Serge Aurier has revealed why he did not respond to Jose Mourinho after the Tottenham Hotspur boss called him out in front of the whole squad last season.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot written about Aurier’s relationship with Mourinho, with reports claiming that the pair had fallen out during half-time of Tottenham’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
While the Ivorian did not make the matchday squad for the subsequent game against Brighton, Mourinho has since he integrated the right-back into the squad.
The 28-year-old is currently out injured and is expected to miss Tottenham’s next two matches.
Aurier has now revealed that his relationship with Mourinho could have gone downhill as soon as the Portuguese coach arrived at Spurs last season.
Those who watched the Amazon: All or Nothing documentary will be aware that the 58-year-old remarked in the dressing room ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League clash against Olympiacos last season that he was afraid Aurier was going to give away a “sh*t penalty” because of VAR.
The Tottenham defender admitted that he was tempted to respond but chose not to do so as he is now more mature than he was a few years ago.
“If you don’t trust someone, you don’t let them deal with your stuff, right? So if you’re scared of me, pick someone else.
“So I was about to say, I swear, I was about to say it. ‘Pick someone else!’
“I promise you, I didn’t tell him, because first of all, the coach had just arrived. He needs to feel that the group supports him.
“If I respond, it’s not good. It’s not good for him, who just got there, right before his first Champions League game.
“So there is also the pressure if I respond automatically, it sends a negative message to him. It means that if the coach talks to me I need to answer because he spoke to me in front of everyone.
“He has the right to tell me that I suck in front of everyone, and if it’s true I will accept it. He has the right to criticise me and to speak his mind and I have the right to respond.
“However, I didn’t respond because it’s not the best moment, firstly, and secondly, in fact I grew up.
“In the past, because I was hot-headed, I would have talked back right away.
“You see [my face at the time], I’m like this, I am processing it. No, to be honest, at the moment I was like ‘what the hell are you doing? what are you going to do? Do you respond or do you not respond?’
“But in my mind I said, let it go to cool down. There is too much going on around. If you respond by sending a negative message. You see, the coach just got here, he trusts you already, so I let it go. It was nothing.
“I would have said ‘you’re cute and all that but I came here from PSG, I had a reputation so I have to play’. In the past I would have said that.
“Many times I have accepted coach’s decisions that I didn’t like. In the locker rooms I was gutted. I knew that as soon as I went on the pitch everything was forgotten.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Mourinho does have a history of provoking his players in order to get a reaction from them on the pitch. Based on how Aurier played against Olympiacos that evening and his form in general since Jose arrived at the club, it is fair to say that the Tottenham boss’ treatment has generally worked.
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