It appears that Jose Mourinho has not lost his golden touch after all. But it is the personal touch that is going a long way towards galvanising a Tottenham squad who looked dead on their feet this time last year.
The Special One is getting a special reaction from his players thanks to individual text messages, wisecracks at the training ground and an encouraging arm round the shoulder.
The 2-0 victory over Manchester City on Saturday evening symbolised more than just three points. It was a statement as Spurs — and Mourinho — moved to the summit of English football for the first time in six years.
Jose Mourinho has transformed Tottenham Hotspur into genuine title contenders this seasonInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
It wasn’t that Pep Guardiola’s side were poor. Their football was beautiful and incisive in equal measure, and City’s 22 shots to Tottenham’s five was illustrative of the flow of this match. But Tottenham had an answer to everything City threw at them — last-ditch defending, hassling and harrying.
At the other end, Spurs were ruthless. Only two shots on target during the entire game, but Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso took them both efficiently to claim the victory.
It was all hands to the pump for Tottenham and players do not produce performances like that if they are not fully behind the manager.
Predictions Mourinho’s manner would cause divisions in the squad rather than unite them look unfounded now.
It is fair to say Tottenham’s players reacted to the news of Mourinho’s appointment as Mauricio Pochettino’s successor with trepidation last November.
Harry Kane could be looking to build on his Spurs legacy rather than start a new one elsewhere
They had heard the stories. His ‘palpable discord’ with the Chelsea squad that led to his sacking in 2016, the public falling out with Paul Pogba at Manchester United. Mourinho’s reputation for being a grumpy manager preceded him.
But truth be told, the players have found Mourinho to be quite the opposite. Amiable and engaging, his manner has taken members of the squad by surprise. They were expecting one thing but are experiencing something completely different.
Has Mourinho changed? He may argue not, but there does appear to be a mellowing of the unyielding personality that has rubbed some of the world’s most high-profile footballers up the wrong way.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
His light-hearted entrance into the