A lot has happened in North London these past couple of weeks
After five and a half years of managing the Lilywhites, Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur on Nov. 19. As a Spurs fan, I was in complete shock when I first saw the club’s statement about the sacking — keep in mind this was the same manager who brought them to their first Champions League final in history. I expected him to be sacked due to the team’s mediocre performance in the Premier League and Champions League, but not during the international break. Less than 12 hours after the sacking, Tottenham found his successor: Jose Mourinho. Many fans were skeptical about the appointment, given his toxic relationship with Manchester United as a manager, but so far he is doing everything right at Spurs.
Obviously it’s still early to predict the future of the club under Mourinho, but changes are already visible given their win streak after constant draws and defeats.
One of the biggest changes Mourinho has already established is the inclusion of Lucas Moura in the Starting XI, along with Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son. The Brazilian didn’t see enough playing time under Pochettino this season as fans would’ve liked, given that he scored the game-winning goal last season in the Champions League to send them to the final. Moura’s able to create plays and score goals, and he did exactly that in their 3-2 win against West Ham United on Nov. 23.
Another key change? A stronger Dele Alli. If you watched the Premier League this season you know Alli was not performing well before Pochettino’s sacking. However, since Mourinho’s appointment, Tottenham fans and fans of the Premier League have seen a Dele Alli that hadn’t been seen since the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Many will be quick to claim it’s just a “honeymoon phase” and he’s simply trying to impress the new manager, but I personally think Mourinho is already doing wonders to boost the team’s confidence, especially Alli’s. In his first training session as manager Mourinho even went up to him and asked if he was Dele or Dele’s brother, meaning if he was the out-of-form Dele Spurs fans have seen for the past several months or if he was the fit Dele everyone knew him by. Since then, Alli scored twice and had one assist and has received standing ovations when he’s subbed off.
In a press conference before their match against West Ham, Mourinho said that Tottenham can’t win the league this season, which is a no-brainer given their 20-point difference with No. 1 Liverpool.
“I’m not going to say we will, but we can win it next season,” Mourinho said. Coming from the person who has won numerous trophies as a manager, it is probable. After all, Mourinho claimed to be “the special one” when he managed Chelsea in 2004 and won back-to-back Premier League trophies.
One issue Mourinho will face is the team’s defending, as in the past two matches they were up 3-0 and ended up conceding two, but Mourinho is a man with ambition and will certainly do wonders for the club, just like Pochettino. Should he bring Tottenham a Premier League trophy for the first time in history he will easily go down as the greatest manager in the club’s history, but the work of Pochettino shouldn’t go unnoticed. Pochettino helped build the club to where it is today given the small budgets he had for transfer windows and not being able to play in a proper home stadium until earlier this year. From not buying anyone in the winter and summer transfer windows last season to leading Tottenham to their first Champions League final, Pochettino will also be one of the greatest managers Spurs had. Parallel to the Lilywhite’s “to dare is to do” motto, Pochettino taught Spurs to dare, and now Mourinho will teach them how to do.