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Is Jose Mourinho doing a good job at Tottenham or will it end in tears? – Daily Mail, Dailymail.co.uk

Is Jose Mourinho doing a good job at Tottenham or will it end in tears? – Daily Mail, Dailymail.co.uk

He’s the messiah to finally bring Tottenham silverware. He will completely unravel the progress made by Mauricio Pochettino.

Those were the two contrasting schools of thought when Jose Mourinho took over at Spurs. Ahead of their FA Cup replay at home to Southampton tonight, the argument continues.

The Portuguese divides opinion more than any other manager. Some condemn his methods as outdated, his ego too pervasive and recent track record as abysmal.

But his backers point to a stacked trophy cabinet, toxic dressing rooms during his failures at Chelsea and Manchester United and a recent change in demeanor as reasons to be optimistic.

Jose Mourinho orchestrated Tottenham’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City at the weekend

He has looked to rebrand himself as the humble one. ‘since taking over as Tottenham boss

And those on the Mourinho bandwagon had many reasons to hail Tottenham’s 2- 0 victory over Manchester City at the weekend as a masterclass typical of the manager.

His detractors claimed Spurs simply rode their luck with City having (shots to Spurs’ three with per cent possession despite be ing a man down.

So where is the truth in all this? After games at the helm , is Mourinho quietly doing a good job or are their ominous signs of a meltdown to come?

Here, Sportsmail assesses Mourinho’s tenure so far.

THE CASE FOR MOURINHO:

In the most straightforward terms, Tottenham were languishing down in 12 th when Mourinho took over. Now they’re fifth, just four points adrift of Chelsea in the Champions League places.

That’s a clear improvement and a top four finish is definitely within reach, particularly with their rivals struggling to string any consistent form together.

It isn’t just the Premier League where Spurs are battling on. Mourinho helped them through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and who’d bet against last year finalists going deep in the competition again?

Mourinho will be delighted that the top four, FA Cup and Champions League are up for grabs

His side were well beaten 3-1 away at Bayern Munich but it was certainly a better showing than the embarrassing 7-2 defeat at home under Pochettino.

RB Leipzig are eminently beatable in the round of 19 and Spurs are still alive in the FA Cup too. Two trophies are still available this season and while a European triumph might be a stretch, Mourinho knows an FA Cup win would boost his standing with fans.

Although there was inevitably going to be an upturn in fortunes when a new manager came in, Mourinho also inherited plenty of problems left by his predecessor.

Pochettino was stuck with some deadwood in his squad who wanted out and key players were performing well below par.

Mourinho deserves great credit here. Upon arrival, he asked Dele Alli if it had been him or his twin brother playing. The England midfielder was given the kick up the backside he needed and seems to be responding to his manager’s methods. The hunger is there again, as is the output.

The Portuguese has managed to get Dele Alli playing close to his best football again

Alli scored an average of one goal every minutes under Pochettino this season in contrast to a much improved 153 minutes under Mourinho.

Christian Eriksen had become a problem too – again, before Mourinho became Spurs boss.

‘We didn’t tell because of a moral agreement with Christian, but from the first day I arrived [last November], he told me he was not going to sign [a contract]. ‘ Mourinho recently revealed.

The Dane has been such a huge player for the club in the last seven years and his form dropped off a cliff. Not only that, but having a dressing room influencer wanting to leave is a tricky situation to deal with.

Mourinho deployed Eriksen sparingly, took it in his stride and spurs ended up banking a healthy £ million from Inter Milan for a man with six months left on his contract.

Eriksen has said his decision to run down his contract made him a ‘black sheep’ at the club. ‘It was a bit weird,’ he said. ‘In my head and for my body, it is good that I am in a new place and I can start again.’

Danny Rose was another who was pushing for an exit and has been farmed out on loan to Newcastle. This was a particularly important one after the heated row he had with Mourinho on the training pitch. The manager is stamping his authority on the squad and will only keep players desperate to work for him. Rightly so.

The manager managed to clean out players he did not want including Danny Rose on loan

Another example of this is Toby Alderweireld. The experienced central defender had long been linked with a move away but was convinced to stay by Mourinho.

‘Of course, the last step was the manager, who really believed in me. I had a good connection with him from day one, ‘he said.

Further to this, Spurs have just had a stellar transfer window, strengthening with Steven Bergwijn, who scored on debut with a lovely effort against City.

Gedson Fernandes bolstered the midfield on an – month loan deal and the permanent addition of Giovanni Lo Celso has pushed the Argentine onto new heights. He really seems to be finding his feet in recent weeks.

Giovanni Lo Celso joined on a permanent deal in what was a productive transfer window

Another major tick in the box for Mourinho is how he’s coped with the absence of Harry Kane. The striker has so often been the cornerstone of the Tottenham side in recent years, so reliable in front of goal and a leader on the pitch.

The severe hamstring injury could keep out for the rest of this season and without a recognized back-up striker, Spurs have copably remarkably well. Mourinho has opted to deploy Lucas to lead the attack but the slight Brazilian is not a natural frontman and the team are still coping well in their talisman’s absence.

There has been an inconsistency to results but a few performances have been signposts to a brighter future. Snatching a 2-1 away win at Wolves and battering Burnley 5-0 at home before the most recent impressive triumph over City should provide fans with solid evidence that things are on the up.

THE CASE AGAINST MOURINHO:

Whoever took over from Pochettino would inherit a group of players who had the quality to reach a Champions League final. It was surely inevitable that whoever sat in the hotseat would help the team rise up the table.

Manchester United and Chelsea are struggling and it’s no great achievement to cut the gap. In fact, both big games against Tottenham’s top four rivals have ended in defeat under Mourinho.

They were undone at Old Trafford and ten days later suffered an abject 2-0 home defeat against the Blues. For all the green shoots of promise, these were significant signs that Spurs were flattering to deceive.

Chelsea beat Spurs 2-0 at the new stadium and Mourinho also lost against Manchester United

Mourinho’s profile helped land him the Tottenham job and he oversaw a short-term boost

Daniel Levy brought Mourinho in because he still has a massive profile and is regarded as a winner. What you also get with the Portuguese’s sides is a ruthless pragmatism.

That’s the polite way of saying, football that can be so uninspiring it hurts your eyes.

While he hasn’t quite ‘parked the bus’, Mourinho’s men have labored at times and the attacking play has seldom sparkled. Granted, Kane’s absence is a disastrous void that threw a spanner in the works, but Mourinho’s fundamental philosophy does not seem to have changed a great deal.

Chelsea and Manchester fans should be able to sympathise with Spurs supporters now paying for a more turgid product than before, but the trophy drought gone on too long for many to care.

Substance over style is what’s required now but the longer the wait goes on, the more impatient the fanbase will be with Mourinho’s tactics.

Mourinho has been criticized by some fans for the unappealing football on display

TOTTENHAM’S RESULTS UNDER JOSE MOURINHO:

Wins: 9

Draws: 4

Losses: 5

Just how realistic are Tottenham’s top four chances?

The gap is now four points and nobody seems to want to stamp their authority on the race for the Champions League but Spurs have tricky fixtures ahead.

Between now and the end of the season, they face Chelsea, Wolves, Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester as well as a tough trip to Sheffield United.

It’s still a real possibility that next season will be spent in the Europa League and that would be a huge blow for Mourinho, particularly when trying to attract players this summer.

There was plenty of interest in the ‘rebranding’ of Mourinho went he took the job.

After an extended spell away from management after being sacked by United, would he have reflected on the experience and come back a more sanguine figure?

He was ‘the humble one’ now, apparently.

‘I would hate if someone said “Jose made an impact. I made no impact, nothing. I just helped them a little bit to win a match, ‘he said after beating West Ham.

But it didn’t take too long to shatter that illusion and he was back to his old tricks after a few weeks. During a 1-0 away defeat at Southampton, Mourinho marched out of his technical area to say something to one of the opposition coaching staff, picking up a yellow card in the process.

After the match he said: ‘I deserved the yellow card because I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot.’

Mike Dean showed the manager a yellow card and Mourinho said he was ‘rude to an idiot’

There have been occasional public jibes and one of them was directed at Tanguy Ndombele

He also publicly hit made a dig at £ million man Tanguy Ndombele. On Boxing day he said the Frenchman was ‘not injured but not in a condition to play’ and later said the midfielder was ‘always injured’ after he hobbled off following defeat at Saints.

These jibes and flashpoints are not an indication in themselves that things are going pear-shaped at Spurs but there is a pattern of behavior with Mourinho.

His previous failures at clubs have seen him exact complain, act out and criticize players before he’s given the boot so it’s a situation to keep a close eye on.

Beating City could be a launchpad to a top four surge – it is up to Mourinho to make it count

There are persuasive arguments about Mourinho’s impact at Spurs from both sides.

It will be fascinating to see whether the win over City can launch a charge for the top four or be the high point of a mediocre season.

For now, the jury is still out but by May we’ll have a better idea about whether Mourinho is Tottenham’s messiah or still a very naughty boy.

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