Jose Mourinho is monitoring the situation at Tottenham as he seeks a route back into management - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Jose Mourinho is monitoring the situation at Tottenham as he seeks a route back into management

Jose Mourinho is monitoring the situation at Tottenham as he seeks a route back into management

Jose Mourinho is monitoring the situation at Tottenham Hotspur closely as he searches for a route back into management.

The Portuguese has been out of the dugout since his sacking by Manchester United back in December and has been working largely as a television pundit.

But Mourinho is awaiting the right opportunity and there could soon be a vacancy at Spurs with Mauricio Pochettino under increasing pressure.

Jose Mourinho in the dugout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during the Spurs Legends vs Inter Forever match in March - but could the Portuguese soon be the Spurs manager?

Mauricio Pochettino is under increasing pressure with Tottenham in poor form this season

Having led Spurs to the Champions League final last season, Pochettino has cut a distant figure in recent weeks, sparking fears he may seek a way out after five years.

But would Mourinho really be the right man for the Tottenham job? We take a closer look.

Throughout the majority of his career, Mourinho has been resolutely backed in the transfer market by the clubs he has worked for.

Owners have usually always offered him a sizeable transfer kitty, backing his judgement to sign players that will improve his team.

When he arrived at Chelsea the first time, Mourinho was given millions by Roman Abramovich to build a title-winning team with Didier Drogba signed for £24m and Ricardo Carvalho £19.85m in his first summer.

Chelsea then spent a combined £45m on Michael Essien and Shaun Wright-Phillips 12 months later and then £30m for Andriy Shevchenko in the summer of 2006.

Striker Didier Drogba proved a very shrewd Mourinho acquisition first time round at Chelsea

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich repeatedly backed Mourinho in the transfer market

Real Madrid signed Angel di Maria as soon as Mourinho arrived at the Bernabeu and Luka Modric came in for big money before what proved to be his final season there.

Abramovich allowed him £30m for Willian and £18.7m for Andre Schurrle upon his second coming at Stamford Bridge and the best part of £100m for Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and others in 2014.

Manchester United went even further for Mourinho, breaking the world transfer record to sign Paul Pogba for £89m when he was appointed in the summer of 2016.

They then splurged £75m on Romelu Lukaku a year later and also leveraged the absurd wages of Alexis Sanchez in January.

Mourinho signed Paul Pogba for a world record £89m at Man United but things soon soured

United also broke the bank to sign striker Romelu Lukaku for £75m during Mourinho's tenure

The brutal reality is that this just wouldn't happen at Tottenham. Unless chairman Daniel Levy completely reverses his stance of the last five years under Pochettino, no manager is going to be bankrolled on this scale.

Spurs have remained relatively frugal compared to their top-six rivals, relying instead on Pochettino's management abilities and a settled team, and this has only increased since the construction of their £1billion stadium.

They didn't spend a penny in the summer of 2018 and even in 2017, when they spent £87m on the likes of Davinson Sanchez and Lucas Moura, almost all of it was recouped by sales.

Tottenham chairman would keep the purse strings closed even with Mourinho in charge

In this year's summer window, Spurs spent a total of £90m on Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Jack Clarke but this clearly fell well short of what was required on the evidence of recent results.

It is a constant criticism of Spurs fans and even a headstrong personality like Mourinho would struggle to get Levy to loosen the purse-strings.

Worse still, Mourinho would have no qualms about using a lack of investment to excuse any failings as the season progressed, causing friction between himself and the board.

Pochettino has taken great pride in bringing through talented young players — especially English ones — during his five years at Tottenham.

He placed faith in Harry Kane that he could become a world-class striker and gave him regular game-time in order to prove it.

The Argentine also bought Eric Dier, then 20, and Dele Alli, 18, during his first season in charge and threw them in.

Since then, Harry Winks and Kyle Walker-Peters have been nurtured into first-team players, while the summer signing of Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham was designed to continue this process.

Pochettino gave a young Harry Kane a chance and the young striker never looked back

Dele Alli was another talented young player that Pochettino brought to Tottenham

With Tottenham unable or unwilling to spend enormous sums in the transfer market on stellar players, perhaps Pochettino has had little alternative but to give youth a chance.

But it's also definitely true that Pochettino genuinely enjoys imparting wisdom to aspiring players and delights in their successes at various milestones in their careers.

By contrast, Mourinho grew so irked by the perception that he never gave young players a chance he turned up to a press conference in 2016 with a sheet of paper listing 49 youngsters he'd given debuts to.

Quite a few of these claims proved to be totally false – the players had already made their senior debuts either under Mourinho's predecessor or elsewhere.

Mourinho brings on Chelsea's young striker Dominic Solanke for a rare outing in 2014

And while others had, indeed, been handed a first-team debut by Mourinho, usually in the early round of the League Cup, they were barely seen again.

He was especially accused of holding talented young players back at Chelsea, where the academy output was prodigious but they came up against impossible competition in the form of expensively-acquired stars.

There's no question Mourinho would look to sign experienced players if he came to Spurs as opposed to patiently waiting for academy graduates to impress.

There are few better at devising bespoke tactics for the big occasion — particularly when it comes to nullifying opponents and counter-attacking — than Mourinho.

Just look at the way his Man United side would contain Liverpool's dynamic front three whenever they visited Anfield, or how his teams would 'park the bus' in defence after snatching the lead.

In his pomp, Mourinho's tactical acumen bordered on genius but often won him few favours as it was anathema to excitement and entertainment. However, more often than not, the approach he had devised would get the desired outcome.

Mourinho celebrates Man United's goalless draw against Liverpool at Anfield in October 2016

He has also shown remarkable variety in tactics throughout his career, with team shapes tailored to the strengths of the players at his disposal.

His first spell at Chelsea saw them deploy a 4-3-3, while at Inter and Real it was mostly a 4-2-3-1. A side-effect of this was that his players could often switch between systems depending on how the game was going.

Mourinho's style often jarred when compared to long-term rival Pep Guardiola, whose sides were among the most attractive to watch in the world, but his teams were always ruthless against weaker opposition, racking up the goals.

Mourinho's more considered approach often jarred with the free-flowing Guardiola teams

He would certainly demand that Tottenham's defence is strengthened and an effective holding midfielder found, since these are usually the bedrocks of everything else he does.

Pochettino has turned Tottenham into a highly effective team in the big matches and has outwitted most of the other leading managers in the game with tactical masterclasses.

A great example came in October 2016 when Pochettino's Spurs completely dominated Man City in a 2-0 win, inflicting Pep Guardiola's first defeat in English football.

Pochettino outwitted Pep Guardiola to inflict the Spaniard's first loss in English football in 2016

It's not entirely clear how Mourinho would improve on what has become an increasingly impressive Spurs record in the big games in the last few seasons.

He would, however, probably make them more resilient and tougher to break down, as well as more ruthless against lesser opponents.

But Tottenham fans have become accustomed to Pochettino's sides playing football that is attractive to watch, so it could be quite a letdown.

Would Mourinho ever really be accepted by Tottenham fans?

Given his strong association with bitter London rivals Chelsea, it's hard to believe the default opinion would be anything other than scepticism (at best).

Only winning silverware could change that and Tottenham's desperation to win something grows by the year.

They may have become a consistent top-four side and reached the Champions League final last season, but the wait for any kind of trophy is now 11 years and counting.

Mourinho doesn't hold back in celebrating Chelsea's 2-1 FA Cup win at Tottenham in 2007

It's the one thing Pochettino has failed to deliver in the last five years. 2008 was when they won the League Cup but they haven't won the league championship since 1961, the FA Cup since 1991 and a European trophy since 1984.

And long-standing fans have seen periods of dominance from rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in the meantime.

Mourinho celebrates with John Terry after Chelsea beat Spurs to win the 2015 League Cup

Mourinho is, of course, an expert in winning trophies – he has two Champions League crowns and has won league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.

It remains a glittering and, for owners, a tempting CV and chances are, if fans can overlook the previous bitterness, he would deliver Spurs something.

Mourinho's reign at a club usually follows a set pattern. The first season will see him deliver a piece of silverware and all is sweetness and light. The second will see a tilt at the league title.

The third, for one reason or another, will see the cracks begin to appear. Mourinho will retreat into his sullen side, starting various arguments with players, rivals or the club's hierarchy.

Mourinho and Pogba clashed on the training ground as his spell at Man United unravelled

The mood in the dressing room will sour, player relationships will break down and results will quickly take a turn for the worse.

Mourinho typically leaves a club under a cloud. His exit from Old Trafford last December came against the backdrop of a fractured dressing room, a tit-for-tat exchange of barbs with Paul Pogba and dramatic slump in form.

He has been on the scene for long enough now for owners to spot the warning signs but once the slide starts, it's incredibly difficult to stop.

The pair argued over tactics on the touchline as United lost to Tottenham in January 2018

Pochettino's five years at Spurs have seen gradual improvement that can be measured in results and league placings.

It's only now — in the fifth year — that we've really started to see a shift in the Argentine's attitude and demeanour.

Appointing Mourinho pretty much means two years of spectacular upswing before an equally dramatic collapse.
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