Can José Mourinho Turn It Around At Tottenham Hotspur?6 min read
In the space of 24 hours, Tottenham fans have seen their beloved manager, Mauricio Pochettino, depart the club, and José Mourinho brought in to steer the ship to safer shores.
Such has been the revival of Spurs under Pochettino that the club are now on a level where they can attract a world-class manager in the Portuguese coach. Fans of the North London club will be torn over the decision whether it was right or wrong to relieve the Argentine of his duties, and an even bigger divide will occur in answer to the question of if Mourinho is the right man to replace him.
The former Manchester United manager has a very specific way of managing and likes to take full control of first-team affairs – including transfers. This was part of a major stumbling block during his time at Old Trafford, with executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, intervening when he thought necessary.
At Tottenham, Daniel Levy, the club’s chairman, holds the power and is a notoriously strict negotiator who does not bend the rules for anybody. Of course, both men will have all information possible on the other and are not entering into this partnership blind, but it makes for interesting viewing in the next 12 months as to how José Mourinho copes with another club official having the final say on transfers.
Part of Pochettino’s undoing at Tottenham came through a lack of investment into the first-team.
Famed for being the only club in Europe’s top five leagues for not investing a single penny in either transfer window during the 2018/19 season, the Argentine still managed to reach a Champions League final and secure a top-four position.
Speaking as a Sky Sports pundit back in September, new Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho analysed the problems at what is now his new club Tottenham Hotspur and how they can fix them:
"That was my feeling. Perfect chemistry."
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) November 21, 2019
And so it will be interesting to see if funds are released for Mourinho to spend anywhere near the sums he had done at Manchester United, or whether Levy will continue down this road of being sensible with wage expenditure and transfer outlays.
Mourinho has already expressed his delight with the status of his current squad, although he will have to make a swift and strong decision regarding the futures of Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, all of whom wanted away in the summer and will be looking ahead to the January transfer window.
The Portuguese manager has always favoured the physically astute and dominantly superior player, hence bringing in the likes of Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matić and Romelu Lukaku while at the Red Devils. He will be entering a dressing room with a similar ilk of player which he will feel comfortable with.
— Hotspur Lane (@HotspurLane) November 21, 2019
Wherever Mourinho goes there will be doubters and critics, but there is a genuine sense of optimism that he has acknowledged his faults and can move forward into the modern day of coaching. This is backed up by the arrival of Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos from Lille – coming in as assistant head coach and goalkeeping coach respectively – as well as various other analysts he has worked with before.
Mourinho is an incredibly smart man that knows his days are numbered at the elite level unless he tweaks his philosophy and adapts. Time will be needed to assert his dominance over this squad and bring in a number of players that are a necessity, but the overall foundations are there for the serial winner to succeed.
The club are craving a manager to come in and win them their first trophy since the League Cup in 2008 under Juande Ramos, and José Mourinho has all the credentials throughout his career to suggest, while also being the underdogs as he so clearly loves to be, he can achieve this with the Lilywhites.