“But I’m more surprised by Jose coming in,” says one of the TV presenters. “Is that really the football that Tottenham want to play? I’m telling you, Mourinho is past his best.”
It’s one of several scenes from Amazon Prime’s glitzy new behind the scenes sports documentary, ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur,’ that has gone viral on social media since the show was launched on Monday.
The nine-part series follows the club through the most recent Premier League season — arguably the most turbulent in history — and starts with the shock appointment of Mourinho following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, who was much beloved by Spurs fans.
With the dulcet tones of Hollywood star Tom Hardy narrating, the documentary explains that Tottenham has struggled with the hangover from the Champions League final defeat to Liverpool on June 1, 2019 and makes no attempt to hide the enormity of task facing Mourinho.
Make no mistake, the Portuguese coach is the star of the show.
Once he has completed the boring admin of settling into his predecessor’s office — sticking blank tactics sheets onto the wall and filing folders away into cabinets — Mourinho is back to his box office best.
“F*****g hell, I am in great form, man,” he yells after playing a couple of nice passes in a training drill.
Then comes arguably the most compelling moment of the series so far. In one of his first team meetings as head coach, Mourinho informs his players, in no uncertain terms — the c-word is repeatedly used, provoking a mixed reaction of smirks and shocked looks from the room — that they are far too nice on the pitch.
Much of the criticism leveled at these types of documentaries is that they are little more than glossy PR puff pieces for the teams involved.
With Mourinho in particular, it’s often difficult to gauge whether he’s being genuine or just playing to the cameras. The 57-year-old’s reputation, both personal and sporting, took quite a hit during his time as Manchester United manager, which ended somewhat acrimoniously.
Mourinho is one of the most media savvy coaches in the game and he will know all too well how this series could change the public’s perception that he is grumpy and over the hill as a manager.
Sure enough, he arguably comes out of the first three episodes better than anyone at the club. When he was Manchester United manager, Mourinho often came across as angry and tetchy, maybe even bitter, but in ‘All or Nothing’ he is affable and empathetic.
When being introduced to many of the club’s 600 employees, he cracks jokes to each team individually. “I love you,” he tells the finance team, knowing they will perhaps come in handy when he’s dipping into the transfer market.
While much of the series so far is made up of funny moments of Mourinho, there are plenty of other moments to keep viewers engrossed.
Cameras in the locker room reveal just how devastated Eric Dier was at being substituted in the first half of the Champions League tie against Olympiacos. While his teammates celebrated their comeback win euphorically, he was sat silently in the corner.
Similarly, when South Korean superstar Son Heung-min is sent off for a petulant kick against Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, he is visibly close to tears for having let his teammates down. “How is that a red? Tell me, please!” he shouts after being escorted into the tunnel.
There are also the one-on-one meetings that Mourinho has with some of his players; he tells Dele Alli he doesn’t want to try and be a father figure, but wants him to change his “lazy attitude” in training. He explains to captain Harry Kane that they have better players at Tottenham than he did at Manchester United; and he reiterates to Dier, who speaks in fluent Portuguese, that he tried signing him when he was still playing for Sporting Lisbon.
As is the case with the majority of these documentaries, ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ doesn’t provide the “reveal all” insight into the inner workings of a top sports team that many fans crave, but at least with Mourinho leading the cast it provides plenty of entertainment value.