Unlike the former grumpy Manchester United boss who left Old Trafford under conflicting circumstances, the newly-appointed Tottenham Boss looked completely at ease and in a jovial mood at his first press conference.
- Succeeds Mauricio Pochettino as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
- Happy with his current squad of players.
- Confident about winning silverware with Tottenham.
When Jose Mourinho was sacked by Manchester United last December, very few thought he would take a sabbatical from coaching for almost a year. Reasons for this has been debated.
While some pundits put forth the view that Mourinho did not get a suitable offer, others were of the view that a coach of such caliber would not be desperate to jump at the first offer he gets. Everyone knew he would return though- as Mourinho has been hinting at it for a long time.
To say Mourinho’s appointment as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur caused tremors in the football fraternity, would be an understatement. Pochettino had a poor start to the campaign and while Tottenham find themselves languishing in fourteenth place in the Premier League table, hardly anyone predicted a sack for Pochettino. Over the last few seasons, Tottenham has come out of the shackles of being an underdog. Currently, there are a force to be reckoned with in England, as well as in Europe. Pochettino had a huge role to play in this transformation. Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Harry Kane are some of the players Pochettino bought and nurtured in his reign as Tottenham manager. Under Pochettino, Tottenham had learnt to be fearless. Last season to almost everyone’s surprise they managed to crawl through to the Champions League final with a depleted squad. Who would have thought that Pochettino would get the sack just six months after guiding the team through such a heroic display ?
Mourinho was appointed as the head coach on November 20. It is now being reported that Arsenal, arch-rivals of Tottenham, had their eyes on Mourinho too, but Tottenham pipped Arsenal to the appointment, which can be attributed to Daniel Levy’s excellent skills in negotiation. Mourinho joins at a time when he would face an uphill battle to restore Tottenham to that coveted ‘top four’ spot in the Premier League, especially since the current crop of teams in the top 4 (Liverpool, Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester City) are in scintillating form.
Mourinho gave his first press conference as Tottenham manager yesterday where he vowed not to repeat “past mistakes”. “From an emotional point of view I’m relaxed, motivated and ready and I think the players felt that these two days.I’m ready and I’m here to support them.”He also conducted his first raining session , where he seemed to be happy with the current crop of players at his disposal. He paid tribute to his predecessor Pochettino and backed the Argentine to find happiness at a different club. Mourinho said the club’s door will always be open for Pochettino, who guided Spurs to the Champions League final last season where they lost to Liverpool in Madrid. “I have to congratulate him (Pochettino) on the incredible job he did,” Mourinho said.
Despite shocking the fraternity with his decision to embrace Tottenham as his new club, his inclusion has been warmly met. Former Tottenham midfielder, Jamie Redknapp has said, “”Mourinho is a left-field appointment for Levy but if you want a winner – and Spurs have not won a trophy for a long time – Mourinho is your man.” Spurs great Paul Gascoigne said, ” “Mourinho is a unbelievable manager, if I was a Tottenham player I would be delighted knowing he was coming in. I don’t think it’ll take him long to win round the dressing room. If I was a player I’d look at what he’s won, the emotions that he incites in players … he’s a manager I’d play for.”
Mourinho returns to the Premier League when he goes to the London Stadium to face West Ham for his first match as manager of Tottenham.
By Aneesh Dey with inputs from Reuters.