So, we have got to the stage where Jose Mourinho starts to blame his players. It always happens eventually. Results slide, cracks open and blame is shifted.

At Real Madrid, Mourinho suffered 'the most treacherous team I have had in my life'. In his second spell at Chelsea, he felt that 'my work is betrayed'.

Now, having seen his Tottenham team spurn yet another lead, this time against Newcastle, it was for one simple reason: 'Same coach, different players.'

For a manager as risk-averse as Mourinho, the decision to alienate his players, absolve himself of the blame, while pointing the finger at the squad under his stewardship is one hell of a gamble.

Tottenham's season is so delicately poised that even a misplaced breath is enough to bring down the house of cards.

Mourinho's side are already in the Carabao Cup final, one win away from the club's first trophy in 12 years.

The top four is not dead and buried yet either but Mourinho faces his former club Manchester United knowing that a defeat could leave them six points adrift.

His comments are to spark a reaction. What reaction he gets is what will define his legacy at Tottenham, but defender Joe Rodon believes Mourinho is only trying to make them mentally strong.

'Winning is the most important thing,' he said.

'That is I guess what the gaffer is trying to improve and put into us mentally - to be relentless and be winners in the mind.'

The three stages of Mourinho that end in exit:

Real Madrid (May 2010 - May 2013)

Stage one - first press conference:

'It's a unique club and I believe that not to coach Real leaves a void in a coach's career. Luckily, I've had a beautiful career and it makes me proud to have come here.'

Stage two - the cracks begin to show:

'When we win, we all win — and some more than others. And when we lose, the coach loses. This was the worst season of my career.'

Stage three - now it's the fallout:

'You are the most treacherous team I have had in my life. I want to be somewhere where I am loved unreservedly.'

Chelsea (June 2013 - December 2015)

Stage one:

'I am the happy one. Time flies. It feels like it was a couple of days ago but it was nine years. It's the first time I arrive in a club where I already love the club.'

Stage two:

'I feel my work is betrayed. I identified four movements where Leicester score a lot of their goals - and in two of the four situations I identified they scored their goals.'

Stage three:

'The players have to look to Sunderland and Watford and say, hey, we are at the same level as them. I am not the superstar, I am not the player of the season.'

Manchester United (May 2016 - December 2018)

Stage one:

'This is a job that everyone wants and I have it. I know the responsibility and the expectation. At the same time I know the legacy.'

Stage two:

'Luke Shaw had a good performance but it was his body with my brain. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him.'

Stage three:

'I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together. Three for me and two for them, two. So respect man, respect, respect, respect.'

Tottenham (November 2019 - present)

Stage one:

'I am excited to be joining a club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters. The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me.'

Stage two:

'It was not just about not scoring goals, it was also about not being dangerous and not being ambitious. For me, that's the problem.'

Stage three:

'Same coach, different players,’


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