Rolling Stone India Pitch: Jose Mourinho Returns to the Premier League with a Bang
The new Tottenham Hotspur manager registered his team’s first away win this past weekend since January
During the international break, Tottenham Hotspur sacked their manager Mauricio Pochettino – who guided the team to last season’s Champions League final – after five years in charge. The London club wasted no time in hiring their new coach, the Special One – Jose Mourinho. The former Manchester United manager – who has been out of work since last December – is no stranger to the Premier League having won the title on three occasions with Chelsea and also winning the Champions League twice with FC Porto (2004) and Inter Milan (2010).
Matchday 13 of the Premier League saw Tottenham Hotspur reenergized against West Ham United, Arsenal’s woes continued as they dropped points to Southampton, Liverpool remained undefeated, Manchester City and Chelsea displayed a high octane performance, Manchester United and Sheffield United put on a thriller and more.
The new manager magic paid off for Spurs at the London Stadium as they went ahead 3-0 up against West Ham United with goals coming from Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura and in-form striker Harry Kane. The Tottenham frontman scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season which saw him go third on the list of top goal scorers for the club with 175. Although the Hammers did comeback with two strikes finishing the game 3-2 in favor of Spurs, it was Mourinho’s team that looked in control all throughout the match.
Speaking to BBC MOTD after the game, Mourinho said, “It’s not about me, it’s about the players and club.” He added, “It has been a very difficult week, there’s no hiding how much Pochettino meant to the players and in particular me. We did not really change too much [under Mourinho], just a few little tweaks, maybe a few changes in the way we press. I think the team had 60 amazing minutes, total control, total dominance – using the principle we brought to the training sessions.”
Spurs’ North London rivals Arsenal however are in dismal form under manager Unai Emery – who fans are calling for to be sacked. The Gunners were able to salvage a point at home to Southampton with a late strike from Alexandre Lacazette in their 2-2 draw. With Tottenham now only a point behind Arsenal who currently sits in eighth place, Emery said post-match, “I can understand how the supporters feel about the team and about me. I can only say to them I’m going to work hard for a good performance and to show we can be better. I understand them [the fans] 100 percent because they didn’t watch their team play like they want. But my job is to find the solution.”
Top of the table Liverpool maintained their undefeated streak this season after seeing off Crystal Palace with goals from Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino. Their title rivals Manchester City also picked up a win against a competitive Chelsea side with a 2-1 victory over the London club. City who went down early with a goal from N’Golo Kanté came back with strikes from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez.
“Chelsea are an incredible team,” Guardiola told BBC Sport after the game. “We knew it, but we beat them. It was a typical high-level game. Our back four played so good today. In the most difficult period of the game, we scored on the counter. We created enough chances to score more goals.”
Mourinho’s former team Manchester United who played Sheffield United last night found themselves 2-0 down after 52 minutes played. The Red Devils, however, put on a thrilling comeback and were 3-2 up after Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford scored within seven minutes of each other. Sheffield was able to score a late equalizer through Oli McBurnie to finish the game 3-3. Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder said after the game, “I would have been really disappointed had we not got anything from this game because for the majority of the time we were right up there in terms of the performance levels.”
With no international break for the next three months, the Premier League schedule is about to get heavier as we go into December’s frantic Christmas schedule. The next round of fixtures will see Manchester City travel to Newcastle United, Liverpool host Brighton, Chelsea takes on West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur will play Bournemouth, Arsenal travel to Norwich, Manchester United welcome Aston Villa and more.