REVEALED: Jose Mourinho’s ‘lazy’ jibe has SPLIT his Tottenham squad after opening defeat against Everton… and his record of falling out with his players suggests this might not be a one-off
- Word spread among Tottenham’s players after Jose Mourinho called them ‘lazy’
- Opinion is mixed in the dressing room over the reasons behind Sunday’s swipe
- But Mourinho is understood to still hold the support of the majority of his squad
- He will be aware of the consequences of language used in post-match interviews
Word spread quickly among Tottenham players on Sunday night about the manager branding them ‘lazy’.
Some saw it as a tactic to trigger a reaction following a lacklustre display against Everton.
Others were not so understanding.
Jose Mourinho was furious with his Tottenham players on Sunday as he brandished them ‘lazy’
Jose Mourinho still has the support of the majority of his squad, but his record of falling out with his players suggests this might not be a one-off.
Asked directly about Mourinho’s comments, left back Ben Davies did not appear to agree with his manager.
He said: ‘I think everybody worked hard. Me, personally, I gave it my all. The performance wasn’t up to scratch. It’s hard to put it down to a lack of effort.’
It’s important to stress Mourinho employed the term ‘lazy pressure’ when complaining about his side’s performance in the 1-0 defeat by Everton.
Ben Davies did not appear to agree with his manager after Sunday’s defeat against Everton
He may argue he wasn’t directly accusing his players of being lazy, rather identifying a tactical flaw. But he knows the consequences of language used in post-match interviews.
The club’s significantly disrupted pre-season is a valid excuse for their lethargic start. At least two Tottenham players tested positive for Covid-19 during pre-season.
Mourinho confirmed on Sunday that a number of his squad missed parts of pre-season because they were in quarantine – star striker Harry Kane among those who were required to self-isolate.
Kane’s lack of match fitness was clear during England’s games against Iceland and Denmark, as it was against Everton.
Mourinho has support from most of his squad but has a track record of falling out with players
Without a genuine back-up option, Mourinho has no option but to continue deploying his talismanic forward.
The problem is persuading strikers to sign when they know they will be mostly on the bench.
The willingness to strengthen – within reason – from the Spurs board is there, albeit on a restricted level due to the financial consequences of Covid-19.
There remains concern about Mourinho’s seeming reluctance to utilise young players.
But there remains concern about Mourinho’s seeming reluctance to utilise young players
Record signing Tanguy Ndombele, 23, and Ryan Sessegnon, 20, have struggled for game time. Loaning out Oliver Skipp and Troy Parrott has reinforced the unease.
As ever with Mourinho, there is negativity from sections of the fan base with regards to the team’s playing style.
But Mourinho will take substance over style, and victory against Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the Europa League on Thursday and another versus Southampton on Sunday should settle any early anxieties.
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