Winning DNA comes from coaches

In the build-up to the FA Cup semi-final against Spurs, Jose Mourinho was at it again, telling the world he'd won eight league titles including three in the Premier League.

Mourinho is a serial winner. It's in his DNA and what he lives for. That's why he even counts the Community Shield as a major honour while others dismiss it as an unimportant trinket. A mere bauble at the start of the season before the serious stuff gets underway.

All this is important given the decisions that have to be taken in North London. Arsenal need a new manager, Spurs hope their current incumbent can impart a winning mentality.

In Manchester Mourinho hasn't had to impart that mentality into United. Winning was imprinted into the Old Trafford psyche by Sir Alex Ferguson and whatever one might think about Louis Van Gaal, he was a serial winner in Holland, Spain and Germany. It was the interregnum of David Moyes that was a departure similar to where Spurs find themselves with Mauricio Pochettino.

The trouble with Spurs is that for all the plaudits they are receiving for their free flowing football they're a team that not only have a manager missing the winning habit, there are no players who have been used to winning things. That's why Kyle Walker left in the summer and having joined the Guardiola revolution in Manchester he's already picked up to trophies.

Pochettino says the club "need more time with me or another" following their FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester United.

Spurs have not won a trophy since 2008 and have now lost eight successive times in the last four of the FA Cup - twice under Pochettino.

The Argentine has been in charge at Tottenham since May 2014. In that time Spurs have had a miserable record in the matchest that matter at the pointy end of the season.

"We were competitive in the last four years but winning a trophy is not easy," said Pochettino.

Tottenham were beaten by Chelsea in last year's FA Cup semi-finals and, this time around, they took the lead against United only to lose 2-1.

They led Juventus 3-2 in their last-16 tie in the Champions League in March but conceded two goals in three second-half minutes as they were knocked out of the competition.

Spurs have finished third and second in the past two league campaigns under Pochettino and are fourth this season with four games to go.

"Tottenham in the last four years are building a very good team, trying to create a winning mentality and it is not enough at the moment," said Pochettino.

"But Tottenham need to keep going in this direction and to create that winning mentality, it is not about a few years.

"Tottenham need more time with me or with another, but the most important thing is to keep going and keep developing that philosophy that is fantastic for this club.

"We are in the process in the last four years there was the challenge to be competitive and then to reduce the distance with the top four.

In the current Spurs squad only Jan Vertonghen, Serge Aurier, newly arrived Lucas Moura and the marginalised Fernando Llorente have title winning experience.

That's why Arsenal have to be so careful with Arsene Wenger's successor. Despite the feeling the Gunners had lost their way in the latter days of his reign, three FA Cups in four years, a Carabao Cup final and a continued involvement in the Europa League semi-final as I write.

Perhaps the Gunners will look enviously at how Chelsea have managed to continually recruit managers who know how to win. The Stamford Bridge outfit were initially transformed in Jose Mourinho's first spell. Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas Boas, Guus Hiddinck, Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte all have the winning habit. It's been the one constant in a period of constant Blues success even though they've hired and fired managers at the drop of a hat.

Liverpool are trying to rekindle the winning habit they had with managers through the 1970s to 1990. It started with the man in the hot seat and eventually became part of the fabric of the club. Current boss Jurgen Klopp had the aura whilst at Dortmund despite having to contend with the Bayern Munich juggernaut.

Manchester City have the real deal with Pep Guardiola. Given that Pep is only likely to be in Manchester for another couple of years it will be interesting to see how he injects a winning culture into City that survives his departure.

History says Arsenal will get it right and Tottenham won't.

James Coker

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