How a year of Jose at Spurs compares to other jobs…

Date published: Friday 20th November 2020 6:47

Jose Mourinho Spurs

Jose Mourinho celebrates his one-year anniversary at Tottenham today. He wasn’t warmly welcomed by everyone in the wake of Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking and many have written him off at various points in his reign so far. But Mourinho seems to have settled at Spurs and they are chugging along nicely. 

In his first year, one ravaged by coronavirus, Mourinho has won 18 of his 34 Premier League games in charge, drawing eight and losing eight. He has earned 62 points at a rate of 1.82 points per game. 

Here’s how Mourinho’s Spurs stint has compared with his first year as manager of other big clubs…



Appointed: January 22, 2002

Porto had not won a Portuguese title in three years – for them, a drought – when Mourinho took over from Octavio Machado midway through the season. He returned to the club with the team in fifth place having lost six of their 19 league games. Under Mourinho, with what he called their ‘worst team in two generations’, Porto lost only twice more that season, concluding the campaign with a six-game winning run to secure a third-place finish.

After promising to ‘make Porto champions next year’, that’s just what he did. Up to his first anniversary at his post, Porto won 15 of their first 18 games of the 2002-03 season before going on to win the title by 11 points, with their 86-point haul standing as a Portuguese record for the next 13 years.

First-year record (league games only): P33, W26 D5 L2 Pts 83 PPG: 2.52

Honours: –

Players signed: Maniche, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Fernandes, Zé Carlos, Nuno Espirito Santo, Paulo Ferreira, Cesar Peixoto, Nuno Valente, Akos Buzsaky, Derlei, Tiago, Hugo Luz, Marco Ferreira.

How it turned out: Mourinho saw out the duration of his initial two-and-a-half-year contract, delivering the title, as promised, in his first full season alongside the Taca de Portugal and the UEFA Cup. In his second season, he achieved the same domestic success before winning the Champions League prior to joining Chelsea.

READ MORE: Mourinho compares Tottenham start at first months at Porto


Appointed: June 2, 2004

Mourinho once again talked a good game upon arriving at Stamford Bridge – even if his ‘Special One’ line has been mis-remembered – but, once again, he backed up the bluster with trophies. Chelsea swept all before them to claim their first league title in 50 years, with the League Cup serving as his first taste of silverware in English football.

Chelsea’s Mourinho set numerous records in the manager’s first year: most away wins in a season (15); most clean sheets (25); fewest away goals conceded (9); most wins (29); and fewest goals conceded (15).

The only blight on a euphoric season at Stamford Bridge was a Champions League semi-final exit to Liverpool.

First-year record (league games only): P38, W29 D8 L1 Pts 95 PPG: 2.5

Honours: Premier League, League Cup

Players signed: Paulo Ferreira, Petr Cech, Arjen Robben, Mateja Kezman, Didier Drogba, Tiago, Ricardo Carvalho, Nuno Morais, Jiri Jarosik.

How it turned out: Mourinho won another Premier League title and another League Cup in addition to the FA Cup in 2007, but his relationship with Roman Abramovich eventually deteriorated to the point of being mutually-consented by the billionaire owner.

READ MORE: Quote unquote: Jose Mourinho’s ‘Special One’


Inter Milan

Appointed: June 2, 2008

After sitting out the remainder of the 2007-08 season, Mourinho moved to Italy to take over at Inter for their centenary season.

By now, Mourinho was full of himself and the new arrival set about antagonising some of the biggest names in Italian football, including Carlo Ancelotti, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti and Juventus boss Claudio Ranieri. But again, his appointment paid immediate dividends for Inter who, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli in attack, finished 10 points clear of Ancelotti’s AC Milan.

However, Inter’s Champions League campaign came to a disappointing end at the round of 16 stage with elimination coming at the hand of eventual finalists Manchester United.

First-year record (league games only): P38 W25 D9 L4 Pts 84 PPG: 2.21

Honours: Serie A

Players signed: Ricardo Quaresma, Sulley Muntari, Mancini, Luis Jimenez Ternana, Philippe Coutinho, Riccardo Meggiorini, Victor Obinna, Hernan Crespo.

How it turned out: Mourinho only stayed another year, but that’s all he needed to mastermind the most successful season in Inter’s history, with a victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final crowning their Treble.


Real Madrid

Appointed: May 28, 2010

Mourinho suggested the day after Inter’s Champions League success at the Bernabeu that he would remain in Madrid to coach Real and after agreeing a world-record compensation package with the Italians, the Portuguese coach was unveiled within days.

Jose’s Real initially struggled for goals, and after a goalless draw with Levante, their second in his first five games, he vowed that “one day some poor rival is going to pay for the chances we’ve missed today.” Real scored 16 goals in their next three La Liga matches.

Barcelona wiped the smile off his face in November by smashing Real 5-0 at the Nou Camp. Mourinho had a revenge of sorts by edging Barca 1-0 in the Cope del Rey final, ending Real 18-year-long drought in the competition while delivering the club’s first trophy since 2008.

But Barca bundled Mourinho’s side out of the Champions League on their way to winning the competition before condemning them to another second-place finish in La Liga, with Pep Guardiola’s side crowned kings of Europe.

First-year record (league games only): P38 W29 D5 L4 Pts 92 PPG: 2.42

Honours: Copa del Rey

Players signed: Sergio Canales, Angel Di Maria, Pedro Leon, Sami Khedira, Ricardo Carvalho, Mesut Ozil, Emmanuel Adebayor.

How it turned out: Mourinho turned the tables on Guardiola in his second year in Spain. Real effectively clinched the La Liga title by beating Barca at the Nou Camp en route to a nine-point triumph, finishing with a total of 100 points and 121 goals.

But having signed a new four-year contract in 2012 on the back of that success, Mourinho was gone at the end of his third campaign, calling it ‘the worst season in my career’ after antagonising the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.

READ MORE: Life after Mourinho: What happened post-Jose at Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real…


Appointed: June 3, 2013

Mourinho didn’t dwell on his Real exit and he declared himself to be ‘the Happy One’ upon being unveiled as Chelsea boss for the second time.

Mourinho constantly referred to his first season back at the Bridge as one of transition and it was to be the club’s first without silverware for three years. But their 82-point haul to finish in third place behind Manchester City and Liverpool was their best league performance since 2009/10. They finished four points off champions City.

January was perhaps the most eventful month. Mourinho sold Juan Mata, Chelsea’s Player of the Season in the previous two years, to Manchester United, while giving Big Sam a giggle by reacting to a 0-0 draw with West Ham by saying: “This is not the best league in the world, this is football from the 19th century… The only thing I could bring was a Black and Decker to destroy the wall.”

First-year record (league games only): P38 W25 D7 L6 Pts 82 PPG: 2.16 

Honours: –

Players signed: Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel, Mark Schwarzer, Willian, Samuel Eto’o, Christian Atsu, Nemanja Matic, Mo Salah, Kurt Zouma.

How it turned out: It took Mourinho a year to bed back in at the Bridge but in his second season, he was back in the groove. Chelsea finished the 2014/15 season as champions, finishing eight points clear of Manchester City, and League Cup winners after seeing off Tottenham in the final.

Mourinho signed an extended contract – then it all went terribly wrong. Chelsea offered a pathetic excuse for a title defence and with the team in 16th place a week before Christmas, having lost nine of their 16 league matches, Mourinho was axed.


Manchester United

Appointed: May 27, 2016

After United shuffled Louis van Gaal aside, with news of his exit being leaked before he had returned to the dressing room upon winning the FA Cup final, Mourinho was appointed six days later. United were three years into the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era and out of the Champions League.

Mourinho rectified that within a year, but not with a top-four finish. United ended the season in sixth again despite a 25-game unbeaten run, but Mourinho completed a Treble – of sorts – to furnish the trophy cabinet with more silverware in the form of the Community Shield, League Cup and Europa League.

Mourinho, perhaps triggered by the doubts some figures had about his appointment at United, seemed to have mellowed somewhat from the character at Real and Inter who would have fought anyone and their dad. Mkhitaryan was the recipient of some tough love and Bastian Schweinsteiger was the victim of Mourinho’s first show of authority, but the manager eventually brought back the German midfielder and apologised for his treatment.

First-year record (league games only): P38 W18 D15 L5 Pts 69 PPG: 1.82

Honours: Community Shield (take it up with Jose), League Cup, Europa League.

Players signed: Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

How it turned out: Mourinho was mocked at the end of his second season after claiming that United’s second-place finish behind runaway leaders Manchester City was his ‘greatest achievement in football’. Having seen how poor United have been since, he perhaps had a point. But that was as good as it got. Mourinho took on Pogba – and lost – and the team’s performances in the first half of the 2018-19 season suggested that many of the rest of the players were keen to get him sacked too.

Defeat at Liverpool was the last straw and Mourinho was axed in December, less than a year after signing a contract extension, with United sixth in the table after just seven wins from their first 17 Premier League games, leaving them 19 points off the top, despite the manager being lavished with 11 recruits worth around £400million. Even if Ed Woodward wouldn’t give the manager the players he wanted.

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