A couple of months ago I wrote a piece about how Tottenham should part ways with Mauricio Pochettino before they end up sacking him when results turn sour.
Poch had done a spectacular job at Spurs, but he had taken the team as far as he could.
Sadly, an amicable divorce in early season didn’t transpire and last week he was given the boot out of the blue.
With the managerial revolving door spinning as fast as it does though, as soon as Pochettino’s feet hit the pavement, Jose Mourinho already had his firmly under the desk in the manager’s office.
I am actually a fan of Jose Mourinho. There is no doubt his brand of football is stale at times (watching his Manchester United team could have been the prescribed cure for insomnia), but we share the same mentality – there are no points for style, win at all costs.
When Mourinho left United he did so with some people suggesting his managerial style and tactics were now outdated. There was an air that, in Britain at least, he was almost unemployable. He would be too toxic for the bigger clubs and yet he was too big a name for the smaller ones.
Let’s get this clear – Mourinho was a success during his time at United and when the board had to back either him or Pogba, it is obvious that they picked the wrong person.
Tottenham have now gambled on him and I do see potential clashes down the road, with Jose’s lavish spending ambitions and Daniel Levy’s perceived penny-pinching. However, I think Jose will be a superb appointment for Spurs even if only in the short-term.
He will stabilise the ship and make sure the excellent work Pochettino put in, which raised their reputation on the world stage, isn’t thrown away.
Before the West Ham game, Spurs were in 14th position, 11 points adrift of the top four. Jose said pre-match that the title was “impossible” and top four would be “very, very, very tough” as he wouldn’t just need his team to win every game, but he would need other teams to lose a lot.
But this is the man that took a Manchester United team, which didn’t have Harry Maguire or Aaron Wan Bissaka, and had them finish second in 2018. If he can do that, closing the gap on the top four should be a cake walk with this Spurs squad.
I believe that as soon as New Year’s Day, Spurs will be securely in fifth position and will have cut the current points deficit to the top four in half. I then believe come March he could well have them back in the top four.