Daniel Levy has been urged to bite the bullet and get rid of Jose Mourinho at the first available opportunity before things start to turn really sour at Tottenham.
In the first of a new series, TEAMtalk writers make their feelings clear on an issue in the game that is bugging them.
Starting us off, is Spurs fan Rob McCarthy, who makes his feelings clear on Portuguese firebrand…
Mourinho has only been in charge of Spurs since November, but I’ve already had enough and want the self-named ‘humble one’ gone as soon as possible.
Before I start, let me lay my cards well and truly on the table and state that I was behind the decision to end Mauricio Pochettino’s time at the club – but not if it meant turning to Mourinho as saviour.
So here, I set out MY five reasons why Daniel Levy has to act as soon as possible to bring this unholy partnership to an end.
1) NEVER THE RIGHT FIT IN THE FIRST PLACE
When Pochettinho was shown the door by Tottenham back in mid-November, it came as a shock to many but let’s be truthful – it was coming.
The Argentine was a hugely-popular figure and had worked ‘trophyless’ wonders in north London, but he was a beaten man after that Champions League final loss to Liverpool.
However, what came next was one of the very few major errors that much-maligned Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has made in recent times.
Yes, he should have given Pochettino money to spend in two transfer windows in which no players were brought in, but swapping one of the most popular managers in the club’s history for a man who was hated (not a word I use lightly) by the majority of Spurs fans was a monumental error.
Trophies are important, I get that, but to what expense – and why build up such good grace with the fans by giving them the best stadium in the country, only to then slap them in the face by turning to ‘the enemy’ to bring in some silverware to fill it!?
There were better options out there but Levy thought that Mourinho, whose success has been on the decline for years, was the answer.
However, just five months into Mourinho’s reign and Levy has already been proved wrong – with Spurs sliding down the Premier League table at an alarming rate, humiliated by Leipzig in the Champions League and humbled at home by struggling Norwich in the FA Cup.
But does the Spurs supremo have the foresight to see that this is a marriage made in hell and to act on it before things go from bad to worse – even when there is no football currently being played.
2) NEGATIVITY BREEDS NEGATIVITY
When Jose first came in he wheeled out his normal, positive, ‘nice guy act’ but when things start to go south then the negativity and excuses begin to manifest, and that is what we are left with again now.
Yes, any team in the land would suffer from losing the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, and to a lesser extent Steven Bergwijn and Moussa Sissoko, but the old ‘Special One’ would have galvanised his troops and found a way to get through a tough period. Perhaps the excuses are easier to trot out than actually working on a formula to get by, and maybe he’s simply just been found out for what he is: a man of big words, but actually one of little substance!
Telling the whole world that Leipzig’s bench would get into his team would have done wonders for the players who had been trying their best to get a result for the club against a Bundesliga outfit that has been flying this season.
Why have all those years of experience not taught him that the modern-day player does not respond well to those sort of jibes.
He did, after all, learn his man-management style from one of the very best in Sir Bobby Robson, so why he has cast that aside for the snide comments in his more senior years.
Mourinho’s negativity has spilt down from the top and left a Tottenham team bereft of confidence and hope. Another reason why Levy has to act now!
3) TACTICS STILL STRAIGHT OUT OF THE NOUGHTIES
I touched on it in this last segment, but the fact that Mourinho cannot organise a style of play that could still work without his best two forwards is a slight on his supposed tactical genius.
The Jose at Chelsea in the mid-2000s would probably have found a way to get Chelsea by, but the game has evolved so much since then and Mourinho’s tactics have not evolved with it.
Watching Tottenham, you genuinely have no idea of what they are trying to do. At their best under Pochettino, it was high-octane stuff with an intense press and a real purpose about their attacking play.
Under Mourinho it’s slow, play within yourself football that has no place in the modern game.
There have been some great results, the 5-0 thumping of Burnley saw Spurs produce some dazzling football that proves Jose does still have ‘something’ in his locker, but for the most part it’s been turgid dross.
Even the home win over Manchester City was like watching a League Two minnow take on a Premier League heavyweight in the FA Cup, such was City’s dominance. Yes, Spurs were victorious but anyone who watched that game will know they should have been battered. It was pure luck and City’s wastefulness that got them through that game, not anything Mourinho did.
There have been a few other wins that can be labelled exactly the same, and it astonishes me that someone who has been so revered in the game for being a tactical genius cannot work out a method of play to adapt to what he has at his disposal. Is that not what Levy is paying him for?
4) JOSE STAYS, THE BEST WILL LEAVE
The talismanic Harry Kane is already hinting that he is ready to end his association with the club, but he is the soul of the team and his goals that have gotten Tottenham where they are. This cannot be allowed to happen.
Mourinho is once again alienating his players, not learning from any of his previous lessons.
Having finally gotten a tune out of Dele Alli, something Pochettino couldn’t do over the last 18 months of his reign, Mourinho then claimed Spurs were a better side without him after taking him off midway through the second half of the 1-0 home loss to Leipzig. Needless to say that Deli has not been the same player since.
Jan Vertonghen has also had that treatment this season, while Tanguy Ndombele is the latest to get some public dressing downs from his manager.
The club’s record signing is clearly struggling to adapt to the pace of English football, having strolled through games in France, but is digging him out to the media really the way to go?
Ndombele has immense talent and could form a special midfield partnership with Giovani Lo Celso for years to come, but the way things are going he will be sold for half of what Tottenham paid for him this time next year and will almost certainly be a big success elsewhere. Barcelona and PSG are already sniffing, after all.
Whatever happened to working with players on the training ground and helping them adapt their game, is that too much to ask of Jose’s job spec?
5) WILL NEVER BE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL ANYWAY
And then there’s the matter of longevity. Jose never stays put for any major length of time is always seemingly on the lookout for his next big gig.
Whether Tottenham fans like it or not, Mourinho will have viewed taking over in north London as a come-down by his own standards, but he had to rebuild his reputation after things ended badly at Manchester United.
In his nine managerial posts since first taking charge at Benfica in 2000, Mourinho has only lasted beyond three years on two occasions – at Chelsea from June 2004 to Sep 2007 and at Real Madrid, May 2010 to June 2013.
If there needs to be an overhaul of the squad at Spurs then why should Mourinho be trusted to bring in his own players when he could be off to Spain, Italy or even Germany in a year’s time when one of the true heavyweights stupidly come calling again.
In short, Jose Mourinho is a busted flush in today’s game. His style of management and football does not belong in the now and the sooner Daniel Levy parks his own ego and does the right thing for Tottenham the better.
By Rob McCarthy
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