Former Arsenal star Martin Keown believes there will be ‘concern’ within the Tottenham squad after the club’s decision to appoint Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese coach signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Spurs on Wednesday after agreeing to replace Mauricio Pochettino, who was sacked less than 24 hours earlier.
Mourinho has been out of work for 11 months following a tumultuous end to his two-and-a-half years at Old Trafford, which ended with a number of United players no longer on speaking terms with the 56-year-old. The dressing room eventually turned against Mourinho due to his incessant criticism of the side in public and the likes of Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba all had to endure volleys of abuse from the disgruntled former Chelsea boss.
Mourinho declared that he was ‘happy’ once again during his first interview as Spurs boss but Keown believes there remains two sides to his character and the ex-Arsenal defender has urged a senior member of the Tottenham squad to ‘pull’ him aside to ensure it does not happen again.
The last we saw of Mourinho he had fallen out of love with football. Publicly scathing of his players, having to be dragged away from press conferences, talking about his successes. He needed a rest, he needed to re-energise,’ Keown told Metro.co.uk at Sportsmail’s ‘A Pint with Piers’ event in London.
‘We need to see now what Mourinho is going to turn up because if it’s the same one that left Manchester United then this isn’t going to last. I mean even a successful Mourinho does three years maximum so it’s one of those where in the media it’s an enjoyable ride, so lets see what happens but if you are a player then I would be concerned at Spurs as to what sort of manager he’s going to be.
‘I would be tempted to pull the manager and say ‘Look if you’re going to start that b******s – how are you going to be with us’? If I was a senior player I would be talking to the manager about how he’s going to treat us. What am I expected to see publicly? Be honest with me.
I look from afar at Manchester United and I don’t enjoy what he did to those players. ‘It’s an issue for him. He’s an amazing champion, a trophy winner but in his quest to win things I think he can be suffocating and I think he has to realise that he has to jettison that side of his personality otherwise he’ll bring the whole thing down like he did at Manchester United.’
Spurs’ decision to sack Pochettino left supporters stunned and many are divided over the club’s decision to turn to Mourinho. Pochettino’s mood soured over the last six months as the Argentine was unhappy with the club’s lack of spending and their appeared unwillingness to sell players entering the last 12 months of their contracts. Keown believes the impact of Spurs’ move to a new stadium cannot be underestimated and that a lack of investment in recent years undermined the work Pochettino wanted to do. ‘He’d been there five years. In those five years, four of those he’s made it to the Champions League – including one final,’ continued Keown.
‘I feel like we were heading towards another Arsenal really. I know Arsenal built a new stadium but you could argue that Arsenal’s success dried up when the reality of paying for the stadium [became clear]. ‘There’s not been enough investment in the Tottenham team in the last two years. Harry Redknapp [a fellow guest at the event] said they have Harry Kane up top but you need other players to come in. Then you could have sorted out some of the other issues like contracts. ‘Players sign contracts when they see others coming in, people sign contracts when win trophies because they don’t want to miss out on the success of the club. But when you’re not winning things it’s too easy to say ‘we’re not going to win anything here, we’ll have to find this utopia somewhere else’ and that’s probably why those three key players [Eriksen, Vertonghen, Alderweireld] have since decided that we’re not going to win anything here because they’ve been so close so often.’
Signed…..North Bank , Highbury