‘No one can criticise Jose Mourinho’ – Redknapp defends Spurs boss over decision

Harry Redknapp
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Harry Redknapp has come to Jose Mourinho’s defence after Tottenham’s 2-1 loss against Arsenal on Sunday, with the former Spurs boss insisting that the Portuguese coach cannot be faulted for his team selection.

Tottenham fans would have been optimistic heading into the game on the back of five straight wins in all competitions with the North Londoners scoring for fun.

When Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Gareth Bale were all named in the starting line up, Spurs fans would have been forgiven for thinking that the away side were going to take the game to Arsenal.

However, Mikel Arteta’s men were completely dominant in the first half with Spurs struggling to keep possession and were left chasing shadows.

Tottenham’s performance has attracted widespread criticism, with Jamie O’Hara accusing the Spurs midfield of ‘playing like crabs’ while Steve Nichol admitting to not knowing what the Lilywhites’ game plan was as they were neither able to attack nor defend with any proficiency.

However, Redknapp believes that the buck has to stop with the players and insisted that Mourinho clearly showed his attacking intent by naming the starting line up he did.

The former Tottenham manager told talkSPORT Breakfast: “No one can criticise Jose Mourinho for not picking an attacking team, he picked four forwards!

“Moura, Bale, Son and Kane, it was a very attacking looking line-up with two attacking full backs, too.

“They just never really got hold of the ball. Arsenal dominated midfield and had more players who can get on the ball and play and keep the ball and they deserved the win.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I do not think it is a question of either blaming Mourinho or the players. I believe Jose was right to question the lack of intensity from the likes of Bale and Ndombele as it was evident that they did not really demand the ball. In stark contrast, Lucas Moura constantly demanded the ball and looked to impact the game.

So Mourinho cannot be blamed entirely for our first-half performance. However, the Spurs boss also does not get off scot free as it was evident we got outnumbered and overrun in midfield. Playing Ndombele in a midfield two does not seem to work unless we dominate possession as the Frenchman is not great at tracking runners and covering space.

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