Jose Mourinho Says He 'Made No Impact' in Win on Tottenham Debut

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2019

Tottenham Hotspur's Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho reacts on the sidelines during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at The London Stadium, in east London on November 23, 2019. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho wasn't interested in taking the credit, despite making a winning start on his debut as Tottenham Hotspur manager on Saturday.

Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino on Wednesday, saw the Lilywhites beat West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium in the Premier League. Yet the 56-year-old insisted he hadn't changed much within the team.

Spurs' new boss spoke to BBC Match of the Day (h/t BBC Sport): "It's not about me; it's about the players and club. I will hate if somebody says 'Jose made an impact.' I made no impact. Nothing. I just helped them a little bit to win this match."

Regardless of what he did, Mourinho saw Spurs race into a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane, before Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna hit back for the Hammers.

The result represented an obvious way to quantify the Mourinho effect:

Goal @goal

Tottenham's away results in 2019-20 Under Pochettino: ➖ 2-2 draw at Man City ➖ 2-2 draw at Arsenal ❌ 2-1 defeat at Leicester ❌ 3-0 defeat at Brighton ❌ 2-1 defeat at Liverpool ➖ 1-1 draw at Everton Under Mourinho: ✅ 3-2 win at West Ham https://t.co/ARcsY3VbxD

Dele Alli created the opener for Son and later echoed his manager's view not much had changed since Pochettino left the club, per the same source: "We did not really change too much [under Mourinho], just a few little tweaks, maybe a few changes in the way we press."

Alli enlivened the game with an inch-perfect through pass to set Son free:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

The first goal of the Jose Mourinho regime! ⚪️ Son powers it home as Tottenham take the lead 👊 https://t.co/UhtiueImcU

NBC Sports Soccer @NBCSportsSoccer

The Mourinho era has begun 🔥 https://t.co/AX84yPc5CI

It was classic Alli, but contributions like this had become few and far between for the gifted midfielder before Mourinho's arrival:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Dele Alli has recorded his first Premier League assist of the season in José Mourinho's first game in charge. The real Dele Alli reveals himself. 🦸‍♂️ https://t.co/ljlb7wpRDI

A revitalised Alli continued to impose his artful brilliance on the new-look, Mourinho-led Spurs. The 23-year-old was at the heart of Tottenham's second, releasing Son with an outrageous piece of skill so the South Korea international could tee up Moura:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Great improvisation from Alli! Son puts it on a plate for Moura after Dele Alli's ingenious flick 🔥 https://t.co/VKy46GbbyM

NBC Sports Soccer @NBCSportsSoccer

Tottenham are CRUISING 📈 https://t.co/xLH4RfRQUE

Mourinho described how he had spoken to Alli about how to revive his form: "It was the old Dele Alli, the Dele of a couple of years ago, that impressed not just England but the world. He did what I wanted him to do after two days of work. I tried to make it clear to him the spaces where we wanted him to play, offensively and defensively."

Those words, along with Alli's response to them, speak to the true impact Mourinho has made during his short time in the job. Aside from Alli, other struggling stars in the Tottenham ranks appear to be quickly back on song.

Among them is holding midfielder Eric Dier, who made just his second start in the last five league matches and his first at the base of midfield in six. The Englishman caught the eye as the destructive counterpoint to Alli's guile and the foundation of Mourinho's balanced lineup:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Eric Dier contested 16 aerial duels against West Ham (winning 9), the most by a Spurs in a Premier League game this season. José Mourinho has already found his secret weapon. 💣 https://t.co/mKAcKHaHN4

Similarly, Moura scored just his second league goal of the campaign. The Brazilian's pace and direct running are the ideal weapons for the counter-attacking game Mourinho prefers.

Recently, UOL Esporte (h/t MailOnline's Ollie Lewis) reported Moura was happy about Mourinho's arrival because it represented the chance for him to become a regular member of the starting XI again.

Mourinho already has Moura firing again, Dier back in his natural enforcer's role and Alli showcasing his awesome talent. He may not be seeking plaudits now, but there is no doubting the Portuguese has made an instant impact at Tottenham.


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