Former Scotland boss insists Mourinho will be ‘apoplectic’ over Southgate’s decision

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Despite Harry Kane managing to come away from England’s Nations League clash against Denmark relatively unscathed, former Scotland manager Alex McLeish believes that Jose Mourinho would still be furious that his star striker played all ninety minutes.

The war of words between Mourinho and Gareth Southgate had begun even before the international break (PA Sport’s Jonathan Veal and The Evening Standard) and there was plenty of speculation over Kane’s fitness leading up to England’s Nations League clash against Denmark.

However, the England boss insisted on Tuesday that he had no idea where the media reports were coming from and that the Three Lions skipper had no injury issues.

Kane started against the Danes on Wednesday and played all ninety minutes as England were beaten 1-0, largely due to Harry Maguire’s sending off around the half hour mark.

The Tottenham striker certainly seemed to be moving well during the game and was also spotted training with his teammates at Hotspur Way on Thursday.

However, McLeish believes that Southgate’s decision would not have gone down with Mourinho.

He told Football Insider: “Mourinho will be apoplectic about that one, I’m sure he’ll be going: ‘Argh, what’s happening?’ You can imagine Jose.

“I think he’s got him back in one piece, his legs will probably be just a wee bit sore, the muscles and the masseurs will be working 24/7 over the next few days to get Harry back and ready for the next game.”

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  1. Isn’t it amazing how the press constantly flesh out a story which in all probability doesn’t even have bones on it to start with! All this hyperbole regarding Mourinho’s unbridled fury is I believe the media’s far reaching attempt to make broadly unsubstantial claims which wildly exaggerate the notion that the Tottenham manager was simply interested in protecting his top striker from injury and burnout after a catalogue of games in just three or so weeks. Given Tottenham’s hugely hectic schedule thus far into the early season I think it is entirely understandable that he has concerns over the unreasonable demands of a hugely congested fixture pile up. Further to that given how poor England actually were against Denmark over the full 90 mins and the utter lack of any real creativity or goal scoring chances by Southgate’s three lions, whom effectively were more like three kittens in terms of overall performance – saving the reckless stupidity which deservedly saw red and a consequently early bath for Harry Maguire – was it even necessary to employ a clearly fatigued player for the entirety of a game when it was actually crying out for alternative options. If I’m honest I’m a little bewildered why Southgate did not explore the option of either Grealish or Ings who have both been in top form for quite some time now, and which may have affected a more positive outcome than the final drab and disappointing result, no disrespect to Denmark of course. But of course I digress here. The point in main was that there was concern not fury, and that is relevant s well as understandable, the press just love to make a meal out of it all, can will undoubtedly play at the weekend against Sunday… but even if he didn’t Tottenham now have far greater options to explore than they have for a while now with Bale and Vinicius and that’s what should be written about and ultimately I think will be as the season unfurls.


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