The much-loved manager nicknamed ‘Mini-Mourinho’ could soon take over from ‘The Special One’ Jose in the Tottenham dugout.
RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann would be Spurs’ No.1 target if they decide to sack their pressured head coach Mourinho.
The Portuguese languish in ninth place after losing five of their last six Premier League games.
Despite criticism over his style of play, Mourinho was brought to Tottenham to do one thing: end the club’s 13-year drought.
His appointment in November 2019 came at the expense of Mauricio Pochettino, whose attractive football brand failed to bring silverware to north London during his five years.
Ironically, Tottenham could turn to another highly regarded manager, who has won more praise for his style of play than his ability to win trophies.
Nagelsmann, who has been nicknamed “Mini-Mourinho” by former German goalkeeper Tim Wiese, has yet to lift silverware in steering spells with Hoffenheim or RB Leipzig … but it’s fair to cut him off a bit slack since he is only 33 years old!
Mourinho will have the chance to end Tottenham’s long trophy drought when he faces Man City in the Carabao Cup final in April.
However, it will be a big request to beat a City team that is currently on an 18 game winning round.
Former Tottenham striker Darren Bent believes Mourinho’s time as Spurs boss will end if he doesn’t win a trophy this season.
“I think Jose Mourinho is under a lot of pressure because it is clear that Spurs fans are not happy with what they are seeing,” Bent said on talkSPORT.
“At one point they weren’t happy with the football they were seeing but tolerated it because Spurs were at the top of the table, things were going well and it seemed to be working.
“Now all of a sudden it seems to have turned out and I think he’s under tremendous pressure.
“If he goes this season without winning a trophy… if Tottenham finish ninth or tenth and don’t win a trophy, then what’s the point of bringing him back to first place?
“I know he’s already in the final against Manchester City, but with the way City are playing, you’d expect them to win.
“Pochettino finished in the top four, helped Tottenham advance to a Champions League final and they sacked him because they thought he was not the right guy to take them across the line to win a trophy.
“But if you bring in a series winner – that’s what Jose Mourinho is – and if they don’t qualify for the Champions League, don’t win the Europa League or any other trophy, I don’t think so that they can keep it. ! “
Jose’s possible successor Nagelsmann, during his time at the helm of Hoffenheim and Leipzig, linked him to the best jobs in football.
Last October, Man City legend Shaun Goater suggested Nagelsmann one day replace Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
He said: “I really like Nagelsmann; he is a young manager who is courageous, offensive in his game and that is Pep’s style.
“The brand of football that City play is based on possession with creativity, the full-backs up front, the full-backs are also reversed and you don’t see wide players or winger, you see both. Working with these top three is a football brand that Pep has created.
“Nagelsmann is a kind of manager who is brave when I saw his teams and I like that about him.
“He’s kind of like, ‘It’s true, we’re getting to win this game,’ and he’s making tactical moves that stretch the opposition and make them think differently, rather than playing a safe game.
“I really like some of the things I’ve seen his teams.
“With Pochettino we saw how he was performing at Tottenham and he was just starting to build some good things as a good manager but he didn’t win anything there but again he played a big mark of soccer. So both would be exciting managers.
It’s no coincidence that Nagelsmann’s squads mirror Guardiola’s with their high press and relentless playstyle.
RB Leipzig and Man City also have the best defensive records in their respective leagues this season, having conceded 18 and 15 goals respectively.
In the past, Nagelsmann has revealed how Guardiola, his role model, and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel inspired him.
“My role model is Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona,” admitted the 33-year-old.
“I have always watched his work, especially the way his team barged in within seconds of winning the ball.
“He made a name worthy of Johan Cruyff. Only very few teams have managed to dominate possession playing so high up the field.
“Guardiola inspired me a lot, as did Thomas Tuchel, who was my trainer in Augsburg [in the reserves from 2007 to 2008]. He’s a perfectionist, it was very intensive and stimulating with him.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp, whose Liverpool side have a 2-0 lead over RB Leipzig as they approach their second leg of their last 16 Champions League games, has backed Nagelsmann to stay in football. for at least 30 years.
“We played against Julian Nagelsmann, the coach, when he was at Hoffenheim, which was difficult,” Klopp said.
“Now he has a better team, a really exciting team. He lost Timo Werner and is still in the top three in the Bundesliga, that really says it all about them.
“He’s definitely someone I have a lot of respect for.
“In comparison, Thomas [Tuchel] that is, I don’t know the age, but Hansi [Flick] I think he’s a little older than me. [Nagelsmann] will be in world football for the next 20 or 30 years. He is now in his early 30s, that says it all.