Jose Mourinho has admitted that his side’s performance in the North London Derby left a lot to be desired but refused to share the reasons behind the poor display.
Spurs fans would have been excited going into the clash against Arsenal as the Lilywhites had registered five straight wins and were scoring goals for fun.
However, Arsenal completely dominated in the first half as Spurs struggled to keep hold of the ball. Mourinho admitted after the game that some of his attacking players were hiding, even calling out Tanguy Ndombele and Gareth Bale for their lack of intensity.
However, the Spurs boss remained tight-lipped when asked again in today’s press conference about his side’s first-half showing against the Gunners.
He told Football.London: “I’m not ready to discuss with you because this is about analysis of the game, the performance, the reasons for a disappointing performance.
“It’s not something that I’m ready to discuss with the media. Especially two or three days after and 24 hours before an important game that we have.
“Easy to say what I told after the game, we didn’t play well – at all. And I think that’s a very honest way to approach the situation from our side. We always feel the performance from minute one was poor.”
The Tottenham boss was also quite critical of Michael Oliver’s decision to hand Arsenal a penalty in the second half and hinted that referees need to do post-match interviews to explain their decisions.
However, Mourinho has now made it clear that he was not singling out Oliver for criticism, admitting that the 36-year-old is one of the best referees in the country.
The Portuguese coach added: “What happened in the second half, happened with a very bad referee decision but let me make it very clear that for me Michael [Oliver] is a good referee and in spite of me normally being very unlucky with him, I have no problem at all, at all, to have him as the referee in my next match, At all. He’s a good referee, an honest guy, he’s just unlucky with his decisions.
“For me, one of the best refs in the Premier League and in European football. I want to make it very clear that it was a decision that decided the game but I have nothing against the quality and honesty of the referee.
“Going back to the Arsenal game I repeat the same: total responsibility for us for such a bad first half and a mistake that decided the game and a good reaction in the last 20 minutes, even with one player less and a reaction that could perfectly bring a different result.
“All the rest is to be analysed inside and shared inside and to move to the next match, which is an important match and at 2-0 is not over.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It was evident from Mourinho’s comments in the post-match press conference on Sunday that he was unhappy with the lack of impetuous from some of his attacking players.
Reading between the lines of his comments today, it seems like he certainly made his displeasure clear to the squad indoors but does not wish to single players out individually to the media and cause another controversy.
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