Last season, I was critical of the Special One, while also empathizing with his position at times
It wasn’t an easy season as we all know, and it was apparent watching both the manager, as well as his north London club. This year however, with another year, some transfers and training pitch time, there is absolutely a difference with this Tottenham club. They are playing special, and as though this season is special thus far. Now it hasn’t always been consistent, especially earlier in the season, where shock losses added weight to a club that needs to further burden, but as of today, they are first on the Premier League Table are playing really winning football.
Can it be kept going across an entire season, albeit one that appears more wide open than in years? And with such success, what must we conclude about Jose Mourinho as a boss in todays game?
Tottenham and the Special One: Trying to build something Special
With Harry Kane taking a role suited more to both his scoring and passing skills, Tottenham have really been able to open up when presented with clean breaking opportunities like Mourinho’s counterattacking style offers; these are opportunities mind you, that Manchester United proved ill equipped for capitalizing on, while the likes of Kane, Son Heung-min, Steven Bergwijn and others have proven too adept in doing so. The difference in spectacular and when Gareth Bale can be added into the mix and rotation on a consistent basis, it will likely become even more scary for opposition.
In the victory against Manchester City, this was all on display, minus Bale, with the victory proving just the next twist in the tale featuring the Special one and Pep Guardiola. While Manchester City have failed thus far in their tar quest for consistency, and the standard they’ve become so accustomed to seeing, Tottenham have played more to that standard it seems as of today. And while that could change due to circumstance, injury, or any other list of variables, it likely won’t so long as Mourinho continues managing in the way that he has been.
But this doesn’t new easily translate directly into a discussion about tactics, so much as demeanor and tact; should Mourinho continue to treat his player with the affection and intimacy he has thus far, he can expect to continue to field competitive clubs.
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He is a remarkable coach tactically speaking and because of his knowledge of the game, it is unlikely that he will get passed by as a manager until he so chooses to stop growing in these respects. But connecting to those players is still valuable and still ultimately helps to determine what exactly one can get out of a player from the managerial standpoint.
Should he continue to demonstrate that his time at Manchester United was an education for him in multiple ways, there is little doubt that he can win and that he can bring Tottenham to the glory they’ve long craved.
But should the relationship grow sour with either the players or the club, it could become a more toxic environment than ever was seen under Mauricio Pochettino, and this is of course a real fear that people have when hiring the Special One.
But there are positives on the horizon; should Tottenham be able to survive to the next international break with a position close to where they currently sit, it will be reason to take real notice and consideration for what that means. But as of now, they are simply another team showing great form, in the hunt for multiple trophies and with all the positive ambition in the world.
Their current stretch will see Premier League, Europa League, and eventually even Carabao Cup competition. There will be no easy matches, even against those opponents whose records or leagues may seem laughable in comparison; fights will be put up across the board, and so Tottenham will have to prepare with such expectations in mind.
But they have the talent and direction to make it though, relatively unscathed and with as much energy towards the future as anyone else. For both Spurs as well as their manager, hardware would be welcomed and coveted, and would even be redeeming in a few ways; but for now, the club must as one entity, focus on the next game against Ludogorets, before Chelsea on the weekend. To make a season special, each game must be taken with special importance as well; the Special One knows this and I’m sure, is preaching it to his club with great fervor and enthusiasm, if you can imagine that.