By 90Min
September 29, 2019

In a period where available high-quality managers are a rare commodity, the situation in north London is an instance for those already in charge to sort out themselves.

Tottenham's laboured 2-1 win over Southampton temporarily halted a miserable 2019, although 'miserable' is a bizarrely adequate term to use considering the club reached the Champions League final not four months ago.

Yet, with the pressure mounting on Mauricio Pochettino's shoulders in the wake of an embarrassing Carabao Cup defeat to Colchester United, coupled with just three wins from their opening seven league matches, there's admittedly a lack of certainty at Spurs.

But wait, what is this you say? There is a manager available who could come in and avert the apparent slide? Who? Ahh, yes, of course. 

Jose Mourinho.

A quick glance over at the pair's respective CVs makes for incredibly contrasting viewing. In 506 matches as a manager, across three clubs, Pochettino boasts a grand total of zero trophies. The fact that Wikipedia lists Football League Cup runner-up as one of his 'honours' speaks volumes.

Flip that over to Mourinho, and his trophy haul makes for far more enticing reading. A whopping 23 bits of silverware pack his CV to the rafters, and that's being unkind and shunning his Community Shield triumphs (because, well, they're not proper trophies).

On paper, we're presented with a man who has nothing to show for five seasons at one of the Premier League's more notable sides, while the other can only be placed under the category of 'serial winner'.

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In the aftermath of Spurs' Champions League final defeat to Liverpool, one question posed was whether Mourinho could have guided that Tottenham team to victory. Coining the phrase 'parking the bus' during a match against Spurs back in 2004, the Portuguese has since gone on to master the art with faultless tactical nouse.

Should Spurs make a move for the three-time Premier League winner? Should Pochettino be relieved of his duties so soon into their first full campaign at the shiny new ground they've built?

That question can't be answered, but can be analysed.

Firstly, the obvious talking point is the aforementioned trophy scalps. Spurs fans have been starved of that joy since 2008, when a League Cup triumph offered supporters their first taste of domestic success for 17 years. Since that day, they're now staring down the barrel of another painful run that's already in its 11th term. Some clubs' fans take trophies for granted. However, Spurs fans simply want to be granted that joy themselves.

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Mourinho has proven, everywhere he's gone, that he can win. Whether that is the Champions League with Porto, or the Europa League win with Manchester United, you can be sure that were he to take the reins then a trophy would sit atop the dusty cabinet that's hidden somewhere under a flight of stairs in north London before too long.

But at what cost? Mourinho has never stayed with one club longer than three years, partly due to the inability to replicate the immense success he's often achieved the season prior, but also due to relationships deteriorating with both players and senior members at the various clubs.

It never lasts with Mourinho, for one reason or another. And, seeing what Pochettino is doing at Spurs, there is no way the Special One could survive such longevity when the club is in a transitional phase.

Having survived two seasons without making signings - given the significant outlay spent on the new stadium - the fact that Pochettino has managed to sustain Spurs' place in the Premier League top four and reach a major European final deserves immense credit.

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Breaking their transfer record this summer signalled intent on behalf of the club, who now have the tools in place to halt the stagnation that some people have proclaimed is ongoing as they look to take the next step in the process.

Tottenham is a project. Mourinho doesn't do projects. He joins established clubs and has cash pumped into them, earning immediate success that eventually fizzles out to some degree. That is by no means a criticism; he's made a career of it and done it with alarming effect.

That would not be healthy in north London, regardless of how desperately the fans yearn for silverware. It's a matter of perseverance now for Spurs. Yes, things aren't all rosy. Yes, from the outside it would appear the club are going in circles and Pochettino isn't capable of catapulting them into 'European heavyweight' status.

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The fact is, Mourinho probably would. However, he would also play a brand of football Spurs fans wouldn't enjoy. Equally, he'd most likely fall out with Daniel Levy over finances. I mean, that's pretty much nailed on.

What it boils down to is: What do Spurs want?

Do they abandon their goals and take a punt on a quick-fix? Or do they stick with the man who has stayed loyal and hope he can invigorate a side he finally got to spend some money on?

All that said, it could very well be that if Mourinho comes in he could be the man to take Spurs further. Equally, Pochettino could be at the wheel of a sinking ship with his hands glued together, helplessly trying to steer it back on course.

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