Mourinho hints at what Spurs couldn't give him to succeed like he did at Chelsea


Jose Mourinho, Head Coach of AS Roma, looks on during the warm up prior to the Coppa Italia match between SS Lazio and AS Roma at Stadio Olimpico on January 10, 2024 in Rome, Italy. 

Jose Mourinho has hinted that being unable to focus on coaching is why he was unable to succeed at Tottenham and other clubs. The Portuguese boss was recently sacked from his last job at AS Roma after being let go by Spurs in 2021, and is now out of work again.

Having replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019, less than six months after the Argentine reached the Champions League final, Mourinho managed to deliver an upturn in results before suffering a poor second season at the club. He did manage to reach the Carabao Cup final in his second term in charge but was dismissed just days before the match against Manchester City, which Spurs went on to lose 1-0.

Now, with Ange Postecoglou showing a new way to deliver in north London following a problematic Antonio Conte reign, Mourinho is looking for a job again. The Portuguese has been linked with many a top role heading into the summer with managerial upheaval expected across Europe, and has made it perfectly clear what his ideal surroundings are.

"In some club structures then you have to be the coach, then you have to be the technical director, then you have to be the communications director, then you have to be the image that defends the club, the players," he told Fabrizio Romano. "That is something people realise but at the same time is something that the coach doesn’t like because myself as a coach, what I want to be is a coach."

Although Mourinho didn't go as far as to name his time working with Daniel Levy as being an issue, he snubbed Tottenham in the list of clubs which gave him the best chance to succeed. "The ideal scenario is when the club has a structure that allows the coach to be the coach on the pitch, on the training ground, in the dressing room, on the touchline, but be the coach," he explained.

"I was the coach at Inter, I was the coach at Real Madrid. I was the coach, in my first spell, at Chelsea. I was the coach at Porto. In some other clubs I wasn’t the coach, so that is very difficult for a coach, very difficult for a coach."

Notably, Mourinho hasn't deemed himself to have been allowed to just be the coach at a club for nearly 13 years. In that time he has won just the one domestic league title - with Chelsea in 2014/15. He has also been unable to match the exploits of his Inter side in Europe either, though winning the Conference League and then reaching the Europa League final a year later did represent traces of the newer Mourinho in modern football.

His ultimate failure to get the best from a talented Tottenham team that Levy determined was a mentality monster away from breaking their trophyless streak reflects poorly on both the manager and the chairman. While many have argued against the appointment in the first place (and Conte's reign did nothing to improve Levy's standing in this regard) Mourinho also has questions to answer.

There have been suggestions that the game is leaving him behind and that the Special One is special no more. Being unable to deliver the best domestic results - even if his tournament record is still thoroughly impressive - within an aligned structure at a club is the way forward.

Levy has found that now with Postecoglou, just as he did with Pochettino. Mourinho has been unable to prove that he is now on the same level. While his comment here appears to take aim at Spurs - and Chelsea from 2014 onwards, Manchester United, and also it is presumed, Roma - it also demonstrates why his time at the very top of the game might be over.

This isn't the first time he has taken shots at Tottenham either. Mourinho said in 2023: "I hope the Tottenham fans don't get me wrong but the only club in my career where I don't still have a big feeling, is Tottenham. Probably because the stadium is empty, Covid time. 

Probably because Mr Levy didn't let me win a final, win the trophy. That is the only one. After that, Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United. All the clubs I feel a connection."

The 61-year-old added at the time: "Maybe you cannot love every club. Yes, I love every club, I love every club because I always felt the other way around they also love me. So with Roma, one day will be hard, it will be hard, it will be hard but we will be connected forever like I am with all my previous clubs apart from Mr Levy's club."

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