Son Heung-min 9, Harry Kane 8, Ryan Sessegnon 4 - Tottenham 2019/20 season ratings

A look back on a change of manager, breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules, and celebrating qualifying for the Europa League

Some people claim Jose Mourinho is the most influential manager in the history of the Premier League.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger might dispute that claim, but each would have been hard pushed to pull off the trick that their Portuguese rival managed this season.

In the middle of winter, with his new team addled with injuries to key players, and morale bottoming out, Mourinho said he wished it would hurry up and be June already.

Then, presto! Global pandemic, season shuts – summer time here we come.

By the time the campaign restarted behind closed doors, the manager had run out of excuses.

Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko were back fit. Son Heung-min had been to South Korea, got the khaki T-shirt, and returned revived.

And Mourinho could not claim he had had too little time with his players anymore, either. No club fell foul of lockdown rules more than Spurs, as the manager even ran them through their paces in public parks.

So when Spurs then were trounced at Sheffield United upon the restart, their was a tangible unease.

From that point on, though, Mourinho’s team did just what was required of them.

They were among the top performing sides after the resumption, and did enough to secure Europa League football on the final day of the season, with a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

The celebrations that prompted spoke much about Mourinho’s new reality. It might not have been a frenzied, fan-goading charge down the touchline at Old Trafford, or a knee slide at the Bernabeu. But it was up there.

For finishing sixth on goal difference ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a draw against a side playing in flip-flops who had lost their previous seven games. Heady times.

Updated: July 28, 2020 11:04 AM

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