Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Sissoko has waxed lyrical about Jose Mourinho, in conversation with the Evening Standard, as the manager celebrates one year in charge at Spurs.
On 19 November last year, Tottenham parted company with Mauricio Pochettino and, the following day, announced that Mourinho had been handed the Spurs reins.
His appointment prompted a mixed reaction by the fanbase, some delighted by the arrival of a world-renowned manager with a stellar CV, others unsure he’d be able to build on Pochettino’s work.
One year on and Tottenham are certainly in a great place, a much-improved squad sitting one point off the Premier League summit, doing well in the Europa League and still in the League Cup.
At the time of Mourinho’s arrival, it wasn’t just some fans who were nervous – Sissoko also admitted he was anxious about what the new manager would be like.
His impression of the Portuguese before he joined Tottenham was one of a “great manager” who had “won a lot of titles” but occasionally clashed with players, including France teammate Paul Pogba.
Contrary to what’s been said in some circles about Mourinho being a negative influence, Sissoko says the manager is sociable, pleasant and a pleasure to be around, with his entertaining Instagram activity in particular making the players laugh.
“He’s been really good with everyone,” Sissoko told the Evening Standard. “It’s not just with the players, it’s everyone in the building.
“He can be very sociable, talking and laughing with all the players. We are enjoying everything we are doing with him.
“We all laugh about what he’s putting on his Instagram. It’s funny. We know he’s the manager so we take it positively and just laugh between us. I think people love it.”
Tottenham have definitely come a long way in the last 12 months, and it’s great to hear of the great working relationship and camaraderie between the players and Mourinho.
This goes a long way towards forging a solid, cohesive and interconnected team, and while it’s not been plain sailing all the way, the signs of improvement are definitely there in terms of how the team plays.