Jose Mourinho wants you to know that he prefers to praise his Tottenham Hotspur players for their performance in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat of Manchester City.
Asked after the match about his players commitment to the game plan in a stressful encounter, Mourinho took the bait.
“To have that discipline you need more than discipline, you need big solidarity and desire to do it,” Mourinho said. “It’s not just about plan, it’s about an emergency plan when someone makes a mistake and you have to cover for it. The guys were fantastic. I’m super happy, super proud of them, a proper team performance with everybody giving everything.”
Mourinho was also asked about subbing Giovani Lo Celso into the game moments before the Argentine made it 2-0.
The Spurs boss says don’t praise him. He just swapped a fresh player into a role that was being well-executed by a tiring Tanguy Ndombele, who set up Tottenham’s first goal.
“Credit to the player, he was technically perfect,” Mourinho said. “Credit for the coach? Nothing. It’s just lucky. [Lo Celso] went to do exactly what Tanguy was doing, but fresh. We needed a fresh player in this moment who can do what he did in terms of having the legs to stretch the game, having the legs to get behind defenders, having the legs to try to hurt. Scoring is luck.”
It wasn’t all good news, though. Mourinho was forced into giving Joe Rodon the most significant time of his young Spurs career after an injury to Toby Alderweireld.
And it’s not a minor one for the Belgian back, who played plenty of minutes in the international break.
“It’s bad, it’s a muscular injury,” Mourinho said. “We have three center backs in the Premier League but not in the Europa League where we don’t have Joe Rodon. There’s nobody to blame. He played in matches for Belgium they needed to win. It’s just one of those things.”
Back to Saturday’s win.
Again, Mourinho says praise the players and especially Harry Kane. But also, he put together one heck of a plan and that is… at least just as important.
“[The players] give everything,” Mourinho said. “They follow strategy and football sometimes, more than ever strategy plays an important part. This guy, Harry Kane represents the spirit of all the other guys, the way he works for the team is the same way the other guys do. … City is a fantastic team that lost against a team that was strategically good.”
He even said the referee was very good. God bless Jose Mourinho and his inclusion in our Premier League.