Matt Doherty has revealed that one of the main reasons he made the move to Tottenham was because of the former manager, Jose Mourinho.
The Irishman got his move to north London just over a year ago and made 17 Premier League appearances last season, although so far has only made one in this campaign.
Tottenham’s season started well with three back-to-back league wins but this went downhill and they suffered three defeats in a row, before winning their most recent fixture against Aston Villa.
Doherty has struggled to get match minutes, as he now seems to be third choice right-back in Nuno Espirito Santo’s pecking order, behind Japhet Tanganga and summer signing Emerson Royal.
His most recent match minutes under the current Portuguese head coach came in the Europa Conference League group game victory against NS Mura.
The 29-year-old has played 90 minutes in all four fixtures of the European competition so far, but is yet to make a big enough impact to feature in the Premier League starting XI.
In the 5-1 win against Mura he tried to get up and down the right-wing to help his side in both defensive and attacking situations.
Although he did what he needed to at the back, he didn’t provide much going forward which is perhaps a concern, especially given the level of their opponents.
When the Irish international made the move to Spurs, Jose Mourinho was the man in charge and in an interview with Irish Football Fan TV, he revealed that the Portuguese manager was a key factor in his decision to move to north London.
“I knew Jose wanted me before I went to Tottenham. He was the main reason why I went because of who he was. I wanted to play for him, I wanted to work for him,” he said.
“When he came calling it was impossible for me to say no. I know what his capabilities are, I know how good he is.”
In the first international break of the season, Doherty started in all three games for the Republic of Ireland and has another two opportunities to play when they face Azerbaijan on Saturday and Qatar on Tuesday.
Following that, the defender will return to north London and the Lilywhites next Premier League game is against Newcastle at St. James’ Park.
Royal is on international duty with Brazil and with their last game being just two days before Spurs’ Premier League campaign resumes, it will be unlikely that he will feature against Steve Bruce’s side.
This would seem to pave way for Tanganga to return to the starting line-up, after being left out against NS Mura and Aston Villa, but Doherty could feature on the bench.
Undoubtedly, this is not what the Irishman wants to be doing and may not have been what he expected when Espirito Santo arrived in north London, as they had worked together previously, at Wolves.
The right-back wants to be playing football week in week out for his club but he can only do that if he proves that he deserves a place in the line-up and he touched on that in his interview whilst on international duty.
“That’s up to me. I need to train well. I need to play better in the games when I do get an opportunity,” he admitted.
For now, it seems Doherty will have to accept his position on the bench but if he wants to stand a chance at getting more match minutes under the Tottenham boss, he will have to prove why he deserves a spot over his two competitors.