José Mourinho's feedback

José Mourinho started well on Tottenham bench
José Mourinho started well on the Tottenham bench ANDREAS GEBERT / REUTERS

This Sunday, December 22, will have a somewhat special taste for José Mourinho. Back on the coaching bench since the end of November, in Tottenham, the "Special One", as he is nicknamed, and his team receive Chelsea at the 18e Premier League day, the English football championship.

With this London derby, the Portuguese technician will, at the same time, face one of his old clubs – he led Chelsea from 2004 to 2007 then from 2013 to 2015 – and have the opportunity to confirm the good results which mark his arrival on the bench of "Spurs".

There was nothing obvious about this return to the fore. José Mourinho's adventure with his previous club, Manchester United, ended badly in December 2018 due to the weakness of his results. For almost a year, the "Mou" was removed from the field and arrived in Tottenham with the heavy task of putting the capital club back on track.

Read also José Mourinho, new coach of the Tottenham club

His predecessor Mauricio Pochettino had certainly managed to hoist Tottenham in the final of the Champions League in June, but the situation was much more delicate in the league. Fourth at the end of last season, the momentum then stopped. And Pochettino’s future has been clouded.

Winning in the field…

When José Mourinho took office, Tottenham was fourteenth in the Premier League, far (eleven points behind) from fourth place, synonymous with qualification for the Champions League for next season. The club’s future in the current edition of this competition was not yet assured during the group stages.

Today, the results are positive. At least at this point. In the flagship European competition, the Londoners easily qualified for the round of 16. They were even a little happy during the draw since they will face Leipzig, a team within their reach.

In the league, the "Spurs" are now fifth after winning four of the first five games of the "Mourinho era". The only slight hitch, for the Portuguese and his team, occurred against his former club, Manchester United, with a 2-2 draw.

Read also Premier League: the winning return of "Mourinho the humble"

With the Chelsea reception, Mourinho faces the English club with which he has had the most success: three titles of champion of England on the whole of his two passages on the bench of the "Blues".

Special? "I am 100% Tottenhamsaid Mourinho at a press conference on Friday. There is no place for old clubs. I gave everything for everyone, but these are my old clubs. My club is Tottenham so it's very simple for me. No difficulty from an emotional point of view. "

Either way, he knows the tension will still be there with Chelsea fans quitting after a long losing streak in 2015. In October 2018, while still on the bench for Manchester United, Mourinho was thus made to whistle in the stadium of Stamford Bridge. In response, the provocative coach had walked along the stands, indicating the number three with his fingers, like his three Premier League titles.

… More discreet outside

Today, Mourinho is working to show all signs of calmer behavior. His return to the bench is, for the moment, calmer. A somewhat unusual situation, for one whose behavior and polemical remarks fueled the media.

In his first league match with Tottenham against West Ham, marked by the victory of his own (3-2), the technician played low profile and appeared abnormally humble at a press conference: I would have hated if someone said "José had an impact". I had no impact. Nothing. I just helped them a little to win this match. "

Following the reception of the Olympiakos during the fifth day of the Champions League, at the end of November, we also saw him congratulate with a friendly tap, then invite to a lunch with the players, a ball collector: rushing to give the ball to the side Serge Aurier and allow him to play the key quickly, the young Callum Hynes had been behind a goal, scored by Harry Kane. The episode was relayed by a video from the club, a coup more inherent in Mourinho's character.

Now, the latter must confirm his good beginnings on the field. Sunday’s game is essential in the race for Europe. A victory against Chelsea would take 4th place in the championship ahead of his opponent of the day. It would act even more the return of the Portuguese technician. Until when ? This is another question, as the complainant has never managed to stay more than three years in the same club.

Maxime Pimont


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