Jose Mourinho turning over new leaf at Tottenham – ‘It’s not about myself’

Written by on 22/11/2019

Jose Mourinho says he has arrived at Tottenham with a new philosophy “where it is not about myself”.

Mourinho was appointed Tottenham head coach on Wednesday, less than 11 hours after Mauricio Pochettino “was relieved of his duties” as the club’s manager.

It is Mourinho’s first job since he was sacked by Manchester United 11 months ago and the Portuguese says his time away from the dugout has allowed him to evolve.

“I think I am new and improved. I have to believe so,” Mourinho said.

“I always thought that these 11 months were not a waste of time. They were months to think, to analyse, to prepare, to anticipate things. You never lose your DNA, you never lose your identity, but I have time to think about many things.

“Don’t ask me what mistakes they are but I realise that during my career I have made mistakes. And I’m not going to make the same mistakes. I’m going to make new mistakes.

“I am humble, humble enough to try and analyse my career – not just the last year, but the whole thing, the evolution, the problems and the solutions. Not to blame anyone else.

“It was a great thing. I went really deep with that analysis. A break was very positive for me. It was the first summer I did not work and I felt a little bit at a loss during that pre-season.

“I was always humble, in my way. The problem is you didn’t understand that.

“I am stronger from an emotional point of view, I am relaxed, I am motivated, I am ready and I think the players felt that in two days. I am ready to support them, this is not about me.

“In your career – not only your career but in your life – you go through periods, and I’m in a period where it is not about myself at all. It is about my club, my club’s fans, my players. It is not about me. I am here to try and help everyone.”

‘We can win PL title next season’

Mourinho, the former Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss, has won a league title in every country he has managed in.

Spurs last won a league title in 1961, but Mourinho is hopeful he can change that before his contract ends in 2023.

“We cannot win the Premier League this season. We can – I’m not saying we will do – win the Premier League next season,” said Mourinho

“If we win titles. It will not be because of me but as a consequence of the work we do at the club.

“This is a package, this is a vision. The stadium is part of the vision, the training ground is part of the vision, the academy is part of the vision.

“To try and keep all the best players and to refuse to let the best players go away is part of the vision too. Maybe to have a manager of my experience is also part of the vision.

“It is about the vision. If we win titles – it doesn’t matter when – it will not be because of myself it is just the natural consequence of a vision and a plan.”

‘I’m Mr Club – not Mr Chelsea’

Mourinho’s most successful spells in England have come with Chelsea, who have a fierce rivalry with Spurs, making his appointment a controversial one among some Tottenham supporters.

Asked how he could get Spurs fans to see him in a different light from ‘Mr Chelsea’, Mourinho said: “They have to see me as Mr Inter, Mr Real Madrid, Mr Porto.

“They have to see me as Mr Club. Which means every club that I go to, I arrive and I wear the pyjama of the club and I even sleep with the pyjama. I work and I sleep, I confuse the tracksuit with the pyjama.

“I’m a clubs man, but a many clubs man. I decided in my career to have this adventure going through many countries until I had what I called the Grand Slam – Spain, Italy, England. I didn’t stop, I wanted to do it.

“Then the Premier League is my natural habitat. It is where I’m most loved, it is the league I consider the best and most enjoyable and it is where I’m most happy.”

Analysis: Humility and happiness on Jose’s return

Sky Sports’ Nick Wright…

Mourinho has always talked a good game and that hasn’t changed on this evidence. He pushed all the right buttons on his first media appearance as Tottenham’s head coach, starting by praising the work of Mauricio Pochettino and going on to reiterate his happiness to have taken over.

Mourinho is not one to shy away from trumpeting his own achievements, but he struck the right balance between humility and ambition. He insisted he has learnt from past mistakes – “I’ll make new mistakes,” he quipped – but also made it clear that he wants Spurs to aim high, at one point saying he believes they can win the title next season.

He cut a relaxed figure throughout, joking with reporters and answering their questions patiently, and his respect for Pochettino came through in his answers on how his side will play. “I’m not here to make dramatic changes,” he said. The playing style, he added, will be “very similar” to the one put in place by the man who came before him.

The challenge now is for Mourinho is to put his words into action. What really counts, of course, is what happens out on the pitch. But after almost a year out of the game, it seems he is ready for the job that lies ahead.

Read our analysis of what to expect from Tottenham under Mourinho

(c) Sky Sports 2019: Jose Mourinho turning over new leaf at Tottenham – ‘It’s not about myself’


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