Silverware for Spurs?

By Henry Church Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/26 22:33:40

Mourinho turning Tottenham into title challengers

Tottenham Hotspur star player Son Heung-min Photo: VCG

If Spurs winning the league seems a long way off it is not just because it is November and the season is not over until May.

The last time that Tottenham Hotspur were champions of England was back in 1961 and while they have come agonizingly close at times since, that does not fill the trophy cabinet.

Mourinho celebrated his ­first-year anniversary since taking the job at Tottenham Hotspur ­Stadium ahead of the Manchester City win last weekend, one that has put their title credentials in focus ahead of meeting Chelsea this weekend.

His arrival was caught on camera for the Amazon Prime documentary Spurs: All or Nothing - and fans have pointed to one of his first conversations as key to the club's growing title credentials.

"I believe that you have a very good relationship with Mauricio [­Pochettino, Mourinho's predecessor at the club], I love that," Mourinho told Spurs striker Harry Kane, a player that he called to his office before any others. "I always think, good relationship with the previous manager. Why not me?

"I saw you training yesterday and I have no doubts that you are a leader. That is my feeling. The world looks to English football with an incredible respect but they still think that the movie stars of football belong to other places.

"We have to build also your status in that direction. My profile, I am little bit like that as a coach. My dimension is universal and by being with me I think I can help you to… [makes explosion gesture].

"What I don't accept, because it is my nature, is to be here and win nothing. But I feel that we can because of you.

"You have better players than I had at Manchester United. The club has a lot [of potential] to explode."

They have exploded as has Kane. The England skipper has been outstanding under Mourinho ­­- contributing to 45 goals in 34 games.

Former Spurs striker Peter Crouch has been impressed by Kane's form, even if he was not willing to say Tottenham can win the title.

"Let's not get carried away yet," Crouch told a Spurs supporter in a Daily Mail Q&A session.

"We have only had nine games and I wouldn't want to start making rash judgments. Nothing has changed my opinion that Liverpool are the team to beat and I am comfortable with my preseason prediction that Jurgen Klopp's team will retain the title.

"But I won't dampen your enthusiasm. You have a winner for a manager and players all over the pitch in great form. There are question marks about the defense, perhaps, but it is great to see confidence flowing through the team.

"When Jose Mourinho was appointed 12 months ago, I wrote a column about his first press conference. It looked to me like he had his swagger back and that he was happy once again. Gradually, it has translated into results.

"Mourinho has added his own players and the thing that is impressing me most is the appetite they have to work.

"Harry Kane is in incredible form - the biggest compliment I can pay him is that he is effectively two players rolled into one - but he doesn't stop running.

"I wouldn't be prepared to say Tottenham will win the league at this stage but they absolutely have the right to dream. This is a mad season in which anything could happen - if someone different is going to win it, why shouldn't Tottenham think it is them?"

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris suggests that players have bought into Mourinho.

"I am lucky to be able to be coached by Jose Mourinho," Lloris said in the international break ahead of his France team playing Mourinho's native Portugal.

"I don't need to introduce him; he is one of the greatest coaches of the last few years.

"He has this culture of winning, and that's what he is trying to establish at Tottenham who are in need of trophies.

"We're trying to move forward together and create something in order to achieve these goals.

While the Spurs squad look like new players under Mourinho, the coach looks back to his old self according to former Manchester United and France full back Patrice Evra.

"But what I like is that Mourinho's back," said Evra. "He never left. But I mean his personality.

"Before he was just grumpy, but now he's back to being funny."

Mourinho certainly had a glint in his eye earlier in the season when he was asked if Spurs could win the league after beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 thanks to a late Kane goal.

"I would say that this team could be champion in many European countries," he said. 

"You can do a good season, can have lots of points and in the end. Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Man United, Leicester, Arsenal. So you can have a good season and not be champion."

Others are more confident than he is in public.

"He's found a way with the group of players he has," former Spurs manager and midfielder Tim Sherwood told Talksport.

"Jose has brainwashed his players to believe they have to work to achieve something - they need to win trophies, this group of players.

"When you play as solid as they do, he's almost brainwashed them into believing.

"And why wouldn't you believe in him? He's won 20 major trophies in his career and you're winning football matches, so then you start believing that this guy is the real deal, he knows what he's talking about, and why can't we win the league?

"They haven't played fantastically well this season, but who cares? On the back of my medal it doesn't say, 'Oh, and by the way we didn't play well for 24 games.'

"You just go and pick it up at the end of the season, and that's it!"

We will see what Spurs pick up at the end of the season and if Mourinho's message about challenging was different behind closed doors in the next season of All or Nothing.

The big question is will that end with Spurs as champions?

Posted in: SOCCER

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