A former Tottenham striker thinks his old club will end up reaping rich rewards after appointing a “serial winner” to replace Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham players and supporters will feel “a step closer to winning a trophy” with Jose Mourinho at the helm, according to Darren Bent, who predicts the Portuguese can mastermind a top-four finish come May.
When Mauricio Pochettino’s five-year tenure at Spurs came to an end on November 21, the club turned to one of the most experienced and successful managers in modern football to steady the ship.
Mourinho had been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United last December, but he has had an immediate impact since returning the Premier League.
Tottenham were languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table when he took over, with a number of top stars failing to deliver the goods on a consistent basis.
Fast forward less than a month, and Spurs have moved up to fifth, with the opportunity to move into the final Champions League spot set to present itself on Sunday.
Mourinho is currently preparing to go up against his old club Chelsea, who are now only three points above the Lilywhites in fourth.
Tottenham have also managed to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League, with a tough tie against Leipzig on the cards in February as they aim to go one better than last season’s final appearance.
Bent thinks Mourinho was a “brilliant appointment” for Spurs and English football in general, with it his belief that great strides forward will be made with the 56-year-old in the hot seat.
The ex-Spurs forward told talkSPORT: “There was probably a time where no one would’ve ever thought that Mourinho would in charge of Tottenham because the gulf between the two clubs was massive. Chelsea in the 00s were so dominant.
“It was a strange one [hiring Mourinho] but one that’s brilliant for the club and the Premier League. I don’t know if that makes Spurs ‘relevant’ again but Spurs know now that they’ve got someone in the dugout who’s a serial winner, who wins trophies.
“I think Spurs will feel they’re a step closer to winning a trophy.”
When asked if Tottenham can secure a top-four finish, Bent responded: “Yeah, why not? What’s helped them as well is that other teams around them haven’t been consistent.
“Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester look like they’re going to be in the top four. Chelsea have lost four out of their last five. It’s possible for anyone to get fourth because no one’s putting any results together.
“At one stage, Spurs would have said that top four would have been impossible but all of a sudden they must be thinking that if they can put more results together, then they’re going to be right in there.”
Bent went on to express his belief that Mourinho will want to “put one over” on Chelsea when they arrive at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend.
He added: “I know Mourinho will say that playing his ex-team doesn’t really mean anything but I can say as an ex-player that whenever I was playing against an old team, you always wanted to put one over on them.
“Whether they let you go and you want to show them that they made the wrong decision or you decide to go because it’s the best thing for your career and you want to show that you’ve improved as a player. There’s a lot riding on it.
“If he’s going to say that this game doesn’t mean anything to him then I think he’s lying.”