Joao Mourinho remains the great ‘what if?’ of Andre Villas-Boas’s time in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, but did Spurs have a lucky escape?
Joao Mourinho, so the myth goes, was the missing piece of AVB’s jigsaw at White Hart Lane.
Had the Portuguese midfielder signed for the Lillywhites in 2012, had Daniel Levy opened his cheque book and brought the then-FC Porto man to North London, then Spurs would have had the creative midfield presence to unite the side and supply the bullets and provide the key passes for Gareth Bale, Emmanuel et al. to flourish.
Without him, and with Moussa Dembele an ineffective replacement, Spurs failed to trouble sides in the final third. Villas-Boas was sacked, Tim Sherwood took over, Spurs missed out on the Champions League, Gareth Bale departed and the rest is history,
However, would Mourinho really have made the difference at White Hart Lane?
His stats at Monaco suggest not.
In his first season in Ligue 1, he managed only one goal and eight assists. This season he’s been even less impressive, managing only two goals and contributing merely a single assist by the beginning of March.
All signs since seem to indicate that Spurs fans might need to look elsewhere as they try to explain why the promise of the AVB era evaporated.