Jose Mourinho’s first challenge is away at West Ham, in his new role at Tottenham Hotspur. Just like Tim Sherwood and Mauricio Pochettino before him, Mourinho gets to take on West Ham in his opening game. Spurs currently sit in 14th, desperate to get out of their rut.
Jose Mourinho Faces West Ham in First Match as Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach
Back Jose Mourinho to Make Spurs Winners
Tottenham can win the Premier League next season, says Mourinho. This emphatic statement was part of an impressive Mourinho performance in front of the press. There was the typical swagger, with the new Spurs boss clearly enjoying his return to management.
However, Mourinho has also laid down some serious intentions for the club. He declared to his players at the first training session “Back me and I’ll make you winners.” Indeed, it is of vital importance for players to be on board with the managing staff. With players such as Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Paulo Gazzaniga and Dele Alli all posting heartfelt goodbyes to Pochettino, Mourinho must carefully ingratiate himself with the squad.
A London Derby
West Ham versus Tottenham can be a feisty affair. Sherwood lost his first encounter in charge at Spurs 2-1. Meanwhile, Pochettino managed a 1-0 victory when Eric Dier slid home the winner late on. Mourinho will really want to win his first match in charge to kick start a revival at the club.
Of course, this is a manager with plenty of Premier League experience and plenty of experience in London derbies. Furthermore, he is a manager whose passion and fury few can match. There is no doubt that Mourinho will be able to prepare his players properly for this important match.
Usually, it is easy enough to predict what the line-up would be at Spurs. And, there will undoubtedly be some continuity from Pochettino to Mourinho’s starting eleven. However, there is still a great deal of change that can occur. The new manager has shown particular interest in players like Eric Dier in the past. Thus, it is a great opportunity for squad players to mark their mark.
Thus, Mourinho, without his full squad, will have to make some compromises for now.
Spurs’ form has been woeful, with wins far and few between recently. But, with a new manager to impress, there may well be a turn in momentum. The added pressures of a derby further complicate the matter. Therefore, this is a fixture imbued with a lot of emotion, potentially. Tottenham typically tend to get sucked into the emotional battles. And, this isn’t always a bad thing since it means crunching tackles and amazing comebacks. But, under Mourinho, the club will want to hold back the emotion and instead become a cold, calculating machine that grinds out results.
Prediction: 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur.