Mourinho showing his Tottenham players 'the love'
Nov. 28, 2019
It's two wins from two games for Jose Mourinho as Tottenham head coach. Tuesday night’s Champions League victory against Olympiakos followed the 3-2 win at West Ham on Saturday.
Nothing particularly unusual in that - apart from the fact they were Tottenham's first back-to-back wins of the season.
Couple those results with first-hand feedback from the players and there's definite evidence of new-manager bounce at the club.
There was an obvious spring in everyone's step around the state of the art training complex on Thursday, even through the snoods you could make out smiles on the players' faces.
It began with the group huddle. The entire squad in a circle being addressed by Jose.
Then the players split into three groups: Those who started against Olympiakos on Tuesday night, the goalkeepers and the rest.
The 'rest' included Christian Eriksen, who came on for Eric Dier at the end of the first half and helped turn things around.
It was a change Mourinho knew he had to make. He knew it but regretted it, and apologised to Dier afterwards.
This is a new rebooted Jose. Showing public love to his players. Private love too. Both Dier and Eriksen looked content.
This Mourinho is using humour and encouragement to improve results and performances, not raised voices and anger.
Every player seems to feel they are included in his plans and it showed. Jose split his time equally between the groups. First watching and getting involved with the 'starters' then crossing the pitch to interact with the 'rest'.
He even ventured to a far corner of the complex to watch and help out with the 'keepers.
Break from the old routine
Reports from inside the camp suggest Jose's sessions are, at least for now, less physically intense than Mauricio Pochettino's were.
A lot of emphasis is being placed on recovery. Hence the 'starters' doing different work to the others.
There's occasional time off too. Much welcomed during a period where the games are now coming thick and fast off the back of international commitments.
Harry Kane is happy. He's been lauded as one of the best strikers in the world by Mourinho.
Dele Alli is happy. He's no longer playing like his brother.
Lucas Moura is happy. He's back in his favoured position (wide) and a big part of Mourinho's plans. Mourinho is a fan, he tried to sign him during his time at Real Madrid.
We were ushered away when the three groups came together to go through specific tactics and set-ups ahead of Bournemouth at home on Saturday.
On Sunday, it will probably be a day off, before getting back to work to prepare for the big one. Jose's return to Manchester United on Wednesday night.
Mourinho. Part of a happy band at Old Trafford. Who'd have thought it?