Former Tottenham midfielder and now Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has branded the Spurs a “shadow” of their former selves and put the blame squarely on Jose Mourinho.
Tottenham were outgunned 3-0 by Manchester City in what was their fourth loss in five EPL games and leaves them ninth on the ladder.
Spurs outcasts Dele Alli and Gareth Bale were both brought on off the bench and showed brief sparks but failed to make much of an impact with City dominating the ball.
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The pair were given 26 and 18 minutes respectively to make their mark.
Both have struggled for starting appearances under Mourinho’s watch with Alli linked to moves away from Tottenham while Bale was publicly criticised by the Spurs boss for an Instagram post this week.
Redknapp took issue with Mourinho’s approach to the star duo, claiming he is creating too many enemies at the moment.
“It’s a team that is lacking confidence, but he has to accept responsibility for that,” he told Sky Sports.
“He brings in Dele Alli and Gareth Bale and he wants them to bail him out, if you like. He’s been treating them badly, they’ve not been in the team and now you’re asking them to make a difference for you? That’s not how modern football works.
“You need to keep players onside and Jose is making a habit right now of upsetting too many people that he needs as allies, not enemies.”
Mourinho, while admitting post-game that coaches are guilty of mistakes at times, insisted any player is welcome in his team if they prove they deserve a spot.
“Good players, when they are fit, and when they are ready, are always welcome, always,” he said.
“We coaches sometimes can make the wrong decisions, we all do, but not one of us are crazy. Not one of us says: ‘I don’t want this player to help me and help the team’ when that player has the potential and conditions to do it.
“Do they have the qualities? Yes we know they have. If they are fit, and if they are ready, and if they consider themselves physically and mentally ready, welcome. Because the team needs everyone. If we can have Dele and Gareth fit and ready to play, it is a big improvement in our squad.”
It was not just the treatment of Alli and Bale that had Redknapp critical of Mourinho though.
He also claimed the Spurs boss was too busy trying to please others with his tactical choices and that it left Tottenham a “shadow” of their former selves.
“When I see this Spurs side right now, it’s a shadow of that team,” he said.
“No pace going forward, Son is doing more defending than attacking and the way they’re playing right now, that almost feels like a Jose masterclass and they are really struggling.
“It almost feels like Jose is trying to make other people happy with the way he’s playing. When they were playing well at that stage, they were playing Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and it wasn’t a joy to watch, but it was winning for them.
“Now it’s like he’s almost trying to please the fans and it’s not working. Rotating the back four all the time – when does that bring anyone any confidence? Then he said they’d made mistakes – yes, because you keep changing the back four every week. That’s what it feels like to me.”
The usually potent striker Heung-min Son struggled to create chances against City and picked up a knock towards the end of the game.
Mourinho said Son had copped a stud to the ankle but was hopeful it is not a serious issue moving forward that could impact his availability.