Welcome Back to the Jose Mourinho Show
The expectation was Real Madrid, it seemed inevitable. Then we thought Bayern Munich, getting Das Machine out of Pep’s shadow. We also heard Lyon, but he apparently had something better waiting. There was even talk of Paris St. Germain in the future, then – yes, really – Celtic. Then rumours of Arsenal were circling. But it’s the other side of north London where Jose Mourinho has ended up.
The memes are already going berserk. The Star Wars dark side references and evil allusions are already making the rounds. The people are already getting dumbfounded and befuddled. The ‘is this a good idea’ metre is already running. It hasn’t even really begun, but The Jose Mourinho Show is already garnering viewers and anticipation.
Almost a year since Manchester United decided they’d had enough, Mourinho is back in the managerial hot-seat, signing a deal with Tottenham until 2023. Jose had been gracing us with Sky and BEIN Sports studio analyses, documentaries, and Paddy Power ads; waiting, expecting. It was a case of a tomb of a sinister villain that was shown to us at the beginning of the film, and we all know will be opened midway through. And here we are, tomb opened, monster released. Football’s beloved super villain is back.
Of course there are worries as to why Spurs have opted for the Portuguese, and not without reason. One of the reasons for the club and Mauricio Pochettino reaching their peak is the fact that the squad has seemingly grown stale, and Poch wasn’t quite backed in the transfer market. Which makes it all the weirder that Daniel Levy, who’s seemingly not one for loosening the purse strings, has hired Mourinho, one who is not slow to point out that his transfer demands haven’t been met.
Also, Spurs seem to have a squad who do well with arms-round-the-shoulder treatment than public haranguing, and Jose, on the evidence of his past two jobs, doesn’t do well with managing players of this generation. Even before the marriage is done with, this relationship looks set for bitter divorce. It feels like every party, in this case, is setting themselves up for failure, in a very much lose-lose situation.
But this is Jose here, who almost always thrives as the unfancied and unheralded warrior, the little horse. This is a man who loves the ‘the world is against us’ narrative, whose best odds are when they are against the odds. Jose’s record doesn’t bode well when his back gets pushed to the wall, but he loves it when that’s the starting point.
We almost certainly know how this is meant to go. Improvements start to show early on; Eric Dier becomes rock-solid in defence/defensive midfield, Davinson Sanchez becomes unplayable, Moussa Sissoko gets sent off in that unlucky defeat to a big side in March, in which Jose praises his players, they put in a massive rear-guard and ‘get stuck in’ effort to scupper Liverpool’s title hopes in spring, and then triumph in the FA Cup.
Then it goes awry. Jose bemoans Son Heung-Min being too happy-clappy, Dele Alli becomes immature, and Oliver Skipp and Sissoko are the only ones putting in the effort, before the breakup happens sometime around Season Three. But this is what it’s about, Jose is box office. Even when we find it tedious and wearying, deep down, we want it. Heck, we need it. It will probably end in sulks and handbags, but it will probably be worth our while.
So, lights, camera, action. Call Amazon. Take a seat and watch it as it happens. There’s no binge-watching here, it’s about seeing it as it takes place. Welcome back to The Jose Mourinho Show, everybody.
Kunle Ajao121 Posts
Kunle Ajao is a football writer and columnist for spotkick. Having made a toss of himself trying to actually play the game, he knew better and got a pen instead of boots. Spends a bit of his time with the game, and thinks he's a bit like Sid Lowe. He's not