Everything happened rather suddenly. While the footballing world was dusting up the webs of another less exhilarating International window, Jose Mourinho earns a lifeline his career needed, back in his beloved London.
Last season’s Champions League losing finalists Tottenham Hotspur dispensed with the services of their (now former) Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino on Tiesday in a manner that emphasises the unforgiving nature of modern day football.
Just months after leading the team to the final of Europe’s flagship tournament and after years of building a really pretty solid squad, the Argentine just had to go after a poor placement in the league. For Jose Mourinho though, it is good music to the ears.
It is amazing in life how we find treasure in hidden places and how things we often loathe end up being our saving grace at the lowest ebb of life. That could be said of how Mourinho landed the job at North London’s most hated team, arguably.
Mourinho’s work as a TV pundit has played a part, in no small measure, in getting him the managerial role at a club he vowed some fourteen (14) years ago never to have anything to do with.
In his previous three coaching cycle in the Premier League, Mourinho never hid his disdain for pundits and analysts. The Portuguese never ran out of nouns and adjectives to qualify them – most notably Einsteins and Touch screen Experts.
His argument was always that they would never know what happens behind the scenes at respective clubs which they so criticise gleefully in the “comfort of air conditioning and touch screens” systems, accompanied with good English.
Tottenham Hotspurs motto: To Dare Is To Do!!!
"Pochettino taught us to Dare, over to Mourinho to teach us To Do."
Football fans react as Jose Mourinho joins Spurs on a 4 year deal. pic.twitter.com/ODMTxRKbmm
— ACLSports (@acl_sports) November 20, 2019
Many were left stunned when the famed Special One became “one of them” last summer, starting with the Champions League final when he shared same studio with long term foe Arsene Wenger.
Unlike many of his contemporaries in the punditry job though, Mourinho as he wont to do became an instant fans’ favourite with his dissection of teams and eye-catching analyses which saw him trend on social media even more times than the main gladiators.
All seemed lost for Jose after his dismissal at Manchester United just under a year ago but the 56-year old found a ray of hope for revival where he could have least expected – inside the same cold room he held with so much disdain.
There were speculations in the past month that he could be in the frame for the Arsenal job, something that could have been perhaps a greater shock than the present one, but that was how much his punditry had won the love of even his sworn enemies.
It was also reported whether true or not that during the course of this season, Mourinho had turned down some jobs in Europe, favouring a return to the Premier League and his positioning to get this Spurs work is something a Pippo Inzaghi in his playing days would be proud of.
Brushing aside his ego to work at an unlikely workstation (as a pundit) has now landed Mourinho a lifeline to rebuild his career – if there’s anything like that at 56 – and prove that he might not actually be the “Finished One” that he had long be termed. At Spurs, he knows the purse is with limits but he has a “good heritage” of players like he was quick to note in his welcome address at the club.
Some of the successes he has recorded in his coaching career have come with mature, sometimes ageing players (cue in Inter Milan and Chelsea 14/15) and Spurs have a depth of such players to give to Mourinho.
I think it could be a dangerous combination. A team filled with mature players under Jose's guidance. My happiness is, we (Chelsea) have stabilised already so maybe only teams like Arsenal, Man Utd might suffer for it.
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) November 20, 2019
The Silver and Gold might be missing, especially with the recent completion of their brilliant facilities, but what Spurs supremo Daniel Levy has and is giving to Jose might just be enough for him to etch his name in another London club’s annals of history.
Soon,Tottenham will be busy counting trophies & signing top players. United will be busy counting minutes of academy players & the "goal contributions" Cristiano Rashford,Lionel Martial & Zinedine Pogba to prove Ole has improved them & that he is doing a great job. Not trophies.
— Babanla (@biolakazeem) November 20, 2019
It was reported that the man from Setubal had taken some pay cut to work at Spurs, all in his bid to prove a point but it must be stressed that there are still more sacrifices to be made in his fiery style for this to bring out the success which he is known for.
If that is done again, then the return of Jose to London may become another launch pad to glories of another London club.