Can Jose Mourinho deliver the Premier League title at Tottenham?

They said he was finished. They said he couldn't deal with the demands of managing the modern football player after a turbulent end to his reign as Manchester United manager. Jose Mourinho took time out of football and made a handful of appearances as a pundit on Sky Sports as he weighed up his next move. The opportunity came along when Mauricio Pochettino was sacked as Tottenham manager after a nosedive in league form since the turn of the year, despite a place in the Champions League final. The decision was a hard one for players, fans and even the ruthless Daniel Levy but a change was needed and the hierarchy duly delivered. You can count on one hand the number of managers the football world would have agreed would not have been a backward step after Pochettino. Tottenham have appointed one of these in the form of Portuguese Jose Mourinho. The main question on the lips of Spurs fan and Premier League fans alike is can the Special One deliver a first league title since 1961? 

Jose with the league title at Chelsea
Picture: Independent.ie

History of Success with a hint of turbulence

Tottenham Hotspur has been competing at the top end of the Premier League for many seasons under the guidance of Pochettino so that will be the minimum aim. There is barely a better manager in the world for keeping sides competitive at the top of the table. I know Jose has managed some of the world's leading clubs so that is the bare minimum expected of him but he does have a knack of getting that little bit extra to get teams over the line. FC Porto had some top players who would go on to make a name for themselves in the history books, but not many of their achievements can surpass that Champions League win in 2004. Up against a Monaco side in the final that had scored 27 goals on route to the final, Porto held out the French side in true Mourinho style and won 3-0. Arguably the most reputable side in Portugal, Porto had gone three years without a league title but subsequently won back to back titles. The Chelsea side built in his first spell at the club still draws admiring glances, Inter Milan were delivered the treble and Real Madrid picked up a La Liga title amid one of the most entertaining and fascinating club and manager battles we have ever seen with Jose and Pep. To put the La Liga title win in perspective, Real Madrid have won just won one league title since. They lifted La Liga under Jose in 2012. Now firmly settled back into the English game after spells with Chelsea and Man United, there is negatives to go with the obvious positives. Mourinho, bar with Porto, has managed over 100 games in each of his managerial reigns but never officially reaching the 200 mark in one spell in charge. Tottenham fans will know not to get settled down for the long run as there is a theory about Mourinho's third season at a club going pear shaped. The time frame on this job will more than likely not exceed three seasons, so time will not be on his side to build a team capable of ending a 59 year title drought. 

Is Jose a perfect fit or is there trouble ahead?

Mourinho often tends to decide on a formation and that becomes the foundation to any success. The forward players, contrary to popular belief, are given the freedom to express themselves. The only key aspect to this is they are required to remain as part of a rigid group when out of possession. This could mean top class wingers chasing full backs, strikers picking up deep lying play makers and so on. Every title winning side needs this solid base to win a title because outscoring sides will eventually hit a snag as Manchester City has figured out and Liverpool did in 2013/14. The problem at Manchester United is that too many players were not willing to put in the kind of work rate expected. I am a fan of arrogance on a football pitch to an extent, but when it involves more than two or three players the style of football implemented by Jose Mourinho will end up in tatters. Will this happen at Tottenham? That is the million dollar question. Harry Kane is a hard worker, but he does tend to drift at times. Will the likes of Son, Lamela, Lucas and co. put in the shift required? This brings me to Christian Eriksen. Top player, can win games on his own at times. However, I cannot see it working for him at Tottenham. He will produce game changing moments but I can't see him being a long term Mourinho player. Dele Alli looks to be the preferred option and he has taken to this opportunity like a duck to water. With a couple of issues to sort in the squad, this brings me on to the next section. 

Mourinho and Pogba clashed several times.
Picture: Guardian.com


Mourinho and Levy - Match made in heaven or hell? 

Incoming and outgoing transfers will largely be dependent on Daniel Levy. We know his reputation and while it sets Tottenham up financially, I think it will be enthralling at times to see how this plays out. If Jose says we need a centre back, he could very well encounter the same trouble getting players as he did at Manchester United. With the likes of Essien, Drogba and Robben on his transfer CV it might be time for Levy to dig deep to finally become a genuine title contender. The other side to this is the recent purchases of the likes of Mkhitaryan and Sanchez which have been, let's just say, not so successful. There is no doubt with all the contract situations and vastly different playing style implemented by the new manager, changes will be needed. Top players do not come cheap nowadays, Mr. Levy. 

I will be in a better position to judge come the end of summer 2020. Looking at the situation now, Tottenham will no doubt compete among the top two or three in the coming seasons. If Liverpool and Manchester City stay to the level they are now then Tottenham are going to come up short as these two are in the top five greatest ever Premier League sides. I am going with Jose to just fall short of delivering the league title, but I have no doubt he will bring silverware to Tottenham, if not this season then most definitely next. The main reason being the current strength of the top two, but also with a glance at the development happening at Stamford Bridge under Frank Lampard and his ever growing young side. Competition is fierce in the transfer market and the stubbornness of both Levy and Mourinho will eventually see some top targets miss out on a move to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. 

Do you expect a league title Tottenham fans? Would you be happy to just get some silverware back in the cabinet? How do you think Jose gets on with his newest project - let me know in the comments below ↓ or share on any of the social media platforms. 



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