“Terrible information adopted by worse information”, “discuss an enormous leap within the incorrect route”, “they’ve misplaced the plot”.
When Tottenham sacked Mauricio Pochettino and changed him with Jose Mourinho on 20 November 2019, the responses from many Spurs followers have been a bit of spiky.
Right here was an attack-minded, progressive supervisor in Pochettino, who had led Tottenham to the brink of home and European glory, changed by a perceived park-the-bus service provider; an obvious yesterday’s man following his sacking by Manchester United.
It hasn’t all been plain crusing, however quick ahead a 12 months and Spurs are prime of the Premier League desk with an evolving squad enjoying constructive soccer and a seemingly harmonious assist.
On Saturday, they achieved arguably their most spectacular results of the season – a 2-0 dwelling win over final season’s runners-up Manchester Metropolis.
And what of the person who has overseen all of it? Has he gained over the Tottenham followers?
‘Doing a take care of the satan’
To reply this query totally, we should return to the start.
The quotes that opened this text are among the many prime rated of greater than 3,000 feedback on BBC Sport’s story detailing Mourinho’s appointment and characterize the extra unstable reactions from the Spurs fanbase.
The overall response, although, was wariness in direction of a supervisor with an undoubted report of success however whose achievements had been overshadowed by inconsistent outcomes, accusations of destructive soccer and a capability to fall out with gamers – Paul Pogba being probably the most high-profile instance.
It additionally did not assist that he was so ingrained within the Premier League rise of Chelsea – one in every of Tottenham’s fiercest rivals.
Mourinho himself spoke of humility and classes realized at his Spurs unveiling. However Simeon Daniel, who alongside along with his brother Ben runs WeAreTottenhamTV, instructed BBC Sport that the appointment felt like a compromise at finest.
“I believe rather a lot followers felt like we have been doing a take care of the satan,” he stated.
Ben continued on the theme: “I felt like we have been promoting our soul.
“When my brother requested me if I needed Mourinho as supervisor, I stated: ‘No probability do I ever need him. He is a dinosaur. Look what occurs to him at each job. He is a ticking time-bomb.’
“There was a particular cut up. Half the followers we spoke to have been saying that he was a born winner, that he wins all over the place he goes and that it was what we wanted after Pochettino, who had introduced a lot positivity however was lacking that first trophy.
“However the different half noticed him as a Manchester United/Chelsea reject who was previous it.
“I bear in mind in a few of the early days, songs backing Mourinho would begin within the crowd and others would grumble, saying they could not sing his identify.”
‘100% on the Mourinho bandwagon’
The squad Mourinho inherited had been allowed to move its peak because the membership balked on the sort of switch exercise undertaken by their nearest rivals and targeted their energies as an alternative on the constructing of a brand new stadium.
When Pochettino was sacked, they have been with no win in 5, leaving them 14th within the desk and 20 factors behind then-league leaders and eventual champions Liverpool with solely 12 matches of the season gone.
They’d battle for consistency underneath Mourinho for the rest of the marketing campaign, ultimately ending sixth because of a formidable post-lockdown unbeaten run of six matches.
The promise of that mini-run has been realised to date in 2020-21, with six wins from 9 video games producing 21 targets and moments of attacking brilliance.
Saturday’s sport was a masterclass of sport administration, showcasing a defensive rigidity to maintain Metropolis at bay and lightning-quick, ruthless counter-attacking to select them off.
It has re-energised the fanbase, prompted sensible discuss of a title problem and altered many perceptions of Mourinho.
“I’ve been proved fully incorrect,” stated Ben. “I’m 100% on the Mourinho bandwagon.
“I believe quite a lot of followers bought on board after lockdown. You noticed a special Tottenham once they got here again. That’s when the idea began to develop.
“Such is the character of soccer followers, you get the odd fan right here and there who nonetheless does not like Jose. However as a complete the sentiments are overwhelmingly constructive.”
How has Mourinho modified opinion?
In the end, by successful video games of soccer.
Nonetheless, the Daniel brothers really feel the seeds of his newfound reputation have been planted by occasions off the pitch, captured within the Amazon documentary, ‘All or Nothing’, which charted the membership’s 2019-20 season.
“He came visiting as so charismatic. You possibly can’t not wish to watch him,” stated Simeon. “We even heard from rival followers who fell in love with him after watching the doc. It was a implausible PR transfer by the membership.”
“After the documentary, Mourinho had Tottenham followers consuming out of the palm of his hand,” added Ben.
He has additionally impressed within the very areas for which he was criticised at Manchester United – recruitment, techniques and man-management.
“I am simply over 30 now and the final summer season switch window was the very best of my lifetime,” stated Ben, who noticed his facet usher in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Sergio Reguilon and Gareth Bale in the summertime.
Simeon added: “We now have precision focused the weak components of the crew but in addition introduced in mix of expertise, management and expertise.”
Spearheaded by a remodelled model of the already prolific Harry Kane/Son Heung-min pairing, which has seen the previous function in a deeper, inventive position, Spurs are the second-highest scorers on this season’s Premier League.
The 11 targets they’ve scored within the opening 45 minutes of video games alone is greater than Manchester Metropolis have netted general within the competitors this season (10).
Son is the division’s prime scorer with 9, together with the opener in opposition to Metropolis, whereas Kane has a league-high 9 assists.
“Final season, Mourinho did not exit particularly to win each sport as he felt there have been some we could not,” stated Ben. “He stated lately that he wouldn’t settle for a draw this season. He units as much as win video games.”
On the man-management entrance, his most high-profile dealings have been with Dele Alli and report signing Tanguy Ndombele, each proficient midfielders, however with questions over their utility.
Alli has been absent from the primary crew for a lot of this season, however by no means frozen out, whereas Ndombele is at the moment enjoying the very best soccer of his Tottenham profession, which he highlighted by way of the chipped help for Son’s purpose on Saturday.
To really get a way of how completely different the temper across the membership and its fanbase is now, you want solely learn a few of the feedback on the report of Saturday’s sport…
“A Mourinho masterclass… the doubters are lowering”, “Jose has Spurs purring like a kitten”, “Spurs are contenders this season that is for positive”.