Paul Merson has claimed that Mikel Arteta wishes he could criticise his players like Jose Mourinho does but is having to hide his true feelings due to his lack of experience.
Mourinho has never been shy to call out his players publicly throughout his managerial career. The Tottenham boss certainly did not hesitate at doing just that in his post-match press conference after the North Londoners’ 2-2 draw against Newcastle, insisting that his players made too many mistakes to come away from the match with all three points.
When asked about what has changed with respect to his sides rarely throwing away leads in the past, the Spurs boss responded: “Same coach, different players.”
Reports indicate that Mourinho’s comments did not go down well in the Tottenham dressing room, with the players said to be fed up at the 58-year-old for pointing the finger at them and telling them that they are not good enough.
Merson believes that Arteta feels exactly the same about the players under his disposal but realises that he has to say the right thing for the cameras.
The former Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports (as relayed by HITC): “When they get beat and he comes out and takes the blame, he’s just doing the opposite to what Jose Mourinho does when he criticises his player, but Arteta is thinking exactly the same as Mourinho.
“Mourinho just says it and the difference is one manager has been around for a long time and he’s won everything in the game.
“He can just say it exactly as it is whereas Arteta is just starting out and he’s got to say the right things in front of the camera.
“However, when the camera is away, he’ll be thinking exactly the same as Mourinho.”
Spurs Web Opinion
There is certainly a case to be made that Mourinho is sometimes too honest for his own good in press conferences and interviews. While I am obviously no one to lecture Jose about player psychology given what he has achieved in the game, perhaps his candid approach does not have the same effect on the current generation of players.
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