Spurs coach is on the longest winless run of his profession and things do not appear like improving any time soon, having criticised record signing Ndombele.
Having only once previously arrived at a club midseason it regarded fair, back in December, to give Jose Mourinho a free hit till the end of the 2019-20 season, whenever that may cease up being, not least due to the fact his special genius is to harness the power of a small and vengeful clique.
Huddling together, preparing for war, requires an alchemy that was by no means likely to be viable whilst his predecessor’s vision was nevertheless lingering, and nevertheless disintegrating. It is difficult to issue a rallying cry surrounded by burning rubble.
What has happened at Tottenham over the last three months has conformed to this expectation, and but how Mourinho has treated it has severely damaged his personal position.
Few managers in world soccer records have been so overwhelmingly described through their psychological strategy to the role. If that previously gave him time to sharpen swords, now it serves to undermine him.
Unlike the concreteness of tactical set-plays, or the tangible nature of technical ability, psychological powers are ephemeral.
Harnessing them depends on collective trust and, like fairies, the superb influence of motivation, optimism, and anger ceases to exist when no one believes in it.
For any individual like Mourinho, his fall through the sport is having a devastating impact on his capability to manipulate by inspiration.
Everyone, such as the Spurs players, can now see the hints that underpin his siege mentality approach; detect self-preservation where once it seemed like charisma.
Whether Mourinho has changed over the final 10 years or merely our understanding of his antics has changed, the consequence is the same: a man whose work is built on awesome motivational skills can no longer motivate an enterprise that believes they can see right through him.
Judging via the most current outbursts, it would show up that some thing has shifted internally for Mourinho, too. It is as if, with age, Mourinho has fallen into the equal lure as Arsene Wenger: privilege, success, and recognize can blunt the edges, leaving captains of industry blind to the regular hard work required to stay at the top.
The Spurs manager comes throughout as a man unwilling to accept the problem of the job.
But more importantly, with each and every fresh attack on his players Mourinho exhibits his techniques are from an era that, to the current squad, need to experience like centuries old.
Football’s old school blame today’s ‘snowflake’ tradition on younger footballers being pampered millionaires, when in truth to emerge from the extraordinary stress of a hyper-competitive academy system means the modern player is extra resilient than any era before them. They simply don’t reply positively to being attacked because, well, why should they?
When Mourinho launches into an attack on Tanguy Ndombele, he displays the chasm between generations. It is a approach that can’t work anymore.
Of course, none of Mourinho’s off-field behaviour would matter to Tottenham followers if outcomes have been better, and yet this record can’t be disentangled from the intellectual side. Mourinho is on a six-game winless run, the longest of his managerial career, and Spurs have conceded an alarming 38 goals in 26 games whilst playing meandering, directionless football. But there is little cost in immediately critiquing the formation or the team shape.
We nevertheless don’t understand what Mourinho is trying to do, due to the fact none of his instructions are sticking. How else to provide an explanation for such porousness between the lines, such carelessness with the ball? The only clarification is that belief in his method has already faded. And belief, that transient state so regularly found and misplaced in football, is the foundation of the whole thing Mourinho has achieved.
Without it, he is finished.