Toby Alderweireld has revealed that he and his teammates were sad to see Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff leave Tottenham last week.
Alderweireld was in and out of the Tottenham team during Mourinho’s final few months at the club but the Belgian started alongside Eric Dier in the heart of the defence in Ryan Mason’s first game in charge against Southampton on Wednesday.
Reports have indicated that the Belgian did not have the best of relationships with Mourinho during his time at the club, with the pair falling out just a few months after the former Spurs boss arrived at the club.
It was revealed that Mourinho pleaded with the defender to leave his newborn baby and wife to play against Aston Villa in a game Tottenham won 3-2 back in February 2020.
However, just two weeks later, Alderweireld was axed by the Portuguese coach for a game against Wolves after Tottenham had lost 2-1 to Chelsea and the centre-back was reportedly not best pleased.
The pair were involved in another controversial moment just a couple of weeks ago when Alderweireld was axed from the matchday squad for Spurs’ 2-2 draw against Newcastle.
The Spurs boss said after the game that the former Ajax man did not return from international duty in time to get tested for COVID and train with the squad.
However, reports indicated that Alderweireld did arrive back at Hotspur Way in time and trained with the squad for the next three days and it was claimed in the Belgian press that the 32-year-old felt attacked by the former Tottenham boss for no reason.
Despite the various sources that suggest that all was not well between Mourinho and Alderweireld, the Spurs star insisted that he did not want to see the Special One leave.
When asked about Mourinho’s departure, the experienced defender told talkSPORT: “Again, in the first moment it [the sacking] hurts you. You never want to see a manager leave.
“We don’t feel like, ‘oh, it’s all because of the manager’. We’re in this together, so we feel responsible 100 per cent. People want to look for the problems, but it didn’t feel like that.
“You’re in it together and you try to do the best you can together. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we both wanted as a manager and as a team, but I have massive respect.
“It hurts when you have to see your manager go.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Alderweireld obviously has to say the right things about Mourinho’s departure but he would have probably been one of the players in the squad who would have been delighted by his sacking.
The Belgian has more class than Jose in the way he addresses the media as the former Spurs boss sometimes appeared happy to throw his players under the bus to protect himself from criticism.
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