Jose Mourinho is a man that seems to divide opinion wherever he goes, whatever he says. Since joining Tottenham in 2019, he has done just that, and more.
This season so far has been up and down. The Portuguese head coach has led Spurs to a domestic cup final, our first for almost six years since losing to Chelsea in 2015.
What’s more, Mourinho has a record of twelve wins to three losses in major finals, and since Tottenham’s last trophy came in 2008, the fans are desperate to see some silverware.
Who better to bring it? If he were to beat his arch-rival Guardiola in the final, then (if we are measuring on trophies, as most fans from other clubs seem to do for Tottenham) he would be Spurs’ most successful manager in the last 13 years.
That’s not bad considering he has been here for under two years.
Also, our Europa League campaign looks promising, to say the least. Having eased past Wolfsberger, Spurs comfortably began their Last 16 knockout tie with Dinamo Zagreb, winning 2-0.
Impressively, Mourinho has competed in the Europa League twice in his history and won it both times. Third time lucky?
Having won the Europa League with United in 2018, the Portuguese tactician’s track record should bring Spurs fans a sense of belief that the club can return to European glory.
As well as Tottenham’s favourable silverware chances this season, domestically, thinks have taken another upturn, albeit with a disappointing North London Derby yesterday.
From leading the league after the first 10 games, to sitting ninth after the next 10, to now within touching distance of the top four – it has been a whirlwind season, to say the least (for most teams in the league, not just Tottenham).
The big question is, where will Mourinho’s men finish after 38 games?
At the moment, they are fighting with Chelsea, West Ham, Leicester, Liverpool and Everton for the last two top four spots – assuming that the Manchester clubs will make up the other two, which looks the most likely at this current stage.
The fan base, at least on social media, seems to be split half and half. Like how at the end of Pochettino’s tenure, the number of fans who seemingly wanted him sacked, grew day by day, with each disappointing result.
Some want the manager out because of the “toxic” environment he is creating, or his outdated tactics, or even his constant ousting of some players.
However, Mourinho has also managed to take Tottenham’s stars; Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, to the next level. Both having their most productive years yet, can only be down to a change of structure and position for the two attackers.
With Kane dropping a little deeper, and Son playing a little higher and wider, they have become an unstoppable duo in the league this season.
Also recently, Lucas Moura’s resurgence of goals and positive performances has been down to a tactical switch from the manager. Instead of playing him wide right, where he tends to get isolated. For the last few weeks, Lucas has played in the no.10 role and flourished.
Also, in all competitions, Jose Mourinho’s team has managed to score 100 goals. Not bad for a “defensive team.”
Although, Jose Mourinho is not and should not be immune to criticism. He should be held to account for his substitutions, tactics and game management, just as much as the players do. It should be 50/50, ultimately, they are the two factors that impact the outcome of a result.
He is to blame for some facets of Spurs’ season so far. From his constant selection of Eric Dier, to his unnecessarily negative approach to games, it seems even he is still learning how to be ‘Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho’, not just ‘manager Jose Mourinho.’
The identity of Tottenham is of course, To Dare is To Do. However, as someone who would like Mourinho to remain the manager, he needs to be more daring.
Take the Chelsea away game earlier on in the season, a scrupulous 0-0. He set up the team to make sure they wouldn’t lose, which made it much harder to pose the attacking threat needed to win. With wingers Son and Bergwijn sat so deep, Kane was self-isolating before it was legislation.
He needs to take more risks in his selection; and how much of the chain he lets loose on his attacking players. The attacking prowess that Tottenham possess is no secret, with eighteen goals in their last six games.
Jose’s future and success of his tenure in North London will be largely impacted on how he changes his structure defensively, attacking is the easy bit – especially when you’ve got Harry Kane.
The question is, does Mourinho demand more investment from the higher-ups? Seeing as he missed out on some key defensive targets in the summer, or does he simply try to make it work with what he’s got? Time will tell.
The recent form of Davinson Sanchez will be encouraging for Mourinho and Daniel Levy, as some feel they might just need one replacement centre-half, not two.
However, if things begin to turn sour, like his time at United – then Levy should swiftly look for a new manager.
For the moment, he looks happy and ready for the challenge that is Tottenham Hotspur; which is why I’m not JoseOut, yet.
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