Jose Mourinho promised “real passion” following his appointment as Tottenham Hotspur boss on Wednesday after Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by the struggling Premier League club.
The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager was announced as the new boss at White Hart Lane hours after the Argentine was dismissed on Tuesday evening.
“I couldn’t be happier and look forward to the challenge,” Mourinho told Tottenham’s official website. “What can I promise? Passion, real passion. Passion for my job, but also passion for my club, that’s the way I have been all my career.”
The 56-year-old, who had been out of work since leaving United last December, signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season after Spurs acted to halt their slide down the table.
The club reached the Champions League final last season but are languishing in 14th spot in the Premier League. They are 11 points off the top four positions.
“I want to try, obviously, everything to bring happiness to everyone who loves the club,” added the new manager, who has won domestic league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain.
Mourinho was due to take training on Wednesday before his first press conference on Thursday. His first game in charge is at West Ham on Saturday. His glittering CV includes Champions League titles with Porto and Inter Milan.
“In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football,” said chairman Daniel Levy. “He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”
Pochettino had transformed Spurs’ fortunes since arriving in 2014, qualifying for the Champions League four times. Although he failed to win a trophy, Tottenham made a dramatic run to the European Cup final for the first time in their history in June, losing 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.
Pochettino, operating on a tight budget, nurtured a squad of young players to become household names. Tottenham and England forward Kane tweeted: “Gaffer. I’ll be forever thankful to you for helping me achieve my dreams.”
South Korean forward Son Heung-min said in an Instagram post that “words are powerless to express my gratitude”.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust released a statement expressing “concerns” and seeking clarity over how the new boss and the board would work together.
The group asked: “Is the manager solely accountable? How much has the board’s line on wages and transfers contributed to player unrest and disaffection?”