Jose Mourinho has set his sights on winning a fourth Premier League title with Tottenham next season.
Mourinho has taken over from Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs following the Argentinian’s ruthless sacking earlier this week and was unveiled at a packed press conference on Thursday.
He arrives in north London having won more Premier League titles than any serving manager after three previous successes in his two spells with Chelsea.
But the 56-year-old inherits a squad that is currently 14th in the table and one that, even if it were not under-performing so drastically this term, appears a long way behind Liverpool and Manchester City.
Mourinho, back in work after a tough spell at Manchester United ended 11 months ago, is enthusiastic about the group of players he will work with, though, and has backed them to be title contenders next season.
“We cannot win the Premier League this season,” he said. “We can – I’m not saying we will do – we can win it next season.”
Such is his contentment with the players at his disposal, Mourinho – often branded a chequebook manager by critics – insists he will not need to make signings in January after revealing he tried to sign some of the Spurs squad in previous roles.
Back at it.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 21, 2019
“I don’t need players. I am so happy with what I have,” he said.
“I just need time to understand them better and know everything about them because I always say you only know a player when you work with them.
“Of course, how many times have I watched these guys, how many times have I played against them?
“I knew them well but you never know them well enough until you work with them and my gift is this squad because the squad is very, very good.
“I told them that one of the reasons why I decided to come was them.
“I tried to buy some of them for different clubs and I couldn’t. Some of them I didn’t even try because you know how impossible it is.
“But I like this squad very, very much. I like the players very, very much.
“It’s not something new that I said that. It’s not like, ‘Ok, now you are their manager you are saying that because you want to look nice’. That’s not the point.”
Mourinho’s history with Tottenham’s London rivals Chelsea could be a bone of contention among both sets of supporters, especially as he had previously said he would never manage Spurs.
The Portuguese joked that was before he got sacked and insisted football moves on.
“If I play against one of my previous clubs, which I will, at least Chelsea and Manchester United but hopefully Inter or Real Madrid in the Champions League, you know I only have one passion, only one thing in my mind and that’s my club and now it’s Spurs,” he said.
“I won the Champions League against Porto and three months later I was playing against Porto. That’s just life and the way it is.
“I’m not Chelsea, I’m not Manchester United and I’m not Real Madrid, I’m not Inter. I am all of them and I give everything to all of them and that’s what I’m going to do here, give absolutely everything I have.
“And now it’s about Spurs. I can be really happy here, make people happy and there’s not a bigger fan than me in the world who wants Spurs to win and be successful.
“Maybe the same as me, but not more than me. So Chelsea is the past, a great past, two periods, two periods with titles. But it’s the past.”
By the end of his reign at Old Trafford Mourinho looked a shadow of his former self.
He was often grouchy and looked dishevelled, while his high-profile falling out with Paul Pogba overshadowed the whole club.
Now, after significant time away from the game, Mourinho is refreshed and the once self-styled ‘Special One’ has now declared himself humble.
This is the moment Mourinho walked into the room. It set the tone for a good humoured press conference. Who knows how long it will last but it is a good start #THFC#COYSpic.twitter.com/l8GU96NMEH— Jonathan Veal (@jonathandveal83) November 21, 2019
“I am humble. I am humble enough to try to analyse my career,” he said. “Manchester last year, to analyse my career, the problems and the solutions. I was humble enough for that.
“The principle of the analysis was not to blame anyone else.
“I am nobody to advise people, but sometimes to have a break, it looked very positive for me.
“I can say that because it was the first summer I didn’t work, it wasn’t easy. I felt a little bit lost during that pre-season period, but before that and after it was a learning process. I even learned how to be a pundit.”
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