A Rejuvenated Jose Mourinho Has Tottenham Fans Dreaming Again

After a year in charge at Tottenham Hotspur, boss Jose Mourinho has taken the North London club to the summit of the Premier League.

I don’t think anyone, save perhaps Jose himself, would’ve thought this possible.

Yes they’ve always had a talented squad and should have been able to compete for top honours on a consistent basis.

Former manager Mauricio Pochettino seemed to have got Spurs to the brink and was getting a lot from that talented squad. But after a second placed finish in the league and an unsuccessful Champions League final, things went into a decline and Poch and his players had hit a glass ceiling.

Now there’s no doubting Jose’s successes in his CV but there has been more lows than highs since 2012. With major fall-outs being reported at Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Many a football fan and pundit have all questioned whether football had now left Mourinho behind.

Could he evolve as a tactician? Can he get the most out of modern players without losing a dressing room?

Things at Tottenham didn’t start off with a huge bang and some inconsistent results and performances followed his arrival.

But things markedly changed after lockdown as Spurs returned fitter and more together as they finished in sixth place.

Mourinho’s dedication to the job couldn’t be questioned after lockdown either. He and his coaching staff decided to stay as a bubble at the club’s training ground, planning for whatever the future held. Jose and some of his players were caught breaking lockdown rules by training as a group in a public park. They would also hold regular zoom meetings with the whole squad.

At the start of this term, Spurs were found wanting as Everton came down to London and played the home team off the park. People once again questioned the Portuguese coach and his ability to get the most out of this Tottenham Hotspur pool.

Yet since that disappointing start, The Lilywhites have gone unbeaten in the English top flight (Notching up six wins and two draws).

They have humbled Man United at Old Trafford as Jose guided his new team to a 6-1 win over his old employers. Then yesterday, Spurs tactically outclassed Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City (BBC Match Report).

It was a performance that showed that Jose could still put on a masterclass. He played to his team’s strengthens while also exploiting to his opponent’s weaknesses.

Tottenham were compact in the middle and would often double up on the wings, often frustrating Man City. Moussa Sissoko and Serge Aurier were particularly disciplined and deserve praise for their tireless work-rate.

Spurs have looked particularly exciting when in the final third. The attacking partnership of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min has been absolutely sensational this term.

Unlike in previous campaigns, South Korean internationalist Son has been the main goal-getter having struck nine times in nine league appearances. Kane on the other hand has scored a very credible seven goals but more interestingly the England captain has also created nine assists.

Harry has often dropped deep this season, receiving the ball and playing in Son as the Korean would run into the space that Kane had vacated.

Defences have struggled to get hold of this duo. They now know Kane can be a threat anywhere in their half and that sees centre-backs often leaving comfortable areas. Heung-Min’s intelligent and industrious runs are then hard to pick up and instantly read. You’ve got to believe Mourinho has worked on this and it’s working wonders thus far.

The club’s summer signings have also worked well in quickly integrating themselves and doing jobs for the team.

Left-back Sergio Reguilón is very capable of attacking from his flank and the Spaniard also showed against City that he can defend too.

Former Southampton man Pierre-Emile Hølberg has added extra steel into the midfield. No player bettered the Dane’s tally of five tackles in the win over City.

Vinicius has still to score but the striker has been mostly used in the Europa League and he has looked decent in those outings. He’ll probably have to wait until Kane’s usual seasonal injury before we can really judge his ability in the league.

Spurs fans already know what Gareth Bale can bring to the party. He already seems hungrier playing back in a White Spurs shirt and he scored the winning goal in his side’s win over Brighton. The fitter he can get the more dangerous he’ll become. That could see another game changer on the field of play. Importantly Bale has returned a player with vast winning experiences.

This early season form, the strong summer signings and Jose Mourinho’s previous winning experiences have added a new lease of life to the dreams of the Tottenham support.

The manager himself has been quick to downplay any exceptions of title success this term:

People cannot expect us to come here and after one season we are fighting for the title.’

‘We are not fighting for the title, we are just fighting to win every match.

Via The Metro

Mourinho doesn’t want any more pressure being added to his unproven squad. He’s the one with the winning experience, not them. He’ll know the history of them failing under the highest of scrutiny and won’t want that coming into being a factor this early into a campaign.

But what can’t be overlooked is that Tottenham Hotspur look very strong under Jose Mourinho. They have an added edge, seem more disciplined and having a fluidity in attacking areas.

The squad clearly don’t think that their manager is a yesterday’s man. They have bought into his rhetoric and at the moment it’s paying off.

Only time will tell if they can sustain this form and challenge for this year’s Premier League title. If Mourinho really does have his mojo back, then I certainly wouldn’t bet against him!

Leave a Reply