Jose Mourinho accused some his players of laziness and bad fitness after his lacklustre Tottenham Hotspur side’s 1-0 home defeat by Everton in their Premier League opener on Sunday.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 55th-minute header settled the issue and Tottenham’s display, especially in the second half, led to some harsh words from manager Mourinho.
“Against good teams like Everton if you let them play from the back they are comfortable with very good technical players. If you don’t press them you give them ammunition,” he said.
“We were lazy in our pressing. That is a consequence of bad fitness, bad pre-season. Some players didn’t even have a pre-season. Some players had a wrong state of mind. I don’t want to speak about it — I’m not sure about it.”
Tottenham have been the subject of a candid documentary chronicling Mourinho’s arrival at the club to replace former manager Mauricio Pochettino last November.
It might be just as well the behind-the scenes cameras have been switched off after a plodding display against Everton.
Striker Harry Kane barely had a sight of goal, although he was not helped by a midfield lacking imagination.
With Carlo Ancelotti in the opposing dugout it was a meeting of two of the game’s most decorated coaches, but it was Italian Ancelotti who won the head-to-head hand’s down.
With Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez, signed this week from Real Madrid, French powerhouse Abdoulaye Doucoure and Brazilian midfielder Allan all making impressive debuts, Everton were unrecognisable to the stodgy team of last season.
“The new signings had one week of training but adapted really well. The performance was good. James Rodriguez brings his ability to control the ball, to do the right passes, to keep the team comfortable with the ball.
“I think we can compete with this squad in all the competitions.”
Also in other news;
Paris Saint-Germain superstar striker Kylian Mbappe has told his club that he intends to leave at the end of the season, according to The Sunday Times. He is understood to be targeting a move to La Liga or the Premier League, according to the report, putting Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City on high alert for next summer.
The 21-year-old World Cup winner joined PSG from AS Monaco in 2018 on an initial loan with an obligatory buy option in a deal valued at €180 million. Mbappe is viewed by many as the next big thing after the duo of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and he’s backed it up. Learn more