Jose Mourinho is a serial winner, and undoubtedly one of the most successful managers of all time. In recent times, many will suggest he has lost his edge, becoming bitter and falling out with players regularly. But, I think his management style will be crucial for several players at Spurs in terms of getting the best out of them.
When Spurs broke their transfer record to recruit midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon, everyone was excited to see what the Frenchman could add. However, the twenty-three-year-old was very much cast aside when Mourinho joined Spurs following Mauricio Pochettino’s departure. And, the Portuguese manager made interesting comments about the midfielder to the media.
Many will have thought Ndombele’s time at the club was coming to a premature end, but Mourinho’s way of managing the former Amiens man laid down the gauntlet. It gave the French international the motivation to rise to the challenge and to prove his doubters and critics wrong. And, as we are now seeing, especially in Spurs’ Carabao Cup win over Chelsea, Ndombele looks more like a club-record signing.
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At this moment in time, Dele Alli looks like a shadow of his former self. I, like many, felt when Jose arrived, he would get the best out of him. But, the twenty-four-year-old lacks consistency. And, as seen in the All or Nothing documentary, there are concerns about his drive during training, for example. Dele is undoubtedly young enough still to become one of the Premier League’s greats, but he needs to up his game, and fast.
Jose has been open when it comes to his feelings about Dele’s performances and where he stands at the club. I think he’s tried the arm around the shoulder approach. And he’s also been critical to attempt to light the fire in Dele’s stomach to motivate him into becoming the player who has hit fifty goals and thirty-six assists in one hundred and fifty-seven Premier League outings.
So far this season, Dele has been involved in two squads from a possible six. He’s played a combined one hundred and five minutes across two fixtures. And, was taken off on sixty minutes in one game, and a half-time in the other. It appears Mourinho is trying another tactic as he attempts to strike a chord with the attacking midfielder. By not involving him, could he be showing Dele what he is missing out on? As his career at Spurs and with England continues to travel in the wrong direction.
I do not doubt that Mourinho will eventually get through to Dele, just like he has with Ndombele. And, that may mean he sanctions a temporary move away. The Portuguese manager is excellent at inspiring players to come back fighting, Giovani Lo Celso is another example, Ndombele is improving, and hopefully, Dele will ensure this trend continues moving forwards.
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