When Tottenham Hotspur appointed Jose Mourinho to replace Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s manager, the fans were rightly apprehensive over the news.
The current Spurs boss has a track record of success and must be regarded as one of the most-successful coaches in world football in the current century.
However, Mourinho certainly attracts the limelight – and not always for good reason – with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy surely knowing this before making the decision to appoint him.
While other managers, including Pochettino, have the tact of defending their players and being pragmatic or non-committal in the press, the current Spurs boss is the polar opposite.
At previous clubs, Mourinho’s relationships with players soured, he was outspoken in the media and after a few (admittedly successful) years, he has been shown the exit door – sometimes in acrimonious circumstances.
Tottenham fans are clearly under no illusions that the current manager will not be at the club for the long-term and will have expected this negative cycle to start occurring after time.
Here’s hoping the cycle hasn’t started at Spurs already, because the noises coming out of North London after Sunday’s defeat to Everton are highly concerning.
Mourinho pulled no punches after Tottenham’s Premier League opening day loss, laying into the players and questioning their commitment.
He has done this before at other clubs – but not after one game of a season.
The Daily Mail are now reporting that the Tottenham players have been split in how they received this ‘constructive criticism’ and the perhaps unorthodox methods Mourinho is using to seemingly try and get the best out of them.
Without being overly dramatic or negative, Spurs need a reaction after the disappointing performance and result against Everton to keep any semblance of belief among the supporters alive.
Should things continue in the vain they have started this season, I fear the usual spiral of Mourinho’s siege mentality, criticism in the media and ostracising of players could come 18-24 months earlier than potentially planned – which could render 2020-21 a right-off.