I was actually live on the podcast last month with fellow football lover Menos Hiras, when news broke of Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Tottenham Hotspur, my own club. Menos was disappointed to say the least given that he was a big Jose fan and not necessarily a big Spurs fan, on the contrary in fact. Menos and I have been podcasting about football for a long time and this was something which neither he or I saw coming. Menos and I got to taking about what challenges lay ahead for Mourinho at Spurs, and these are the main points which we came up with.
Something which Menos rightly told me about on numerous occasions, and something which I believed was wrong for a long time, was Pochettino’s poor recruitment ability. We all know that Poch was starved of funds by the club, but even when he had it to spend he did so poorly, and the defense is the best example of that. The defense is old and in need of an overhaul, and younger blood like Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth do not appear to be the answer. Mourinho is know for having great defensive units, he’ll have to focus on this first.
Spurs may have slightly gotten rid of the ‘Spursy’ tag by getting to the Champions League final, they are still a team with no winning mentality whatsoever. Spurs have lost their last 9 semi-finals in domestic competitions, they famously came 3rd in a 2 horse race back in 15/16 and having one of the worst records in 2019, all contribute to the fact that this guys haven’t got the mentality required. If Mourinho wants to bring any silverware back to North London, he has to address that mentality.
Jose Mourinho is not someone at all who is known for nurturing young talent, in fact he normally just ignores it. Mourinho let the likes of Salah, De Bruyne, Lukaku and Sturridge slip through the cracks at Chelsea, but at Spurs this won’t be possible. He isn’t going to have the riches which he is accustomed to which is why he has to look within. Mourinho will have to bring through the likes of Winks, Skipp, Walker-Peters, Sessegnon and perhaps even Troy Parrott, all great prospects. Furthermore he has young players like Lo Celso and Ndombele who will have to be massively helped by the Portuguese manager. If Mourinho can put his stamp on the younger players, he may well have a squad that can challenge.
Spurs have been terrible in the last few years in nailing players down to long term contracts, so much so that Vertonghen, Eriksen and Alderwiereld could have all left on a free at the end of the season. Mourinho has already managed to tie Toby down, it looks like Jan will do the same, and from there he needs to make sure that this situation doesn’t arise again.
A big job for the Special One, will he get it done?