Jose Mourinho is not going to forget his injury-riddled 2020-21 season any time soon, the club gaining Europa League footing despite 14th place standing when he took the reins in North London.
The Tottenham Hotspur boss saw his side finish sixth in the Premier League following a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Championship Sunday, collecting the fourth-most points of any club from the time he was hired despite long absences for Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, and Steven Bergwijn.
So what’s going to happen next year, Mou?
“I want to have my team, my players, not a medical room full of players,” he quipped after the game. “I want a pitch full of players.”
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
So that means health, which he can’t control, and depth. He can have a little bit more of a say there, but Spurs haven’t always helped Mauricio Pochettino and previous managers with investment comparable to their size and potential.
“Are we going to buy 10 players? No. Are we going to buy players for £100m? No. We are going to improve. I enjoy working with Steve [Hitchen – Spurs chief scout] in this organisation. We are very connected with Mr. [Daniel] Levy and the board and we’re going to do what is possible to do and hopefully next season we can give it to the fans a very good season.”
What does that mean? That’s a very good question. The Mr. Levy part is pretty important and we’ll surely hear more from him soon.
As for this season, Mourinho is branding it quite an accomplishment. It’s probably not as remarkable as he believes, but the injury-heavy road he traveled to get Spurs into the UEL is decent. The coronavirus pandemic break certainly helped the club on the field as Kane, Bergwijn, and Son returned this season.
“Arriving 14th and handling things is not bad at all,” Mourinho said. “I am quite happy next season we play in Europa League and it’s just a question to motivate ourselves for that competition and try to motivate the fans to support us and try to do something beautiful.”
There was one other note worth making, and it came from Mourinho on television after the game.
The often honest Mourinho admitted that he changed his attacking plan when he learned Wolves, whose results Spurs needed to better, were down 2-0 to Chelsea. He was going to attack but changed his mine to play it safe.
Don’t change, Mou.Follow @NicholasMendola