Tottenham did well to keep Jose Mourinho out of the clutches of Arsenal or Bayern Munich, says Glenn Hoddle, with the Portuguese expected to deliver more silverware at a club that is now bigger than his previous employers at Chelsea.
With change being mooted across north London in November, it was Spurs who made the first move.
The difficult decision was taken to part with Mauricio Pochettino, with Mourinho appointed in his place as arch-rivals at Emirates Stadium dithered before relieving Unai Emery of his duties.
Tottenham now have a proven winner calling the shots, with Hoddle convinced that Spurs have made the right decision in getting a coach that matches their ambition – even if it may only be a short-term fix.
The ex-Tottenham and Chelsea player and manager said in the foreword to a new book called ‘The Boss – Memories of Bill Nicholson to Jose’, which has been published in The Sun: “With all my years in the game, you have a sense when things are coming to the boil and you could see that there was going to be a change of manager at Arsenal, sooner rather than later.
“Daniel Levy could also see that happening and he knew if he hung around too long then Mourinho might be lost to Arsenal, and if not Arsenal, then maybe Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.
“There was too much speculation, too much going on and eventually Mourinho would have been snapped up.
“How long Daniel Levy and the board had been thinking of making a change, who knows, but eventually they had to move quickly with things moving quickly at Arsenal. So, while there were mixed feelings among Spurs fans at losing someone so well liked as Pochettino, the arrival of Mourinho would have given the supporters reason to believe he will deliver silverware at long last.
“It might only be in the short term as Mourinho has moved on every two or three years but even so it is what the Spurs fans crave — trophies.
“The club needs a trophy to move it to the next level. Yes, it was a shock to see Pochettino go after all he did for the club but, if he wants to stay in football, there looks like plenty of openings for him.
“In a way it wasn’t a surprise that Daniel Levy was looking to someone like Mourinho.
“Hopefully he will achieve what the fans have been dreaming of. He has done it everywhere he has gone, so there will be optimism.
“If Mourinho does win silverware at Tottenham it will prove to have been the right move at the right time for him to go to Spurs.
“It will also turn out to be a shrewd move for Mourinho, who will quickly discover that Spurs are a massive club — much bigger than he might have thought.
“He has probably underestimated just how big a club Spurs are.
“There is a bigger fanbase than at Chelsea and no one now has better facilities in terms of training ground and stadium. He has walked into a fantastic job at the right time with Spurs becoming a modern-day club. This is a good marriage.”
Mourinho has taken five wins from his seven games in charge of Tottenham, with his only setbacks coming against former club Manchester United in the Premier League and German giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
He has overseen progress to the last 16 of continental competition, where a tie with RB Leipzig awaits, while Spurs are also back in top-four contention having slumped as low as 14th under Pochettino.