Tottenham: Mourinho fumes over defensive errors in draw
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Tottenham may be in the Premier League top five for the time being, but that’s merely papering over the cracks. The north London giants are poor to watch under Jose Mourinho. And now, in the wake of the 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Sunday, the former Manchester United and Chelsea boss has given Daniel Levy a new reason to wield the axe.
Tottenham already have a few reasons to sack Mourinho.
They’re poor to watch, a far cry from the swashbuckling outfit they were during Mauricio Pochettino’s time in charge.
Several squad numbers are unhappy at the club, with Mourinho particularly brutal on Dele Alli, Gareth Bale and Serge Aurier over the course of the season.
And results have left much to be desired, with Tottenham winning less than half of their 30 Premier League matches so far.
On Sunday, however, Mourinho provided Levy with another reason to wield the axe.
Astonishingly, he threw his players under the bus in a very public, very arrogant, very Mourinho way.
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When asked why his teams were no longer capable of defending leads, like they were at Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Porto during his prime years, he merely said: “Same coach, different players.”
Footballers know they’re going to be criticised. It’s part of the game, part of the industry.
But Mourinho’s comments reek of arrogance. And it’s something the old version of the Portuguese would never have done.
At his best, Mourinho was a charmer. And a motivator. He was able to whip his players into shape, creating a siege mentality that it’s them against the world.
Yet these new words couldn’t be any more contrasting. Clearly, he feels he’s still perfect. And it’s his squad, instead, whom the issues really lie with.
It’s just not very Tottenham.
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This is a family club. A team where everybody has, over the years, pulled together in the same direction.
Even flop managers such as Tim Sherwood and Andre Villas-Boas always toed the line. Regardless of what results were like, they didn’t dare turn on the players.
But Mourinho is different. It’s never his fault, because he’s the Special One. His CV contains trophies from all over the world, and big ones too.
Yet football has changed and so too has the 58-year-old. Gone are the days where he was willing to take on the world, shielding his players from any harm that came their way.
He’s gone from protector to provocateur and that, for Tottenham, should be a reason to part ways.
They may very well end up finishing in the top four, something that would bring Champions League football back to the club.
But Mourinho isn’t the same and Tottenham would benefit from another managerial change, especially with attack-minded managers Brendan Rodgers and Julian Nagelsmann under consideration.
The Tottenham boss was downbeat after the draw with Newcastle on Sunday, saying: “It is not a good point.
“We should and we can, with the objective to win so I’m not happy with a point. I don’t want to go very deep on my analysis because I feel that what I feel, what I think, what I want to say cannot be with you, it can only be in the dressing room.
“If I analyse the performance separated from so many mistakes that lead to instability and instability leads to hope in the opposition, if I want to analyse it separate from that, I think we were very good in some moments… But I cannot do it.
“I cannot separate the game from these moments of instability and that’s the reason why we didn’t win the game.
“It was not a problem of fight, it was not a problem of attitude, the players wanted to win but I have to be honest and say I saw things on the pitch, not in terms of attitude but in terms of profile, vision, balance, which belongs to the top players, I didn’t see in every position.
“We were three points behind Chelsea, now we’re two points behind Chelsea, so you can look at two perspectives.
“But it isn’t just about Chelsea, it’s about Everton, West Ham and Liverpool so you can say we got one point in relation to Chelsea but lost two to Liverpool so let’s see what the other does.
“That’s not the point for me in this moment, the point for me is to set up a team that came here with every intention to win and in the end, a little bit of deja vu in some situations.
“I believe many of these white hairs, they come with things I’m not used to seeing in football matches at this level.”
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