Tottenham Hotspur wasted no time in hiring a new manager, announcing Jose Mourinho as the team’s latest boss on Wednesday morning.
ESPN reported the deal will see Mourinho make about £15 million ($19.4 million) a year on a contract that runs through the 2022-23 season.
Mourinho Brings Long Record of Premier League Success
Mourinho was hired less than a day after the Spurs fired their previous manager, Mauricio Pochettino. Mourinho had been widely speculated to be Tottenham’s first choice as the club’s next manager. He last managed at Manchester United, which sacked him last season after more than two years on the job.
“In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football,” Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams, and is a great tactician. He has won honors at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”
Mourinho has a long history of managerial success, from his Champions League titles at Porto and Inter Milan to three Premier League titles while coaching at Chelsea. He’s also known as a tactical wizard, often winning matches for his teams with superior preparation and in-game adjustments. Mourinho is known for a heavy focus on central midfield play, believing domination in that area leads to overall success.
At Tottenham, this tactic could mean a reliance on some combination of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko to overload the central midfield positions in the hopes of creating mismatches up front for Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Importantly, Spurs will want to see Mourinho get more out of the team’s talented roster, which had been playing far below expectations under Pochettino, particularly in the Premier League. Tottenham currently sits 14th in the EPL table, far out of a European position.
Tottenham Still Fighting
Right now, Spurs are effectively out of the title race. FanDuel Sportsbook has Tottenham listed at +25000 to win the Premier League this season, and that may undersell how hard it would be for Spurs to make up the enormous 20-point gap between themselves and Liverpool.
That doesn’t mean that Mourinho can’t make an immediate impact for the club. While an EPL title run is out of the question, Tottenham still has plenty of time to get back into the race for a top-four position, which would be enough to earn another trip to the Champions League next season. While Spurs would have to pass a lot of teams, they are only a +270 underdog to finish in the top four. Tottenham is also a -230 favorite to fight their way into the top six by the end of the season, showing just how much faith oddsmakers have in the club under Mourinho’s leadership.
There’s also the matter of the Champions League, where Tottenham is still very much alive and likely to progress to the knockout stages. While Spurs aren’t a favorite to win the European competition, they are listed at +2900 to lift the trophy, and a deep run could immediately show the value of hiring Mourinho.
Any titles that Tottenham might win under “The Special One” are still likely a long way off, and for now, Spurs and their new manager will be taking things one match at a time. That starts Saturday with an away match at West Ham, where Tottenham has been installed as a -125 favorite. West Ham is winless in its last six Premier League matches.