Jose Mourinho has been very complimentary of the facilities that Tottenham have at their disposal since arriving in North London last November.
He dubbed the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium the best in the world in his very first interview with Spurs TV as the club’s head coach, and he will be hoping that he spends many years in the dugout of the 62,303-seater ground.
However, Mourinho’s first home game as the Spurs boss against Olympiacos back in November was not his first time managing a team at the stadium; the Portuguese coach had already been in the away dugout a few months beforehand.
The 57-year-old was the manager of the Inter Forever side who took on the Spurs Legends in one of the test events ahead of the stadium’s official opening.
Gary Mabbutt who was in charge of the Spurs Legends on the day has admitted that Mourinho raved about the venue during the match which was held back in March of last year.
The former Spurs captain told Hayters TV (as relayed by Football.London): “We met before the game and at half-time and after the game. When the final whistle went he came over to me and said, ‘Gary, this stadium is the best I’ve ever seen. This club is going places’.
“That was like six months before he joined. Clearly he was going there to have a look and to see what it was like if the opportunity did arise.
“He’s taken the job and we believe with what he’s achieved in his career so far that he can bring that success to Spurs.”
Mabbutt was also quite optimistic about the club’s prospects next season under Mourinho.
When asked if they can make a swift return to the Champions League, the legendary defender said: “Absolutely with the squad of players we’ve got. I believe that over the last two or three years we’ve got so far but just not managed to get over the final hurdle.
“Jose’s a winner. We believe that 25 titles in his career as a manager we believe that he has the capabilities of turning these players into players with winning mentalities and getting us over the final hurdle.
“We believe the work we are doing this summer, the players he brings in and the way he structures the team for next season we are very confident it will be a very exciting season and certainly pushing for a top-four place.”
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One did get the feeling based on the interviews Jose gave before joining us, and the various rumours doing the rounds, that he very much had his eye on the Tottenham job, months before he eventually got it. This is perhaps the 57-year-old’s most important job in terms of how his legacy will be defined.
If he fails at Spurs, it is unlikely he will not get a top job again and he will be remembered as someone who could not adapt to the changing tactical demands of football. However, if he successfully manages to rebuild Tottenham into a formidable outfit and eventually goes on to win the league title in North London, he will deservedly go down as one of the greatest managers the Premier League has ever seen.
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