Paul Merson has now claimed that he stands by his criticism of Jose Mourinho’s style of play and insisted that Harry Kane is still not a good fit for the current Spurs boss.
Merson suggested after Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against Manchester Untied that Harry Kane is unlikely to score his usual number of goals while playing for Jose Mourinho, and thus urged the striker to leave Spurs (Sky Sports).
Mourinho did not take too kindly to the former Arsenal man’s comments as he called him out during his West Ham pre-match conference, presenting the goalscoring stats of various world-class strikers he has managed throughout his managerial career (Football.London).
Responding to the Tottenham head coach, Merson has now doubled down on his initial stance and insisted that the 57-year-old was trying to distract from his team’s poor season by talking about his comments ahead of the derby.
In his column for The Daily Star, Merson wrote: “Jose Mourinho is one of the world’s greatest managers but I stand by what I said about him and Harry Kane.
“Certain players suit certain managers and Kane doesn’t suit Mourinho.
“His goal against West Ham won’t end the questions about his future at Tottenham. How many good chances did he have in that game?
“Kane is working off rations because of the way Mourinho likes his teams to play. I still think he might have to leave.
“Mourinho was quite clever making his press conference before the game all about me and what I’d said.
“It meant nobody was talking about how his side are not going to finish in the top four.
“Spurs should be in the Champions League. They reached the final last season. For the last few years, I’ve had them down as title contenders.
“Now they are also-rans. I just think they are going a bit like Arsenal. That’s not all Mourinho’s fault. He’s had to pick up the pieces.”
The former Arsenal midfielder also asserted that a striker of the profile of Raul Jimenez would be a better fit for Mourinho’s system than Kane would be.
He added: “Kane is an issue. Didier Drogba was perfect for Mourinho. You could get it up to him and he’d hold it. He would bully people. Be a focal point.
“Kane just wants to score goals. That’s all I was saying. He wants to win the Golden Boot. But Mourinho teams don’t make a shedload of chances.
“Someone like Raul Jimenez at Wolves suits Spurs right now more than Kane. That’s the kind of striker Mourinho likes.
“I wasn’t having a go at Mourinho when I brought this up. I’m not having a go at him now.
“I think he’s’ right not to change for Kane – I just think Kane isn’t going to like it if his side are sixth or seventh next season and he’s way off winning the Golden Boot.
“If Mourinho wants to play this way – and why shouldn’t he? – it’s not going to work with Harry Kane. It’s going to be hard.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Merson has a point in saying that Kane might not get as many opportunities under Jose as he did when we were playing front-foot, high-pressing football under Pochettino. However, that does not mean that the striker is not going to continue banging in the goals. Kane has scored eight goals in 12 games for Mourinho, which is a very decent goal record and suggests that this is not going to be much of an issue. In fact, if he can keep himself fit for a whole season, I would still back the England captain to win the golden boot.
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