Jose Mourinho has admitted that Tottenham’s elimination against Dinamo Zagreb ranks among the most disappointing results in his managerial career.
Tottenham went into the second leg against Dinamo Zagreb with a 2-0 lead and Zagreb would have thus had to score four to progress had Spurs found the back of the net at the Maksimir Stadium.
However, the away side put in a lacklustre display simply did not look like scoring until the second half of extra time.
The Croatian side were growing in confidence as the game went on and, in the end, deserved their win.
Mourinho admitted that he has suffered several heartbreaks over the course of his career but last night’s elimination left a particularly bad taste in his mouth.
The Tottenham boss revealed that he was particularly hurt by the lack of desire and commitment his players showed against Zagreb, admitting that he sees football as more than just a job.
When asked if Thursday’s defeat was the worst of his managerial career, the Spurs boss told Football.London: “For sure it’s one of the most difficult, I don’t know if it’s the most difficult one, but honestly I don’t believe [I had] a similar feeling.
“I had in Europe moments of big pain but pain caused by what football is. I lost two Champions League semi-finals on penalties. It hurts you. [I’m] maybe still bleeding, but the passion for football, the respect for your job is something that hurts me deeply and I have this very bad feeling.
“This very bad feeling because maybe for some people in football, football is a job or a way to make money. For me, it’s much more than that. That’s what I never lose this basics of football, which is the passion, the heart, the desire.
“I feel very, very hurt that I cannot find more words to describe it.
“The only positive thing I take from here is this happiness that these people feel at this moment and that feeling, the happiness of these people, I can imagine on the sidelines the opposite feeling of Tottenham fans and of course, I feel very hurt by that.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Irrespective of whether one is Jose in or Jose out, you cannot help but feel sorry for the Tottenham boss given how distraught he looked in the post-match interview. Yesterday’s defeat was not down to a tactical failing or not picking the right team.
It was simply down to the players not turning up. However, that does not absolve Jose of blame as it indicates that perhaps the Spurs boss is not able to get his messages across to the players and motivate them.
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