Former Spurs striker labels Mourinho’s comments regarding Gareth Southgate ‘unacceptable’

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Image: SpursWeb

Former Tottenham striker Garth Crooks has claimed that Jose Mourinho’s request for Gareth Southgate to name the club managers who contact him asking to stop their players from appearing for England, was ‘a cheap shot’ from the Tottenham boss.

Southgate said ahead of England’s clash against Iceland, which was a dead rubber since neither team had a chance of qualifying for the final four of the Nations League, that he would have to deal with clubs putting pressure on their players not to be involved in the match (Evening Standard).

All three of Tottenham’s England contingent, Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Harry Winks, were involved in the Three Lions’ 4-0 win over the Icelanders.

Mourinho urged the England manager to be transparent about who called him to stop their players from being involved and suggested that Raheem Sterling was going to be fit to play against Spurs on Saturday despite missing all three of England’s matches during the international break (Football.London).

While Sterling did not start in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over City, he did come on for Riyad Mahrez just past the 70-minute mark.

Crooks alleged that Mourinho himself would have called national team managers in the past asking them to omit his players from international friendlies and insisted that the Portuguese coach’s comments were ‘unacceptable’.

The pundit wrote on his BBC Sport Team of the Week Column: “On Friday, Jose Mourinho called for more transparency from England manager Gareth Southgate over how decisions are made regarding players pulling out of international matches.

“The Tottenham boss said Raheem Sterling, who missed all of England’s three games in November, would play for Manchester City against Spurs on Saturday, which he did as a 72nd-minute substitute.

“Is Mourinho trying to convince me that during his managerial career he hasn’t encouraged a single player to pull out of a meaningless international fixture? Please, pull the other one, it’s got bells on!

“As long as there have been international fixtures club managers – not all of them, but those who have “trophies” at stake and I stress the word trophies – will try to influence their players not to play in meaningless friendlies.

“They tend to be players who are vital to both club and country but as far as I am concerned the decision is more often than not down to the player not the manager.

“On Friday, Jose Mourinho called for more transparency from England manager Gareth Southgate over how decisions are made regarding players pulling out of international matches.

“The Tottenham boss said Raheem Sterling, who missed all of England’s three games in November, would play for Manchester City against Spurs on Saturday, which he did as a 72nd-minute substitute.

“Is Mourinho trying to convince me that during his managerial career he hasn’t encouraged a single player to pull out of a meaningless international fixture? Please, pull the other one, it’s got bells on!

“As long as there have been international fixtures club managers – not all of them, but those who have ‘trophies’ at stake and I stress the word trophies – will try to influence their players not to play in meaningless friendlies.

“They tend to be players who are vital to both club and country but as far as I am concerned the decision is more often than not down to the player not the manager.”

 

Spurs Web Opinion

Crooks seems to miss Mourinho’s entire point here. The Spurs boss was specifically referring to Eric Dier playing through injury during the previous international break, which meant that he was unavailable for a couple of matches on his return to Spurs.

Sterling withdrew from the England squad due to injuries but featured for Man City this weekend. Besides, Mourinho did not comment on the situation out of the blue. He was responding to the England boss’ complaints about clubs putting pressure on their players not to be involved.

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