Jose Mourinho should be given time as Jurgen Klopp did at Liverpool
Things have not gone as planned for Jose Mourinho at Tottenham.
Spurs initially showed progress following the appointment of the Portuguese manager. Tottenham looked primed to challenge Chelsea for the fourth spot and were just a point off them going into the winter break. With the two sides set to meet after the break, the momentum was thought to be with Tottenham.
It proved anything but. Injuries and a loss of form have seen the North Londoners slip alarmingly down the table and have also been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup. With the club languishing in eighth spot, this was not what the special one was brought in to do.
The club received favourable draws against Leipzig and Norwich City in the Champions League and FA Cup respectively. They also ended up making a right hash out of it and crashed out of two with barely a fight. It could not all be doom and gloom. Maybe we need to take a step back to take two steps forward.
With the form plummeting and Mourinho taking potshots at players, fans will be forgiven for thinking that their manager’s third season syndrome has come early this time around. Or has it?
Mourinho’s Machiavellian role in English football must not be overlooked. The 57-year-old thrives being cast as the villain and loves to be everything that the rest of the league are not. Underneath it all lies a fine tactical mind that knows what it wants and how to get there. Ultimately, this isn’t Mourinho’s team and he should be allowed to build one that he believes is capable of playing the way he wants.
Parallels have to be drawn with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. It took four years for the German to win his first trophy at the club and he did it in some style. Winning breeds winning and the Reds have gone on to add two more trophies and are increasingly likely to win this season’s Premier League.
The Liverpool boss has been entrusted with the keys to the club and the backroom staff, and executives have ensured that the charismatic German has what he needs to fulfil his vision for the club.
Liverpool gave Klopp both the time and resources to succeed Mourinho too is a man with a plan. His history and his confrontational style at times work against him at the cost of his more nuanced opinions. The Portuguese knows what he wants and more importantly what he doesn’t.
He gets a lot of unnecessary flak for his time at Manchester United. It’s worth reminding that he was not given the player he asked for and was expected to work with what the club deemed fit to give to him. Mourinho was keen on securing Harry Maguire, only for him to be denied. United would go in later for the Leicester City star after the Portuguese’s departure.
Compare that with Klopp, who was given the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker to augment a weak section of his team. True, the German has worked wonders, but he has been given what he asked for.
There have been numerous ups and downs, but the hierarchy understood the larger picture and continued keeping faith in their manager even when results went against him. Whatever he wants, he gets and it happens because of the faith the club and supporters have in time.
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The same cannot be said for Mourinho. He is the manager everyone will love to hate. Underneath all the facade, there is a tactical genius who can square off against the best in the business.
Although the honeymoon period is over, Mourinho has not built the team in his colours and it will be some time before he is able to do so. It is imperative that Tottenham places trust in him and give him the time to succeed.
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