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Jose Mourinho dismisses ‘Spursy’ insult despite Tottenham collapse against West Ham

“To be honest, what happened is a little bit out of context from what happened the rest of the season,” he said. “Against Southampton we were losing and we were strong enough to change the result.

“At Manchester United the worst thing happened, which was after one minute we were losing and we were strong enough to change that result.

“Against Newcastle, we were solid, we weren’t playing amazing, we were solid, and then what happened is one of the beauties of the VAR this season. So this game was completely out of context.

“I believe that winning 3-0 in minute 80 we could play 50 more matches and it’s not going to happen again. So I don’t want to be sticking on this and stories about ‘Spursy’, or this kind of thing.”

Spurs have a chance to put things right against LASK on Thursday.

It is the third time Mourinho is playing in the competition and, having won it twice previously, the Portuguese is targeting a hat-trick.

“We’re going to try,” he said. “It’s the third time I played the competition and the other two times, one with Porto and one with (Manchester) United, we managed to win it.

“So the record in the Europa League is great, never knocked out. Of course, lost a few matches in the group phase but managed always to win it.”

LASK head coach Dominik Thalhammer has revealed one of his squad has not travelled after testing positive for coronavirus.

Thalhammer is content that all protocol has been followed and says it has caused no disruption to their plans for the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The unnamed player is at home in quarantine and is showing no symptoms.

“It was yesterday evening,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “It did not disrupt us. This particular player, he did not travel with the team, we have done lots of coronavirus testing and it was all negative, but when I discovered that one player was positive then we tested again.

“Only players with negative tests were able to travel to London.

“We wanted to give the English the security that we have done everything and it is important for us.

“Other clubs we hear about individual cases but we were very cautious and for this reason we aren’t particularly concerned, but we did change the plan and travelled earlier.”

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European Premier League: Jose Mourinho says he will leave it to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy

Jose Mourinho refused to give his thoughts on the proposed European Premier League, insisting he will “leave it” for Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Sky News has learned Liverpool and Manchester United have held discussions about a bombshell plot involving Europe’s biggest football clubs to join a new FIFA-backed tournament that would reshape the sport’s global landscape.

More than a dozen teams from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are in negotiations about becoming founder members of the competition – with Spurs, part of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ clubs, included in those conversations.

  • Liverpool & Man Utd in ‘European Premier League’ talks
  • Neville: European PL talks obscene – fans will turn away
  • UEFA ‘strongly opposes’ European Premier League plans

European Premier League – key points

However, the proposals have been met with fierce opposition, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville describing them as “obscene” while UEFA “strongly opposes” the plans, believing the new-look tournament would become boring.

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp said he had “no time” to discuss the European Premier League when asked on Tuesday, while Tottenham counterpart Mourinho was equally coy ahead of Spurs’ opening Europa League group stage clash against LASK.

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“I leave it for Mr Levy,” Mourinho said when asked for his thoughts on the European Premier League and instead turned his attentions to the Europa League – which he has won twice as a manager with Porto and Manchester United.

“In this moment, we are playing Europa League. We are going to try [to win it]. It is the third time I have played this competition and the other two times I won it. So the record is great, I have never been knocked out.

“Of course, I lost a few matches and we know it is difficult. The group stage is tricky, then you go to the knockouts, then teams coming from the Champions League – which in my opinion is very unfair.

“It’s a long competition, for now we will focus on the points we need to qualify from the group stage.”



Burnley
Tottenham Hotspur

While Mourinho would not say whether or not Gareth Bale would make his first start for Spurs since signing from Real Madrid on loan against LASK, he did confirm that Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga are set to miss the match.

Ahead of Thursday’s meeting, Mourinho said Spurs fans should not expect Bale to be the same player who left for Spain all those years ago, saying: “No player is the same with such a gap of time.

“From 2013 to 2020, we are speaking about seven years not just seven months. It’s not just Gareth Bale, it’s for any player in the world. In seven years, a player changes. It’s an evolution in their qualities style, position.”

British clubs recently named their final squads for the group stages of the 2020/21 Champions League and Europa League campaigns, with Spurs deciding to leave out Danny Rose, who spent time on loan at Newcastle last term.

Rose, 30, failed to secure a move away from the club before the closure of the summer transfer window and has also been left out of Spurs’ Premier League squad.

“Danny is not a part of our squad,” Mourinho added. “Danny wanted very, very much to leave in last season’s January window. Why? Because he wanted to play, and play and play. He went to Newcastle.

“He has a desire to always be a first choice, he was thinking about the national team and Euros. I always thought that our future would be Ben Davies and Ryan Sessegnon.

“But then we signed Sergio Reguilon. And that was also good for Ryan as it gave him the possibility to leave [on loan to Hoffenheim] and to play in Germany.”

In the wake of Sunday’s 3-3 Premier League draw with West Ham, Mourinho was quizzed on if he knew what ‘Spursy’ meant, a popular informal adjective used on social media to describe the club’s apparent consistent ability to fall short.

“Winning 3-0 in the 80th minute… we can play 50 more matches and it is not going to happen again [to draw 3-3],” he said. “I don’t want to be stuck on this. No stories about ‘Spursy’ or anything like this. The team is playing very well.”

Will European Premier League become reality?

Analysis from Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Bryan Swanson…

Sky News journalist Mark Kleinman’s excellent scoop has reopened old wounds about the threat of Europe’s top clubs breaking free from UEFA.

European football’s governing body takes a predictably dim view of any proposals that threaten its flagship club competition, the Champions League, and Aleksander Ceferin has previously warned that any new super league will become “boring”.

FIFA declined to comment on the Sky News report but has pointedly referred to “topics which come up every now and then”. In other words, it cannot deny that the issue has been under discussion but nothing more substantive at this stage. Tellingly, FIFA has not denied it supports these new proposals.

JP Morgan’s involvement with any funding package is significant. Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s executive vice-president, is a former investment banker with the financial giant.

But if this new league is to kick off as early as 2022, in an already-disrupted World Cup year, there would have to be considerable hurdles to overcome.

UEFA has a format, and lucrative TV contracts, in place until 2024 and companies have paid big money for the rights to broadcast games involving Europe’s top clubs.

A ‘European Premier League’ would also have a considerable impact on the value of the Premier League too. What if finishing in the top four no longer matters? What would happen to the compelling drama if European participation was guaranteed to only a select number of clubs, regardless of where they finish?

UEFA controls the Champions League, Europa League, Nations League and European Championship. Would players who compete in this new competition have to give up their right to play in the Euros, for example? It’s possible.

Why would UEFA want to endorse any player which goes against its other competitions? The Football Association, which grants European licences to its clubs, holds the key to almost every domestic issue but it has declined to comment.

It would be a considerable surprise if this becomes a reality, in its current form, but it will generate further debate and focus minds in the corridors of power.

The timing of leaks, as always, is significant and UEFA has yet to decide its Champions League format from 2024. Talk of a £4 billion investment plan, at a time of a global pandemic, with some smaller clubs in crisis, will not sit comfortably with many in the game.

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Jose Mourinho refuses to blame Gareth Bale for Spurs' late collapse

Jose Mourinho refuses to blame Gareth Bale introduction for Tottenham’s late collapse despite being 3-0 up when he came on and says it’s a ‘pity’ winger missed his effort to win West Ham clash

  • Tottenham threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with West Ham on Sunday 
  • Jose Mourinho brought on Gareth Bale for his Spurs return with the score at 3-0
  • The Spurs boss refused to blame Bale’s second debut for the dropped points
  • Bale missed a glorious chance for a hero’s return but missed a sitter in injury time

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho did not think the introduction of Gareth Bale was the catalyst for his side’s late capitulation against West Ham.

Spurs were coasting to the three points as they led 3-0 after a scintillating opening 16 minutes where Son Heung-min’s goal after 45 seconds was added to by Harry Kane’s brace.

Bale made his long-awaited return to the Spurs side after seven years away as a second-half substitute when it was still 3-0 but it all went wrong for him as the Hammers scored three goals in the final eight minutes to snatch a 3-3 draw.

Jose Mourinho did not blame Gareth Bale (above) for Spurs’ draw with West Ham on Sunday

The Portuguese boss (left) brought Bale (right) on when Spurs were 3-0 up against West Ham

Manuel Lanzini’s stunning stoppage-time strike completed a comeback started by Fabian Balbuena and a Davinson Sanchez own goal.

There has been plenty of hype surrounding Bale’s return, which was almost marked with a dream goal that would have made it 4-2, but Mourinho did not think Bale’s arrival affected the game in a negative manner.

‘Don’t think so, honestly don’t think so,’ he said.

‘The decision not to start him was I think a good decision. A decision to show that he doesn’t have a beautiful chair waiting for him in the team and he sits there the first time he can.

West Ham scored three times in the closing minutes of the game to snatch a shock draw

‘It was a message to the team that in this team everybody has to fight for positions.

‘He’s very well accepted in the group. Everyone likes him, and I believe he also likes what he found here. So everything is positive and the focus was not on him.

‘The focus was on the game and he was on the bench for 65 minutes or so and I don’t think so, I don’t think at all.

‘It’s a pity that he couldn’t score that fourth goal which was a beauty and would have killed the game. But that’s football.’

Bale missed a big injury time chance to make the scoreline 4-2 as he could not find the target

It seemed impossible Spurs would not win the game after their devastating start put the Hammers on the rack.

Son continued his hot streak with an opener after 45 seconds, before Kane scored twice in eight minutes as Spurs’ goal glut carried on.

Kane hit the post in the second half before West Ham’s late, late show ruined Tottenham’s day.

‘I think you can imagine how frustrated I am and how frustrated the players are, but that’s football,’ Mourinho said.

It was a frustrating day for Spurs who dropped points at home for the second game in a row

‘Unfortunately it’s football for us in a negative way and in positive way for them but that’s football.

‘It’s easier for me to praise them than criticise us. It’s easier for me to analyse internally and discuss with the players than speak about it and my feelings now.

‘I prefer to say that they had incredible belief and probably they scored that first goal when they didn’t have that belief.

‘We were not then good enough or strong enough to cope with the last 10 minutes.’

Mourinho (middle) claimed his players were not mentally strong enough in the last 10 minutes

The emotions in the opposing dugout when Lanzini found the top corner from 20 yards in the fourth minute of stoppage time could not have been more contrasting.

Boss David Moyes was impressed with his team who continued their promising start to the season.

‘We are building a really strong team spirit,’ he said. ‘I think our performances in recent weeks have been very good. Our performances since lockdown have been very good.

‘It was tough, the opening 10 or 15 minutes you thought they were on fire and it was like, “Here we go”, but after that we got a grip and controlled the game. I thought the players did really well throughout the game.

West Ham manager David Moyes celebrated wildly when his side dramatically equalised

‘It is one of these moments you don’t get very often, we scored the last three goals in the last 10 minutes.

‘I saw my celebrations back and all the players are laughing at me jumping up and down, it felt like a David Pleat moment.

‘This is what football is for. When you get something from nowhere it gives you emotions and I think that’s why we are in it.

‘We never gave up, the players kept at it, it was a really proud performance.’




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Jose Mourinho aims dig at Arsene Wenger for leaving him out of his autobiography

Jose Mourinho has aimed a dig at Arsene Wenger after he failed to get a mention in the former Arsenal manager’s new autobiography.

Mourinho and Wenger have shared a long rivalry during their time together in the Premier League.

But the former Tottenham boss was left out entirely in Wenger’s new book, My Life in Red and White, with the 70-year-old opting to focus on his battles with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Wenger faced Mourinho 19 times during his managerial career but only managed to secure two victories – once in the Community Shield in 2015 and once in the Premier League as Arsenal sealed a 2-0 victory over Manchester United in May 2017.

Meanwhile, Mourinho recorded 10 victories over Wenger during his time at Chelsea and Manchester United.

Asked why he did not get a mention in the book, Mourinho replied: ‘Because he never beat me.

‘You are not going to do a chapter about 12 or 14 matches and you never win now.

‘So why should he speak about me in his book? A book is a thing toto make you happy, to make you proud. So I understand perfectly the situation.’

When asked why Mourinho was left out, Wenger said earlier this week:

‘I didn’t want to make a book that sorts out some differences.

‘I wanted it to be a positive book. I had more acrimonious battles with Sir Alex than Jose Mourinho.’

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Jose Mourinho expecting Man Utd love affair as Tottenham head to Old Trafford

Jose Mourinho insists he will still find plenty of love when he returns to Old Trafford this weekend. However, he fears there may not be quite so much of it left at Tottenham next week as the reality of the transfer window closing begins to hit home.

The Tottenham manager sat in the hot seat at Manchester United from 2016 until 2018, winning the Europa League, EFL Cup and the Community Shield.

And he is expecting a warm welcome when he takes his Tottenham side there tomorrow in search of a win to kick-start their league campaign.

“I never had problems with the club,” he said. “The fans, they know that I gave everything that I could. I won what was possible to win, I didn’t win what was not possible to win. I gave everything.

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“I gave my life to the club and my professionalism, like I always do.

“Internally, lots of friends for life, lots of amazing people that I met in the club.

“I only have good feelings, feelings that I will have to forget in 90 minutes because for 90 minutes, they want to win, I want to win, that’s football.”

After that, Mourinho makes no apologies for his plans to put his feet up after what he describes as his “hardest” period in professional football.

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The trip to Manchester United will be Spurs’ ninth game in 20 days as Tottenham walked a tight-rope of sudden-death games to reach the Europa League proper and the Carabao Cup quarter-finals where they face Stoke City.

“I’ve never had anything like this before. Never. After Sunday, for me and the players, that are not going to the national team, we will have an amazing week to relax, to get energy again.”

First, though, is the small matter of the final day of the transfer window. Benfica agreed a loan signing worth £2.7m for Brazilian striker Carlos Vinicius subject to a medical which could be converted into a £40.8m permanent signing in the summer.

Furthermore, they are still being linked with a move for Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar – with Spurs currently some way below the Italian side’s £45m valuation.

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However, it is having too many players, not too few, that is concerning Mourinho – with players such as Danny Rose, Juan Foyth, Sergio Aurier, Ryan Sessegnon and Paulo Gazzaniga all seemingly surplus to requirements.

“The transfer window works in two directions and it’s possible that we could let a couple of players to leave,” Mourino said. “It’s possible we could let a couple of young players to go and experience playing.

“For sure, we are not going to keep every player in the squad over normal numbers.

“I like to work normally with a squad of 22 players plus the keepers and we are not going to be far from that number.

“I agree that it’s impossible to keep everybody happy when you have so many players because every weekend, every match, some players will not be playing and that’s not good for them especially when they are good players.

“But my job is not to keep them happy. My job is to do the best for the club and to get the best possible results.”

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Jose Mourinho not out for ‘revenge’ as Tottenham travel to coach’s former side Manchester United


Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says his side have “no excuses” at Manchester United as they reach the end of a gruelling run of games.

Spurs head to Old Trafford on Sunday for their fourth game in eight days, having booked their place in the Europa League group stages on Thursday.

Mourinho has previously complained about player welfare and said his players’ efforts have been “inhuman”, but he is gearing his side up for one last push before the international break.

“I am used to it. It’s the last one, the last match,” he said. “I don’t want to moan. I moaned enough and I moaned with real things on my hands and I don’t think anyone disagreed with me, even when I was moaning about the situation.

“But now [there] is only one more match, only the United match. But no excuses. They had only one match for the week and it was yesterday and probably the majority of the players who played are not going to play Sunday.

“But I want to forget that. We go there and we go there to discuss the game.”

Mourinho could be boosted by the return of Son Heung-min at Old Trafford as the South Korean recovers from a hamstring injury, which is not as bad as first feared. Son was previously ruled out until after the international break, but he could make a surprise comeback on Sunday.

“I don’t want to lie to you and say he doesn’t play and Sunday he’s there,” Mourinho said. “At the same time I don’t want to say he plays and then he doesn’t.

“So let’s wait and see; in this moment, I honestly don’t know.”

The game sees a return to Manchester United for Mourinho, almost two years after he was sacked as manager there.

One of his first matches in charge of Spurs was a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford last December, but Mourinho reacted with disdain when asked whether Sunday’s match was a revenge mission.

“What’s that? Revenge? I won so many times at Old Trafford as Man United coach and as an opponent coach.

“Revenge for what? Nobody treated me badly there, everyone was so nice to me, I don’t have enemies there, I don’t have bad feelings. Revenge for what? It’s just a football match I want to win.”

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