Confirmation of José Mourinho’s return to the Premier League as the successor to Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham divided opinion. The Portuguese remained among the world’s highest-profile managers, but Pochettino had deservedly become a popular figure at Spurs, and observers had regularly questioned whether Mourinho had lost what had once made him so great.
In Mourinho, Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy appointed a manager he first approached in 2007, when seeking a successor to Martin Jol. It may even have been his admiration for Mourinho that contributed to his recruitment of André Villas-Boas, once the Portuguese’s protégé, after Harry Redknapp’s departure in 2012. Regardless, there is little question that, even if his previous roles at Manchester United and Chelsea did not conclude as he would have hoped, his first year back in London has demonstrated the extent to which he remains among the world’s best.