Jose Mourinho is determined to bring passion to Tottenham Hostpur and insists he couldn’t be happier after becoming the club’s new head coach.
The Portuguese replaced Mauricio Pochettino, who was sacked on Tuesday with the club 14th in the Premier League.
Negotiations between Spurs and Mourinho – who had been out of work since he was sacked by Manchester United in December – intensified over the last few days and concluded in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“I couldn’t be happier and if I was not as happy as I am, I wouldn’t be here,” Mourinho told Spurs TV.
“What can I promise? Passion – for my job but also passion for my club. It’s a privilege when a manager goes to a club and feels that happiness in relation to the squad that he’s going to have.
“These are not words of the moment. They are not words of me being the Tottenham head coach. These are words that I’ve told and I’ve repeated in the last three, four, five years even as an opponent.
“To play against Tottenham at White Hart Lane was always hard but beautiful. It was one of these places where I used to go with passion but also with respect.”
The former Chelsea and Manchester United first match in charge is a trip to West Ham on Saturday, where he will look to end a five-match winless run.
Spurs are already 20 points behind leaders Liverpool after just 12 matches, but the 56-year-old believes the quality of Tottenham’s academy points towards a positive future.
“I always told about the club’s potential,” Mourinho said. “I always told about the qualities of the players. I always told the magnificent work the club was doing. I really like this squad and looking to the young players.
“There is not one manager in the world that doesn’t like to play young players and to help young players to develop. The problem is that sometimes you get into clubs where the work that is below you is not good enough to produce these players.
“So I look to our history and you see that the academy is always giving the talents that the first team needs. Of course, I look forward to working with that profile.
“In relation to the Premier League, I think we know where we are and we know that we don’t belong there. We should just play match after match, the next match we want to win and that’s the same about the next, and the next, and the next until the last.
“At the end of the season we will see where we are but I know that we are going to be in a different position than we are now.
“I look forward to the challenge, to the responsibility to bring happiness to everyone that loves the club.”
Despite failing to win a trophy since 2008, Spurs have undoubtedly progressed in recent years and reached their first Champions League final in June.
They have spent four successive seasons in Europe’s biggest club competition, and have a new £1bn stadium and training ground to be proud of.
“When you say beautiful stadium you are too humble. You have to say the best stadium in the world,” Mourinho added.
“You cannot compare with European football at any level – and I’ve been in the majority of the best places.
“It’s impossible to compare anything the same as the stadium. I think it’s something that has to make us all very, very proud. But not just that, the conditions you have to work in are absolutely amazing.”