Opinion: Mourinho’s magic, you know

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Ever since the end of last season, it has been frosty around the Tottenham camp. The players have been feeling unrestful. Splits here, there and everywhere … well, you know the story. But since the Messiah arrived the warmth from him has evaporated that nasty Jack Frost, and turned things into a more warmer feel.

It all started with a song, ok, actually a few chosen words to the players and they started believing in themselves again, their brothers-in-arms and the manager. Let us be honest, Pochettino had lost the dressing room, his training got stale… in fact, he had lost the plot, and probably the enthusiasm to continue. Even the spectators could see that he was moping around, head down… in fact, so far down, it could quickly have fallen off its mantel and splattered all over the ground. But it never got that far, Daniel Levy could see the damage being done and the cost to the team and Spurs financial position. He had to be given the elbow and nudged towards the door. Now he has gone heads are once more lifted. Even the supporters have noticed a change in the air. Where fans were walking around feeling dejected, they are now strutting around like proud peacocks (or should that be cockerels?).

Fans might admire their late manager, but they admire trophies and success more. While Pochettino was on top of things we could – just – ignore the lack of trophies (granted, they thought, it will come next time… but next time never came, and now he has gone, and will never be with him at our club).

Take Deli Alli, he has become a changed man, playing like his old self. Kane can see the glistening of silverware on the horizon and others have that sparkle back in them. Players that felt once left out, not needed, are back into play (such as Moura, to name but one).

Even Mourinho seems a different person, probably learnt the mistakes of past errors (he did say that he won’t make the same mistakes, just different ones, and to be honest that is all we can hope for).  There is a spring in his step, and even though that smile is hidden, the eyes tell all.

He is the man who has finally got the cockerel, and you know what they say about having a cockerel? Yes, exactly! It brings tears to your eyes!

Let us start with some statistics, as we all like them, providing we are the benefactors.

We have registered back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season, last doing so in April, thanks to Mourinho. Dele Alli has been directly involved in three of our goals in his two Premier League games for Tottenham under Jose Mourinho (2 goals, 1 assist), as many, as he managed in his last 12 under Mauricio Pochettino.

Let us not forget our “Nice One” Son, who has registered 71 Premier League goal involvements (46 goals, 25 assists), 31 more than any other Asian player (Park Ji-Sung on 40).

Then there is Moussa Sissoko who scored for the first time in 69 Premier League appearances for us – since netting against Huddersfield in September 2017.

So, just something to tickle your never regions. Not that they needed tickling, more so that Mourinho has now arrived to replace the hapless one (or as he eventually turned out to be… a man with no steam left in him).

While this was far from a vintage performance overall, one player who appears to have benefitted under the new regime is Alli, as I said.

This game suggested he is not only back to his influential best as a playmaker behind Harry Kane and Son, but also as someone capable of making a considerable contribution in front of goal.

Take his first goal this Saturday, it was all about anticipation and timing, running adjacent to Son and ensuring he was on hand to deliver the simplest of finishes. His second goal showcased all of his talents – running power, control, strength and the composure in front of goal to apply the niftiest of touches while being hassled.

While Alli was unable to register his first hat-trick for the club (and we wished him on), it was still his first two-goal haul in a home game for us since January 2017 and ensured he received a standing ovation when he was withdrawn late on. That ovation seemed like forever, but was just along enough to accompany him off the pitch.

Sissoko wrapped it up for us with a brilliant goal. Even though the Cherries managed to get two goals back, it was all over for them as they slipped further down the table.

After the whistle went we all clapped, congratulated, slapped backs, ruffled a few heads of hair, and not just the men, and all felt well tanked up to-boot, and at that point, no alcohol had passed our lips… that came later. We were in cloud nine, walking proudly beside our mentor and legend Bill Nich.

Can it get any better than this? Of course it can, we haven’t even scratched the surface… in fact, the surface isn’t even adequately marked. But the attempt has been made, and the desire is back with everybody digging deeper, much deeper than we’ve ever dug before… or at least for a long while.

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