Jose Mourinho has not held back on his opinions about Tottenham during his time out of management and the Portuguese will have to face some awkward conversations after taking over at the north London club on Wednesday.
Mourinho signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season with the north London club and has been handed double the salary of predecessor Mauricio Pochettino.
Since being sacked by Manchester United close to 12 months ago, he has focused on work as a TV pundit and has a wealth of punchy soundbites on Spurs, from suggesting he would sell stars like Christian Eriksen to accusing Harry Kane of ‘hiding’ in the Champions League final.
Jose Mourinho has been critical of Tottenham during his time working as a television pundit
He accused striker Harry Kane (right) of ‘hiding’ during the Champions League final in June
Mourinho has also historically taken aim at Tottenham’s supporters, particularly during his time as Chelsea manager, given the two club’s bitter rivalry.
With Spurs, slumped in 14th, making a below-par start to the Premier League, Mourinho offered up his verdict back in September, accusing players of looking ahead to joining new clubs.
‘They have their eyes in bigger pictures,’ the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss said on Sky Sports.
The Portuguese also said he would sell wantaway players such as playmaker Christian Eriksen
Mauricio Pochettino was ruthlessly sacked on Tuesday after spending five years at the club
‘Other players getting more money to them, other players winning title. Look to Kyle Walker winning trophies. Looking to playing for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain.
One of Mourinho’s big criticisms has surrounded the volume of players running down their contracts, giving a clear indication that they no longer wish to remain at the club.
NOV 23: West Ham (a)
NOV 26: Olympiacos (h) – CL
NOV 30: Bournemouth (h)
DEC 4: Manchester United (a)
DEC 7: Burnley (h)
DEC 11: Bayern Munich (a) – CL
DEC 15: Wolves (a)
DEC 22: Chelsea (h)
Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are all free to speak to clubs outside of England as early as January and for Mourinho, he has no desire to keep players who have minds elsewhere.
Asked last month how he would have handle the situation, Mourinho said on Sky: ‘I don’t like to keep players that don’t want to stay at the club.
‘I think it is always really difficult. I am not thinking about the economical perspective, I mean from a motivational point of view. We sold Robben to Real Madrid, Chelsea didn’t want to or need the money. But he didn’t want to be there and wanted to go.
‘There are some moments where motivation affects performance and it is difficult to keep players happy when they have other dreams.’
Mourinho sat alongside former foe Arsene Wenger for the Champions League final between Tottenham and Liverpool back in June, his assessment particularly critical of Kane, a striker who will now be vital in his bid to turn Tottenham around.
While at United, Mourinho took aim at Spurs fans after chants of ‘You’re not special any more’
Tottenham were seen as one of four teams in title contention by Mourinho earlier this season
‘The reality is that Tottenham had 61 per cent of ball possession but had zero shots on target,’ Mourinho said to beIN SPORTS. ‘They missed lots of passes, they couldn’t link play. Harry Kane was hidden all the time.’
While at Manchester United, Mourinho took every opportunity to troll Tottenham supporters and he was scathing after a 3-0 loss at Old Trafford.
Tottenham fans in the away end were heard singing ‘You’re not special any more,’ a nod to his nickname as the Special One from his time at Chelsea.
‘They didn’t have that song when we beat them at Wembley a couple of months ago,’ Mourinho said in a press conference back in August 2018.
‘That was a cup final they had a big dream to go. They also had a title they had a big dream to win, because they didn’t win many, and of course they were not singing that.’
Mourinho takes over a side sat in 14th and majorly low on confidence having had the highs of the Champions League final only six months ago.
But the Portuguese, when making his punditry debut for Sky this season, actually felt that this current Spurs squad could compete for the title.
Mourinho said in 2015 he could never manage Tottenham because of his bond with Chelsea
He said the sides competing for the league are: ‘Four. Manchester City, Tottenham , Liverpool and Manchester City B team.’
Going back further than the last 12 months, Mourinho famously said while Chelsea boss that he would NEVER take over at Tottenham, reneging on that vow on Wednesday morning.
Ahead of Chelsea’s League Cup final with Spurs at Wembley in March 2015, Mourinho said he had been approached by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to take over at White Hart Lane in September 2007.
But Mourinho said in 2015 that he could not manage Tottenham because his emotional attachment to Chelsea was so strong.