Gary Neville has admitted that Jose Mourinho’s body language in the final stages of Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat against Manchester United on Sunday pointed to the fact that there were issues behind the scenes at the club.
Mourinho’s future has been called into question over recent weeks and it has been suggested that the 58-year-old could be sacked if Spurs do not get back into the Champions League.
The defeat to United has left Tottenham with a mountain to climb to secure a top-four finish, with the Spurs boss himself admitting that even finishing in the top-six could prove challenging.
Roy Keane has urged Tottenham to keep faith with Mourinho and give him time to turn things around.
The Portuguese coach could look at the Carabao Cup final on April 25 as potentially his final opportunity to convince Daniel Levy that he is capable of turning things around.
However, Neville admitted that the lack of urgency that the players showed when they were chasing the game against United could be indicative of some deeper issues.
The pundit told Sky Sports: “In the last five or six minutes, it didn’t look like an invigorated Jose Mourinho on the touchline, urging his team forward or driving his team forward.
“It’s a massive day for Tottenham in two weeks, a big day for Jose Mourinho and a big day for these players.
“They could raise their game, there’s no doubt they’ve got players who could cause City problems, but I just looked to him in those last five or 10 minutes and there was a blankness on his face where he just didn’t look engaged and that would be a worry.
“With 10 minutes to go, you’re sometimes wary of calling the game in terms of Manchester United, but you almost felt like United were in complete control – Spurs weren’t throwing any punches.
“You expect a team at home who are one goal behind to be throwing punches with 10 minutes to go.
“Even when United were in the corner and running the clock down, there wasn’t that urgency to go and win the ball back. Usually, you see teams scrambling to get the ball back, fighting with players, pushing them off and I didn’t see it.
“That would be a real worry for me. It’s body language, it’s the intent that you want to see in a team.
“I didn’t like what I saw in the second half from Spurs today and that’s not to say they’ve turned on the manager, he’s lost the changing room, I’m not saying those things, but I didn’t like it. It didn’t feel right.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It is not just Mourinho’s body language during the final ten minutes that was concerning but also the Spurs boss’ demeanour during his post-match interview. When Jose was under fire in his previous jobs, he always came out fighting and picked arguments with some journalists.
While he has cut some of that out since arriving at Tottenham, I just thought that he looked like a defeated man after the loss yesterday. I am not sure if he himself believes that he can turn the club’s fortunes around.
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