OLI SCARFF/Getty Images
Spurs made the shock announcement on Tuesday night that they had parted ways with former manager Mauricio Pochettino, and on Wednesday, Mourinho was confirmed as his successor.
“In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football,” chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician. He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”
Mourinho, who was previously in charge of Manchester United before being sacked in December 2018, has signed a deal to keep him at the London club through the 2022-23 season.
Although his time at United ended with disappointment, Mourinho is regarded as one of the greatest managers of his generation.
The Portuguese won the UEFA Champions League with Porto in 2004. He then moved to Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles, before turning Inter Milan into a dominant force, steering them to a treble that culminated in a Champions League title.
After a stint at Real Madrid, during which he won one La Liga title, he returned for a second spell at Chelsea, where another Premier League prize followed. At United, he was a League Cup and UEFA Europa League winner in his debut season.
However, Mourinho’s spells at clubs have typically ended under a black cloud, and in his recent positions, he’s not resembled the same charismatic character that charmed so many in his early days at Porto and Chelsea.
With that in mind, Barney Ronay of the Guardian questioned whether Mourinho is the right man for the role at Spurs:
Barney Ronay @barneyronay
Players: We need a change, it’s so heavy and exhausting, we need to lighten the atmosphere
[Enter Jose, scowling]
Mourinho’s style of football, which has primarily been forged on defensive play and aggression, has also been accused of being antiquated in recent years.
Manchester City and Liverpool, the Premier League’s best two sides, have enjoyed success by tapping into a high-energy, possession-based blueprint instilled by managers Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, respectively. They are not traits associated with Mourinho.
Paul Hayward of the Daily Telegraph also questioned the logic of the appointment, noting Mourinho’s history of spending big and Spurs’ reputation for being thrifty in the transfer market:
Paul Hayward @_PaulHayward
Can see why Mourinho would want to go to Spurs. He likes working for owners who hate big transfer fees and don’t sell players the manager wants rid of.
Spurs made it to the 2018-19 Champions League final in June, although they have struggled for form at the start of the campaign.
Despite boasting a talented squad and spending big money on players like Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon over the summer, they are down in 14th in the table ahead of the upcoming showdown with West Ham United.
It was reported by Adrian Kajumba and Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail that Pochettino lost the trust of key figures at the football club and as a result his position with Tottenham was untenable. Regardless, he will be a difficult man to replace in north London after a stellar five-and-a-half years at the helm, even for someone of Mourinho’s calibre.