Former Spur star admits ‘life was tough under Mourinho’

Victor Wanyama has admitted that the last few months he spent at Tottenham Hotspur were difficult to endure due to Jose Mourinho’s unwillingness to give him opportunities to play.

Wanyama had an excellent first season at Tottenham after arriving from Southampton in the summer of 2016 after the Kenyan formed a formidable partnership in the middle of the park with Mousa Dembele.

However, injuries prevented the midfielder from having a regular run in the side in the subsequent seasons, although he was part of some memorable matches including the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City during Tottenham’s run to the final in 2018/19.

The 29-year-old did not get a look-in after Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino at the helm in November 2019 and left North London to sign for Montreal Impact on a free transfer in March of last year.

When asked about the circumstances surrounding his exit from Tottenham, Wanyama told Nairobi News: “Life was tough under Mourinho. I was not playing. I was injured for some time and when I came back I could not get a chance (to play).

“I walked to the coach (Jose Mourinho) and told him I needed to play. He said ‘you have to wait, you are just coming back from injury.

“Clubs came in for me and asked to take me on loan with an obligation to buy after some time but Tottenham said no.

“I walked to the chairman’s (Daniel Levy) office and told him to understand my situation. I had been at the club for four years and we had celebrated milestones including (making it to) the Champions League final. He granted me my wish (to leave).

“When Thierry Henry called me and asked me to join him at Montreal, I couldn’t say no.”

The Spurs star admitted that he is now enjoying life in the MLS.

He added: “I am happy in Canada. Thierry Henry is a good coach. He has a passion for football but can also be very tough at times.”

Spurs Web Opinion

If not for his injuries, Wanyama would have likely still been at Spurs. I suspect he would have suited Mourinho’s style of play and would have been much more effective as a holding midfielder alongside Hojbjerg than Sissoko has been. It is a shame that the Kenyan’s knee problems prevented him from carrying on at the top level for a few more years.

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