4 reasons why Mourinho and Spurs are a good fit
Mourinho inherits a squad full of players that he has previously tried to sign, and has the skills to turn them around.
He’s had some time away
Mourinho seemed consumed by bitterness at his players, employers, supporters and the press by the end of his time at Manchester United.
But we have seen the best of him since.
The 56-year-old shared this moment with Arsene Wenger before the Champions League final in June, and has spent the first part of this season existing as the charming older brother to Roy Keane on the Sky Sports sofa.
His stint on television has not only reminded us of his charisma, but of his brilliant football mind, as he dissects teams – including his new charges – and managers with precision and articulacy.
Spurs will hope that 11 months of interacting with people outside of his bubble and learning more about modern football will see Mourinho bring that side of himself to this job, rather than the backbiting and stubbornness.
Spurs have players he likes
Spurs have sacked a head coach who wasn’t keen on much of the squad and replaced him with one who is.
Mourinho’s failed pursuit of Toby Alderweireld was a marker in the breakdown of his relationship with Ed Woodward at Manchester United. While Alderweireld would not have been a long-term signing, Mourinho clearly sees him as one of the best centre-backs in the country.
Eric Dier was also a legitimate target in the summer of 2017, before Mourinho had to settle for Nemanja Matic from Chelsea. Dier, a fluent Portuguese speaker, must see this as an opportunity to revitalise his career.
United were also linked with Tanguy Ndombele during Mourinho’s time in charge, while we can assume that Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane were of interest.
All in all, Mourinho will have little cause to gripe about the quality of squad he has inherited.
A siege mentality might be what they need
Mourinho has suffered his worst fall-outs when working for the biggest institutions, where his siege mentality shtick doesn’t work.
Star players at Real Madrid, Chelsea (the second time) and Manchester United resented being treated as underdogs rather than champions.
His success at Porto, Chelsea and Inter, meanwhile, was based on his players buying into a vision, coming together for the cause and pursuing a common goal.
That us-against-the-world mentality could work at Tottenham, with the team 14th in the Premier League, out of the EFL Cup and with their one world-class star, Harry Kane, seemingly without ego.
The narrative that has cast Spurs as a laughing stock and a team in a downward spiral needs to change, and Mourinho is capable of using those circumstances to his advantage.
He always starts fast
If Spurs are to make something of this league campaign, Mourinho must replicate a common theme from his managerial career: a fast start.
In 2002, he won his first four games as Porto manager, winning 12 of his 19 in charge in the second half of the 2001/02 season.
He won 10 of his first 13 league matches at Chelsea in 2004 and 13 of his first 17 at Inter in 2008.
Winning runs also kicked off spells at Real Madrid and Chelsea, while he even won his first three in charge at Old Trafford.
Who knows if Mourinho will fulfil his contract through to 2023, but an immediate recovery from this slump could justify his appointment alone.
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