The box office is now sold out and the popcorn machine overheating. Those in the front row are in for a treat and the skybox will be nothing short of fascinating. Jose Mourinho, the Special One, is back! The 56-year-old Portuguese was sacked by Manchester United in December 2018 and spent the best part of 2019 in the Sky Sports studio as a pundit. It would have given him additional drive though to get back on the touchline, as he’s been seeing the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp setting the league on fire.
But, is it as interesting without Mo? Decked in Tottenham tracksuit and runners, Mourinho walked from his home in the heart of the Chelsea FC stronghold of London as he headed across town to his first Tottenham training session. Typical Mourinho-style press conference had journalists from all over the globe posing the most pressing questions they could construe from their arsenal. When asked about his statement back in 2015 when he lamented that he’d never coach Tottenham Hotspur because of his love for Chelsea fans, Mo responded, “That’s before I was sacked!” Just like that, we knew the Mourinho of old was back and another blockbuster had begun.
The appointment of Mourinho would have gotten a lot of tongues wagging, but let’s not forget the circumstances that led to his appointment. Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs’ coach of 5years, was sacked. Daniel Levy could not arrive at an agreement with Poch and after short-changing him for such a long period, it is fully understandable. Spurs had the lowest net spend in the league in the 2018/19 season, yet still ended up in the Champion’s League final and earned a top 4 finish. A manager acquired from Southampton FC came to Tottenham and established himself as one of the best in Europe. He stabilized the club and made them a Champion’s League regular. Where will he end up next? Bayern? PSG? The question on the tongue of many, but with his humility and ability to work with youngsters, it will be hard to see him unemployed for long. The likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier will be forever grateful.
Managers are hypocrites, clubs ungrateful and fans are true backbones…
Considering what Pochettino has done for Tottenham Hotspur, it is rather unfortunate that their relationship ended the way it did. He saw them through the most torrid time of their modern history, moving into a new stadium with basically no money to spend on players. That same new stadium has an empty trophy cabinet that is expected to be filled. Apparently, he does not have what it takes to take on that aspect of the job, hence the result. It is of little surprise though as amnesia is a disease spread across the board and we saw a similar instance in 2012 when Roberto di Matteo was sacked months after winning Chelsea’s maiden Champion’s League title. In response to this, managers constantly serenade fans in an attempt to get them on their side, then a few months later, it’s almost as if they were not even there. Fans are the true backbones of these clubs and when a PSG fan penned a letter to the team in 2018 asking “Is there a more irrational condition than supporting football?”, he got global answers because there isn’t. Managers and owners move on as it’s a job and a business for both, but for fans, it’s a livelihood. Fans are the ones who get emotionally attached, cry themselves to sleep when teams lose and ignore their wives for bars when they win. The difference between transactional and emotional.
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