The second batch of episodes in Prime Video's All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur series are officially streaming, as José Mourinho's team enter the festive period with a chip on their shoulder and a point to prove.
Episode three left us in suspense, with a number of questions left unanswered. How will Spurs cope without Son Heung-min? Will Christian Eriksen leave? Will Mourinho ever stop saying f**k?
Well, episode four answered some of those questions.
It's the series Christmas special, as the episode starts with Spurs gearing up for a busy festive period. Daniel Levy remarks that he wants Santa to bring him a top four spot and/or a trophy, but all Mourinho wants for Christmas is a fully fit squad.
Injuries and suspensions mean things are stretched ahead of a jam-packed week, and three players - including Japhet Tanganga - are called up from the academy to ease the load. The first half of the episode focuses on humanising Mourinho and his squad - we see an emotional José after his dog died on Christmas Eve, while Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko are shown alone in their hotel rooms on Hogmanay, video calling their families as they prepare to face Southampton on New Year's Day.
The theme of injuries and personnel issues arises once more when both Harry Kane and Sissoko are ruled out long-term, and Mourinho, having just described the Christmas schedule as 'a crime' isn't pleased.
From here on, it's the Tanganga show; the final 20 minutes give us some back story on Spurs' new local hero, and we zero in on his impressive performances against Liverpool and Middlesbrough.
Buried at the end is a brief segment on Christian Eriksen's departure that feels as though it could have been stretched out - though that avenue looks as if it will be explored in episode five.
Key Talking Points
Mourinho Is Not a Robot
This series has done a pretty good job of breaking down the perception of Mourinho. Elements of his ruthless 'bastard' mentality seep through, but by and large, we've seen a side of the Portuguese boss that his public persona, and the mainstream media, fail to convey.
Until now, the series has been at pains to highlight his sense of humour and surprisingly good comedic timing, but here, we explored the fact that he actually has emotions, and that was nice. We see Mourinho addressing his players after the death of his 13-year-old Yorkshire Terrier on Christmas Eve, and admitting with a tear in his eye that he is 'deeply f***ked'.
It was a nice, clearly genuine moment, and is highlighted again later in a conversation with Harry Kane. "For 13 years it travels everywhere, and it f***ing dies on the f***ing 24th of December. F***ing hell," he says, to an evidently shocked Kane.
Action < Sentiment
Episode four covers a two-week period where Spurs stumble through six matches, and there is plenty of room for dramatic story-telling.
Instead, though, the match action is brushed over for the most part, and the episode is centred around sentiment and romanticism. Through a deep dive into Tanganga's story, we explore the connection with the academy and how it manifests itself in the first team.
We see a heartfelt moment between Kane and his manager, while Aurier and Sissoko both get some screen time as they struggle with spending the festive period away from their families. Kane's injury appears to hit him pretty hard too, though he keeps a brave face on it.
Mourinho: You need to take this game very serious, or we are f***ed.
Mourinho: It's important that we don't lose our brain. If we lose our brain, we are f***ed.
Dele [on favourite chocolate bars]: If anyone puts Bounty in they're top three, I'm never speaking to you again.
Son: So, Japha, when you gonna sign the contract?
Tanganga: Who, me? I dunno man.
Someone else: That means he knows. .
Tanganga [obviously embarrassed and trying to laugh it off]: I actually don't.
Son: Ask him. *nods to Daniel Levy who tries his best not to hear it*
Tanganga: *dies on the spot*
As much as it was nice to explore the human side of things, this one sort of felt like a filler episode, which was jarring considering how much actually happened on the pitch. It seems like brushing stuff under the carpet so Spurs don't come off as a *complete* basket case is going to be a recurring theme.
The series has had a gentle touch so far and this was the gentlest episode so far. There was some nice insight, if nothing groundbreaking, but for the most part it played on the heart strings.
The series continues to offer some nice, easy viewing...but you get the sense there are bigger and uglier things to come.
Source : 90min