Interviews

Former Tottenham captain: "People don't realise how difficult Jose Mourinho's job is"

Mabbutt won the FA Cup with Tottenham nearly two decades ago - and backs the current Spurs boss to win things with the club now

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Tottenham Hotspur legend Gary Mabbutt says that Jose Mourinho has a mammoth task ahead of him at the club that he won the FA Cup with - but there's everything to play for this season. 

Mabbutt captained Spurs to an FA Cup victory in 1991, the last time the club lifted the trophy. Speaking at the London Football Awards last week, he said that the lack of a preseason period has hampered progress for Mourinho and that he's a big fan of the manager.

"Personally, I’m a big Jose fan," said Mabbutt. "I think that people don’t realise how difficult it is to come in mid-season and take over a club."

"Normally you get a preseason period, working with the squad, bringing in the players that you want - he was given his players, told 'Right, here are your players'. He came in December - there couldn’t have been a worse time to come in, where you have games every two or three days - a hectic schedule.

"He had a great start, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster."

Tottenham find themselves still in the chase for the top four and travel to Leipzig for a Champions League last-16 showdown tonight. Mabbutt says that the task is difficult but that he's hopeful of a result.

"Well if you’d asked me this time last year, do I fancy our chances against Manchester City, against Ajax, I would have said, 'ooh, that could be tough,' he said. "So, RB Leipzig? That could be tough. But if we get the same results as last year, I’ll be very happy."

Jose Mourinho has only been at the helm in North London for a few months, having taken over from Mauricio Pochettino. Now, Mabbutt says the former Spurs manager may well still have big ambitions in football.

"I think Mauricio was a fantastic manager for us," said Mabbutt. "Of course, I’m sure that Mauricio has great ambitions still. Whether that be in the Premier League, whether that be in Spain or anywhere else in the Premier League, who knows?"

"But he’ll always be welcome back at Spurs, because he was a fantastic manager for us."

While you’re here, why not take advantage of our brilliant subscribers’ offer? Get the game’s greatest stories and best journalism direct to your door for only £12.25 every three months – less than £3.80 per issue – and you’ll also receive bookazines worth £29.97!

READ MORE...

EUROPE What is COVID-19 coronavirus and how is it affecting football? Match and competition postponements, cancellations and closed stadiums

QUIZ Can you name every current Bundesliga club?

GUIDE Premier League live stream best VPN: how to watch every game from anywhere in the world

New features you'll love on FourFourTwo.com