Sean Dyche’s admiration for Spurs boss Jose Mourinho - and their chance meeting the day after the 5-0 defeat last December!
At the start of December last year, on Burnley’s first visit to the stunning new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, they were walloped by Jose Mourinho’s charges, shortly after his appointment.
The Clarets were 2-0 down after nine minutes, three down after half an hour - as Son raced virtually the length of the pitch to score the Premier League goal of the season - and conceded two more in the second half on a miserable day in North London.
The day after, in Belgravia in central London, Dyche was out and about with his wife and children when who should he happen upon, but none other than Mourinho.
Dyche laughed: “We’d just been beaten 5-0, ran ragged, and the next day I spent with my family, because I don’t see them all the time, and, believe it or not, seven million people in London, walking round the back of Belgravia - posh part, obviously I don’t live there, he does - and who’s there right in front of me?
”We had 10 minutes of pleasantries, he had a cap on and took it off, and this amused me and my kids, he went - well I can’t use the first word, but the second was ‘me!’, with a startled look.
”I went, ‘yeah, it’s me!’. He said: ‘I can’t believe it, sorry for the expletives’, and we just had a laugh and he said hello to my missus and the kids and we moved on.”
Dyche, labelled the Ginger Mourinho earlier in his time at Burnley, is a huge fan of the Portuguese, and he added: “We’ve had a few bits by the side of the pitch – some good, some not so good, but that 10 minutes is the most I’ve ever spoken to him. Chat about life and that kind of thing.”
Dyche has often spoken about not being a zealot to style, in terms of his sides, and Mourinho is similar in that sense, in that he has often been a pragmatist, working out the best way to win, and then executing that plan.
That has seen him win two titles in his homeland, three in the Premier League, two in Serie A and La Liga, as well as two Champions Leagues, a UEFA Cup, the Europa League and numerous domestic trophies.
And Dyche explained why he is such an admirer: “He wins. He wins and wins. He finds a way of winning.
”That’s always been my thoughts on management. If you can do it in a great style, then great. If you can’t, you’ve still got to win.
”The distinction is if you are in development football teaching the game, different styles.
”If you’re a manager you’ve got to win, and he invariably wins. That’s enough for me to show him respect, he wins.”
Dyche goes into Monday night’s meeting with Spurs at Turf Moor celebrating his eighth year in charge at Burnley, as the longest-serving manager in the Premier League.
Mourinho, meanwhile, tends to spend two or three seasons at a club before moving on to another project.
Asked whether he could see Mourinho spend eight years at a club, Dyche said: “I think he has mentioned about a longer term project, but the demands at the clubs he has been at are incredibly high – and that’s a different ball game.
“Pep Guardiola asked me the other week if it had been tough, and I said ‘yeah very’ and he said ‘finance?’ and I said ‘yeah’.
“He said ‘I don’t have a problem with that’, and I said ‘yeah but you’ve gotta win the league mate’.
“The juggling acts at different levels. You look at Jose and he’s been at top clubs.
”It seems there’s a much more limited time span unless you are literally winning all the time over a long period.
“Alex Ferguson is the only one who has won and won and won all the time in the modern era.”