The Graham Cummins column: Jose Mourinho deserves more respect for the impact he's had at Spurs already

The Graham Cummins column: Jose Mourinho deserves more respect for the impact he's had at Spurs already
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho and Toby Alderweireld during a training session. Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire

JOSE MOURINHO didn’t take over a free-flowing Tottenham Hotspur side winning matches every week.

Mourinho took over a team that were 14th in the table, 12 points away from a top-four position, a team that had collected just 25 points from their previous 24 league games.

After just over three months in charge of the club, Mourinho has changed Tottenham’s fortunes.

Spurs are now sixth in the league, just four points off of Chelsea in fourth place, are still in with a chance of overturning a 1-0 deficit against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and have a realistic chance of winning the FA Cup.

It’s nonsense for supporters to think that Mourinho has been doing a poor job at Spurs, as he has given hope to their season where there was none before he took over.

Mourinho was appointed Spurs manager because of his capability to bring success to clubs he has managed.

Tottenham’s last trophy was the 2008 Carling Cup. Mourinho’s style of play has been criticised throughout his managerial career but it’s hard to argue with the success it has brought.

He doesn’t care how is a team wins, just as long as they do. Spurs have been seen as an exciting team, who play attacking football over the past few seasons but that has changed under Mourinho and Tottenham fans need to get used to it and support it if they don’t want to continue their wait for a trophy.

Mourinho has signed a contract until the end of 2022/23 season.

Picture: John Walton/PA Wire. 
Picture: John Walton/PA Wire. 

The exciting football that Spurs fans have been used to might not always be on display under Mourinho but I’d happily take watching my side grind out results and win silverware rather than play expansive football with nothing to show for it at the end of the season.

The problem for Mourinho is that he has inherited a squad that isn’t capable or that are unwilling to carry out the type of game plan that the former Chelsea manager wants.

Spurs have a competitive and talented squad but some of the players are not a ‘Mourinho player’.

The Tottenham manager is a manager who rates a player higher if he is willing to work hard for the team rather than a player who is technically gifted but unwilling to do the defensive side of the game.

One of Mourinho’s strong attributes as a manager in the past has been convincing talented players that the defensive side of the game is just as important as the offensive.

It’s much tougher to convince modern players this mindset because players are always thinking about themselves and what will make them stand out from their teammates and secure a move to clubs like Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Mourinho is notorious for spending large sums of money on ready-made players, whereas Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is known for his penny-pinching.

I’m sure Mourinho would have been telling Levy he’s happy to work with the squad he has and he won’t need a lot of investment to improve it during his interview for the Tottenham manager’s job.

It’s going to be difficult for Mourinho now to approach Levy and say the squad needs a lot of investment to be successful.

A lot has been said of Mourinho reverting to his old ways by moaning in his press conferences about injuries and the lack of players available to him.

Every manager will complain about injuries but I believe Mourinho is playing a clever game by constantly reminding people about Spurs’ lack of options.

If Mourinho got the Spurs job on the back of promising Levy he wouldn’t need much to spend on the squad then the former Porto manager would have little chance of going to his chairman now and getting money.

By constantly complaining about the lack of squad depth to the press, I believe Mourinho is manipulating the press and the Tottenham supporters to put pressure on Levy.

Rather than Mourinho approaching Levy he is hoping that the media and the fans put pressure on Levy to give the 2-time Champions League winner a vast transfer budget in the summer.

Judging by Tottenham’s tactics against the better teams since Mourinho was appointed Spurs manager, it's clear to see that he is not going to change his ways when Tottenham do play against teams like Liverpool or Chelsea.

Mourinho will want his side to be defensive-minded.

The ‘Special One’ has tried to install some grit into this Spurs side but some of the players are too soft.

This Spurs side remind me of the Arsenal side towards the end of Arsene Wenger’s time as manager in the club.

Like, Arsenal, Tottenham did become pushovers. Teams that are soft are never successful.

The former Real Madrid manager doesn’t have the players at his disposal capable of carrying out his instructions.

Some Spurs players don’t want to do the ‘ugly’ side of the game – tracking runners and putting their bodies on the line - which means that either the manager has to change his tactics – which he won’t – or there needs to be a large turnover of players in the summer.

Mourinho needs players that are willing to put the team before themselves and enjoy the art of defending and there aren’t many players at Spurs that fit this profile.

Yes, Mourinho could implement a more attack minded approach but if he believes his current tactics are what will bring future success then he needs to stick by them.

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