5 big games for Jose Mourinho early in his Tottenham tenure

5 big games for Jose Mourinho early in his Tottenham tenure

Jose Mourinho is back in English football with Tottenham.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five key games lying ahead for the new Spurs boss.

November 23 – West Ham (away)

Jose Mourinho’s last trip to West Ham ended in defeat while at Manchester United (Ian Walton/PA)
Jose Mourinho’s last trip to West Ham ended in defeat while at Manchester United (Ian Walton/PA)

Mourinho’s first game in charge is a London derby on Saturday. The sides are just a point apart in the table with the Hammers, in 16th, having slumped after a bright start to the campaign. Spurs have not won in their last five league games but, after the surprise exit of Mauricio Pochettino, it will be interesting to see how the players respond.

December 4 – Manchester United (away)

Jose Mourinho will makea swift return to Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jose Mourinho will makea swift return to Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

Mourinho’s appointment at Tottenham indicates his reputation has not been overly damaged by the bitter end to his two-and-a-half-year stint at United, but the trip to Old Trafford early in his Spurs tenure will be a reminder of where things went wrong. United’s form has been patchy this term, and this will be an intriguing contest.

December 11 – Bayern Munich (away)

Jose Mourinho has a chance to settle Tottenham ‘s score with Bayern Munich (Steven Paston/PA)
Jose Mourinho has a chance to settle Tottenham ‘s score with Bayern Munich (Steven Paston/PA)

The Portuguese has been linked with a number of positions over the last 11 months, including the hotseat at German giants Bayern. The rumours may not have developed into anything serious but the club’s profile would undoubtedly have suited him. This Champions League glamour clash will instantly appeal, although Spurs – who were thrashed 7-2 by Bayern in October – will hope to have already secured their last-16 place.

December 22 – Chelsea (home)

Jose Mourinho has had some flashpoints on his returns to Stamford Bridge (Adam Davy/PA)
Jose Mourinho has had some flashpoints on his returns to Stamford Bridge (Adam Davy/PA)

Barely a month into his reign, Mourinho will have to face another of his former clubs. He had some happy and successful times at Chelsea but, again, things ended in acrimony. Plenty of water has passed under the bridge at Stamford Bridge since and the current side are thriving under Frank Lampard – who starred playing under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge – but, with little love between the two sets of fans, a feisty encounter awaits.

January 11 – Liverpool (home)

Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp will clash again (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp will clash again (Martin Rickett/PA)

Mourinho will be able to measure his side against the Premier League’s best in the new year, with the game against Liverpool followed by a visit from champions Manchester City on February 1. Liverpool have been the outstanding team of the season so far. In the recent past Spurs have tackled them head on, playing a similar style, but Mourinho may try to nullify them in the way his United sides did.

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