Are Tottenham Hotspur already getting sick of Jose Mourinho?
By Joe Harker
When looking for the logical replacement for Mauricio Pochettino few would suggest Jose Mourinho's name, but perhaps Tottenham Hotspur felt they needed a different sort of manager.
Mourinho's appointment was strange, but the circumstances at Spurs weren't normal. The club reached the Champions League final last season but in terms of Premier League form 2019 was wretched.
Few expected Pochettino to be sacked but when he was Mourinho quickly ended up in the manager's seat. Are Spurs already regretting their decision?
The football in recent games has been classic Mourinho, and not in a good way. The manager can be dour with his tactics, preferring to suck the life out of big games rather than make them a glorious spectacle.
When he was appointed there were plenty of smiles and promises to be a better manager than the one who was sacked part-way through the miserable third season in his last two jobs at Chelsea and Manchester United.
That's the trade-off with Mourinho, you sign up to it all ending in tears a few seasons later because he wins trophies, something Spurs never managed despite all the good times with Pochettinho.
However, the team already looks stale and the manager is grumbling, leaving some Spurs fans worried their manager has already gone back to his old ways and some pundits wondering whether he's actually done much to improve the team beyond the new manager bounce that came with his appointment.
The criticisms of Mourinho in recent years have started to stack up as he has increasingly looked left behind both in terms of tactics and man-management. He hasn't kept up with new playing styles and the newer generations of players aren't as responsive to his attempts to motivate them.
The Counter Claim:
On the other hand, Spurs were in one hell of a slump during 2019 and a manager shouldn't be expected to lift them out of it within a few weeks.
Managers need time to make changes at a new club and although Spurs already look in some ways like a Mourinho team he shouldn't be judged until he has more time.
The recent poor form can make fans pine for the good old days of Pochettino and forget just how adrift Spurs often looked in his final days.
It may be that the club are stuck in a transition period and need patience before they get beyond it.
The manager also hasn't been able to bring any of his own players in. He has pursued many of Spurs' squad during stints at previous clubs but it is still the team Pochettino built.
When Mourinho was first appointed he won four out of his first five league games, scoring 14 goals and conceding seven. In the following five he only won once, scoring four goals and conceding seven.
Spurs also drew their FA Cup game against Middlesbrough with a score of 1-1, while Mourinho's Champions League group games were a 4-2 win against Olympiacos and a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich.