After our excellent start, and then a 15-minute slight dip into mediocrity at the Spammers game we moved to our brand new home, a place fit for Kings, Daniel Levy, the rich, peasants and Mourinho; we were ready to enter the arena of Champions League football with a new manager. And one who has lifted everybody’s spirits.
Just as we ended the last game, the ghost of Pochettino inhabited this game (at the beginning, the little devil still has his claws dug in deep), but the quick witticism of the sacred one, and two goals down, we shattered the Greeks into many pieces with four goals. In other words, they came, we saw and repelled.
It will probably take some time to remove the ghost of Pochettino, but like any good spiritualist or soothsayer, Mourinho has the tools in his armour to do it (and to win trophies, to-boot).
But to the bit you’ve all been waiting for. There was fanfare, there was a circus, there was lions and unicorns and… and… oh, sorry, I got that wrong (probably dreaming)… there was no fanfare (or lions or unicorns) when Mourinho took his seat in the technical area before kick-off, although inevitably banks of photographers were there to welcome him. Low key is the new high key in the present climate. But like when all Gods enter the arena, either through showmanship or magic trickery, there are little magical waves of wands, to show the spectators that one can start from a low and end with an almighty high. And that is just what magic man Mourinho did. He tickled the seating testicles of the spectators (male or female, no discrimination here) to climatic fever.
The lively Olympiacos side exposed so many of the flaws that led to Pochettino’s sacking and Mourinho’s arrival when Spurs were run ragged early on. It was then that Mourinho made his impact with a positive – and necessary – substitution, introducing the creativity of Eriksen for the stability of pivot Dier to try to edge Spurs back into the arena of champions. This was not a cautious Mourinho, but one who knew something had to happen and change. That is 25 minutes after the referee blew to commence battle.
Yes, our boys and Mourinho needed a massive slice of luck, but once we emerged for the second half, the mood-music had changed after Alli’s goal, which deflated Olympiacos and revitalised the home side and our smiling supporters.
It allowed Mourinho to join in the celebrations with the spectators, and even high-fived and cuddled the ball boy, as a night that started by threatening a serious anti-climax had a perfect conclusion. Of course, it was; the showman, as I said, had to start from a low, to show his wares in full glory.
Mourinho stayed on the pitch at the final whistle to congratulate his players before politely applauding fans behind the technical area and making his way down the tunnel. A good night was had by Mourinho, in the context of the result and our performance, once they had the encouragement of a goal right on half-time.
We were galvanised as the usual suspects came to the party. Kane struck twice, and Alli showed superb footwork to set up the third goal for Aurier.
But the man of experience won’t get carried away because he will note how Spurs were so easily cut open early on and how defensive uncertainty, and moments of poor communication between goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga and his backline, threatened more problems.
He knew, that was why we employed him, that we had problems to solve when he succeeded Pochettino, and two wins from two will not blind him to the fact that essential adjustments were needed.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is the fastest player to score 20 Champions League goals. Kane has scored 23 goals in 23 appearances for us and England this season.
This was the first time a team managed by Jose Mourinho has come from two goals down to win a Champions League game – he had lost on the previous 13 occasions.
Mourinho took charge of his sixth different club in the Champions League (Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Spurs). Only Carlo Ancelotti has managed more teams in the competition (eight).
Dele Alli ended a run of 16 Champions League games without a goal, scoring for the first time since November 2017 against Real Madrid. All four of Alli’s goals in the competition have come at home.
What’s next for Mourinho’s managerial expertise? Well, this Saturday we host Bournemouth in the Premier League as we look to make it three wins from three.
He’s magic, you know! Granted, it is a start… but then again that has been said of all masters who come to show off their wares and entertain the multitudes. Jesus never achieved his goals in such a short time, but then again Jesus never had the talents of Mourinho (granted, he can’t turn water into wine, but he can turn a stagnating team into a winning one… can Jesus?). Also; Jesus never had such a magnificent arena to dazzle in… isn’t Mourinho a lucky bleeder? Don’t you just love Spurs!
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