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The reasons why Mourinho went to Tottenham not Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

We are used to seeing some pretty weird headlines in the last couple of weeks as the media work hard to outdo each other in knocking and indeed destabilising Arsenal.  The reporting of any sort of real news seems to have vanished to be replaced by speculation even wilder than that associated with the transfer rumours that pass for news every summer.

Indeed if you are a regular reader of Untold Arsenal you might recall that each year we run a list of all the players tipped to be coming to Arsenal by the media, and have been finding a 3% success rate in their predictions.

So expectations are not high when we look at media coverage of Arsenal and Tottenham and their issues regarding a manager.   Headlines such as

“Redknapp uses Saddam Hussein to explain why Pochettino should coach at Arsenal”

from Goal.com would be funny if they did not seem to be pieces of serious reporting.

Others such as Playing for 90 took a more everyday view with

Five coaches Arsenal should consider to replace Emery 

which suggests that the issue of clubs doing worse under new managers rather than better have not yet been considered, or even reached the desk of most media drainpipes (or outlets as they like to call each other).

But the one that really caught my eye recently was

Jose Mourinho would never have considered Arsenal over Tottenham.

which appeared in Football.London.

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

Now FoLo is a blog owned by the Daily Mirror, which publishes among other things about 45 stories a day (yes a day) about Arsenal.  It’s aim appears to be to put out so much stuff that after a while readers stop realising that 103% of it is complete fantasy and the rest is nonsense.  (My calculator may have slipped there, but it is generally very hard to find anything on that site that is real).

Anyway, the move of Mourinho to Tottenham was obviously seized upon with relish and of course they pointed out that “Mourinho has spent large parts of the month being linked with the manager’s job at Arsenal.”

Obviously what they don’t say at the end of that quote is “by Football.London but we were completely wrong,” largely because they never ever ever apologise for getting things wrong.  And that is simply because if they did that would take their number of Arsenal stories to around 120 a day (given that they would probably get the apologies wrong and have to apologise for them too).

But after Mourinho went to Tottenham, the blog that had been regularly posting headlines such as “Jose Mourinho tipped to replace Unai Emery as ex-Manchester United boss linked to Arsenal” instead quickly switched to “according to Duncan Castles, a sports journalist for The Sunday Times and numerous other publications, Mourinho never considered taking over the Gunners and has had his heart set on Spurs as he sees them as a better option.”

So it wasn’t FoLo suggesting Mourinho would go to Arsenal then.  Ah, my mistake.

They then went on to quote Duncan Castles who works (I use the word in its broadest context) for the Sunday Times as saying

“Tottenham have a better stadium. Tottenham have a better training ground. Tottenham have a better squad. And Tottenham have far better finances.

“If you look at the last financial figures that Tottenham released, they made a record profit for a Premier League club.

“Record revenues of £380million, and their wage bill for that season was just £148million which is just less than 40 percent of turnover, which is an incredibly low rate for a top-tier club.

Of course what such opinionaters never do is look under the mattress to see what else is lurking there.   And what is lurking is a net debt of £366m and that debt needs a) financing and b) repaying over time.  (Arsenal accounts show no debt, despite what some people who write in each time claim, saying that Arsenal have fixed their accounts and have never paid off the stadium debt).

It was therefore no surprise that the Guardian also ran the headline “José Mourinho told Tottenham have no money to spend in January” which is understandable given the uncertainty of Champions League revenues next season.  And indeed as we pointed out recently the number of players at the club who are in the last year of their contract and have no intention of signing new terms – and will thus leave for free.

Anyway the eccentric and bombastic Sunday Times man (I’d like to say he is one of a kind, but sadly he isn’t) then went on to tell us that Mourinho didn’t choose Arsenal because Arsenal have failed to win any of their last four matches, dropping down to sixth in the Premier League table.

We might therefore look at Tottenham’s recent history.

Date Game Res
Score Competition
01 Oct 2019 Tottenham Hots v Bayern München L 2-7 Champions League
05 Oct 2019 Brighton and H  v Tottenham Hots L 3-0 Premier League
08 Oct 2019 Colchester United v Tottenham Hots D 1-1 Football League Trophy
19 Oct 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford D 1-1 Premier League
22 Oct 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Crvena Zvezda W 5-0 Champions League
27 Oct 2019 Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur L 2-1 Premier League
03 Nov 2019 Everton v Tottenham Hotspur D 1-1 Premier League
06 Nov 2019 Crvena Zvezda v Tottenham Hots W 0-4 Champions League
09 Nov 2019 Tottenham Hots v Sheffield United D 1-1 Premier League
12 Nov 2019 Gillingham v Tottenham Hotspur L 2-0 Football League Trophy

Taking all competitions, (and you can pick and choose if you wish to make the figures seem nicer) up to this last weekend) Tottenham have won two in ten.   Or none in five in the Premier League.

But Mourinho chose Tottenham because Arsenal had failed to win any of their last four????

He also added “Tottenham have a better stadium”.  It is newer than Arsenal’s ground, true, but it has the disadvantage of the construction of the South Stand as a single unit, meaning there are no boxes or executive accommodation on that side thus reducing income.

And it also has the problem that it is done and dusted.  While Arsenal’s stadium is now debt free and so being upgraded each year, Tottenham’s is stuck.  If there is anything that is not 100% with it, I doubt that there will be room for changes for a few years.

The article went on to claim that “Tottenham have a better training ground, Tottenham have a better squad.  And Tottenham have far better finances.”

The first I can’t debate because I have never been to Tottenham’s training ground, the second would seem to be doubtful given the clubs’ position in the league and the third is certainly wrong given Tottenham’s mega debt.

But Mourinho was out of work, and Tottenham offered him a job, which he has.  And perhaps the writer of that funny article didn’t realise that 80% of the PL clubs that have changed their manager in the last 16 months are now in a lower position than they were when they changed their manager.

We can only hope that record continues.

9 comments to The reasons why Mourinho went to Tottenham not Arsenal

  • Jef1

    Based on reports spurs stadium brings in triple in hospitality compared to Man City – circa 800k per game. Add the extra fixtures they have from various other sports then you have 5/6 extra fixtures per season alongside CL football, best stadium, best training facilities and a squad where he’s tried to buy many of the players – it’s not surprising he looks like the cat that got the cream. Also worth noting the additional sky exec lounge on the roof and single tier still has exec lounges.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tottenham clearly have a lot of friends in the media, we see it all the time.
    Strange Duncan Castles leaking stories that Jose was dining with Raul, and his very pointed photo opportunities visiting the Emirates lately.
    I am pretty sure Jose would have happily gone to Arsenal, or any number of other clubs, but we didn’t want him, and Tottenham got in before others. Jose was out of work for a while, I am sure there were reasons for that.
    And you know what, they are most welcome to him, would never want Arsenal stooping to him. Hopefully, never a place for eye gougers and those who target female medics managing this club.
    Tottenham and Jose, most have a pretty good idea that won’t end well
    Utd was the job Jose really wanted, by his own admission, and look at the mess he ultimately created, and the cost

  • I know this post is about Maureen, can’t believe any arsenal fans would have sang his name.
    He’s hated here.
    My point is that we need leadership. Can’t see that happening so I call on kronke to sell up and give ownership of our club to someone who has a vision for AFC.
    As for the manager what it looks like to me is that the players aren’t sure what they are supposed to be doing.
    Emerys English hasn’t got any better.
    Don’t know if he speaks other languages other than his own fluently.
    Problem is there are no easy answers.
    Communication does appear to be a problem.
    I’m not forgetting that we are still the victims of some shocking refereeing decisions,which have been going on for years and must affect confidence.

  • Menace

    The greatest gift that I have been given is that Maureen went to the spuds. Emery is our coach not our manager. I feel that his coaching has been excellent but his luck has not been in. The number of chances that Arsenal create have been good but our finishing has been wanting. Some of our play at the back has been abysmal. It is not the coaches fault. The players must take most of the blame. Their confidence is being knocked by the media and those so called supporters that boo.

    My advice to those booing supporters is to go watch Sunday League and support some other team. Fair weather supporters are not Arsenal support.

    There are several people involved with the training and coaching so the media picking on Emery’s command of English is just another kick at Arsenal. I would throw the media out of the stadium for a month or send them to Coventry (an expression that means silent responses).

    Emery has been courteous but has been badly treated by the gutter press.

  • Scuba

    It’s hard not to believe Jose would look at Tottenham as the better situation at the moment. I’m not sure I buy into the idea that they’re a better long term option, but Mourinho is a 2-3 year manager, not a long term solution. They just have better balance than we do throughout the squad, more players in their primes, and have players far more suited to Jose’s preferred style of football than we have.

  • czerwonadupa

    What ever you think of Mourinho one thing is for sure he is a winner. He has won at every club he’s been to, including United. He has never gone a season not winning an away game in the league. It’s a certainty he will win Tottenham a trophy before Arsenal if they continue with Emery

  • Essex Gooner

    Great article Tony,
    I firmly believe Mourinho would have preferred to go to Arsenal,it’s all about ego with him, despite what he says.It would have appealed to him.He is the sort of man who probably has pictures of himself around his house,Alan Partridge style.
    Still a lucky escape for us.Its not much fun watching Arsenal at the moment,but at least we have the inevitable Jose meltdown to look forward to.
    I hope he bankrupts them too !

  • Cz and you don’t mind the state he leaves the club in after he goes

  • ong huigen

    Haha. Bankrupting spurs while levy is in charge. Nice one.

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