José Mourinho did not spare the players of Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday evening after the surprising 1-0 defeat at the Belgian Antwerp in the Europa League. The Portuguese focuses his fury in particular on the basic players.
‘My choices in the future will now be very easy’
The dissatisfaction at Mourinho was already reflected in his substitution policy halfway through the match. ‘The Special One’ decided to take four players – Steven Bergwijn, Giovani Lo Celso, Dele Alli and Carlos Vinícius – to the side after 45 minutes and with that to use almost all his substitution possibilities.
“I would have preferred to have changed all eleven players at half-time”, a critical Mourinho told the English media after the game. “I could have changed five, but I was worried that something would happen in the second half. In the end, there is only one person to blame for this defeat and that’s me, because I chose the starting line-up.”
Mourinho actually intended to save his main forces against Antwerp. Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Erik Lamela, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Lucas Moura, among others, started on the bench, but they all came into the field after the break. Bergwijn had to make way for Moura.
The players of Antwerp celebrate the surprising victory over Tottenham Hotspur. (Photo: Pro Shots)
One of the players who surprisingly kicked off was Alli. The 24-year-old midfielder was once seen as one of England’s greatest talents, but has ended up sidetracked this season. Mourinho did not discuss individuals after the duel with Antwerp, but it does not seem that Alli will get a new chance anytime soon.
“You always ask me why certain players never play. Maybe you shouldn’t ask that in the coming weeks, because you have the answer now,” Mourinho told the English press directly in the Bosuil Stadium.
“Players deserve a chance and it is my responsibility to give it to them. But for those players it is also important to seize that opportunity with both hands. This match shows that my future choices will be very easy.”
To add extra force to his words, Mourinho posted a photo of himself later in the evening Instagram which shows that he is sulking in the players bus. “A bad performance deserves a bad result. Hopefully everyone on the bus is just as upset as I am. Training at 11:00 on Friday.”
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