Jose Mourinho must stop blaming players and admit his own mistakes or risk being sacked as Tottenham Champions League hunt takes another blow

It feels like Tottenham fans have heard all the excuses under the Sun this Premier League season.

As Spurs’ season has slowly unravelled under Jose Mourinho, he’s been keen to point out who is blame – and it’s never himself.

Mourinho held nothing back in his assessment of his Tottenham players
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It’s a marked contrast to another beleaguered Premier League manager.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta took the heat for his side’s dreadful approach against Liverpool, which resulted in a 3-0 defeat at the Emirates. The Gunners barely laid a glove on their opponents.

Mourinho, meanwhile, after watching his supposed top four contenders concede in the last 15 minutes of a Premier League match for the eighth time this season when they have had a lead, just dropped his players in it.

“Same coach, different players,” was his answer when queried why his previous good record for defending leads was crumbling

Willock strikes for Newcastle leaving Spurs stars aghast
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It’s not his fault, obviously. The man who coaches the players, picks them, and decides the manner in which they will defend.

Mistakes happen, of course. There was an element of bad luck in the final seconds before Joe Willock’s late leveller.

But still, rather than conceding playing Davinson Sanchez in a game where aerial ability was needed may have been an error, he opted to pan his team.

Mourinho used to be a details man. Now they’re slipping past him.

Mourinho is under pressure at Tottenham
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Sanchez is fine defending one-on-one with the ball on the floor but once he’s into a battle with a centre-forward, he’s got a tendency to flap and panic.

Mourinho, though, decided against playing Eric Dier, someone who was probably better equipped for the match. It is the Portuguese at fault, not his charges in this situation.

That he was so quick to put the blame on his players nothing new either.

At some point or another, most players have had their performance questioned.

“We were lazy in our pressing,” he said after their opening day loss to Everton. “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.”

Instead, perhaps he should have looked at his own short comings that day, which saw him substitute Dele Alli at half-time and replacing him with the technically inferior Moussa Sissoko.

Alli has been sitting on the bench for most of the 2020/21 season
Getty Images – Getty

After the 3-3 draw with West Ham, he offered a message which suggested players could make a manager look good or bad, rather than answering why his side had been so unable to acquire possession in the latter stages after altering his side’s shape.

After a late draw to Crystal Palace, it was the players again who couldn’t follow his plans.

He said: “I have to admit our players couldn’t do what I asked them to do because at half-time, what I asked them to do was exactly the opposite that we did in that period.

Kane’s best ever all-round season could go to waste under his current manager
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Mourinho has also changed tack at points with his complaints.

After a 1-1 draw with Wolves he was praising his defensive unit and disappointed his side weren’t killing off matches with goals.

“Even defending very well, which we do as a team, that is not enough,” he insisted. “But my feeling would be exactly the same, scoring in the first minute we had 89 minutes to score more goals and we didn’t.”

But when he’s been accused of being too defensive he praises his forward line.

“If the stats I was given are correct – 100 goals scored in the season, which for a very defensive team, a very negative team, is not bad,” he said after 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Just a week later his stars were thrown under the bus for their defensive display in a north London derby defeat to Arsenal.

He fumed at “people hiding, not showing themselves, no intensity, no passing and moving,” with Tanguy Ndombele and Gareth Bale seemingly the target of his ire given their substitutions.

There comes a point, though, where Mourinho can no longer pass the buck. He’s had 16 months at Tottenham and three transfer windows to get this right.

If he really is the coach he believes he is, why can’t he get more from his defenders? Why do his side struggle to change their rhythm when put on the back foot?

In Tottenham’s All or Nothing Amazon documentary, Mourinho told Harry Kane that they had better players than Manchester United.

Now it’s the players who are the problem for the Portuguese.

Tottenham players have looked incredibly dejected after some games this season
Getty – Pool

The players he continually slates can hardly be happy with their situation right now and it must be hard for them to draw strength and play at 100 per cent when they know one slip will incur wrath.

Fans seem sick and tired of the excuses, the ranting and the raving too, and one wonders just how pleasant the atmosphere will be when they return to their stadium.

Performances we’ve seen this year would have earnt Mourinho jeers, he’s perhaps lucky supporters have not been in attendance.

Rather than continually shift the blame onto his stars, maybe he should take a deeper look at whether it is his own failings which mean they are unable – or maybe unwilling – to reach his high standards.

And maybe he could, once in a while, admit his own errors caused their downfall.

We all make mistakes, sometimes it’s better to admit them and correct them. Mourinho could learn a lot from Arsenal boss Arteta on that front.

Source: Sport

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