Jose Mourinho’s future is once again in the spotlight at Tottenham after a difficult run. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: “Same coach, different players.” That attracted criticism from several pundits and fans alike, with Alan Shearer and Ian Wright dissecting his comments on Match of the Day 2 and suggesting that Mourinho was still searching for a formula in his defence. Several players have found themselves out of the side in recent weeks as Mourinho looks to try and find his best combinations, including Matt Doherty and Serge Aurier, while Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld have also had spells out of the team.
But comments from former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney about Mourinho suggest that players left out of the side should not expect answers as to why they are not playing.
Wayne Rooney said, “In my opinion, obviously being there for a year with him, he didn’t and that was the one surprise we had, was that the communication with the players wasn’t as much as it could have been. I think when you leave a player out of a game, sometimes for the player, it gives them a bit of freedom of the mind when the manager says ‘I am leaving you out for this reason,’ but the players didn’t get that and I think that’s the most difficult thing for a player to try and work out why you are not playing.It is only right for a player to want to know why they are not playing and I knew myself if I weren’t performing well enough to be in the team, I wouldn’t be. But the big thing I think with Jose [Mourinho] was the communication with the players and I know there were players who weren’t happy with that. Nothing in detail was said, nothing like ‘you are not doing this, or you are not doing that’, which would give you something to go and work on or make yourself better at those certain things. I knew Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] was one of his big signings and he had come in and was scoring goals, and I maybe wasn’t playing to the level I knew I could do, so I knew that was the reason, and that was what more or less made my mind up to go and play elsewhere.”
The Spurs boss is facing increased scrutiny on his position in the wake of a disappointing run of results for Tottenham, which included an embarrassing exit from the Europa League at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb and defeat in the North London Derby against Arsenal. A win against Aston Villa prior to the international break lifted the mood somewhat, but a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United was another source of frustration on Sunday. After the game, Mourinho bemoaned his side’s defensive issues, with the manager offering a short response when asked what the difference was between Tottenham and his previous sides, when he has gained a reputation for making his sides hard to break down.
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