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‘Mourinho has secret ingredient that Pochettino lacked’ – Jenas backing Spurs boss to deliver title challenge

The former Tottenham midfielder believes a proven Portuguese coach will end a long wait for tangible success in north London

Jose Mourinho boasts the “secret ingredient” at Tottenham that Mauricio Pochettino was lacking, says Jermaine Jenas, with the Portuguese being backed to deliver a long-awaited trophy in north London.

A charismatic coach has now completed his first year in the managerial hot seat at Spurs.

He was appointed in November 2019 as a Premier League heavyweight desperately sought to find inspiration from somewhere.

The tough decision to part with Pochettino, who had guided the club to the Champions League final a few months earlier, was taken as Spurs saw themselves slipping away from silverware again.

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Mourinho’s CV made him an obvious choice to step in, with the former Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss having enjoyed success wherever he has been.

The 57-year-old appears to have turned Tottenham around after putting his own stamp on things, with Jenas convinced that a proven winner can succeed where those before him have failed.

The former Spurs midfielder told BBC Sport: “We can’t forget what Poch did for Tottenham because he made them Champions League regulars and took them to a whole new stratosphere in terms of their belief levels.

“Mourinho, though, has somehow looked at that blueprint and said ‘it is brilliant but I can make it better because I know the secret ingredient’.

“That secret ingredient is a desire to win. These Tottenham players are all very good footballers, but the question was ‘do they want success enough to get it in a horrible way?’

“Basically, are they willing to do it Jose’s way?

“It looks like they are, and the more big results it gets them, the more they will be in the palm of his hand.”

Mourinho is already a three-time Premier League title winner, while also boasting FA Cup and League Cup triumphs on his enviable roll of honour, and Jenas claims the enigmatic tactician can bring the grandest of prizes to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

He added: “At 57, Jose’s legacy is already established, of course. Just look at his track record – he will go down as one of the greatest managers ever, because of what he has already achieved.

“But he has got an opportunity now to create something different with Spurs – something that, in a weird way, would almost be more than everything he has done elsewhere.

“I mean, can you imagine if he won the Premier League with Tottenham?

“There are not many other managers on this planet who would even think it is possible to walk into Spurs and win the title within 18 months, let alone be able to carry it out.

“Jose won’t admit his side are contenders of course, but it’s clearly something he feels he can get his teeth into.

“Off the pitch, you can tell he is more comfortable now he is back in London than he ever was in Manchester, living out of a hotel.

“On it, he has got the players that he wants, and he has instilled the spirit he demands from them.”

Tottenham sit top of the Premier League table heading into the latest round of fixtures, but will see their title credentials tested to the full on Sunday when they take in a trip to old adversaries Chelsea.


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