‘It is a grown-up’s sport’ – Ex-Chelsea man urges Ndombele to knuckle down at Spurs

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

It seemed as if it was going to be the dream move for Tanguy Ndombele when he scored a delightful goal on his debut for Tottenham after becoming their record signing.

The Frenchman had impressed in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League for Lyon last season and came to North London with great pedigree.

However, since those initial few promising games, Ndombele’s Tottenham career has been plagued with injury and a seeming lack of fitness.

Once Jose Mourinho took over in late November, Ndombele saw his game time reduce significantly, with the 23-year-old only having played more than 60 minutes in the Premier League three times since then (TransferMarkt).

Ndombele was taken off after just 45 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Burnley, with Jose Mourinho then calling his player out for his effort and levels of performance (BBC).

Joe Cole has now claimed that Ndombele must knuckle down and attempt to prove Mourinho wrong (PA – relayed by Daily Star): “When it happened to me it was not a problem.

“It is a grown-up’s sport. If you don’t play well or you don’t do what you are supposed to do, whether you expect to get criticised publicly or not, you need to be tough, you need to understand the nature of the beast.

“He is a young man, the right response is to knuckle down and perform. I saw the performance in question and if he was one of my players that would have been my stance on it.

“Whether or not I did it publicly, that is always the discussion to have with your coaching staff, what’s the benefit?

“For the young lad, this is football, it can be a tough, brutal sport at times. You’re in the limelight, but we are very lucky to do what we have to do so you have to take the rough with the smooth.

“Jose will know what he is doing, he will know what the lad’s character is. He will expect the lad to react, turn his time at Tottenham around, kick-start his career or he will expect for the lad to move on.

“It will be nothing personal, but certain jobs have to be done on the pitch. Hopefully, the lad can do that.

“At times that treatment worked on me. He gets the best out of a lot of players, that is why he has won multiple trophies at multiple clubs across Europe.

“He knows about managing people. He knows when to whip the horse and when to not and that is management.”

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