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José Mourinho Throws His Players Under The Bus From The Bus

By Michael McCarthy
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Fourth in the league and a point off the lead, Spurs's start to the season hasn't put them behind the 8-ball as they were last term when José Mourinho took over. How José did once he came in is always up for debate given where they started. A severe injury crisis in the squad and the small matter of a lockdown for three months only added to the madness. This year though, there's no excuses. Mourinho has overseen significant investment in the squad and is there from the start.

And it's been a positive start. Last night however, the positivity was derailed somewhat with a shocking performance in Belgium as they were beaten 1-0 by Antwerp in the Europa League. Mourinho made nine changes for the game, resting players like Son, Kane, Sissoko, Dier, Lucas Moura, and Hojbjerg.

He gave a rare start to Dele Alli, while Gareth Bale made his first start since returning to the club. Up front, new signing Carlos Vincius started. Down 1-0 and playing incredibly poorly, Mourinho made an incredible four changes at half-time, replacing Dele, Steven Bergwijn, Giovanni lo Celso, and Vincius. After another 15 minutes of action, he replaced the ineffective Bale with Harry Kane.

Mourinho was showing his anger clearly from the bench during the game and we can only imagine the outburst at half-time that led to such drastic changes. Afterwards, he explained that he would loved to take more of the staring XI off.

I would like to make 11. I didn't make five because I was afraid of a long 45 minutes without any change to make. There is only one to blame and that is me. I made the team. I have chosen the players to start. At half time, I tried to influence the situation but it was not enough. The dynamic of the first half was there. The mentality of the first half was there, and it is difficult to change.

In the end, Antwerp got what they deserved, and we also got what we deserved. The best team won and the worst team lost.


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While "taking responsibility," Mourinho continued to question the performances of his fringe players given their performance on the night, and seemed to make a promise that few if any of them would be in his immediate Premier League plans.

You know what our best team is. You know the same thing that I know, and that everybody knows. But I always like to think that the players deserve an opportunity. WE have a big squad with lots of good players, and it's my responsibility to give them opportunities to play, and it's also their opportunity to catch the change with both hands and being conditioned to ask for more. And tonight, my future choices are going to be very easy.

But again, there is only one responsible. Not the players, it is my responsibility because it is my decision to play them.

You always ask me before matches, 'why this player is not playing?', 'why this player is not playing?', 'why this player is not selected?' Maybe now for a few weeks you don't ask me that because you have the answer.

Unwilling to leave it at that, Mourinho then had another cut at his players from the team bus, posting on Instagram.


José may have had a point in his assessment of the Spurs team last night, but it remains to be seen if a public scolding is the best move going forward. Despite the squad's improved strength in depth this season, significant time will be required from most of these players over the course of the season. Mourinho will be banking on a positive reaction from the players. This hasn't always worked out for him in the recent past.


SEE ALSO: Arteta Applauds Dundalk For Sticking To Their Style Of Play

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