Counting out Jose Mourinho and Tottenham amongst contenders this season would be a great mistake from rival teams.
When Jose Mourinho joined Tottenham as Mauricio Pochetinno’s replacement a lot were said about the appointment.
They said ‘he was finished’, ‘he couldn’t cut it amongst the top managers’, ‘he is the wrong manager for Tottenham’.
In fact, former Arsenal forward, Paul Merson went as far saying the team would only regress and that Harry Kane would not be as effective as he was under Mauricio Pochetinno.
“When Jose took the job I worried for Harry Kane,” Merson told Soccer Saturday in June.
“He played under Pochettino and Tottenham sort of had a go wherever they went. There were goals, there were crosses, there were shots.
“[But now] he’s going to be playing up front on his own and it is going to be hard work. In the end he’s trying to hit 60-yard passes just to be involved in the game. That’s not Harry Kane.
“He’s not fit. He’s definitely not fit. They played with virtually 10 men.
“I think he’ll have a serious think at the end of the season, I really do. I don’t see him getting 25-30 goals next season with the way Jose will want to play.
“And Jose won’t want to play like he did when he first got in there and it was 4-2 and 5-3, no way. He’ll like those games like Friday night, 1-1.”
“I watched Tottenham last year, and the year before that, and the year before that and for me they were one of the best teams in the league,” he said.
“I’d have arguments, being an ex-Arsenal player, and I’d have no problem saying, ‘You get Tottenham’s best eleven players on the pitch and they’re as good as anybody. The squad isn’t great but those eleven players would give anybody a game’.
“But I don’t know what’s happened. I don’t know if the players have got disheartened because they’ve been up there and now they’ve drifted away. And when you’ve been up there you want to be like a Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy, you want to be going for majors, not top 10 finishes. That’s the case with Tottenham now.
“The players are getting a little disheartened. The way they’re playing, it’s not entertaining. I used to like watching Tottenham play. You knew you were going to get action, they’re going to open the game up, it’s going to be free-flowing, with pace, energy. I watch them now and I just don’t see that.
“It’s not even as a team. They look like a team that have been thrown together. That’s not Mourinho.
“You look at him when he was at Chelsea and you think he was the most organised manager ever. I’d go to Chelsea and they’d be 2-0 up against a bottom three team and that’d be the end of the match. They wouldn’t kick on and win 5-0 and 6-0, they’d win 2-0 and the other team would have no chance of getting back in it.
“I just think at the moment, everybody is unhappy. Not just the manager, I think the players are as well. They need to get back together again. I worry for Tottenham.
“I used to think Tottenham were a good team. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think they’re a good team at the moment.”
Harry Kane has scored a total of 10 goals and assisted 7 in the 8 games that Tottenham have played so far this season.
Heung-Min Son (30) and Harry Kane (33) have had more direct goal contributions since Spurs appointed head coach José Mourinho than any other Premier League players.
In fact, in their last three games counting just three scored at half time against West Ham as at the time of this article, Spurs have scored 16 goals.
Tottenham are in the group stages of the Europa League, in the quarterfinal of the Capital One Cup after sending out Chelsea on penalties. They are currently second on the log with 10 points from 5 games.
All of the above they have achieved without Gareth Bale who is yet to make his debut, just imagine what happens when he starts playing and clicks.
Tanguy Ndombele seems to have rediscovered the form that made every club in Europe to run after him before Spurs won the race to sign him.
There is stability at the back and Sergio Reguilon so far looks like a bargain.
It is Jose Mourinho, the most successful Premier League manager amongst the current managers and he is a serial winner.
You can’t count him out if he doesn’t lose his dressing room.