Jose Mourinho keeps laying all his cards on the table because he doesn’t possess a poker face.
He claims he’s having to deal with a losing hand. Never mind having no bullets in his gun, the Tottenham boss has no aces in his pack following the losses of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min.
Never mind having Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela to turn to. He must have forgotten the respective England, Brazil and Argentina stars (combined cost £50.8million) still on the club’s books.
Perhaps we should forgive him for being a bit forgetful. He’s been around a long time, after all.
So long, in fact, that the ‘time’ in question is starting to leave him behind. It waits for no man, not even a ‘Special One’ like him who has won a staggering 25 trophies in his career, including two Champions League titles.
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Despite all his experience in the game, Mourinho still struggles to learn from others who have also succeeded in management, both past and present.
Like Rafa Benitez. In a revealing interview last week, Steven Gerrard spoke of how the Spaniard once told him how being a good manager requires being a good actor as well.
“Put the face on,” he told Gerrard. “Sometimes you feel angry but be positive. When you’re the manager, people follow your lead.”
Mourinho, who is hurtling towards 60 and hasn’t won silverware since 2017, loves being angry and the mere thought of heeding some advice from a rival he’s had a long-running feud with, which included him once mocking Benitez’s weight, will make his blood boil.
Mourinho would rather be negative than positive, but after all these years he still seems incapable of realising the damage his example sets to those sides he manages.
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Will Alli, Moura and Lamela want to run through brick walls for Mourinho in his hour of need when he continues to either ignore them or treat them with utter disdain?
Instead of appreciating what he still has, why is Mourinho so hell-bent on droning on about what he doesn’t?
The narrative from Mourinho is both tiresome and familiar. We heard it all before during his second spell at Chelsea and also at Manchester United.
The end product is a gradual decline in results from a team lacking identity, purpose and inspiration.
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Like the man who leads them, Spurs look like a side feeling sorry for themselves.
But this is a team still in the Champions League, FA Cup and the race to secure a top-four finish.
Part of Mourinho’s job is to galvanise his side ahead of today’s visit of Wolves, one of their main rivals in the race to secure Champions League qualification.
But can this tired old act find it within him to change? If not then the direction of his side will be down. The longer Mourinho leads Spurs, the greater Mauricio Pochettino’s achievements with the same squad become.
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