No, you’re not dreaming – Mauricio Pochettino really has been sacked by Tottenham and Jose Mourinho really has been appointed as Spurs’ new head coach.
The news has, quite frankly, taken everybody in the football world by surprise.
He’s back where he belongs now, but shockingly it’s over in north London with Tottenham, a team Mourinho claimed in 2015 that he ‘could never manage’. Well, he is managing them – and he’s got one hell of a job to do in order to get the club’s fans on side, as well as reviving their ailing Premier League fortunes.
So what can Tottenham expect? Is Mourinho going to turn things around? Well, we’ve had a dig through the archives and had a little nosey at how the Portuguese wonderman has got on in the early days of some of his biggest jobs to date…
Mourinho honed much of his managerial craft working alongside Sir Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal at Barcelona before venturing out on his own to become a number one.
Short spells with Benfica and Uniao de Leiria kickstarted his career but it was Porto where he was given his first proper gig, replacing Octavio Machado in January 2002. When Mourinho took over, he vowed he would be
After conquering Europe and retaining the Primeira Liga title, Mourinho rocked up at Chelsea and first proclaimed that he was the ‘Special One’.
Most doubted the credentials of the arrogant, egotistical Mourinho, despite his previous successes. He would prove every one of his doubters wrong in his maiden season in England, leading Chelsea to their first Premier League title.
His side won 42 of their 59 games in all competitions, a win percentage of 71.2%, and scored 108 goals in all competitions as they also went on to lift the League Cup.
A second Premier League title followed, with FA Cup and League Cup success added to his honours board further down the line.
After sensationally departing Chelsea in September 2007, Mourinho took some time out of the game before heading for Inter.
Wanting to show just how special he is, Mourinho took his first press conference in the fashion capital in the world in Italian – claiming he’d learnt the language ‘in three weeks’. He would, naturally, win Serie A in his debut season, though he wasn’t as successful on the European stage.
In fact, his winning percentage of 58.8% in that first season ranks as one of the worst seasons in Mourinho’s near 20-year managerial career – but he was more than good enough to see off the competition of Juventus and AC Milan domestically, winning the title by ten points.
He really came into his own the following season, leading I Nerazzurri to a historic Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia treble before landing the biggest job in the world.
Mourinho’s success at Inter would lead to an approach from Real Madrid, an opportunity that he couldn’t refuse.
Tasked with toppling Barcelona, Mourinho splashed the cash on Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil among others in attempt to become top dog in Spain. Ordinarily, his debut season points haul of 92 points would have been enough to walk the league title – but on this occasion, Barça were too good and clung on to their La Liga crown by four points.
The sole success that Mourinho had that season came in the Copa del Rey, though he did finish that debut season with a win percentage of 74.6% across the board – the highest in his career (in an opening campaign) to date.
Real would clinch La Liga in his second season in charge, scoring 174 goals in all competitions en-route to winning 46 out of their 58 games played, a staggering 79.3% win ratio.
Return to Chelsea
Mourinho’s third season in Madrid was one of the most disappointing of his career, leading to a departure from the club by ‘mutual consent’.
He was then reappointed Chelsea manager on a four-year deal, promising upon his arrival that he would deliver the same things that he had promised in 2004. Ultimately, competition that season would prove to be too fierce for Mourinho, and the Blues would finish the season in third place on 82 points.
He did, however, lay the foundations for success the following campaign as Chelsea reclaimed their Premier League crown, as well as lifting the League Cup. Mourinho achieved a win percentage of 66.7% that season, leading Chelsea to glory in 36 of their 54 games played. Crucially, they only lost four times.
Title success at Stamford Bridge was followed by an utterly dreadful 2015/16 campaign, which led to Mourinho being sacked by the club after losing 11 of their 25 games played.
Manchester United would then take the Mourinho leap of faith at the beginning of the 2016/17 season as he replaced former running mate Louis van Gaal in the Old Trafford dugout.
Mourinho’s usual domestic success would for once abandon him, finishing a distant sixth in the Premier League on 69 points. He did, however, lead the Red Devils to Europa League and League Cup glory, earning a place in the following season’s Champions League.
A second place finish during 2017/18, some 19 points behind runaway title winners Manchester City, followed before Mourinho was shown the door in his third season – his fifth departure from a club after that period of time – after a breakdown in relations at the club.
Mourinho will now take charge of a Tottenham side who lie 14th in the Premier League, having picked up just 14 points from their opening 12 games in charge.
The Lilywhites have also been humbled 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League so far this season, as well as being dispatched by Colchester of League Two in the Carabao Cup.
That shows the kind of job Mourinho has on his hands – but if his track record is anything to go by, success may finally be just around the corner for Tottenham.
After all, he’s won a trophy everywhere he has been…