There was a time in football when the big jobs at the biggest clubs in the world would only belong to a select few managers. The Madrid Galacticos, Barca, Bayern, Juve and Manchester United. Money changed the game and new players arrived at the table. Chelsea’s billionaire takeover paved the way for City and PSG to force their way into the playing field.
Managers like Mourinho and Ancelotti were of a premium. Highest profile and held in the greatest of regard. They could move country and results followed. Success was a guarantee. Language was not a barrier. Both of these giants were sought out by Chelsea at different times when success was demanded. Both delivered.
But times are changing and so has football. The big leagues are being won by more points than ever before. To win the richest league in the world – The Premier League – it must be a flawless campaign. We need to go back as far as Leicester City to see a team not break the 90 point mark to claim victory. Manchester City have broken their points tally this season already and they have 9 losses!
Spurs took a huge gamble on Mourinho when they sacked their best manager in the last few decades. Fresh from a Champions League Final appearance. A tactical gamble as well as complete change in style. Pochetino’s attack minded Spurs didn’t do draws but instead sacrificed them for breath taking wins. Now we have Jose who is more pragmatic. Harry Kane’s neck must be sore from watching balls sail over his head as Jose plays him like Didier Drogba.
Watching Spurs play Arsenal brought out the best in Jose though as he conceded possession and territory but never was there a doubt that they would score. The problem is will Spurs fans be happy watching the soul of the club slip slowly away into the night. Mourinho has always been a “do not lose the game” mentality rather than “win each game”. His successes in the Premier League were always by holding firm against the top 6 but beating the rest. But you can’t win a Premier League playing like this anymore. Klopp and Pep have changed that.
Then we have Carlo Anchelotti in the blue corner. I’m not sure what he was promised to take the hit seat at Everton but when you have managed Real Madrid and Bayern Munich then end up at Everton, questions have to be asked. After being in the Chelsea hotseat he would have known all about Everton and their history. Perhaps he does not have the level of expectation that of Jose who titles and winning inside of 3 seasons is a guarantee.
But Ancelotti has a mammoth battle in his hands to turn the fortunes around at Goodison Park. Spurs have household names in Moura, Son and Kane. Everton do not have that Luxury with their reliance on team spirit and the hostility of Goodison their best weapon. They’ve spent big money on Sigurdsson and most notably Richarlison but looking around the squad they lack creativity and quality. Everton does not attract players of the quality that Ancelotti has been accustomed to have at his disposal.
For Jose this almost feels like a last chance saloon scenario. His time at Manchester United damaged his brand. Unable to turn the fortunes of one of the biggest clubs. Then falling out internally with its biggest brand player. Can he break into the Top 4 next season? Can he win some silverware along the way? That is his task at Spurs. A club that craves success, any success! He has the tools to succeed going forward but must quickly sort out his defencive issues without choking his attack minded players.
For Carlo his success will be much harder to come by you feel. Competing with Arsenal/Wolves/Spurs to even reach the conversation of the elusive Top 4 seems like a pipe dream right now. Perhaps he can reach into the Italian League and pull out some unknown gems to bolster his squad. His blueprint should be that of Wolves who under their manager have found unknown Portuguese talent.
We can sit back and watch these titans of the game and the different challenges they face with their new clubs. They must be given time, with each not having had a full season under their belts yet.