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Jose Mourinho faces biggest match of Tottenham tenure to prove he is the Special One – Robbie Fowler

Jose Mourinho is used to being centre stage, but next month’s League Cup final against Manchester City is gearing up to be one of the most important matches of his career

Damaging defeats against Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb have seen a lot of criticism and sniping arrive at his doorstep. Without a doubt, the pressure is back on Jose.

There have been calls on social media for him to be sacked, but that’s not always the real world. It’s very rare you get anything positive on this platform.

These days, it’s so easy for fans to react and voice their opinions. It’s the modern world… it’s instant. Even before the final whistle, there will be lots of tweets, lots of discontent from social channels.

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It’s not ideal, but, of course, people can say what they want on it.

The League Cup final could prove pivotal to Jose Mourinho keeping his job at Spurs
The League Cup final could prove pivotal to Jose Mourinho keeping his job at Spurs

In football, a few adverse results and you are in the firing line – being absolutely mullered. It probably forces clubs to make decisions more quickly because they are aware of the irate fans.

As far as I am concerned, many of them listen too much to social media.

Performances and results this season under Mourinho have ebbed and flowed. Before the Arsenal game, it looked like things had picked up again with five straight wins.

It’s amazing what football does to you.

It can breed confidence with good results and then suddenly you are getting two huge kicks up the backside, losing to the Gunners in the league, then Dinamo Zagreb in a competition in which they should have been capable of doing well.

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Mourinho was critical of his players following their Europa League exit
Mourinho was critical of his players following their Europa League exit

Before facing Zagreb 2-0 up from the first leg, Jose would have felt that he had done all the right preparation work keeping everyone abreast of what the players needed to do.

As a manager myself, I know where he is coming from. Despite all that and trying to prepare for all eventualities, the players can be awful, basically doing what they want.

What you can’t escape from, though, is that the buck stops with the manager. You pick the team.

It’s up to you to lay it on the line about what can happen. With Spurs now, it’s obvious that there is a growing number of fans disappointed with how things are going.

It’s why the League Cup final could prove so crucial to Mourinho’s future at Spurs.

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The buck stops with Mourinho who must now prove why he is the Special One
The buck stops with Mourinho who must now prove why he is the Special One

Everywhere he has been he has collected silverware – that’s the main reason he was brought to Spurs.

The League Cup final was always going to stand out as an important game because it’s a final and it’s at Wembley.

He knows it is also a chance of maintaining his record of always winning silverware wherever he has been. Tottenham fans won’t be interested in that part of it – they are desperate to celebrate their first trophy since the League Cup in 2008.

Mourinho will want to win it for the club, but there’s no doubt he will want to win it for himself, for his record.

I still think he has achieved enough in his career that if he leaves Spurs he will get another decent job.

I don’t think he is the manager he was… he probably thinks he is.

To me, he appears more blasé, not as desperate to prove himself because, if anyone moans, he can tell them to take a look at his previous record.

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There’s no doubt that someone else would take him. It might not be one of the huge clubs any longer.

But why not one of the national sides. His own country Portugal? I believe that will eventually happen.

Before that, an interesting few weeks lie ahead in the career of Mourinho. There is a good reason why he called himself the Special One… now we’ll find out.

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