“Awful news followed by worse news”, “talk about a giant leap in the wrong direction”, “they’ve lost the plot”.
When Tottenham sacked Mauricio Pochettino and changed him with Jose Mourinho on 20 November 2019, the responses from many Spurs followers have been just a little spiky.
Here was an attack-minded, progressive supervisor in Pochettino, who had led Tottenham to the brink of home and European glory, changed by a perceived park-the-bus service provider; an obvious yesterday’s man following his sacking by Manchester United.
It hasn’t all been plain crusing, however quick ahead a 12 months and Spurs are high of the Premier League desk with an evolving squad taking part in optimistic soccer and a seemingly harmonious help.
On Saturday, they achieved arguably their most spectacular results of the season – a 2-Zero residence win over final season’s runners-up Manchester City.
And what of the person who has overseen all of it? Has he received over the Tottenham followers?
‘Doing a cope with the satan’
To reply this query totally, we should return to the start.
The quotes that opened this text are among the many high rated of more than 3,000 comments on BBC Sport’s story detailing Mourinho’s appointment and characterize the extra unstable reactions from the Spurs fanbase.
The common response, although, was wariness in the direction of a supervisor with an undoubted file of success however whose achievements had been overshadowed by inconsistent outcomes, accusations of unfavourable soccer and a capability to fall out with gamers – Paul Pogba being essentially the most high-profile instance.
It additionally did not assist that he was so ingrained within the Premier League rise of Chelsea – considered one of Tottenham’s fiercest rivals.
Mourinho himself spoke of humility and classes realized at his Spurs unveiling. But Simeon Daniel, who alongside along with his brother Ben runs WeAreTottenhamTV, instructed BBC Sport that the appointment felt like a compromise at greatest.
“I think a lot fans felt like we were doing a deal with the devil,” he mentioned.
Ben continued on the theme: “I felt like we have been promoting our soul.
“When my brother requested me if I needed Mourinho as supervisor, I mentioned: ‘No likelihood do I ever need him. He’s a dinosaur. Look what occurs to him at each job. He’s a ticking time-bomb.’
“There was a definite split. Half the fans we spoke to were saying that he was a born winner, that he wins everywhere he goes and that it was what we needed after Pochettino, who had brought so much positivity but was missing that first trophy.
“But the opposite half noticed him as a Manchester United/Chelsea reject who was previous it.
“I remember in some of the early days, songs backing Mourinho would start in the crowd and others would grumble, saying they couldn’t sing his name.”
‘100% on the Mourinho bandwagon’
The squad Mourinho inherited had been allowed to cross its peak because the membership balked on the type of switch exercise undertaken by their nearest rivals and targeted their energies as a substitute on the constructing of a brand new stadium.
When Pochettino was sacked, they have been with out a win in 5, leaving them 14th within the desk and 20 factors behind then-league leaders and eventual champions Liverpool with solely 12 matches of the season gone.
They would wrestle for consistency below Mourinho for the rest of the marketing campaign, ultimately ending sixth because of a formidable post-lockdown unbeaten run of six matches.
The promise of that mini-run has been realised to date in 2020-21, with six wins from 9 video games producing 21 targets and moments of attacking brilliance.
Saturday’s sport was a masterclass of sport administration, showcasing a defensive rigidity to maintain City at bay and lightning-quick, ruthless counter-attacking to select them off.
It has re-energised the fanbase, prompted life like discuss of a title problem and altered many perceptions of Mourinho.
“I have been proved completely wrong,” mentioned Ben. “I’m 100% on the Mourinho bandwagon.
“I believe quite a lot of followers received on board after lockdown. You noticed a distinct Tottenham after they got here again. That is when the idea began to develop.
“Such is the nature of football fans, you get the odd fan here and there who still doesn’t like Jose. But as a whole the feelings are overwhelmingly positive.”
How has Mourinho modified opinion?
Ultimately, by profitable video games of soccer.
However, the Daniel brothers really feel the seeds of his newfound reputation have been planted by occasions off the pitch, captured within the Amazon documentary, ‘All or Nothing’, which charted the membership’s 2019-20 season.
“He came over as so charismatic. You can’t not want to watch him,” mentioned Simeon. “We even heard from rival fans who fell in love with him after watching the doc. It was a fantastic PR move by the club.”
“After the documentary, Mourinho had Tottenham fans eating out of the palm of his hand,” added Ben.
He has additionally impressed within the very areas for which he was criticised at Manchester United – recruitment, ways and man-management.
“I’m just over 30 now and the last summer transfer window was the best of my lifetime,” mentioned Ben, who noticed his aspect usher in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Sergio Reguilon and Gareth Bale in the summertime.
Simeon added: “We have precision targeted the weak parts of the team but also brought in a good blend of talent, leadership and experience.”
Spearheaded by a remodelled model of the already prolific Harry Kane/Son Heung-min pairing, which has seen the previous function in a deeper, inventive position, Spurs are the second-highest scorers on this season’s Premier League.
The 11 targets they’ve scored within the opening 45 minutes of video games alone is greater than Manchester City have netted total within the competitors this season (10).
Son is the division’s high scorer with 9, together with the opener towards City, whereas Kane has a league-high 9 assists.
“Last season, Mourinho didn’t go out specifically to win every game as he felt there were some we couldn’t,” mentioned Ben. “He said recently that he would not accept a draw this season. He sets up to win games.”
On the man-management entrance, his most high-profile dealings have been with Dele Alli and file signing Tanguy Ndombele, each proficient midfielders, however with questions over their software.
Alli has been absent from the primary crew for a lot of this season, however by no means frozen out, whereas Ndombele is presently taking part in one of the best soccer of his Tottenham profession, which he highlighted via the chipped help for Son’s purpose on Saturday.
To really get a way of how completely different the temper across the membership and its fanbase is now, you want solely learn a few of the feedback on the report of Saturday’s sport…
“A Mourinho masterclass… the doubters are decreasing”, “Jose has Spurs purring like a kitten”, “Spurs are contenders this season that’s for sure”.