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 Jose Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur could be on the verge of something special this season

Jose Mourinho is dealing with an intense fixture list.
Jose Mourinho is dealing with an intense fixture list.
Aaron Gales
ANALYST
Modified 01 Oct 2020, 17:49 IST
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When Mason Mount's penalty in the League Cup match against Chelsea struck the outside of the post to send Tottenham Hotspur through to the League Cup quarter-finals, Jose Mourinho turned and ran down the tunnel clenching his fists in delight.

It was the second time he had run down that tunnel in less than half an hour, having previously given chase to defender Eric Dier, who needed a hasty toilet break in the second half.

It has been an incredibly intense schedule for Tottenham since the season began. What was so fascinating about Mourinho's reaction to this latest victory was just how much it meant to him to progress to the next round.

This is particularly interesting given his comments in the build up to the match, where he said, "I would like to fight for the Carabao (Cup) but I don't think I can."

Mourinho's celebration in this victory highlights why Tottenham were right to appoint him when they sacked Mauricio Pochettino. The Portuguese manager is a proven winner and will do everything he can to fight to bring trophies to Tottenham, which they have not done since winning the League Cup in 2008.

Despite his protests about Tottenham's busy fixture list, Mourinho is clearly enjoying the challenge of competing in three different cup competitions while also striving to get back into the top four of the Premier League.

His pride in his players was evident in his post-match interviews. Mourinho reserving special praise for the efforts of Eric Dier, who played 180 minutes in 48 hours.

However the season turns out for Tottenham, they can look back at the Europa League match against Lokomotiv Plovdiv as the turning point in the 2020-21 season.

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Having lost their opening Premier League fixture against Everton, their season was in danger of turning into a crisis in just their second match when they were losing 1-0 against Plovdiv with just 15 minutes to go.

Tottenham managed to turn it around and win the game 2-1, before thrashing Southampton 5-2 in their next Premier League game. They then secured the signatures of Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon to provide a renewed and much-needed impetus to their squad.

Although they were very unfortunate to only draw against Newcastle in the Premier League, their victory over Chelsea keeps the mood in the camp positive and a victory over Maccabi Haifa will secure passage into the group stages of the Europa League.

Perhaps the most pleasing thing for Tottenham and their supporters will be the change in Mourinho's demeanour. It has been subtle, but he is more positive and humorous in his press conferences. Mourinho saw the funny side of Dier's mad dash to the toilet in the second half and seems to be thriving on the challenge of turning his team of talented players into trophy winners.

We are seeing more of the Mourinho who first came to Chelsea in 2004 and less of the sulky Mourinho that we saw in his second spell at Stamford Bridge and later at Manchester United.

Mourinho's personality and charisma will be absolutely key to getting Tottenham through what is going to be a long hard season. If they carry this form forward, Mourinho and his players could be on the verge of achieving something very special in the 2020-21 season and ending that long wait for a trophy.

Published 01 Oct 2020, 17:49 IST
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