“Understanding” and “warm”. Those were the words used to describe Jose Mourinho as former assistant Jose Morais heaped praise on the Tottenham boss amid doubts over Harry Kane’s future at Spurs.
Tottenham and England star Kane has been linked with a move away after recently saying he would contemplate leaving the Premier League club if he did not feel like they were “progressing”.
Kane, who is yet to win a major trophy at Tottenham despite their memorable run to the Champions League final last season, has reportedly emerged as a target for the likes of Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid.
As Kane’s future makes headlines, Morais – who worked as an assistant coach under Mourinho at Inter, Real Madrid and Chelsea – insisted the Portuguese coach would be supportive.
“But his concern is about how his team can perform in terms of achieving the goals they can achieve and what contribution the player can give to the goal. He will make sure the contribution the player can give is not affected with the rumours existing outside.
“Probably he will have an approach to the player that will make the player focused on the task while he is there. This is the way he works. He is understanding and a warm coach. He understands that every individual in a certain moment in life has his goals.
“For sure, he will know about what Harry Kane wants for his future and he will be as supportive as he can to help him achieve what he wants.
“This is what every player coached by Mourinho that left the club has to say, he is a special coach. He never lets a player down. He is honest in his feelings. This is a great quality. He will not fake what he is. He is what he is. Everyone knows what he is. Also, he is a coach to understand the reality of every individual.”
Morais, who was part of Mourinho’s staff as Inter won a memorable Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia treble in 2009-10 before following his countryman to Madrid and Chelsea, added: “It’s fantastic to work with someone like him. For me, he has skills and qualities that are special in my point of view. Leadership and management, he is an example for any other manager.
“The influence that he can have on players in creating an impact, make them champions, is fantastic. He does it in a very particular, simple way. He has character, charisma, a lot of knowledge about how to coach players with different kinds of ideas. He is capable of putting them together to make a strong team and create a winning mentality. This is what makes a manager special.”
Sacked by United in December 2018, Mourinho has been the subject of criticism in recent seasons – his brand of football and lack of major silverware sparking questions over his future at the highest level.
Tottenham were emphatically knocked out of the Champions League by RB Leipzig in the last 16 in March, extending the club’s winless streak to six matches in all competitions as Spurs languished eighth in the Premier League amid a mounting injury list.
“People have feelings about things they’re seeing and they make comments,” Morais said. “This is his way to win. He knows so much about football. He was experiencing so many situations that he can create the football that suits the needs of the club and team in a certain moment. If the team will be able to play the football he really wants, I think people will be pleased with this football. In certain moments, what is important for him is to be pragmatic and to win the game.
“He was always someone that wanted players to be positive. He always gave them a free role to take decisions and be creative. He also thinks it’s important to have the responsibility that whatever you’re doing in the game, there’s only one objective, that’s to win the game. This is the reason why he is one of the most successful coaches in the world. He wins games and competitions. If you want a coach to win competitions, he is one of these coaches. It’s difficult to compare with because he wins.”
Morais won the LaLiga title, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana with Mourinho at Madrid before the pair moved to Stamford Bridge in 2013.
Lampard returned to the Bridge at the start of the season and despite an inconsistent run of form and a transfer ban, the former midfielder had Chelsea occupying the fourth and final Champions League spot at the time of postponement.
“I always thought that him and John Terry are future managers in England,” Morais said. “They have the quality, charisma and quality. They have the interest in the game that put them in the path of managing clubs and players. Frank Lampard is a special guy, he has a special heart and feeling. Not only for the club, but as a human being, he is a great guy and fantastic person. I’m really happy to see him succeed. I believe that he will continue to have success and great future as a manager.”
He added: “I know the academy and it’s full of fantastic young players. Some of them went out loan and Chelsea didn’t have space for them to progress inside the club. But there is a new generation of players who are now having an opportunity and today, the circumstances exist in order for the club to really use their own products. It’s an opportunity for these young players to create an impact. I think that in one or two seasons, we will see Chelsea champions again with all these fantastic players.”