Five signs it was going wrong for Jose Mourinho, from falling out with Dele Alli to fans hating his style of football

WHEN Jose Mourinho became Spurs manager 17 months ago, it appeared to be a new dawn.

“I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters," he announced on his arrival with a more positive outlook back in November, 2019.

"The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me."

And the Special One, 58, seemed reborn after a disastrous final season at Manchester United, where player fallouts with Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba blighted his copybook (he did win the EFL Cup and Europa League, while finishing runner-up in the Premier League in his first campaign).

He was the star-of-the-show in Amazon Prime's All or Nothing documentary, with fans warming to his winners' attitude.

However, like before, his management style wasn't to some tastes – with the series highlighting a row with Danny Rose.

Fans' favourite Dele Alli was also frozen out, as the knives began to come out for the Portuguese boss.

Here's the five reasons it went wrong in North London for Jose.


From the offset, many Tottenham fans weren't sure about an appointment of a manager who some viewed as a spent force.

Their previous boss, the highly likeable Mauricio Pochettino, had turned the club into a top four side (finishing above North London rivals Arsenal) and led the club to a Champions League Final.

And although Spurs had endured a miserable start to the 2018-19 campaign, sacking the Argentine seemed out of the question.

Alas, Poch was given his marching orders by Daniel Levy and Jose was immediately installed as head coach.

His tenure at Manchester United and his last season as Chelsea boss in his second spell, with the evolution of football tactics favouring a more attacking game, had Spurs fans wondering if it was the wrong move.


A classic Mourinho ploy, probably designed to get the best out of his stars, Jose demands his players work hard for him.

At Chelsea he clashed with Joe Cole and Eden Hazard. With Real Madrid even Cristiano Ronaldo felt Mourinho's wrath when he told him he had to track back and help his team defend.

And don't even mention Paul Pogba, who recently spoke of his harsh treatment under the gaffer.

The pattern continued at Spurs.

Full-back Rose was frozen out of the first team, and when the former England defender wanted to know why it ended in a row in Jose's training ground office.

Then there was the case of Dele Alli. In his first training session, Jose asked the England midfielder if he was "Dele Alli or Dele Alli's brother" because he hadn't seen him emulate the form that made him a Premier League star.

After an initial response, with Alli contributing to eight goals in Mourinho's first eight games in charge, his form dipped and Dele was dropped.

"Lazy" Alli couldn't get a look-in and was linked with a move to PSG in the January transfer window.

Alli may have been the most high-profile, but the likes of Serge Aurier, Tanguy Ndombele, Gareth Bale and Toby Alderweireld all clashed with Jose.

SunSport exclusively revealed that some players went to Levy to complain shortly before Mourinho was axed.


When Jose was hired by Spurs, it was always going to be interesting to see how he got on with Levy.

At his previous clubs, Mourinho was accustomed to having funds at his disposal, although the Spurs chairman has earned a reputation for being more careful with the club's cash.

Cracks in their relationship began to show in the transfer window last summer.

According to reports, Mourinho wanted to bring in PSG's defender Thomas Meunier.

But L'Equipe reported that Levy had a difference of opinion on the Belgium international, and he moved to Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer.

It was also alleged that Mourinho didn't want the club to sign Bale, and wanted them to invest in a centre half instead.


It's easy to forget that Mourinho led Spurs to the top of the table back in December.

In their first 11 games they batted Manchester United away 6-1, defeated Manchester City and Arsenal 2-0.

But still he was slammed by critics for his pragmatic style of football, letting teams have the ball before delivering a sucker punch with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min on the break.

“If they don’t enjoy to watch, then don’t watch. It’s as simple as that,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

“I’ve been a pundit myself for a couple of months and I learned to respect them even if I don’t agree.”

However, an over-reliance on Kane and Son was always going to bite them in the backside.

A run of poor form, culminating in a shocking exit in the Europa League at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb – despite having a 2-0 first-leg lead – left Mourinho's job hanging in the balance.


Spurs fans might say they were right all along, although Jose did get Spurs into the EFL Cup Final (their last domestic final was in 2015).

Disgruntled by results, a safety-first style which was very un-Spurs, and that Europa League performance the Tottenham faithful were calling for the boss's head.

Former player Jamie O'Hara even riled up supporters on Sky Sports when he called the 3-0 capitulation in Croatia "a sackable offence."

He added: "One game to save your season right, they have to beat Man City."

But Jose didn't get that opportunity.

Not even a comical press conference over the sponsorship of Dulux and the famous sheep dog could save Mourinho's bacon.

Spurs will look to Chris Powell and former Spurs youth star Ryan Mason to be their saviours in the short term.

It's All or Nothing for their season now.

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