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‘Are you Dele or Dele’s brother?’ – Mourinho looks to reboot Spurs stars | David Hytner

Old mischief already evident as new Tottenham manager holds court with press and players

José Mourinho had a question for Dele Alli, the Spurs midfielder, who has long since mislaid his best form. “I asked him if he was Dele or Dele’s brother,” Mourinho says. “He told me he was Dele. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘Play like Dele.’”

It was a classic piece of Mourinho kidology, the kind of move he has pulled on numerous occasions and with which he seeks to establish a connection; to motivate. It is so easy to picture the scene with Alli from Wednesday – Mourinho’s first day as Spurs manager. The lacerating, direct delivery; the mischief behind the eyes. The question – and this talks to Mourinho’s latest adventure in England as a whole – is whether it still works?

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