Jose Mourinho may have a striker crisis on his hands at Tottenham Hotspur, but in the long run he will turn the north London’s club fortunes around, says Benni McCarthy, who played for the Portuguese coach when he managed Porto.
Having been appointed manager at Spurs following his dismissal at Manchester United, Mourinho is having to juggle his attacking options following injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. Those lack of attacking options were much in evidence on Wednesday as Spurs were beaten 1-0 by RB Leipzig in their Champions League last-16 tie.
But former Porto striker McCarthy believes the ‘Special One’ will “most definitely” win a major trophy again.
Speaking to CNN’s Zayn Nabbi and the On The Whistle podcast, McCarthy says his former mentor’s CV speaks for itself.
“As crap as people think he was at his time at [Manchester] United, they won the Europa League, they won … the League Cup so it wasn’t all bad. For Man United they still got some silverware,” said McCarthy.
Mourinho’s start to life at Manchester United couldn’t have gone better.
He won the League Cup and the UEFA Europa League in his debut season, before finishing second in the Premier League in the following season at the helm.
But after starting the 2018-19 season with just seven wins in his first 17 Premier League games, Mourinho was sacked a week before Christmas in 2018.
McCarthy believes Mourinho’s decline at the club was primarily down to egos and ill-discipline from players.
“I think the Manchester United players didn’t have the discipline at the time to handle Jose’s tactics. I don’t think he’s a bad manager at all,” said the 42-year-old McCarthy.
“How many players that were under Mourinho at Man United are people speaking well of? Not many, not many.
“Marcus Rashford, good professional, also had his hiccups, but he was never a player Mourinho had problems with.
“Anthony Martial is ill-disciplined, plays when he wants to. All talent, all the potential to be one of the best in the world, to be one of the best players you can find in modern day football. But he’s a player when he’s in the mood.
“But when you have a coach like Jose, that don’t fly. It’s your job, you must be in the mood every single day.
“Manchester United did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment, but in a recent interview with RMC Sport, Martial spoke about the way he was treated by the three-time Premier League winning manager.
“It’s true that I’d have preferred it if he’d told me directly, there’s no need to say it in front of everybody,” Martial told RMC Sport.
“After that, you definitely want to prove him wrong. He didn’t start me during the first few games and each time I came on, I scored.”In the end, he told me: ‘You see, now you understand what I wanted’. It can get to you. You just want to show him you deserve to be on the pitch.
McCarthy says despite not having the players at United to seriously mount a challenge to win the Premier League, Mourinho was still able to produce big results.
“He was one the few managers to beat Pep (Guardiola) at the high-flying Man City football that they play. Unfortunately player power in football is more than the caliber of a manager these days.”