Undrafted – The Network

All or Nothing Returns with Tottenham Hotspur

If you haven’t started watching the new ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ series then what the f*** are you playing at. It’s an absolute must watch for any football fans.

Following on from Man City, Leeds and Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur become the latest British football team to let a TV crew inside the dressing room and behind the scenes at the football club.

The ‘All or Nothing’ Franchise

Amazon Prime Video’s All or Nothing franchise, which began in America with American Football team the Arizona Cardinals, has also previously covered the Dallas Cowboys, the Los Angeles Rams, the New Zealand rugby team and the Brazilian national football team.

It seems to me as though Amazon have absolutely hit the nail on the head with the All or Nothing franchise. By securing unprecedented access to the teams involved, it gives fans a true insight of how elite sport teams and players operate off the field. This adds more dimension to the sports we love watching and allows us to appreciate it from a different perspective.

When did All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur drop?

At a very generous time of around 11pm on Sunday August 30, Amazon Prime finally dropped the first three episodes of the highly anticipated behind-the-scenes documentary. It follows Spurs through the 2019/20 season.

Further episodes will be released on Monday, September 7th and Monday, September 14th. If the first three episodes are anything to go by, then JESUS we are in for a treat.

The 2019/20 Season for Spurs

On paper, Tottenham’s season was a middling one. They finished sixth in the Premier League earning them a Europa League place for next season and got knocked out of all cups along the way.

But we all know successful TV doesn’t always come from seeing people win but lose and the tension that creates.

All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur – narrated by Tom Hardy – has this and more. That’s before even Covid-19 is mentioned, making it one of the strangest seasons of all time.

Drama from the off

Episode 1 has more drama than a Christmas special episode of Eastenders, minus the deaths. The All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur documentary starts by revisiting the rollercoaster 2018/2019 season when Spurs reached the final of the CL only to lose to Liverpool. This losing streak continues through to the first eight matches of the new season, with Spurs winning just two. Then came a big European defeat, seven goal drumming at the hands of Bayern Munich.

“Football is never two plus two is four”.

“If a house falls down, everyone sees it fall. But you have to anticipate that the house will fall”.

Mauricio Pochettino speaks on the run of poor results.

With Mauricio Pochettino unable to find answers to Spurs poor run of form, it was only going to end one way. Daniel Levy intervenes by sacking the Argentine and revealing Jose Mourinho one day later.

Times up for Pochettino Image Credit: RTE news

The Jose Mourinho Show Begins

From the moment Jose Mourinho was appointed, you could just tell he wanted this to be his story, his Tottenham and his turnaround.

The end of Episode 1 shows Jose’s arrival at the Tottenham training ground and him unpacking his things (which included a lot of pictures of him winning things). In what was undoubtedly the highlight of the first episode, Mourinho is taking some notes in his office with the TV on, and pundits are criticising his style.

Jose’s face is a picture. Image Credit: Give me Sport

With each point against him, you can see the anguish in Mourinho’s face, before finally deciding to switch it off. “F*** off,” he mutters.

It was great seeing how the players welcomed the news of Jose becoming their new manager. First they can be seen at breakfast gossiping between one another about whether Pochettino knew his time was up or not. Then minutes later a collaboration of all Mourinho’s title triumphs comes up on Sky Sports News. All the players present literally stop talking mid-sentence and are just watching in awe. Hoping that Jose will lead them to domestic and European Glory.

Jose taking his first training session. Image Credit: Spurs Web

Episode 2 moves on to Jose getting to know the players on the pitch, their nicknames and how they react to his ways. One thing the players quickly learnt was Jose always says it how it is. There’s absolutely no filter. You can see in the way he works he’s an absolute perfectionist, a ruthless competitor and a tactical genius. This goes along way in explaining how he reached the pinnacle of world football for so many years at some many different clubs. He was born to win.

Interviewer: “What do they [critics] say?”

Mourinho: “The guy never smiles. The guy is ruthless. I think this is the perception.”

Interviewer: “What’s the truth?”

Mourinho: “The truth is that there is some truth in it!

Mourinho decided very early on that his Spurs players were too soft. And quickly addressed that in a team meeting. He loves to swear and is brutally honest with his players.

” I feel that you are, honestly, a very nice group of guys, but for 90 minutes you cannot be nice. For 90 minutes, you have to be a bunch of c****, of intelligent c****. Not stupid c****. Bastards in the sense that you are there to win matches, man. F****** hell.”

Jose Mourinho

It’s easy to see why he’s had issues down the years with players. With so many sensitive souls in the game today who can’t take any criticism or responsibility he’s bound to rub one of them up the wrong way at some point. But predominantly his man management skills are crazy good.

This was shown by his ability to bring out Dele Ali’s best form almost straight away. In a final briefing before matchday, Mourinho calls Dele a “f******’ lazy guy in training”. The tone was playful but the message was serious. Comes back to that message ‘train how you play’. When Levy casually pops by Mourinho’s office at the end of day one, the manager tells him: ‘I told already Dele very, very directly. He doesn’t train well’. Dele Ali might have been getting away with this under Pochettino but not with Jose.

Jose letting Dele know his views. Image Credit – The Sun

Dele and Jose then have a one-on-one meeting in the managers office. Mourinho makes it clear he has admiration for Dele but expects him to reach world class status.

“I like you as a player and I like you as a kid”.

“I have to tell you always what I think. Inside of you, maybe you tell me to f*** off, but I have to tell you exactly what I think”.

“I have no doubts about your potential. I saw you do incredible things, but I always felt that you had ups and downs.”

“You should demand more from you. I think one day, I think you do regret if you do not reach what you can reach”.

Following this meeting, Deli continues his fine form since Jose’s arrival with a brace against Bournemouth. Job well done for Mourinho.

Amazon must have been licking their lips when they heard a star as huge and charismatic as Mourinho was going to take charge at a club where they’re filming a documentary.

Having been the manager of my Chelsea twice in his career I have definitely been sucked in by his Portuguese charm. Despite everything that went down in his last spell, I’d still have him back in a heartbeat. He’s box office and being able to see him behind the scenes has made me love him even more. I don’t want to hear any Spurs fans complaining that he’s their coach, he’s exactly what they need, especially if they want to install that winning mentality that they crave.

I’m sure I will have more to say on All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur when the next three episodes drop on Monday, September 7th.

For the time being go test your football knowledge by having a crack at our Football Quiz. Good luck!

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