Football UK

Robbie Savage says it’s All or Nothing for Mourinho and Spurs this season


Jose Mourinho has won the Premier League title more often than any of his rivals this season and he doesn’t have anything to prove.

Already his place is secure among English football’s greatest managers of the modern era.

But in his first full season at Tottenham, Mourinho will face his greatest challenge.

After winning titles at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, plus two trophies and finishing as runners-up with Manchester United, what can he do with a team that never wins anything?

For a club of its history and stature, it is unacceptable that Spurs have only lifted a single trophy – the League Cup in 2008, when Juande Ramos was the manager – this century.

And you have to wonder how much longer England captain Harry Kane will stick around in north London if Tottenham don’t put silverware on the table this season.

Can Mourinho lead Spurs to glory?

The Amazon documentary All Or Nothing has shone a light into the workings of a Premier League club with an incredible new stadium, space-age training facility and a top, top manager.

But if the programme was simply about trophies since 2008, they would have simply called it Nothing – because that’s what Spurs have won in 12 years.

If Mauricio Pochettino was fired just six months after leading Tottenham to the Champions League final, Mourinho will be under massive pressure if he doesn’t get off to a good start.

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For the best part of 20 years, he has been a winner, and fans will look beyond his style of play if he wins football matches for Spurs.

But the pressure will escalate quickly if he does not deliver results.

In the close season, Mourinho has added midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and wing-back Matt Doherty to his squad.

Both are good players and decent additions, but if I was an opponent sizing up Tottenham now, I would not be losing sleep about facing their midfield.

Doherty joined Spurs from Wolves this summer

It will be a good first test for Mourinho when Carlo Ancelotti – the man who took over from him as Real Madrid coach in 2013 – comes calling with Everton’s revamped midfield this weekend.

If Spurs are serious about regaining top-four orbit this season, they should be looking to make an early statement with maximum points from their first two games against Everton and Southampton.

I’m not sure either fixture will be comfortable.

Mourinho is undoubtedly banking on Kane to shine

So Mourinho is in the unusual position of being under no pressure because of what he’s achieved in the past – and yet he will be under pressure to deliver trophies at Spurs.

He will not be alone in feeling the heat.

It’s a big season for Mourinho’s predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United – who have clocked up three years without a trophy for the first time since the 1980s.

Can Solskjaer claim some sort of silverware?

Solskjaer reached three semi-finals last season and lost the lot.

He needs to take the next step and make United winners again, not just contenders.

There will be pressure on Frank Lampard at Chelsea, as there was last season – and he coped remarkably well. But owner Roman Abramovich does not hand over £230 million to spend in the transfer market and expect nothing in return.

And there will even be pressure on Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Some of you have expressed surprise that I only tipped them to finish fourth in my column last week, but I don’t think they have replaced Vincent Kompany’s leadership at the back and they will miss David Silva.

Let the games begin.

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