Let’s see if Mou can take Bale…

Tottenham appointed Mourinho after dismissing Pochettino, the man behind their recent success. The London club has a long history behind it and once opened the door to a less rudimentary model in the English game. That was in the 1960s, when Arthur Rowe, later made Sir, was in charge, drinking from the fountains of the 'Danube School'. Rowe opposed the old kick-and-rush (long punts upfield) and replaced it with push-and-run (first-time passing and constant movement), and it brought Spurs joy, spearheading a time that saw an understanding between the old principles of English football and what was cooking elsewhere. The approach had a say in England’s ’66 World Cup win.

Pochettino pays for lack of signings

Pochettino’s work at Tottenham took the club higher than at any point in recent years, and even resulted in them reaching the Champions League final in June, which they ultimately lost to Liverpool. Yet as Guillem Balagué wrote in AS yesterday, the lack of signings owing to the investment in a new stadium contributed to the club’s slump and slide (as an aside, this is a good time to congratulate Atlético, who have built a great new stadium without becoming less competitive). It cost Pochettino his job and was left with no right of appeal against a run of poor results.

Mourinho and Bale

The Argentine is replaced by Mourinho, a figure in sharp contrast with the much-loved Rowe and Pochettino. For many Madrid fans, this appointment comes as a relief, because the guy that poked Tito Vilanova in the eye in a shameful and sly act, celebrated by hardcore Madrid and Florentino fans ("your finger points the way forward”), was on the loose. Many of us feared that Florentino was longing for his return and would reinstate him with any setback suffered by Zidane. This threat has now melted away, and all that’s left is for Mourinho to get back Bale, whose latest snub of Madrid has taken a dark turn. To go back from whence you came… and good riddance.