The independent London newspaper

Half an hour in, it’s ‘Saint Jose’

OPINION: The speed at which Spurs fans have converted into disciples of their new boss is quite extraordinary

28 November, 2019 — By Richard Osley

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho

WHAT time did you clock it at?

I think it wasn’t much more than 30 minutes on Saturday afternoon by my watch. Even by the fickle nature of most football supporters, the speed with which Tottenham fans have desperately converted into disciples of Jose Mourinho is quite extraordinary.

Last week, there was sobbing over Mauricio Pochettino as he left Spurs with a message on the training board flipchart about how the club would forever be in his heart. Then there was correct caution over the gratuitously swift arrival of Mourinho.

But less than a week later, everything that has gone before seems to have been forgotten.

Tottenham have taken a Chelsea hero who even Chelsea don’t like any more into their nest – a shameless manager who is happy being anywhere as long as you pay him enough and he can mug the rest of the league with a poisonous press conference or some touchline theatrics.

Spurs are a club who often talk of their classy traditions and a rich history.

Mourinho goes against all of that spirit, and just because winning now means everything – rather than simply supporting your local team or one inherited through your family – it no longer matters to the Spurs fans how they win or who they win with. Just that they win something.

Normal people, our neighbours, who held the correct assessment of Mourinho as a spoilt brat, a bad loser and somebody who helped change the nature of what it means to win by winning with chequebook supremacy, are now talking as if he is Saint Jose.

You’re thinking, what about Arsenal?

If Mourinho had come to Arsenal and won, it would still have felt hollow.

And while Spurs fans romanced Pochettino, Arsenal fans never professed great love for Unai Emery. Let’s hope the Gunners find a more agreeable solution.


Share this story

Post a comment