Jose Mourinho: Will Tottenham head coach have more freedom?
Mourinho got off to a winning start as Tottenham head coach with a 3-2 victory at West Ham
Last Updated: 25/11/19 8:30am
Jose Mourinho turned down job offers in China, Spain and Portugal since leaving Manchester United, but will he have more power to assert his authority at Tottenham?
The Sunday Supplement panel discussed Mourinho's appointment as Tottenham head coach and whether the Portuguese needs to change his approach to management in order to achieve success in his fourth job in English football.
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Mourinho won three Premier League titles with Chelsea, and is one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League twice with two clubs, FC Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010 - but the feeling is that his latest position comes with a different set of initial objectives.
'Mourinho has more wriggle-room at Tottenham'
The Daily Mail's chief sports writer Martin Samuel said: "What's different for Mourinho at Tottenham as opposed to any job he's ever had in English football is that with Chelsea and Manchester United, unless you win the league you've failed.
"At Chelsea, unless you win the league, you get sacked. It has altered a little bit now, but Maurizio Sarri still went after one year. It's the same at Manchester United - it's only because they've fallen so far and unexpectedly that it's been revised a little bit.
"But Mourinho was expected to win the league at United. This is the first job he's had in England where if you don't win the league at Tottenham, it's not exactly a disaster because they've not won the league since 1961.
"It should be an ambition, but he has got at Tottenham the freedom, and a bit more wriggle-room than he's had in his previous jobs.
"He's an old-fashioned manager that struggles with control. He wants what Sir Alex Ferguson had. He wants to be able to say, 'this is what we do, and this is how we do it'. But it's not like that anymore.
"Rafa Benitez has the same problem. They want to be a manager from 25 years ago, where what I say goes and it's not like that anymore."
'Mourinho has to keep Spurs in Champions League'
Mourinho clashed with key personnel at Manchester United and was sacked after losing the support of his players and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in December 2018.
Having been heavily backed in the transfer market at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United, Mourinho insists he is happy with his current Spurs squad, where the first objective is to retain Champions League football next season.
The Daily Telegraph's chief sports writer Paul Hayward said: "Between now and May, it's quite straightforward. He's got to get the side from 14th to fourth.
"That's not going to be easy as Chelsea and Leicester are really decent sides. They're not going to go anywhere as far as I can see.
"It's a rational, pragmatic thing to do, but I don't think we should understate the degree to which Tottenham have just ripped their identity up.
"They've ripped up five years of work and have tried something completely different. It's a radical departure for Spurs to appoint Mourinho as manager after all groundwork they've been doing to build a belief in youth.
"Mourinho's problem has become managing upwards. He's always managed downwards, but there's a pattern in his career latterly of him struggling with the people above him - Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea saw him have conflict with chief executives and owners.
"What we are looking for is whether he can get on with the people who own and run Tottenham, because in his past three jobs, he hasn't done that.
'Mourinho incapable of changing'
The Portuguese described himself as 'humble' and spoke fondly of the project at his unveiling last Thursday as he addressed the media for the first time.
Mourinho claimed his DNA remains the same but he will change some of his ways in order to get the best out of his players. But after a welcome change, were those views felt to be sincere?
Chief football writer at The People, Steve Bates added: "An interesting element that has been put forward is, can he change? Can we see a different Jose Mourinho?
"He spoke of making 'new mistakes' at his unveiling, but I don't think Mourinho can change. He has a formula, a winning formula, that has served him brilliantly.
"But the game has changed since he was first in charge of Chelsea. It's so much more competitive now, and the playing field has levelled out a lot.
"His ability to win the Premier League is not as easy and guaranteed as when it was when he had Roman Abramovich's money in the first place."
Sky Sports' Adam Bate
'Jose Mourinho has a reputation for making a quick impact and that's exactly what he did as Tottenham beat a woeful West Ham team 3-2 at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
'The result ended a run of 12 Premier League away games without a win under his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino that dated back to January of last season.
'The victory would have appeared much more emphatic had Manuel Pellegrini's struggling side not salvaged some pride with a couple of late goals. Prior to that, the gulf between the teams was huge.
'All three of Tottenham's forward line found the net - Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane - while Dele Alli was particularly impressive in support.
'On the face of it, Mourinho barely tweaked the formation. Understandably so, having had so little time to work with the players. "New training sessions, new ideas. It is difficult to process," he acknowledged.
'But there were some signs on the pitch, and in his assessment of the game in the press conference afterwards, of how Mourinho plans to turn this around.'