Jose Mourinho has claimed Tottenham Hotspur are lucky he is no longer the manager he once was and revealed his belief that he will eventually enter the club’s history books for the right reasons.
Pressure is building on Mourinho following a run of five defeats in six Premier League games and Wednesday night’s Europa League second leg against Wolfsberger is the start of a four-game run in 12 days that could shape the future of the Spurs head coach.
As reported by Telegraph Sport, Julian Nagelsmann will be Tottenham’s top target to replace Mourinho if he cannot arrest the club’s slide but the Portuguese insisted he still feels the support of chairman Daniel Levy.
And, according to Mourinho, Levy can thank his lucky stars that the 58 year-old is not the manager he once was – even if such a fact is often used as a criticism against him.
Mourinho, whose team lead 4-1 from the first leg against Wolfsberger, said: “Thank God I am not the manager I was! Thank God! Because probably I agree with you, I would not be as calm and confident and in control of my emotions because during my career I had sometimes problems not in relation to results.
“As you know, I did not have many bad runs of results. But with day-to-day problems that happen many times in clubs with all of us, I reacted previously in a much more emotional way. And instead of helping myself and the ones around me, I was even creating a kind of conflict situation that I had previously.
“Just to give you an example. I left Chelsea as a champion. So maybe your age and experience as a person and journalist makes you realise that we people with more experience, we are better equipped to cope with negative moments.
“I am calm. I am in control of my emotions and I can not switch on and switch off, I am happy and unhappy. My nature does not change. I lose a game and of course I am not happy. But maturity hopefully helps. I feel very confident and I believe we are going to improve and I believe that I will be in Tottenham’s history for the good reasons and not for the bad reasons.”
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Tottenham have won 81 points from Mourinho’s first 50 League games in charge, the lowest number over the same amount of time at any of his previous clubs, and the club’s current run is the worst of his career.
“It’s a positive thing that you say I am not used to it and my career is being the opposite of this,” said Mourinho. “That’s a great thing. But I want to know which coach in the end of his career can say everything was blue sky and never a little bit grey or cloudy or even dark. Unless it’s a coach that was always in dominant clubs where the clubs were always the top clubs in countries and then it’s more difficult to have difficult moments. But I think it just shows how beautiful my career has been.
“Normally when the results are bad, the coach is a lonely man. That’s what we normally are and in this club, in this building, I never felt that. Never. I always felt, not just respected of course but always felt supported, that everyone is together in the same boat. By one side nobody is happy but by another side nobody is depressed and I feel positive.”
Asked about his relationship with Levy, Mourinho added: “My relationship is the same since day one, which is a relationship of respect and open communication. Nothing changed in relation to that. We communicate every day and we respect each other and I believe that we share the feeling, we aren’t happy with the results but that doesn’t create any contradiction with us because we both feel exactly the same.”
Mourinho was accused of absolving himself of blame, following the latest defeat at West Ham United, and pointing the finger at his players after saying, “I think for a long, long time, we have problems in the team that I cannot resolve by myself as a coach”.
He suggested that he regretted the comment and that other managers, perhaps Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel who criticised Callum Hudson-Odoi at the weekend, get away with their mistakes.
Mourinho said: “Sometimes we say things that can be controversial, we say things that people don’t understand, we can say even really bad things, which was not my case but, for example, this weekend I think one of my colleagues went a bit too far in his words but that’s another story because it’s not Jose Mourinho, that’s not a problem.
“In relation to my words, it’s a big frustration to lose matches, especially matches like that one. I prefer to lose playing well than playing bad but when you lose and you play bad, the feeling is just of disappointment and sometimes rage. But when you play so well and you lose, you realise that there are things that are not in your hands. But what can you do if you have things out of your control? Work.”