There would have been a few Tottenham players who read Paul Pogba’s quotes last week about the perils of working with Jose Mourinho while nodding their head in agreement.
And with the Portuguese boss now discarded, yet another new dawn will be rising at Tottenham next season with a new manager at the helm.
Whoever that man is, there will be a number of players surveying the scene at Hotspur Way this week and feeling a fresh sense of optimism at what lies ahead.
Sportsmail has a look at the winners at Spurs in the aftermath of Mourinho’s departure.
Jose Mourinho was sacked as the manager of Tottenham on Monday morning
The Tottenham midfielder was a central figure in the behind-the-scenes ‘All or Nothing’ Amazon documentary. Mourinho was at him right away, blasting his effort in training and bemoaning to Daniel Levy how his level had dropped from the player Sir Alex Ferguson told him to buy when he was at Manchester United.
It isn’t unfair to say that Alli has dropped from the heights he hit under Mauricio Pochettino and that had begun before Mourinho arrived.
But Mourinho never appeared to be too concerned about cajoling a return to form, sparing him mainly for Europa League and Carabao Cup matches. It never felt like there was a way back for him under Mourinho, regardless of how well he played. With Levy pricing him out of moves either on loan to PSG or a Premier League rival, Alli was stuck.
But he’s only 25 and has his best years ahead of him. With a new manager incoming, he may feel that a bright future is suddenly only moments away.
Mourinho and Dele Alli endured a testing relationship from when the Portuguese arrived
Like his team-mate Alli, Winks has seen things drag a bit during the time Mourinho has been manager.
He has often been linked with a move away – last summer, there were reports he would even go to Manchester City as Mourinho viewed him as disposable and was prepared to offload him to raise funds.
It is easy to forget just how good Winks has been for Tottenham in some key games over the last few years. Back in 2018, Danny Murphy said his displays in the Champions League against Real Madrid showed why both the England and the Tottenham teams should be built around the then 22-year-old.
Now – again like Alli – aged 25, Winks has every reason to feel encouraged that he can usher in the finest, most consistent form of his career under a manager who has a greater level of belief in him. He will feel disappointed at having made just 10 Premier League appearances so far this season.
There has been a lot of excitement around Harry Winks for many years now at Tottenham
But under Mourinho, Winks has failed to step up and fulfill his undoubted level of potential
There were a number of flashpoints between Bale and Mourinho during the Welshman’s loan season at Spurs.
The most notable was a clip that leaked back in January where Mourinho appeared to tell Bale: ‘You want to stay here or go to Madrid and play no football?’
When Tottenham lost 1-0 to Brighton, Bale was subbed in the 60th minute and despite the defeat, Mourinho hailed the display from his side ‘in the last half an hour’ – you don’t need to be Inspector Morse to work out what his overriding point was there.
Yet perhaps the most infamous flashpoint was when Bale was left out of Tottenham’s FA Cup match against Everton, with Mourinho saying the Welshman ‘was not comfortable’ – only for Bale to post on Instagram about how good he felt after a training session.
Gareth Bale and Mourinho have had a number of flashpoints during the 2020-21 season
Mourinho was incensed. ‘I have to admit his post created the need to be addressed because there was a contradiction between the post and reality,’ he said.
‘The post was showing that training session great, so “I’m ready” and it was totally wrong.’
Bale faces an uncertain future with Real Madrid not fancying having him back for another season on monster wages while at Tottenham he hasn’t yet done enough to merit a return next season.
But with a cup final coming up on the weekend and six Premier League games left to go, there is still time.
When Mourinho first arrived at Tottenham, many underlined his presence as a reason for central defender Alderwerield signing a new contract at the club.
At the time, Mourinho cited how much he believed in the Belgiuminternational and how he had played every minute of his first six matches. But after the Covid-19 enforced delay to the 2019-20 campaign, Alderweireld started five out of six games on the bench.
And this season he has been chopped in and out of the team. He appeared to pay the price for Tottenham’s 2-0 defeat by Leicester in December 2020 – since that day, he has been either benched or left out of half the ensuing 16 Premier League matches.
His start against Everton on Friday in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park was his first appearance in the last five Tottenham matches. Ryan Mason and Chris Powell would be forgiven for wondering whether an experienced defender like Alderweireld returning on a more regular basis may firm things up for Spurs at the back.
Toby Alderweireld and Mourinho pictured after Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Everton last Friday