-Boothe has not featured for the Tottenham first team since, with injuries hindering his progress. There is talent there if Mourinho can prevent further drift.

OLIVER SKIPP

While Oakley-Boothe has got backwards, Skipp – seven months his junior – has stepped into the void. The 19-year-old started in a pair of Premier League wins last season and was in the matchday squad for both legs of the Champions League semi-final epic against Ajax. The team’s woes have limited his involvement this term, but Skipp is still on the way up.

TROY PARROTT

As news broke of negotiations between Spurs and Mourinho, reports emerged Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich were targeting Parrott. The 17-year-old has already been capped by the Republic of Ireland, but his Tottenham deal is up in 2021. Mourinho must quickly assess the teenage marksman and urge the club to act to avoid another contract debacle.

MAURIZIO POCHETTINO

While one Pochettino has departed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mauricio’s son Maurizio remains for now. The time has come for academy winger Pochettino Jr to prove he deserves to be at Spurs in his own right. He may find a supporter in Mourinho, though, whose own son Zuca has struggled to make the grade as a goalkeeper.

Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic back in full Manchester United training

Manchester United's Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic are all nearing a return to action as Manchester United prepare for Sheffield United.

Manchester United have been boosted by the return of trio Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic to full training.

United visit Sheffield United on Sunday following the international break, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men chase back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since March.

The return of first-choice left-back Shaw comes as a big boost, the England international having been out with a hamstring injury since August.

Tuanzebe was one of the players tasked with filling the void on the left side of the defence but he too is only now back in the frame after a hip injury forced him out of the warm-up before the match against Liverpool last month.

Teenage defender Brandon Williams has impressed at left-back in the meantime.

United could also soon have Matic back involved. He has not played since the start of October but rejoins the fold as midfield colleague Scott McTominay battles an ankle issue.

Mauricio Pochettino a ‘top coach’ – Bayern Munich defender Joshua Kimmich

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Bayern Munich have been linked to Mauricio Pochettino, a coach admired by Joshua Kimmich.

Joshua Kimmich gave a strong endorsement of Mauricio Pochettino’s coaching ability after the rumoured Bayern Munich target departed Tottenham.

Spurs brought Pochettino’s well-regarded stint in charge to an abrupt end on Tuesday, dismissing the man who led them to the Champions League final following a poor start to the new season.

The development could have ramifications in Bavaria, where the Argentinian is said to be held in high regard.

Bayern were reportedly interested in Pochettino even before they parted company with head coach Niko Kovac at the beginning of November and could now pursue him as a free agent.

The Bundesliga champions have entrusted Hansi Flick with overseeing the team until the end of 2019 but have not committed to a long-term appointment.

“I do not know if he is a candidate for us,” Kimmich told reporters when asked about Pochettino after Germany’s win over Northern Ireland in Euro 2020 qualifying.

“What you can say is that Tottenham were fighting at the top for years. They have had huge consistency.

“He’s a top coach, but I do not know if he’s an option for us.”

 

Flick has won each of his two matches since taking charge on an interim basis, the second a 4-0 thrashing of Der Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last week said: “We decided that he will be coach at least until Christmas and possibly beyond. We trust Hansi Flick.”

Bayern have reportedly identified Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Tuchel as their preferred candidates but would likely struggle to prise either coach away from their clubs before the end of the season.

Jose Mourinho had also been linked with the Bavarian club, but he was appointed Pochettino’s successor at Spurs on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino to Arsenal? Why not, says Harry Redknapp

Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino

Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is being tipped for a controversial move across north London by Harry Redknapp.

Harry Redknapp believes there is enough of a precedent to make Mauricio Pochettino moving to Arsenal a genuine possibility.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham on Tuesday with Jose Mourinho named as his successor around 12 hours later in a remarkable turn of events.

And with Unai Emery struggling at Arsenal, former Spurs boss Redknapp refused to discount the possibility of Argentine Pochettino making a controversial move across north London.

He told talkSPORT: “With Pochettino going from Tottenham, there will be one or two Premier League managers waking up this morning thinking, ‘Oh my god, this ain’t too clever’.

“And there will be one or two chairmen very excited thinking if there’s any way they could get him in. What a signing he’d be.

“There are clubs in London who are having a terrible time. Why shouldn’t he go to Arsenal if he wants to? You think the Arsenal fans wouldn’t love him there?

“It happens in football. Sol Campbell went from Tottenham to Arsenal, George Graham did it, Terry Neill did it, Pat Jennings, one of our greatest goalkeepers in history, even he made the change.

“It can happen, as long as you can do the job. I would have thought Arsenal will be looking at Pochettino now thinking, ‘Could we? Can we?'”

Pochettino is likely to have the pick of several of Europe’s top clubs after guiding Spurs to last season’s Champions League final with Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester United having all been suggested as potential destinations over recent months.

Spurs appoint Mourinho: Five key dates in Jose Mourinho’s diary

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho is back in English football with Tottenham and will already be looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.

Jose Mourinho was on Wednesday named Mauricio Pochettino’s successor at Tottenham.

It’s a remarkable return to English football for one of the game’s most successful, and controversial, managers.

A quick look at the fixture list shows the Portuguese will have to hit the ground running if he is to turn Spurs’ season around – the north London side are 14th heading into the weekend clash at West Ham, 11 points adrift of a Champions League spot.

After the cross-capital clash on Saturday, Mourinho will have to plot a route through a congested fixture list that also sees clashes with some old friends and foes.

A DERBY DATE FOR STARTERS – WEST HAM (A), SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

Fittingly, Mourinho opens his Tottenham tenure against a West Ham team managed by someone he has clashed with previously.

Mourinho fired a succession of barbs at Manuel Pellegrini after succeeding him as Real Madrid boss in 2010, repeatedly and deliberately calling him “Pellegrino” before claiming “if they [Real] get rid of me, I will go to a big club in the Premier League or Serie A,” when Pellegrini went to Malaga.

Further verbals were traded when the pair were at Chelsea and Manchester City respectively, and there is no doubt Mourinho would relish the opportunity to push his rival closer towards the sack.

West Ham have not won in six Premier League games and suffered a humiliating 4-0 thumping at League One side Oxford United in the EFL Cup in September.

AN EARLY GREEK TRAGEDY? – OLYMPIACOS (H), TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26

Spurs may have struggled domestically this season, but it has been a different story in the Champions League and victory over the Greek side will guarantee them a place in the knock-out stages.

Pochettino guided the club to their first Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool, an amazing feat Mourinho will do well to replicate.

He could not ask for better opponents for his first home game, however. Olympiacos prop up Group B having taken just one point from their four games – against Spurs in Piraeus – while conceding 10 goals in the process.

OLD TRAFFORD RETURN – MANCHESTER UNITED (A), WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4

It will be fascinating to see what kind of reception Mourinho receives when he takes Tottenham to Manchester United.

While the Portuguese regularly flagged his achievements before arriving at Old Trafford, his two-and-a-half-year spell in Manchester was mixed.

He claimed EFL Cup and Europa League titles, but it was a reign characterised by acrimony with key players in his squad.

His successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also struggled and Mourinho will see this as a wonderful opportunity to make a statement.

A PRE-CHRISTMAS CRACKER – CHELSEA (H), SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22

Mourinho faces another of his former clubs when Chelsea visit Tottenham Hotspur Stadium three days before Christmas.

The 56-year-old enjoyed enormous success across two spells at Stamford Bridge but was roundly jeered on his last visit with Manchester United.

In response, Mourinho held up three figures to signify the number of Premier League titles he won with the club, in addition to an FA Cup success.

If the love affair was on the rocks then, Mourinho’s move to Chelsea’s London rivals means it is now officially over.

HOLA PEP! – MANCHESTER CITY (H), SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1

Two of the game’s most successful managers – and perennial rivals – over the past 10 years, Guardiola and Mourinho continue to slug it out at the highest level.

From undignified rows when at Real Madrid and Barcelona to a more peaceful co-habitation of Manchester, the latest chapter promises to be equally engaging.

By early February, City will likely be in the title race while Spurs’ push for a top-four finish could be in full swing.

Either way, this promises to be another intriguing encounter.

Spurs appoint Mourinho: Tracing the Special One’s highs and lows

La Liga, English, Chelsea, Serie A, News, Tottenham Hotspur, Features, Premier League, Manchester United, Football, UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid, Porto, Internazionale, Jose Mourinho,

Back in the Premier League and with a point to prove, we look back on the peaks and troughs of Jose Mourinho’s colourful managerial career.

Jose Mourinho has been given a shot at Premier League redemption with Tottenham.

Almost a year on from his acrimonious exit from Manchester United, the two-time Champions League winner has an unexpected chance to prove his best work is not confined to the past.

As the Special One aims to rise again, we reflect on the highs and lows of a managerial career full of highlights and high drama.

HIGHS

Upstaging the elite with Porto

Mourinho made his name at Porto, where he orchestrated perhaps the most unlikely Champions League triumph of the 21st century. Deco and Ricardo Carvalho were among the stars of the side that overcame future employers United, Lyon and Deportivo La Coruna en route to a meeting with Monaco in Gelsenkirchen. An emphatic 3-0 win secured Mourinho the continent’s most coveted trophy in just his second full season in charge and laid the foundation for a silver-tinged future.


Tripletta treat

Inter snapped up Mourinho in June 2008, less than a year on from his initial split with Chelsea. It proved a perfect marriage of two tempestuous forces. After cantering to the Scudetto at the first attempt, Mourinho set his sights on guiding the Nerazzurri to greater heights in 2009-10. He did that and then some. Inter pipped Roma to the title, won the Coppa Italia and, after stunning Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals, Mourinho scaled Europe’s highest peak for the second time, a 2-0 defeat of Bayern Munich crowning a magnificent treble.

Madrid make history

Mourinho’s decision to depart San Siro for the Santiago Bernabeu brought little immediate success as Real Madrid claimed only the Copa del Rey in an underwhelming 2010-11 campaign. Cristiano Ronaldo had grander plans and his 46 goals the following season fired Los Blancos to a LaLiga title, their one and only under Mourinho. Most impressive was the team’s final tally of 100 points, at the time a LaLiga record.

The best of the rest

In a January 2019 interview with beIN SPORTS, Mourinho suggested some would call him “crazy” for regarding a second-place finish with United as one of his greatest achievements. On reflection, it seems a reasonable assertion. United might have finished 19 points adrift of champions Manchester City in 2017-18 but now, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggling to cobble together a team fit for Europe, finishing above Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal appears an admirable feat.

LOWS

Chelsea return ruined

Parting ways with Chelsea once must have been painful enough for a manager who won worldwide recognition in his first Premier League job. To leave in ignominious circumstances a second time surely rankles among his greatest regrets. The Blues described Mourinho as a “much-loved, respected and significant figure” after relieving him of his duties in December 2015 but it was clear that not all held the same affection for him. Mourinho suggested he felt “betrayed” by his players amid a miserable beginning to their title defence, leaving a stain on his Stamford Bridge legacy.

Problems with Pogba

Mourinho arrived at United at the same time as Paul Pogba and together the pair were supposed to lead a renaissance. Instead, they became caught in a vortex of middling results and worse relations. Mourinho’s failure to extract the best from Pogba on the pitch, and their frosty exchanges off it, portrayed a manager unable to elevate top-class talent. His treatment of Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial attracted further criticism and echoed the sort of strained relationships that were apparent in Madrid, Mourinho having notably not seen eye to eye with Iker Casillas.

Down and out at United

Never before his exit from Old Trafford had Mourinho departed a club without winning a league title. Several were expected when he took charge of the Red Devils in 2016 and, though the resources of neighbours City reframed the standard measure of success, trophies in the EFL Cup and Europa League fell short of the brief. Mourinho stakes his reputation on winning major honours, not friends, yet he left with few of either when United called time on his reign almost 12 months ago. A playing style deemed unacceptable by supporters only contributed to the sense that the new Tottenham boss squandered an opportunity he keenly coveted. He will hope to avoid a repeat.

Spurs appoint Jose Mourinho: ‘Specialist in failure’, eye-pokes and Mourinho’s best fall-outs

Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte

Jose Mourinho has made a sensational return to the Premier League with Tottenham, but it is unlikely to be a smooth ride.

Jose Mourinho has proven a successful, and controversial figure, during his long managerial career.

Trophies have been plentiful, as have confrontations with rival managers.

There have been clashes in Italy, Spain and England as the former Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United has made waves throughout Europe.

Here, we look back at five of Mourinho’s most heated moments.

“Demenza senile”

Premier League managers having a go at each other is nothing new, but it felt like Antonio Conte and Mourinho crossed a line in the 2017-18 season. Mourinho appeared to implicate Conte when he suggested counterparts act like “clowns” on the touchline, with the Italian often running into the crowd to celebrate Chelsea goals.

From there, the row quickly escalated. Conte hit back, suggesting Mourinho was suffering from “demenza senile”, which translates as senile dementia. Mourinho famously ran down the touchline at Old Trafford when Porto scored a key Champions League winner, but Conte had gone too far and Chelsea quickly clarified that he meant “amnesia”.

Having successfully provoked Conte, Mourinho blamed the media for the whole affair and referenced match-fixing allegations made against Siena during Conte’s time in charge. The former Italy boss served a ban but was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Conte then called Mourinho a “little man” and suggested he would seek to meet his rival “in a room” to sort out their difficulties.

Poking Tito Vilanova in the eye

It was assumed that Pep Guardiola and Mourinho would renew their old rivalry when the pair were appointed by Manchester City and United respectively in 2016, but the row never boiled over.

The closest they have come to fireworks was a clash in the Old Trafford tunnel following City’s 2-1 win in the Manchester derby in December 2017. Mourinho allegedly went to the away dressing room to complain over the volume of City’s celebrations, only for a melee to ensue. Guardiola was not present at the time and Mourinho later blamed a “diversity in education” between the two Manchester squads for the fracas.

Mourinho and Guardiola go way back, with the Portuguese believing he should have been appointed by Barcelona before they moved for their former player. Later, while in charge of Real Madrid, Mourinho saw his side thrashed 5-0 at Camp Nou, while he was sent off for gouging the eye of Guardiola’s assistant, Tito Vilanova, during the 2011 Supercopa de Espana. Mourinho also suggested Guardiola’s Barcelona won the 2010-11 Champions League by virtue of generous refereeing.

Wenger a ‘specialist in failure’

That Mourinho seemingly lost interest in rowing with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was probably a sign of how far the Gunners eventually fell under the veteran Frenchman. Mourinho no longer saw Wenger as a rival. It was not always the case, though, as Wenger was the subject of one of the 56-year-old’s most famous rants, when he called the Arsenal manager a “specialist in failure”.

Mourinho’s Chelsea were a point clear of the Gunners atop the Premier League table in February 2014 when the Portuguese hit out at a long trophy-less wait for the Gunners. “If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back,” Mourinho said.

Back in 2005, Wenger was called a “voyeur” by Mourinho. “He likes to watch other people,” he said. “There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”

“I don’t want to win the Europa League”

Mourinho has often had a problem with managers who succeeded him at clubs, with Rafael Benitez drawing his ire on multiple occasions.

After Mourinho left Inter, Benitez took over and claimed the Club World Cup with the Serie A side. “I thought he was going to thank me for the title I gave him,” said the ex-Porto boss.

Benitez took charge of Chelsea briefly between Mourinho’s two spells at Stamford Bridge, leading the Blues to Europa League glory. “I don’t want to win the Europa League,” Mourinho said. “It would be a big disappointment for me.”

Mourinho had obviously changed his tune by 2017, when winning the Europa League earned Manchester United a route into the Champions League.

Parking the bus

At United, Mourinho’s team were often accused of ‘parking the bus’, which is ironic as he is credited with introducing the phrase to English football.

After a 0-0 draw against Tottenham in 2004 during his first Chelsea spell, Mourinho said: “As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal.”

And after Inter knocked out Barca on the way to the Champions League title in 2010, Mourinho extended the metaphor further.

“We won the tie in Barcelona, but everyone talks about Barcelona winning and says we parked the bus in front of the goal,” said Mourinho. “We didn’t park the bus, we parked the plane.”

Harry Kane thanks Mauricio Pochettino for making his ‘dreams’ come true

Harry Kane and Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino was sacked as Tottenham manager on Tuesday, with captain Harry Kane writing a heartfelt tribute to the coach.

Tottenham captain Harry Kane thanked Mauricio Pochettino for helping him realise his dreams following the Argentinian’s sacking.

Spurs sprung a surprise on Tuesday when they announced Pochettino’s five-and-a-half-year spell as manager had been ended.

Pochettino had enjoyed a fine spell at the club, transforming them into top-four regulars and taking Spurs to their first Champions League final last season, ultimately losing 2-0 to Liverpool.

But after a difficult start to the new campaign, claiming just 14 points from their first 12 matches, chairman Daniel Levy made a drastic decision, with Spurs confirming Jose Mourinho as their new manager on Wednesday.

 

There remains plenty of respect for Pochettino in the Spurs dressing room, however, with skipper Kane the latest to pay tribute to ex-Southampton boss.

“Gaffer. I’ll be forever thankful to you for helping me achieve my dreams,” Kane wrote on his official Twitter account.

“We’ve had some amazing moments in the last five and a half years that I will never forget.

“You were my manager but my friend as well and I thank you for that relationship. Good luck with your next chapter!”

Spurs appoint Jose Mourinho: A risk worth taking for Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford

Tottenham confirmed the appointment of Jose Mourinho, who is taking a risk that is worth it.

Jose Mourinho is taking a risk by accepting the Tottenham job, and why not?

Spurs confirmed the appointment of Mourinho as head coach on Wednesday, a day after announcing the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino following five-and-a-half years in charge.

A serial winner, the Portuguese tactician has the job of lifting Tottenham from 14th in the Premier League, although they are just three points off fifth spot.

Still, while a return to London for the former Chelsea manager is an opportunity, it also shapes as a risk after his mixed spell at Manchester United. Already facing questions, perhaps unfairly, over his ability, Mourinho joins at a troublesome time for Spurs, arguably the smallest club he has managed since leaving Porto.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has got his man, but Mourinho will want funds – and soon – to strengthen the squad. Levy is a tough negotiator but will need to loosen his demands to get Tottenham, and Mourinho, what they want and need.

 

Mourinho – appointed until the end of the 2022-23 season – must also deal with a trio of stars in Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld being out of contract at season’s end.

All three – as well as star forward Harry Kane – have been linked with moves away from Tottenham and Mourinho will face a huge test in trying to replace them should they decide to leave a club without a trophy since the 2008 EFL Cup.

Though Mourinho suggested just last month when working as a pundit for Sky Sports that he would have shown the likes of Eriksen the door already.

“I don’t like to keep players that don’t want to stay at the club,” he said. “I think it’s always really difficult. I am not thinking about the economical perspective, I mean from a motivational point of view.

“We [Chelsea] sold Robben to Real Madrid, Chelsea didn’t want to or need the money. But he didn’t want to be there and wanted to go. There are some moments where motivation affects performance and it is difficult to keep players happy when they have other dreams.”

Mourinho’s volatile nature may not make his marriage with Spurs a perfect match, but with great risk can come great reward.

For all the questions over whether his pragmatic approach can still work as the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool dominate, Mourinho gets a chance to prove it does – or at least show he is adaptable and begin to match the all-conquering duo.

Mourinho has enough credits – 25 trophies to be exact – to know there will be other opportunities should his Spurs move go wrong, but just where – and who would be willing to take a risk on him – is another matter entirely.

If his time at Spurs ends as badly as it did at Old Trafford, however, Mourinho is unlikely to be back at any of the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ soon, meaning he would almost certainly have to turn his attentions to another country.

This may be a risk for Mourinho, but it is one he needs to take.