Through two quality wins, Jose Mourinho is making sure the love is headed for his players.
Tottenham Hotspur’s men have struggled this season despite a tactical wizard in Mauricio Pochettino, so it would be reasonable to offer some credit to their infamous new manager for a 3-2 win over West Ham and a now Tuesday’s 4-2, come-from-behind defeat of Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League.
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OIympiacos built a 2-0 lead before the match was 20 minutes old, but Dele Alli pulled one back before the break. The second half was all Tottenham, with Harry Kane scoring twice and Serge Aurier also bagging a goal against a Greek side which has been quite good at keeping the ball out of the net.
Aurier scoring would be another reason to toot Mourinho’s horn, as the defender was abject in an earlier UCL match versus Bayern Munich. Mourinho, however, kept his composure.
“The way they reacted and knowing that a draw would give us qualification, because we knew Bayern were winning, but to go in search of the win and the confidence, they did that,” Mourinho said. “I expect them to start the next game without ghosts and open. We have to play better than that first half.”
And then there’s the ball boy, as Mourinho has offered his proper assessment of the kid who got the ball to Serge Aurier ahead of a Spurs goal.
“To do that you have to be a very good ball boy. I was between 10 and 16 years old a very good ball boy and he is a very good ball boy. He was reading the game and wasn’t looking at the stands. I wanted to invite him to the dressing room to celebrate with the players but he had disappeared.”
Something tells me we’ll be seeing a reunion on social media soon.
Spurs have now advanced to the UCL knockout rounds, and with Mourinho there’s renewed hope of another long run. Remember: Mourinho may not be the wizard he once was, but he remains one of the great trophy hunters in sport.