Levy and Mourinho will be box-office, Jose loves spending money and Levy hates it

first_imgTHE gamble for Daniel Levy is clear and obvious.The Spurs chairman sacked his club’s greatest boss of the last 40 years and appointed a bloke who has acted like a human stinkbomb in his last two jobs.5 Spurs could be the last chance saloon for MourinhoCredit: Getty – Contributor5For Jose Mourinho, though, taking the Totenham job is also high-risk.This is a man used to operating with supreme financial might over the past 15 years — at Chelsea twice, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United, he has enjoyed lavish riches to spend in the transfer market.A return to the Bernabeu seemed a genuine option for Mourinho, should Zinedine Zidane depart, yet he has taken the plunge at Spurs, the poor relations of the top flight’s big six.Mourinho will now be a relative underdog for the first time since he won the Champions League with Porto way back in 2004.Whatever Levy promised his new manager in terms of transfer spend, he will not be able to compete with either Manchester club or Liverpool — even with Arsenal or Chelsea, once the Blues’ transfer ban is lifted.And the relationship between Levy and Mourinho will be box office for onlookers, if not the harmonious one Spurs fans will crave.These are football alpha males. No-compromise, ball-busting types.And at the heart of the matter is this: Mourinho loves spending money and Levy hates it.5There will be nuclear detonations at Tottenham’s pristine Hotspur Way training base near Enfield — it is a matter of when, not if.After his acrimonious departures from Chelsea and United, this feels like Mourinho’s last-chance saloon, in the Premier League and perhaps in European football.Mess this up and the Portuguese will be confirmed as a has-been.There is a supreme irony in the fact that Mauricio Pochettino was the man United wanted to succeed Mourinho when he was sacked 11 months ago, and yet Mourinho ended up replacing an axed Pochettino at Spurs.Mourinho left Chelsea close to the relegation zone in 2015, just seven months after leading the Blues to the title, due to what the club referred to as ‘palpable discord’ with his players.Discord was even more palpable during his 2½ years at Old Trafford — especially with Paul Pogba — and yet his United reign looks a lot better in hindsight than it did at the time.Two trophies and a runners-up spot in the Premier League in 2017-18, United’s best post-Ferguson finish. Yet there was no mistaking Mourinho seemed to have fallen out of love with football — and footballers.His mood was dark, he saw shadows everywhere, and he felt like a man out of time.5A supreme motivator during his first spell at Chelsea in particular, Mourinho seemed to have lost the ability to improve and inspire players.Now aged 56, he has claimed he is capable of adapting and reinventing himself to some degree.He will unveil a new-look backroom staff at Spurs, including his fellow Portuguese, Joao Sacramento, who arrives from Lille as No 2.There is no doubt that Mourinho is feeling fresh and up for this new challenge, in a way he never seemed to be in Manchester — where he was holed up in a hotel for his entire tenure, giving the impression that he never truly wanted to be there.But this is not going to be easy. Mourinho inherits from Pochettino a squad battered by their travails over the past ten months.During which time they have failed to win a Premier League away match and been humiliated by Colchester and Bayern Munich. Many of Spurs’ senior pros — including Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose — are embittered by Levy’s approach to them and running down contracts.Dele Alli, so key to much of Pochettino’s best work at Spurs, has struggled for form, fitness and focus for a year now.It is not all doom and gloom, of course.This is a club which reached the Champions League final last season and which boasts arguably the best stadium and the best centre- forward in world football.5But while Harry Kane remains a highly-motivated goal machine — Mourinho must persuade him through words and actions that Spurs is a club where he can win trophies.The England captain will be 27 next summer and has won nothing.Mourinho is, at heart, a winner. He boasts 25 trophies to Pochettino’s zero, yet there is a difference between managing so many elite clubs, while the Argentinian has bossed Espanyol, Southampton and Spurs.As things began to unravel at United — with a 3-0 home defeat by Pochettino’s Spurs in August 2018 — Mourinho walked out of a press conference ranting, ‘Respect, respect, respect,’ for his three top-flight titles.LATEST TOTTENHAM NEWSHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerYOU KAN DO ITKlinsmann quit Spurs to win trophies but says Kane’s better off stayingTURBULENT PAIRINGDrogba and Mido had mid-flight brawl after stewardess prank went wrongGossipSPURRED ONTottenham table contract offer for Bayern Munich’s teenage starlet Taylor BoothExclusivePASS THE TESTEngland’s NRL-based stars urge bosses to make room for a Test this yearThat glittering CV still carries some clout, certainly with Levy.But those three Chelsea titles, funded by Roman Abramovich, all seem a very long time ago. It was a different era, when Mourinho was a different sort of man.Can he reinvent himself and win again without the supreme wealth of a free-spending owner? We will soon find out but the stakes are high and the odds are against him. Jose Mourinho gives first interview as head coach at Tottenhamlast_img

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