The aftermath of ‘change of guard’ at White Hart Lane was firstly met with mixed reaction from Tottenham’s star players on arrival at team’s Way training complex in Enfield wednesday morning following the news of Mauricio Pochettino’s departure on Tuesday night.
The decision to sack Pochettino had been kept quiet before the news was broken to the players just ahead of the club’s official announcement.
The players were also kept in the dark until the announcement of Jose Mourinho as the new manager was made.
An official meeting wednesday afternoon between the new boss and his players went as scheduled and Mourinho met all of the club’s key personnel between morning and lunchtime.
Most of the players avoided cameras on arrival just like the new coach Mourinho stayed overnight at the training ground after he had signed a three-and-a-half-year deal.
Many critics of the appointment remembered Mourinho’s claim years ago when he said he would never accept a role at Spurs because of his ‘love’ for Chelsea supporters.
The ex-Chelsea boss had previously been approached by Spurs in 2007 following his sacking by the Blues, and when later questioned about a potential move across London in 2015, Mourinho responded that he would never join the Lilywhites due to his Stamford Bridge ties, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“I would not take the job because I love Chelsea supporters too much,” the now-Tottenham boss stated.
Here is some reaction to the return of the Portuguese manager to club soccer after being dismissed by Manchester United last December:
Former Tottenham great, Paul Gascoigne said “Mourinho is an unbelievable manager, if I was a Tottenham player I would be delighted knowing he was coming in. I don’t think it’ll take him long to win round the dressing room. If I was a player I’d look at what he’s won, the emotions that he incites in players … he’s a manager I’d play for.
While Tottenham Member of Parliament, Davis Lammy twitted that “Tottenham is only about four square miles large, we will struggle to contain Mourinho’s ego which is bigger than even our new stadium.”
Former Liverpool captain, Graeme Souness said “Mourinho is a perfect fit for them. Spurs are genuinely a big club and they need someone who can turn what is perceived to be attacking, attractive football into a slightly more pragmatic approach that will put some silverware in the boardroom.”
But England’s former striker, Alan Shearer said “Mourinho has been waiting for a big job and now has got one. He has big boots to fill to try and better what Pochettino has done. The Argentine may not have won a trophy (but) the way Pochettino delivered his football and that Champions League final was special and will live with Spurs fans for many years.”
However, former Chelsea and Spurs striker Eidur Gudjohnsen was full of praise to his former coach at Stamford Brodge saying “I’ve great respect for the man, he took us to another level at Chelsea. It is a big challenge … moving into that top level is hard, but Tottenham should always be challenging the top four.”
BEHIND THE SCENE OF THE NEW APPOINTMENT
* José Mourinho stayed overnight at the club’s training ground overnight to avoid cameras from waiting journalists.
* Brendan Rodgers was Tottenham first choice before turning to Mourinho.
* Rui Faria won’t be going with Mourinho to White Hart Lane as he has appointed Lille’s Joao Sacramento as his number two man and will lead a revamped set of lieutenants.
* Jose Mourinho becomes second highest paid manager in the world ahead of Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid and Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool with £15 million a year only Pep Guardiola is ahead of him.