‘They were not my players’ – Mourinho reveals how pictures taking during lockdown were misleading

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Jose Mourinho
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has claimed that the images that were doing the rounds back in April, which appeared to show him breaking the UK government’s lockdown protocols by appearing in the park with Tanguy Ndombele, were not what they seemed.

The Spurs head coach was pictured on Hadley Common in North London violating the government’s protocols which stipulated that people could only exercise with members of their own household.

The 57-year-old came under criticism for his actions (Good Morning Britain via Express) but stopped short of a public apology (Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick).

However, Mourinho has revealed that he was simply teaching Ndombele how to use the GPS tracker that he and his coaching staff were using to monitor the performance of his players.

He also suggested that the other two men who he was spotted speaking two were players from another football club.

When asked about the incident, he told Football.London: “It was nothing. We were working with the players at a distance. We were working with the players on the zoom. We were monitoring the players with Wifi GPS.

“At that time the players were allowed to go and run in the street and the park, which is what they were doing.

“I went to help a player to put in practice the GPS and the pictures taken in the park speaking with a little group of young men, they were football players but from another club. They were not my players.

“They were players from a Championship club not a Premier League club and I was there at the right distance having a little talk with them and the pictures gave the idea I was with my players which was not true. It was still a mistake.”

The Portuguese coach also leapt to the defence of Dele Alli and insisted that he did not deserve a one-match ban for the video he uploaded on to Snapchat back in February (Daily Star).

Speaking about the FA’s verdict, the Spurs boss said: “Lots of people made mistakes during this lockdown period. I am one of the examples.

“In my case, I believe a very very very small mistake that was not reported in the right way. It was not the way people were saying, but lots of people in football and even outside football, lots of mistakes were made.

“I don’t like these kinds of contradictions. I feel that it’s for everybody or it’s for nobody and I feel it’s quite unfair for a kid who made a mistake and apologised for it, I really don’t agree with it, but of course, one thing is not to agree and another thing is not to respect. And I respect the decisions.”

Spurs Web Opinion

If anything, the incident in the park just showed how hungry Jose Mourinho was to get back training with his players ahead of the return to action. It looks like the Spurs boss and his coaching staff have been demanding a lot of the players, fitness-wise, during the lockdown period. That hopefully means that we will hit the ground running.

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