Tottenham Hotspur head coach opted to drop Jan Vertonghen against Liverpool at the weekend, despite the Belgian being named as captain just a week before.
Mourinho opted for pace over experience in his back line to cope with the likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Either side of Alderweireld, Tottenham’s two fastest centre-backs of Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga lined up, while Danny Rose and Serge Aurier offered more pace at full-back.
While Vertonghen is one of the most experienced defenders at the club and one of Spurs’ longest-serving stars, he is not blessed with pace and is also out of form.
One journalist asked Mourinho how Vertonghen reacted to being left out against the Reds, with the Special One claiming that he was a professional about it, even though he wanted to play.
Perhaps this question stemmed from reports of a falling out with Pochettino at the start of the season when Vertonghen was dropped (Daily Mail).
Mourinho said (Football London): “Like a top professional he is, like a top professional he is. Jan Vertonghen is untouchable. Professional person, absolutely untouchable so my decision was to play with two very fast players on the side of Toby Alderweireld.
“Davinson is really fast and Japhet is the same and the decision was with people like Salah and Mane the most difficult thing is to cope with their speed and the way they attack from the outside to inside, the movement Firmino makes to create these spaces for them and I think my decision was correct.
“Sometimes we have the feeling that we should do a different way and in that game I feel that decision was correct. Of course Jan wanted to play, that’s obvious, but since I arrived professional since day one and tomorrow, he is back to the team.”
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