Manager watch: Jose Mourinho

How do you feel about Mourinho appointment

  • Excited - silverware here we come baby

    Votes: 632 55.8%
  • Meh - will give him a chance and hope he is successful

    Votes: 419 37.0%
  • Horrified - praying for the day he'll fuck off

    Votes: 82 7.2%

  • Total voters
    1,133

Colonel Dax

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Doesn't bother me. Just get the right players in. They don't have to be the most expensive. We recruited better when out of the CL, maybe we will again.
Agreed. Other clubs have recruited well outside of the CL places, and as you say we did buy some capable players pre-CL. Just needs good scouting and a cohesive strategy. Having said that our squad needs more than mere tinkering and even half decent players don't come cheap nowadays. Here's hoping Levy and Jose are on the same page this summer.
 
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SUIYHA

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747
He's come in mid season and he's still learning about the players, he's also had to contend with the injuries so i'll forgive him not knowing what his best XI is. He's said himself he's learning who's got the stomach for the fight for next season.

The defence is the biggest problem. Too many mistakes, from the defenders and goalkeepers, general poor penalty box defending and individual errors. We'll 100% be after a centre back and rightly so, because we will get nowhere results wise if we don't do anything about it.

I am not giving Mourinho a free pass though. Kane and Son out shouldn't affect the defending and in spite of the individual errors I still feel like we should be doing better. In attack despite the handicap Lucas/Alli/Bergwijn are not brave enough in making runs (Leipzig match the best example).

But I do think comparing the current Liverpool team to us is a bit ridiculous. Klopp is what? 4-5 years down the line? Maybe a better comparison would be 15/16 Liverpool, when Klopp came in at a similar point to Mourinho. Liverpool finished 8th that year.
In Klopp's first season they reached two cup finals, won at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad whilst dominating the games playing brilliant attacking football, knocked their main rivals out of Europe and beat a strong Dortmund side 5-4 on aggregate in the last minute. If Mourinho had those sorts of success stories to his name amongst the inconsistency then I'd be more than happy to give him benefit of the doubt.
 

SUIYHA

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1. The attack does have an impact on defence as teams cant overload attacking wise if you carry a threat on the counter or have an out ball. When we were at our best teams rarely over committed against us. This means less work for the defense which means the defence are more focused and concentrated. They are being worked so much more which causes basic errors as they at times panic

2. Again we are missing anyone with hold up ability and having to chsnge things constantly doesn't help. Also the midfield apart from GLC does not offer enough currently. No one breaking the lines or trying to assist. Winks rarely does this. Ndombele only good for 20mins a game. Alli missing the space a target man creates for him. Bergwijn adjusting to a new league. Moura shattered from being over worked. Lamela rarely fit and makes wrong decision more often than not

3. What is our best XI with the current injuries. Im not sure i could pick a team and be confident that its the best options. All 3 keepers been poor lately davies now injured Tanganga had a couple of shaky moments lately. Jan looked like he should retired a few weeks back. Toby and sanchez both error prone. Only one RB. Dier looked good rlast two games before that looked totally off the pace. Midfield Gedson raw and not sure up to pace of prem. GLC pure class ndombele just not fit and lacks the mentality to play. Winks running himself into ground but lacks positional discipline which leaves us open/exposed. Skipp is a kid. Sessegnon was injured again and just come back Lamela not trained properly for weeks. Bergwijn adjusting to a new league. Alli struggling as mentioned above moura working hard but lacks a but of intelligence. So what XI would you play with any real conviction and could honestly say thats our best XI. He had eriksen who left in Jan and wasnt replaced. Hes had sissoko who was just starting to look good. Scored a couple and was offering effort and commitment and then lost him Kane and Son to injury. They were a key 4 players to our starting XI last season all lost.

Yes its disorganised but we had way to many passangers in our squad who arent up to it. Rose KWP Foyth Wanyama were all players taking up squad places who clearly should have been moved on last summer and replacements for the squad found this never happened. Now all but one have been moved on however only wanyama permanently. We will need to replace and shift them in the summer which wont be easy with Levy. Hopefully they know who they want to sign and they will be got in early in the summer.
Am not going to reply to each point individually, but what I will say is that whilst it's true that having attacking players out injured may mean teams commit more forward against us, that is no excuse for the defence being as bad as they have been. Are you saying that teams are committing less players forward against teams like Sheffield Utd than they are against us? Because their defence seems pretty well organised to me...
 

SUIYHA

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Did you see Toby yesterday? That was, for me hands down, the worst performance he's put in in a Spurs shirt. This is a confidence issue. You can't force a player to play well. If their confidence is low they can put in as much effort as you like - and Toby certainly tried - but dull that edge and a tiny drop can make all the difference between a stellar performance and a terrible one. Look to the opposite - look at Wolves. They may not be the best team on paper, but by God do they believe in themselves. Look at Liverpool. They too don't have stars in every position, but they believe.

You simply can't legislate for players not being in the right place in their minds if you've only been working with them for a short period. Whatever the cause, it's something that can't be coached out in a short space of time. One of the things that Mourinho can bring is a siege mentality - an us against them attitude that puts fire in the belly, but in the current circumstances any confidence boosting messaging he may be trying to convey will have to contend with, 'Christ, we don't have any strikers', 'My God, another injury', 'For crying out loud, we conceded again'. Dele said it in his post-match interview that the half-time dressing room was 'sticky' (and he didn't mean it literally, although we are talking about Burnley here :D ). The mood music right now is very likely very negative and the effect of it will make solving it an uphill battle until there's space to step back, take a breather and build from the bottom up again i.e. pre-season.

And again, confidence will play a part as well as the possibility that players are being asked to perform roles they're not suited to because they have no choice. Dele in particular will not work well as the tip of the needle - that's what Harry and Sonny are for. Much of what a footballer does on the pitch will be a combination of instinct and muscle memory, so when asked to perform in a different role the instinct will be to play the way they are accustomed to playing which doesn't fit quite as well into the way they are being asked to play. Again, very very fine margins can have very very large effects.

And you know that he has no clue about his best XI how? Have you spoken with him and asked? The fact that he's chopping and changing is not necessarily any indicator of his views as to which his 'best' players are. Plus which, you're ignoring the fact that perhaps he's utilising certain players at certain times because he thinks it's the best lineup to get results. Such as the way he deployed Tanganga and Sanchez against Wolves because he wanted to negate the pace of their forwards. A good tactical decision, let down by individual mistakes, which you can't legislate for.

And that's without even mentioning the fitness issue, of which there's a strong suggestion that we may have problems with the previous setup (again not casting any aspersions, just reflecting the nuggets of info that have been shared by various sources). There's match-fit and then there's overall fitness. The majority of overall fitness work is done in preseason and then 'topped up' (so to speak) during the campaign as part of recovery and next-match prep.

And if there's a problem with the fitness regime you then have a double-whammy in that players aren't properly prepared during the close season and then aren't being 'topped up' properly during the campaign itself. And there's little that can be done to remedy that partway through a campaign - you have to have the time and space to implement new systems i.e. pre-season.

Again, the expectation that a manager can come in midseason and fundamentally change all aspects of training is a false one, as has been said by so many professionals time and time again. If that premise is accepted (as it should be), it puts a very different slant on the situation - that Mourinho right now is involved in nothing but firefighting and expecting anything else is unjustifiable.

And right there, you've pretty much negated your own red flags, old chap. Yes, I too believe that there is a serious confidence issue in the squad right now, but in the heart of the cauldron of a campaign it's an almost impossible thing to remedy. It's like dry rot - once it's set in, it's hard to shift without major work and the time to do that major work isn't available halfway through a season.

You're right, it's not enjoyable, but that doesn't mean it's not understandable. And comparing with Sherwood is a spurious argument because the situation was very very different. We were a different club, the league was in a different place, some factors that existed then don't exist now and vice versa.

I'll say it again - we cannot say whether Mourinho is going to be good for us or not. But in the same way we can't say he will be, we also can't say that he won't be. And those 'red flags' are actually false flags if one tries to apply them to the man rather than the situation.
Also not going to reply to each point individually, but you have to think of it this way - what is the role of a manager? Ultimately, it's down to four things:

1. Get players in the best state of mind to play and give maximum performance
2. Coach players to improve and play their best possible football
3. Deploy the best possible tactics to win matches
4. Identify weaknesses within the team and work with the club owners to bring in players to improve the squad overall

I can give a free pass for number four, but the other three he's massively let himself down on. If the dressing room is down, that's literally his job to pick it up. If players aren't doing what they're supposed to do, that's literally his job to coach them to do it. If we are getting tactically outthought - that is literally his job to fix it. If players are making too many individual mistakes, that is usually down to poor coaching or a poor frame of mind - literally his job to fix it.

Teams get injuries. It hurts them, but they deal with it. How many times have we played Chelsea with loads of their key players missing only for them to find a way to beat us? We have some phenomenally talented players in our squad that all appear to be going backwards at the same time, that's not just bad luck that looks very much like poor man-management and/or poor coaching to me.

I don't disagree that Pochettino's time had come to an end, but seriously, what do people think would have happened differently if we'd re-appointed Sherwood a few months ago instead? Would entire spine of the team, from goalkeeper, defence, midfield and attack all be even MORE disorganised and demotivated than the are now? Sherwood after all did secure the best PPG of any manager in our history, win at Old Trafford, win five of his first six games, rack up four 3+ goal margin victories in the league, all whilst managing a team containing the likes of Chiriches, Paulinho, Soldado, Capoue, Naughton, Townsend and Holtby. No that doesn't mean I think Sherwood is better than Mourinho, but it does mean that I don't buy this free pass that people want to give him, even considering the circumstances he should be doing much better than he is, end of.
 

EZSpur

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869
Can't see him leaving and tbh think he'll relish a season of week to week Premier League games out of Europe.
Don't agree I'm afraid.
Jose can't help but be driven by his ego - and his ego simply won't allow for no European footy.

It is fact the making of him..and his downfall, prob in equal parts.

Honestly, right now I just want him to stop playing mind games with Levy and the team.

If he wants European football then he needs to find a way of getting us there - any way possible.
Not this constant drivel, trying to showcase to Levy where we're lacking - and then calling players out.

He needs to be the tactician we know he can be.
 

E17yid

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Wonder what Mourinho’s response to losing Kovacic, Jorginho and Kante would have been yesterday??
Play Zouma/Christensen as an auxiliary defensive midfielder or additional centre half?? Or throw in an 18 year kid to be catalyst for a fantastic performance?
Tbf, he’s played Tanganga so I’m not sure this post is fair, tbh.
 

dudu

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3,395
Doesn't bother me. Just get the right players in. They don't have to be the most expensive. We recruited better when out of the CL, maybe we will again.
Right and it's not as if being in the CL has suddenly seen us suddenly manage to attract the level of superstar that people seem to think we have.

We are largely still buying the same kind of player albeit for hugely inflated prices.
 

seppo

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Meanwhile, our own manager setting up with 5 centre-backs against Burnley, conceding after 13 minutes while sitting back, is trying to lay blame on a player playing his first season riddled with injuries in a new league, playing alongside a academy graduate that started his first game of the season.

Let's not even discuss how absolutely rudderless we looked (and have looked for most of his games in charge) besides the Ndombele 'issue'.
 
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dudu

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Am not going to reply to each point individually, but what I will say is that whilst it's true that having attacking players out injured may mean teams commit more forward against us, that is no excuse for the defence being as bad as they have been. Are you saying that teams are committing less players forward against teams like Sheffield Utd than they are against us? Because their defence seems pretty well organised to me...
In his defence, Mourinho has come in mid-season to work with a defence that was already in a shambles long before he came in due to its age, fitness and general level of ability, being asked to coach it to solidity while having to play 24 games over a 15 odd week period - not entirely enough time to stamp your authority on an already broken system.

Not really comparable to Sheff United's settled back 4 who played together with success last season.
 

Vinny_Sammways_left_peg

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Meanwhile, our own manager setting up with 5 centre-backs against Burnley, conceding after 13 minutes while sitting back, is trying to lay blame on a player playing his first season riddled with injuries in a new league, playing alongside a academy graduate that started his first game of the season.

Let's not even discuss how absolutely clueless we looked (and have looked for most of his games in charge) besides the Nbombele 'issue'.
We beat City in the same way mate ... Didn't see you pissing on his chips then ...

Take the day off.

Edit - City
 

Chirpystheman

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Meanwhile, our own manager setting up with 5 centre-backs against Burnley, conceding after 13 minutes while sitting back, is trying to lay blame on a player playing his first season riddled with injuries in a new league, playing alongside a academy graduate that started his first game of the season.

Let's not even discuss how absolutely clueless we looked (and have looked for most of his games in charge) besides the Nbombele 'issue'.
Didnt we beat city a few weeks ago. My memory must be mistaken
 

Chirpystheman

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In his defence, Mourinho has come in mid-season to work with a defence that was already in a shambles long before he came in due to its age, fitness and general level of ability, being asked to coach it to solidity while having to play 24 games over a 15 odd week period - not entirely enough time to stamp your authority on an already broken system.

Not really comparable to Sheff United's settled back 4 who played together with success last season.
Well said. He came in to a squad that was on its knees. Low on confidence, players who were past their best days in wanyama jan rose. Has had to deal with a number of injuries and an overloaded fixture list. Comparing us to teams that have had managers in place for a lot longer is unfair. Also it took Klopp 3 years to get liverpool to the well oiled machine they are. Give him time
 

Everlasting Seconds

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Meanwhile, our own manager setting up with 5 centre-backs against Burnley,
Here is the thing.
Vertonghen played as a wing back. So yes, you *can* use Vertonghen as a CB. That fact does not mean that he *was* a cb. Then we move to Tanganga, who largely played as RB. Then we move to Alderweireld, who played as a CB but supporting Vertonghen out on the left. Then we move to Sanchez who was a traditional CB. Then finally we have Dier who played as CB initially. So as we can see, the defence wasn't 5 CB, but one WB, one FB, two pure CBs and one CB partially acting as FB give the WB space. The defence, as much as it became a 5 CB hyperbole before the game even started, was a actually a fluid and nuanced team part.
But no of course, if we just write 5 CBs often enough, we'll have another stick to beat our manager with, and that just feels so good.
 
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rez9000

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Also not going to reply to each point individually, but you have to think of it this way - what is the role of a manager? Ultimately, it's down to four things:

1. Get players in the best state of mind to play and give maximum performance
2. Coach players to improve and play their best possible football
3. Deploy the best possible tactics to win matches
4. Identify weaknesses within the team and work with the club owners to bring in players to improve the squad overall

I can give a free pass for number four, but the other three he's massively let himself down on. If the dressing room is down, that's literally his job to pick it up. If players aren't doing what they're supposed to do, that's literally his job to coach them to do it. If we are getting tactically outthought - that is literally his job to fix it. If players are making too many individual mistakes, that is usually down to poor coaching or a poor frame of mind - literally his job to fix it.

Teams get injuries. It hurts them, but they deal with it. How many times have we played Chelsea with loads of their key players missing only for them to find a way to beat us? We have some phenomenally talented players in our squad that all appear to be going backwards at the same time, that's not just bad luck that looks very much like poor man-management and/or poor coaching to me.

I don't disagree that Pochettino's time had come to an end, but seriously, what do people think would have happened differently if we'd re-appointed Sherwood a few months ago instead? Would entire spine of the team, from goalkeeper, defence, midfield and attack all be even MORE disorganised and demotivated than the are now? Sherwood after all did secure the best PPG of any manager in our history, win at Old Trafford, win five of his first six games, rack up four 3+ goal margin victories in the league, all whilst managing a team containing the likes of Chiriches, Paulinho, Soldado, Capoue, Naughton, Townsend and Holtby. No that doesn't mean I think Sherwood is better than Mourinho, but it does mean that I don't buy this free pass that people want to give him, even considering the circumstances he should be doing much better than he is, end of.
Each of your four points are bang on. No argument. That's precisely what a manager has to do. But, and it's a big but, you're not allowing for factors that can affect those four points.

1. The mentality of the players is not just affected by the actions of the manager. Also, negative mentality is not something that can be dealt with in a short space of time. So, let's say a squad has a deep-seated confidence issue. It's the manager's job to solve that. He has a number of tools at his disposal. But he hasn't had time. One thing I will say, the commitment of the players on the pitch is unquestionable (Ndombele aside). They certainly try on the pitch. Wouldn't you say that that's evidence of a manager motivating his men?

2. As has been said, not by me, but by seasoned professionals up and down the game, a manager is limited in what he can change when it comes to training midseason. That's what preseason is for - to analyse and to change training methods if needed. My question to you would be this: is it reasonable to expect any manager to coach players to show a nebulous 'improvement' that we can't really even define, if he has come in in the middle of a season? If the answer to that is no, then you're unfairly judging Mourinho if you believe he should be delivering that. And if the answer is yes, then I would ask why was our previous manager not able to do so (that's not casting aspersions on Pochettino, just asking why one manager should but another manager didn't)?

3. The idea that if a manager makes a tactical decision that doesn't work is symptomatic of a failing is a spurious argument. A club does not play its matches against a monolithic, undefined entity. They face different opponents who also will be making tactical decisions designed to win them the game. The issue here is that just because a club loses a game or fails to win it doesn't automatically correlate with poor tactics. That's just a disease that has infected the minds of supporters because of the parlous state of football punditry. The assumption is that the losing manager got it wrong. In that scenario what you're essentially saying is that it doesn't matter what happens on the pitch, the result is predetermined as a function of the individual managers' decisions prior to the game kicking off. The decisions a manager make are determined by the tools at his disposal. If it doesn't come off, it doesn't mean he's picked the wrong tools, just that the other manager also deployed some tools and one set of tools did a better job. It can be as result of poor tactical choices, but it isn't automatically due to poor tactical choices.

And I'd also stress that it's difficult to classify any manager's choices because there are just far too many variables. I keep mentioning the Wolves game because it's a very good example. He deployed Sanchez and Tanganga against them because they have very pacy forwards and they are our fastest defenders. A sound tactical decision. But we lost the game. Does that mean that in fact it was a poor tactical decision? EVen if it was, how was he to know it would turn out that way?

4. I surprised you even raised this one. He's had one transfer window and it came when he'd been at the club for little over a month. It would be difficult for him to be able to say what weaknesses his squad has in so short a space of time, especially with two games a week affecting the performances of his players in training. Again it takes time for a manager to determine what weaknesses (and strengths) his squad has and to make adjustments. Mourinho has had one single transfer window. He has bought some players but he can't go 'balls-deep' in the market because he doesn't yet fully know where all the holes are.

Essentially what this boils down to is that you expect Mourinho to deliver now. But that's an unreasonable demand of any manager.

You raise the fact that all teams get injuries. Yes, they do. But do all teams get injuries to their two main goal threats at the same time? Do they get those injuries in the middle of a transition between two managers? Do they get them in a period of serious underperformance that has stretched back for more than a year?

It pains me to say it, and I apologise in advance, but your argument is pretty reductive. It's trying to boil down what is a very complex situation into black and white terms. Now black and white terms are easy to define and easy to answer, but they often don't actually shed much light on what is happening in a given situation nor provide much insight on the approach one should take.

A nuanced view will highlight what may appear to be minor factors but may actually have significant impacts. A black and white view then isn't very helpful at all.

EDIT: I just read back the 'balls deep' line and, dear Lord, there's some Freudian stuff going on there!
 
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markiespurs

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Don't agree I'm afraid.
Jose can't help but be driven by his ego - and his ego simply won't allow for no European footy.

It is fact the making of him..and his downfall, prob in equal parts.

Honestly, right now I just want him to stop playing mind games with Levy and the team.

If he wants European football then he needs to find a way of getting us there - any way possible.
Not this constant drivel, trying to showcase to Levy where we're lacking - and then calling players out.

He needs to be the tactician we know he can be.

I actually think it’s the exact opposite and that it’s his ego that will keep him at the club.

Being the first manager in over 12 years to win us a trophy is something that would appeal to his ego. As would the opportunity to go down in club and Premiership history to turn us into title winners.
 

Khilari

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Playing 5 centre halves against Burnley with 2 deep lying midfielders (and still looking vulnerable) would be classed as getting it wrong. In my opinion.
I agree - assuming he had a fully fit squad to choose from all of who could play 90min of football.

But he didn't. And I don't think he expected Ndombele to be quite so ineffective alongside Ollie Skipp at driving us forward.
 

Gb160

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I actually think it’s the exact opposite and that it’s his ego that will keep him at the club.

Being the first manager in over 12 years to win us a trophy is something that would appeal to his ego. As would the opportunity to go down in club and Premiership history to turn us into title winners.
Funny that some still think he'll walk out on a £15m per year deal.
 
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