Tottenham Hotspur

What José Mourinho brings to Tottenham Hotspur

As the former Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea manager prepares to take over at Tottenham, we have a look at what comes with him.

Spurs sack Pochettino: What could Mourinho bring to Tottenham?

Mauricio Pochettino is out at Tottenham Hotspur and José Mourinho is in. The former Manchester United manager Mourinho was confirmed as the man to replace Pochettino, who was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, despite previously saying he could never do so.

Tottenham sacked Pochettino despite a Champions League final appearance in June, with poor results this season leaving them languishing 14th in the Premier League. What could Mourinho – a three-time Premier League champion with London rivals Chelsea – bring to Tottenham? 

Winning mentality

Love him or hate him, Mourinho knows how to win. Since making a name for himself at Portuguese powerhouses Porto, the maligned manager has won 25 trophies.

A serial champion with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, Mourinho's haul includes a treble as Nerazzurri boss, a pair of Champions League crowns and much more.

Replaced | Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Replaced | Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

At home in London, Mourinho – who also led United to Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield glory – now has the chance to become the first manager to win major trophies at three different English clubs.


After a brief and uneventful playing career, Mourinho has amassed 19 years of managerial experience – establishing himself as one of the most successful in his field.

His early steps into management via Benfica and Uniao de Leiria led to his first big gig at Porto before being headhunted by Chelsea, Inter, Madrid and United.

With those historic clubs come huge games and moments. While a polarising figure, Mourinho has never looked out of place in London, Milan or Manchester or derbies, not to mention the El Clasico or Derby d'Italia.

Defensive stability

Pundits and fans have loved to poke fun at Mourinho's tactics in recent seasons – highlighting his defensive approach, with references to parking the bus.

But Mourinho's philosophy has proven successful. A solid defensive core – John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea, Inter's Lucio and Walter Samuel or Sergio Ramos and Pepe in Madrid – has yielded silverware with three of the biggest clubs in the world.

Chelsea's 2004-05 triumph was based on an almost impenetrable defence, which only conceded 15 goals in 38 Premier League games and tasted defeat just once. The following season, the Blues only shipped 22. At Inter, Mourinho's side conceded a league-low 34 goals in 2009-10, while his 2011-12 Madrid team showed they could mix style with substance by scoring 121 goals and allowing 32 as Los Blancos ended Barca's LaLiga dominance.

On the edge | Chelsea's Didier Drogba celebrates his goal against Newcastle United with manager Jose Mourinho and Michael Ballack.

On the edge | Chelsea's Didier Drogba celebrates his goal against Newcastle United with manager Jose Mourinho and Michael Ballack.

Expect Mourinho to get the best out of Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez. Not to mention a defensive screen, including the likes of Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Winks, following that Champions League humbling to Bayern Munich.

Point to prove

A move to Tottenham would come at a decisive moment for Mourinho. Doubts over his ability to adapt and keep up with the times have emerged.

Much was made about Mourinho at United, where he struggled to get the best out of Paul Pogba amid a falling out and reports of dressing-room unrest.

Mourinho was brought to The Theatre of Dreams to replace Louis van Gaal and restore the glory days, but fans became disillusioned with his brand of football – many ex-players and pundits criticised him for not following the United way – as Manchester City and Liverpool continued to entertain.

With the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura, Giovani Lo Celso and Christian Eriksen at his disposal, Mourinho could have the chance to show his critics he has evolved.

Drama and baggage

Whenever Mourinho is in town, expect plenty of entertainment and drama. The closing stages of his United reign included memorable outbursts.

From his 12-minute tirade, media clashes and player criticism, to his ongoing demands for reinforcements at United. Mourinho's spell with the Red Devils was eventful on and off the pitch.

It's also worth remembering Mourinho gouged the eye of the late Tito Vilanova during an ill-tempered Madrid-Barca clash in 2011.

Tottenham present a lot of challenges – a club with a modest budget, a hands-on chairman with strong opinions, a long-term plan and doubts over a handful of players. Mourinho has always liked to spend, so sit back and enjoy the ride.