‘He’s just got a certain way’ – Ndombele opens up on relationship with Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tanguy Ndombele has opened up on the run-ins he had with Jose Mourinho last season and revealed that he now understands the Tottenham boss’ messages much better than he did previously.

It seemed as though Ndombele’s relationship with Mourinho had reached the point of no return last season. However, the midfielder has now battled his way back into the Portuguese coach’s plans and established himself as a key part of the starting eleven.

The Tottenham boss has even lavished praise on the 24-year-old for some of his performances this season which is a far cry from how he talked about the midfielder 12 months ago.

After the 1-1 draw against Burnley in March of last year, Mourinho publicly questioned Ndombele’s work-rate, suggesting that Spurs did not have a midfield until the former Lyon man came off at half-time.

Ndombele admitted that he found it much more difficult to deal with not being in the team after the restart than hearing the Tottenham boss’ criticism after his performance at Turf Moor.

He told Football.London: “Burnley wasn’t the hardest moment for me.

“I think the hardest moment was the restart [after lockdown] but sure it wasn’t a nice time for me, the match against Burnley.

“The coach came out and said what he had to say afterwards and it’s not nice to hear those things.”

Mourinho even went to Ndombele’s residence to call the midfielder out for an individual training session during the lockdown last year.

When asked how surprised he was by that on a scale of one to ten, Ndombele responded: “Honestly? ten!

“I asked why I should have to run, and he said I just had to do it.

“So it was nothing really. Afterwards, the manager congratulated me and said that I’d run well.”

The France international admitted that he now understands the 58-year-old much better than he previously did.

He added: “If you know Jose Mourinho then you understand how he behaves.

“I wouldn’t call it confrontation, but he’s just got a certain way of sending his messages and it actually all depends on how you receive those messages he sends.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Mourinho has shown with his treatment of Ndombele that he is ready to give players second chances and that is something that should serve as motivation to Dele Alli. If Alli regains his best form, there is no reason why he cannot establish himself as a mainstay in the team once again.

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