Jose Mourinho certainly isn’t the type of person who is known to hold back criticism.
Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has opened up about a time when he received a serious dressing down from Mourinho during his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho signed Zouma from Saint-Etienne as a 19-year-old back in 2014 and it appears that the defender soon got a taste of the Portuguese coach’s confrontational ways.
The Frenchman admitted that he was shocked by how direct the current Spurs boss’ criticism was after one particular defeat but insisted that it inspired him to do better.
“The following day, he [Mourinho] catches up with me, he takes me to his office, and he asks me if I am ok. I said yes, he asked me if I was sure.
“I said yes again, he replied ‘Because you were rubbish this weekend.’ Like that, direct. It shocked me, but it made me want to immediately respond on the pitch.
“I remember that it hurt me, that it affected me. But I really wanted to show him that I could react.”
The central defender also disagreed with the suggestion that the Tottenham head coach doesn’t give opportunities to young players.
He added: “He is someone who loves victory. He uses all the tools possible to achieve it.
“I came here at 19 and he played me. I was able to have my chances, I played my matches.
“I don’t know what other people think, we all have different opinions, but from my side, I don’t really agree [with the notion that Mourinho does not give young players a chance].”
Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial also admitted in an interview with RMC Sport earlier this week that he wasn’t happy with the way Mourinho criticised him publically, but like Zouma, he too acknowledged that the 57-year-old’s words made him want to prove his former boss wrong.
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The fact that Mourinho’s words made the likes of Martial and Zouma want to play better tells you that there is a method to Mourinho’s madness. So when he does things like complain about Ndombele’s fitness, it is probably because he feels that is going to get a response from the midfielder.
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