Mourinho inspired Spurs to beat Chelsea – so is he winning fans over?

Jose Mourinho inspired Tottenham to beat Chelsea as he threw barbs, schooled Frank Lampard and skipped merrily to the dressing room… so, with Spurs FINALLY fighting like he wants, is he now winning the fans over too?

  • Jose Mourinho guided Tottenham to victory over his old club Chelsea this week
  • He hit out at Spurs’ schedule before the tie and claimed they could not compete
  • Mourinho was involved in a heated touchline row with Blues boss Frank Lampard
  • He chased Eric Dier down the tunnel and performed a victory skip after winning
  • But he also got his side playing after the break and deserves credit for the result
  • From his press conference to post-match interview, it was all classic Mourinho

In the end, we were treated to pretty much the full Jose Mourinho experience.

And when it results in one of those spirited, against-the-odds victories, it might seem like it is all worth it.

From the build-up to his post-match press conference, in and around Tottenham’s Carabao Cup victory over Chelsea, classic Mourinho was back.

There was a pre-match swipe at the authorities, another high-profile player axing, a touchline row with his rival manager, a dramatic tunnel dash after Eric Dier, an unlikely turnaround he inspired, a childlike victory jig down the tunnel and then a soundbite-filled analysis of the evening’s events to finish it all off.

Jose Mourinho was involved in a heated touchline row with Frank Lampard on Tuesday night 

The Tottenham boss also chased Eric Dier down the tunnel after he ran off to use the toilet

Mourinho celebrated the penalty shootout win over Chelsea by skipping to the dressing room

‘Tomorrow the whole team will stay in our facilities,’ Mourinho said.

‘I thought about staying here [at the stadium], sleep in the dressing room and wait for them but it’s more comfortable to go to our lodge [at the training ground].’

His players are the ones with the really punishing schedule of four games in eight days. Mourinho could be forgiven for feeling a little drained too at the end of an eventful 72 hours or so.

Mourinho did not seem overly pleased at times with the scrutiny that came with the Amazon film crew following Spurs around last season but he has hardly been able to stay out of the spotlight in the last few days.

Pre-match was the start of vintage Mourinho. He made a bid for sympathy by claiming he simply couldn’t ‘fight’ for the Carabao Cup as Spurs’ gruelling fixture list made that impossible.

Meanwhile the scheduling of this fixture, he claimed, meant the EFL ensured he had no choice other than to rotate.

Erik Lamela struck late on against Chelsea to take the tie straight to a penalty shootout

Harry Kane (left) and his team-mates celebrate after knocking out their London rivals

Frank Lampard knows Mourinho, his methods and tricks, well from their time together as manager and player at Chelsea.

And not for one second was he falling for Mourinho’s suggestions that he was prepared to give up on the League Cup, a trophy he was won four times.

Though Mourinho’s starting line-up did not contain a recognised striker he was still able to pick 10 full internationals.

‘I was never taken by Jose talking about how they wouldn’t compete,’ Lampard smiled knowingly.

Dele Alli was the notable absentee from Spurs’ squad again, unable to get a game even when their resources are stretched.

The England midfielder seems to be the latest big name in Mourinho’s firing line.

Mourinho attempted to play his absence down, even dismissing his omission as similar to that of the injured Son Heung-min. Nothing to see here, he insisted.

Mourinho left midfielder Dele Alli out of his matchday squad for the third time in recent weeks

The former Chelsea boss gives instructions to Harry Kane before sending him on as a sub

But he will know full well that the attention on this subject and questions will not go away, especially given his history of treatment of star players.

All eyes were on Mourinho again during the first half when he became embroiled in a touchline war of words with Lampard.

Once so close, all that seemed forgotten for a few seconds as they traded verbal blows.

Mourinho has always seemingly relished this part of management and appeared prepared to stoop that little bit lower than anyone else in order to get under the skin of one of his rivals.

Who can forget him calling Arsene Wenger a ‘voyeur’ and ‘specialist in failure’?

Even when dealing with his one-time protege Lampard, there was also a little dig, amongst the warmth and praise.

Mourinho indicated to the officials that Lampard was talking too much as tempers flared

The pair shook hands before the game kicked off but things soon became heated on Tuesday

‘Stay on the touchline when your team is losing and stay calm when your team is winning,’ Mourinho explained of what was said between the pair, referencing Lampard’s demeanour when Chelsea were 3-0 down at West Brom.

Chelsea were dominant at the time, leading 1-0, and Mourinho deserves huge credit for whatever he said to his side that saw them return with greater intensity after the break, seize control of the tie and eventually force a penalty shootout that they won to progress.

With their weary bodies it was a considerable effort Mourinho managed to get out of his players who summoned up the energy to fight back when they looked in real danger of being overrun in the first half.

Nobody summed that up more than Dier who looked set to go off injured in the first half, then needed a second-half emergency toilet break, before returning to finish the game and score the first penalty.

Even when Dier went off it was as much about Mourinho, who chased him down the tunnel while the game was going on to urge him to hurry up and get back on the pitch.

Mourinho was not happy when Dier left his side temporarily down to 10 men against Chelsea

Dier sprints back towards the tunnel and onto the pitch during the Carabao Cup last-16 tie

His pre-shootout handshake with Lampard, gleeful skip down the tunnel with an arm around his assistant Joao Sacramento and entertaining post-match press conference were also part of the Mourinho show on Tuesday night.

While over the years Mourinho has lost some of the old magic that captured the imagination when he first arrived in England in 2004, still no manager does box office quite like the self-styled Special One as he has proved again this week. Histrionics, drama, press conferences full of highlights and playing up for the cameras are all part of the package.

At times his antics can be an unnecessary sideshow or attempt to distract from other issues, a well-worn tactic that is becoming harder to pull off given all his years in the Premier League.

At other times and among other things they can help endear him to supporters. Some of Spurs’ fans remain sceptical about Mourinho.

Keep inspiring battling displays and wins like Tuesday night’s, though, and more of the doubters may be willing to accept all that comes with Mourinho and start to become believers.




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