EPL

Spurs appoint Mourinho: A risk worth taking for Jose

By Sports Desk November 20, 2019

Jose Mourinho is taking a risk by accepting the Tottenham job, and why not?

Spurs confirmed the appointment of Mourinho as head coach on Wednesday, a day after announcing the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino following five-and-a-half years in charge.

A serial winner, the Portuguese tactician has the job of lifting Tottenham from 14th in the Premier League, although they are just three points off fifth spot.

Still, while a return to London for the former Chelsea manager is an opportunity, it also shapes as a risk after his mixed spell at Manchester United. Already facing questions, perhaps unfairly, over his ability, Mourinho joins at a troublesome time for Spurs, arguably the smallest club he has managed since leaving Porto.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has got his man, but Mourinho will want funds – and soon – to strengthen the squad. Levy is a tough negotiator but will need to loosen his demands to get Tottenham, and Mourinho, what they want and need.

Mourinho – appointed until the end of the 2022-23 season – must also deal with a trio of stars in Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld being out of contract at season's end.

All three – as well as star forward Harry Kane – have been linked with moves away from Tottenham and Mourinho will face a huge test in trying to replace them should they decide to leave a club without a trophy since the 2008 EFL Cup.

Though Mourinho suggested just last month when working as a pundit for Sky Sports that he would have shown the likes of Eriksen the door already.

"I don't like to keep players that don't want to stay at the club," he said. "I think it's always really difficult. I am not thinking about the economical perspective, I mean from a motivational point of view.

"We [Chelsea] sold Robben to Real Madrid, Chelsea didn't want to or need the money. But he didn't want to be there and wanted to go. There are some moments where motivation affects performance and it is difficult to keep players happy when they have other dreams."

Mourinho's volatile nature may not make his marriage with Spurs a perfect match, but with great risk can come great reward.

For all the questions over whether his pragmatic approach can still work as the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool dominate, Mourinho gets a chance to prove it does – or at least show he is adaptable and begin to match the all-conquering duo.

Mourinho has enough credits – 25 trophies to be exact – to know there will be other opportunities should his Spurs move go wrong, but just where – and who would be willing to take a risk on him – is another matter entirely.

If his time at Spurs ends as badly as it did at Old Trafford, however, Mourinho is unlikely to be back at any of the Premier League's so-called 'big six' soon, meaning he would almost certainly have to turn his attentions to another country.

This may be a risk for Mourinho, but it is one he needs to take.

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