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Matt Doherty

Tottenham misfit Jose Mourinho barred from the team’s dressing room ready to return to the Premier League

During his rocky tenure in North London, Jose Mourinho managed to alienate a substantial chunk of the Tottenham squad, including a player he actively wanted to sign.

Matt Doherty knew things weren’t going well at Tottenham, but who better to confirm that than Jose Mourinho?
The Republic of Ireland international had only been with Spurs for a season, with the Special One going out of his way to sign him.
“He told me I was his first pick to come in. He even told me that if the chairman told him he could only have one signing in the summer, he would only want me. So who could refuse that?” Doherty made the remarks in the months following Mourinho‘s ultimate fall in North London.

Matt Doherty
Matt Doherty

Despite being selected by Mourinho, the former Wolves player swiftly turned on the Portuguese. “He wasn’t Matt Doherty like he usually is today.” “These are the things we expected to happen to us,” he declared only two weeks after signing the Irishman.
And, only six months later, Doherty revealed that his career, which began as a part-time player in the Irish League, had reached rock bottom. Spurs traveled to Aston Villa while under coronavirus restrictions and towards the end of Mourinho’s dismal tenure.

With his management image on the line, he needed a scapegoat and found one in the form of the rampaging full-back. Mourinho also wanted to send a message to Daniel Levy, who was joined on the bench by Alfie Devine and Dane Scarlett, leaving Doherty as the odd man out.

Matt Doherty
Matt Doherty

“I went to get off the bus, and the coach at the time, Ledley [King], said to me, ‘You’re not allowed in the changing room, you’ve got to stay on the bus,'” Doherty recounted. “Because it was Covid, you weren’t allowed in the changing room unless you were in the squad.”

“I was allowed to enter the stands once the game began.” I was sitting alone on the bus. It was the international break right after, and I was seriously considering just hopping in a car and driving to the international, you know? I believe we were going to meet in Manchester anyhow. In the end, I chose to stay and see the game before leaving.”
He went on to say: “Obviously, he [Jose] was trying to prove something to everyone, not just to me, but to the players who weren’t there as well, you know?” But, sure, that was unpleasant.”

To his credit, the 31-year-old accepted full responsibility for the schism between himself and the manager, arguing that he let Mourinho down more than the other way around. Even with ex-Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo replacing his colleague, things didn’t get any better under Mourinho’s two successors.


He didn’t stay long until Antonio Conte was appointed, bringing with him a new structure that mirrored the one that saw him succeed at Molineux. However, a return to form never materialized, and his dismal two-and-a-half year time in the capital was abruptly ended due to an administrative error on Spurs’ side.

Atletico Madrid took advantage, signing a player permanently who they had planned to get on loan. Unfortunately, it immediately became clear that they did not include manager Diego Simeone, who was instead a target of CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin.

And there is only one winner in an Atletico power battle, and it wasn’t Doherty. He was released at the end of the season and is looking for his third club in six months.
He now appears to be on his way back to the Premier League and a stunning reunion with Wolves, for whom he played more than 300 times during his previous stay. It’s not a popular decision for a player who confessed his exit was largely driven by money in the first place.

That’s maybe fortunate for Doherty, who agreed with many supporters on social media in October when he said, “I had a great time at Wolves, but I think if I went back… you should never really go back.”

For the second time in his career, his announcement may have to coincide with the removal of some earlier utterances.





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